Have you ever been embarrassed by your sweat stains or body odor? Underarm stink can make even the most confident woman in the world want to hide at home. Between daily chores, working hard at the office, and hitting the gym, the modern woman works up quite a sweat on a daily basis. Thankfully, you don’t have to let bad body odor make you feel self-conscious and control your life.
Deodorant is an absolute must-have essential in your personal care arsenal. The right product can help you go from day to night while staying fresh, clean, and smelling good. However, you can’t just pick up any old stick from the supermarket and call it a day.
To make it easier for you, I reviewed dozens of products to come up with the top 10 best deodorants for women.
Table of Contents
- Best Women’s Deodorant Comparison Table
- Our Reviews Of The Top 10 Deodorants For Women
- Donna Karan Cashmere Mist
- Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
- MagSol Magnesium Deodorant
- Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant Protection
- Secret Clinical Strength Smooth Solid
- Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant
- Crystal Mineral Deodorant
- Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream
- Green Tidings All-Natural Deodorant
- Secret Scent Expressions Antiperspirant Deodorant in Clear Gel
- Why You Should Use Deodorant
- What To Look For In The Best Women’s Deodorant
- What Deodorant Ingredients You Should Avoid
- Deodorant Vs. Antiperspirant: What’s The Difference?
- Stick Vs. Gel Deodorants
Best Women’s Deodorant Comparison Table
|Donna Karan |
|Schmidt’s Natural||Rose + Vanilla||Yes||No|
|Bali Secrets Natural||Aloe Delight||Yes||No|
|Dove Advanced Care||Floral||No||Yes|
|Crystal Mineral||Vanilla |
|Meow Meow Tweet||Citrusy||Yes||No|
|Green Tidings||Unscented ||Yes||No|
|Secret Deodorant||Summer Berry||No||Yes|
Our Reviews Of The Top 10 Deodorants For Women
If indulgent luxury is your thing, I know the perfect deodorant for you. Perfume magnate Donna Karan is famous for their iconic Cashmere Mist fragrance, but did you know that you can get the same sought-after scent in a deodorant stick?
This deodorant/antiperspirant stick is incredibly gentle yet still super effective at keeping the sweats and smells at bay. It can neutralize bad odors, protect against underarm wetness, and prevent excessive perspiration while keeping you feeling fresh and fine all day, even after a tough workout at the gym.
The formula is gentle enough that it can be used on sensitive skin or skin that was recently shaved. The soft feminine fragrance is a more subtle version of their perfume, which is a mix of jasmine, lily of the valley, sandalwood, and musk. It comes in a 1.7oz stick applicator, the perfect compact size for travel.
What I Love About This Deodorant
Perfume companies often try to branch out into the deodorant business but often fail at the antiperspirant part. However, Donna Karan’s formula really hits the jackpot. It’s one of the few perfume deodorants that actually does the job well and stops sweating effectively.
Plus, the scent is absolutely amazing, doesn’t clash with any perfume you might already love and wear, and lasts pretty much the whole day without reapplication.
This is definitely a splurge option that might be out of many people’s budgets for a deodorant. You also can’t rely on Cashmere Mist to mask super strong body odor and may not be the best choice if you sweat a lot. Highly-active people or people who sweat excessively might want to look at the stronger antiperspirant options on this list.
Go all-natural with this internet cult favorite. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant is a unique, jar-type deo that is a powerhouse at neutralizing odors, absorbing wetness, and moisturizing your delicate underarm skin. The innovative award-winning formula contains ingredients such as shea butter, powder, baking soda, and arrowroot for an effective yet natural deodorant.
My personal favorite is the elegant and luxurious Rose + Vanilla signature scent, but they also have other fragrances and an unscented option. Their other variants include:
- Bergamot + Lime
- Cedarwood + Juniper
- Lavender + Sage
- Ylang-ylang + Calendula
Schmidt’s is proudly made in the USA so that you’re assured of the quality. The deodorant is applied using the included spatula or your fingers. It glides on pretty smoothly, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the skin even if you sweat. If the manual application feels awkward, they also offer the same formula in a familiar stick form.
The company really stands behind its products. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their products so you can try out their deodorant without committing to it.
What I Love About This Deodorant
Regular mainstream deodorants can have a lot of harsh chemicals and toxins on their ingredients list (more on that later). But Schmidt’s goes the all-natural route, which is great if you’re trying to go green. Plus, it’s aluminum-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, and 100% vegan.
I also love that there are tons of unique scents to choose from, including unscented for those who just want a crisp, clean feeling even at the end of a long day.
The jar-type deodorant takes a little bit of getting used to, especially if you’re used to stick-type applicators. You’ll also need to warm up the deodorant before applying to get it to a consistency that’s easier to apply.
Some customers reported that the formula irritated their skin, causing rashes, itching, redness, or a darkening of the armpit after a couple weeks of use. Stronger sweaters may also find that the fragrance masks their body odor instead of neutralizing it.
