You Asked and We Answered: The 12 Best Deodorants to Stock Up On

The quest for the best deodorants tends to be a lot more difficult than it should be. When it comes to body care and deodorants, it’s so far from a “one-size-fits-all” ordeal. If you’re super sweaty, you’re going to want an antiperspirant; if you’re sensitive and get a rash on your underarms, you’ll probably want to use a more natural deodorant. If odor is your concern, you need to focus on antibacterial ingredients. But what if these concerns overlap? How come this deodorant comes with no aluminum, but that one does? Why does it burn? Is that me who smells like that? What does it all mean?

These are the questions that run through my mind while I’m staring down the options in the deodorant aisle at the store. While the options always seem to be ever-growing and changing, the list of actual good deodorants seems to stay the same.

What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?

It’s important to note the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant. Antiperspirant differs from plain ‘ol deodorant because its primary function is to reduce the amount of sweat you produce moreso than solely mask odor. To do so, they rely on ingredients such as aluminum that gets the job done when it comes to stopping the sweat.

Deodorant’s main purpose is to mask odor, but doesn’t block sweat. So if you’re someone who sweats a copious amount, you may want to opt for antiperspirant rather than deodorant. Because deodorants mainly mask odor, they’re typically made with less ingredients, giving them the option to be made with more natural ingredients than antiperspirants.

If you’re tired of trying deodorant after deodorant and still haven’t found a good one, start here. We’ve rounded up 12 of the best deodorants you can pick up, no matter your concern.

Best Antiperspirants

As a Certified Sweaty Girl (unashamed, we all do it!), I know that once you find that perfect antiperspirant that works for you, you’re going to want to cling to it forever and pray it never stops randomly working (why do deodorants do that, anyway?).

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Certain Dri

Best Prescription Strength Antiperspirant

Certain Dri is a prescription-strength fragrance-free antiperspirant. When we say prescription strength, we mean it. Certain Dri is for hyperhydrosis-level of underarm sweat. It’s super strong and combats sweat in an intense (and affordable!) way. Because of its strength, it might leave a rash or irritation if you use too much or are super-sensitive. There are a lot of rules when it comes to using a strong anti-perspirant such as this one, but if used correctly and with caution, it fixes all of your sweaty-girl woes.

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Best Gel Antiperspirant

This gel antiperspirant from Secret is for the type of person who loves a deodorant that gets the job done and smells fresh while it does it. It glides on clear, so you don’t have to worry about pesky stains. However, if you’re more of a sensitive skin type, this one may not be for you.

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Best Budget Antiperspirant

I’ve heard so many people sing praises about this antiperspirant from Degree. It has a fresh laundry-like scent, and works better the more you’re active or on the go. Plus, it doesn’t leave white stains on black clothing or yellow stains on white clothing. Can you believe this one does it all?

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Best Long-Wear Antiperspirant

For anything that has “triple odor defense,” please sign me up. Consider me surprised when I found while doing research that so many women absolutely love this antiperspirant. It’s guaranteed to last for up to 48-hours, and at this affordable price-point, we’d recommend picking up two.

Best Deodorants for Odor

When it comes to odor, you’ll want to use a deodorant with antibacterial ingredients that kill odor at the source. That’s where skincare-like ingredients such as AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) come in. AHAs and BHAs are types of hydroxy acids that exfoliate the skin, resulting in odor-causing bacteria less likely to adhere to it. AHAs & BHA deodorants tend to be more water and serum-based, so most of these are going to have a more wet feel that needs to dry down after being applied, so patience is key here. They also tend to be pricier than your normal stick of deodorant, so keep that in mind when shopping for these.

Tip: If you freshly shaved your underarms or washed them with another type of antibacterial cleaner in the shower, give yourself a couple of minutes before applying serum deodorant to avoid any burning or irritation.

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Best Price-Point and Variety

Not to be dramatic, but this deodorant was kind of life-changing for me. I never used deodorants with fragrance. Until this deodorant. I wasn’t fully onboard to the AHA/BHA deodorant train. Until this deodorant. For being advertised as a “skincare” deodorant with acidic ingredients, it couldn’t be more gentle. It does a stellar job at getting rid of the stinkiest body odor (apply right after you shower!) and doesn’t have that “deodorant smell” that most deodorants do. Truth be told, the scents are subtly perfume-like and has seriously gotten me compliments before.

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Best for Beginners 

Kosas’ AHA Serum Deodorant is a roll-on deodorant that’s packed with skincare ingredients made to literally kill odor-causing bacteria. It brightens your skin, lessens the chance of ingrown hairs, and rolls on clear. It’s a great option but does lean more on the pricier side of the serum deodorant range.

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Best Whole Body Deodorant

I’m sure we’ve all seen those Lume ads on YouTube or Instagram, and if you’ve ever wondered, “Does that actually work?” The answer is yes. This aluminum-free deodorant comes in multiple formats (sticks, lotions, or creams) and genuinely controls even the ripest of body odor. It’s also safe to use in places other than your underarms, which is a plus. Because of its special formula, it doesn’t smell like your typical deodorant, so if unique fragrance isn’t your thing, neither will be Lume. I’d recommend the Lavender Sage or Unscented fragrance for a more neutral scent.

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Best Luxe Deodorant

Necessaire’s Deodorant Gel is equipped with 5 percent AHA and Niacinamide, combining to give you an odor-killing deodorant that moisturizes and strengthens your skin barrier. It glides on, is aluminum-free, and has the same Eucalyptus scent as their cult-favorite body wash and lotion.

Best Natural Deodorants

Natural deodorants tend to get a bad rep because sometimes they simply don’t work. When it comes to natural deodorants, they primarily focus on more clean and natural ingredients rather than synthetics or chemicals. They usually stray away from aluminum and sometimes even baking soda, since both are known to cause rashes under your arms if you have sensitive skin. Many natural deodorant users like to use them for personal preference, especially if they are looking for ones with or without specific ingredients. Before you begin your natural deodorant journey, it’s worth noting that this route may come with trial and error before you find one that works for your specific body. If you do decide to go the natural deodorant route, there are some out there that could work for you.

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Primally Pure

Best Rated Natural Deodorant

This non-toxic natural deodorant is guaranteed to work hard at combatting odor and soothing your skin. Made with a blend of organic ingredients and essential oils, this raved-about natural deodorant is a reliable option if you’re looking for something that has been tested and loved time and time again. It does include baking soda, so buyer beware if you have a baking soda sensitivity.

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Best for Ultra-Sensitive Skin

Native Deodorant. You’ll either love it or hate it. Native’s standard deodorant line has been known to cause rashes in underarms, but their Sensitive formula nips that completely in the bud. Free of aluminum and baking soda, this deodorant glides on easy for a lightweight feel.

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Best Fresh-Smelling Natural Deodorant

This aluminum and baking-soda-free deodorant from Caudalie is also one that is going to have a fresh and calming eucalyptus scent. It’s not sticky, doesn’t leave stains, and does an effective job of soothing and hydrating the underarms.

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Salt & Stone

Best Luxe Natural Deodorant

One of the best-smelling deodorants out there is 100 percent going to be this Santal & Vetiver Extra-Strength Aluminum-Free Deodorant from Salt & Stone. Its warm scent could double as a perfume, and has notes of santal and amber. As a balm, it’s super-moisturizing and neutralizes odor effectively.

How We Chose Our Picks

To choose the deodorants featured, we polled our entire team, made up of women ranging from 22 to 40 years old, for the deodorants they’ve loved and would recommend—and even the ones they don’t! These products are purchased with their hard-earned money and tested to ensure we only recommend the very best to our readers. We also scoured reviews from real people, just like us, on each brand’s websites to ensure we’re recommending the best of the best, no matter the price point.

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