If the baking soda in Schmidt’s is causing irritation, you might want to check out other baking soda-free solutions like MagSol. Their Magnesium Deodorant is free of baking soda, artificial coloring, and artificial fragrances. It actually only contains four all-natural ingredients. This makes it a great choice for people with sensitive skin!
Magnesium is a pretty unique ingredient to put in a deodorant, but it’s actually a really smart and hassle-free way to get your daily dose of the mineral. Magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of mental and physical issues, but it’s not always convenient to get more magnesium through your diet or regular magnesium salt baths. This deodorant contains magnesium that you can easily absorb through your skin.
The formula also includes sweet almond oil, which is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, B, D, and E. It’s a naturally moisturizing deodorant that’s also non-comedogenic, so you don’t clog your pores and irritate your skin.
What I Love About This Deodorant
Generally speaking, the shorter the ingredient list, the better! That means there are fewer chances of harmful toxins entering your system. Plus, all the ingredients used in MagSol’s Magnesium Deodorant are simple, all-natural, and incredibly nourishing to your skin.
The big stick is incredibly cost-effective and can last you for months, even with regular daily application. You’ll really get your money’s worth with this deodorant.
It’s important to note that this is not an antiperspirant, so you will still sweat as you normally do. Also, if you use too much product, it’s prone to staining your clothes. The stick applicator is convenient and familiar, but it also means that you won’t be able to maximize the whole stick.
Some people praised the MagSol for how effective it was, but other users did complain that they had to re-apply the deodorant after a few hours just to stay fresh.
Sweating is a healthy, normal bodily function, and Bali Secrets doesn’t want to interfere with your body’s natural ability to detox itself. So they created a vegan, organic, and cruelty-free deodorant that works hard to get rid of bad smells without harming your body.
The Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant comes in unscented, Original Essence, Aloe Delight, Delicate Rose, or Sandalwood. They tout it as a natural herbal remedy to underarm wetness, stickiness, and smelliness.
The formula is completely free of aluminum, baking soda, and parabens. It contains a lot of healthy, all-natural ingredients such as coconut oil, seaweed extract, and natural mineral salts to reduce bacteria growth and repel odor.
Unlike most deo sticks and sprays, it’s actually a deodorant liquid that comes with a convenient roll-on applicator. This means you can get enough product on your armpits without using too much—the bottle can last up to 3 months this way.
What I Love About This Deodorant
I can’t resist a deodorant that uses all-natural ingredients that are proven to work. The Bali Secrets Natural Deodorant works so well that you won’t feel greasy, sticky, or smelly. It’s no match even for intense heats!
The company is also well-known for their incredible customer service. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee and a super-responsive customer service team that helps out if you’re not happy with your purchase.
While the bottle is long-lasting, some buyers noticed that their liquid deodorants dried up in a month or two. The formula also contains ethanol and potassium alum which might be irritating to people with sensitive skin. I recommend that you don’t use this immediately after shaving since it can sting a little bit.
To combat the major sweats, look no further than the best-selling clinical antiperspirant brand. Secret is one of the biggest deodorant manufacturers in the world, and they have an incredibly powerful and effective prescription-strength antiperspirant that protects against stickiness, wetness, and body odor.
The Secret Clinical Strength in Smooth Solid uses innovative technology that helps the deodorant adapt to your sweat levels, protecting you from odor before it even starts. They boast up to 48 hours of protection, even through heat, high levels of activity, and stress. Secret even says that their waterproof antiperspirant offers you four times more protection than a regular antiperspirant.
Their antiperspirant is composed of moisturizing conditioners for your skin that prevent redness, itching, and irritation. It’s the right combination of dry yet smooth; it’s not chalky at all but also not too wet that it feels sticky throughout the day.
There are limited scents for the Smooth Solid, but Secret Clinical Strength also comes in Invisible Solid and Clear Gel. There are much more fragrance options such as Completely Clean, Powder Protection, And Ooh-La-La Lavender.
What I Love About This Deodorant
The scent is subtle and not too strong, so it doesn’t smell overpowering under your clothing. I don’t quite understand how the Adapts and Responds Technology works, but all I know is that it is incredibly effective at neutralizing my sweat whether I’m just doing simple chores at home or doing a full-on workout at the gym.
Before Secret, I didn’t know that stress sweat was wetter and smellier than regular sweat due to increased bacteria. The Clinical Strength Smooth Solid is specifically designed to combat stress sweat without feeling dry or harsh on the skin.
There’s really no doubt that Secret has produced a super effective and long-lasting antiperspirant. It doesn’t need constant re-applying and it can handle even the worst of sweats!
Being a drugstore antiperspirant, Secret Clinical Strength contains aluminum zirconium which might worry some people. The Smooth Solid also has the tendency to leave major white stains on dark clothing, so I recommend that you let it absorb and dry before dressing up.
Another drugstore brand makes this list with the Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant. This particular deodorant lasts up to two days of full protection from wetness and stickiness. This deodrant doesn’t contain ethanol so it doesn’t dry out and irritate skin. Instead, the formula has nourishing moisturizers to leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth all day.
Nourished Beauty comes in a light, subtle floral scent, but there are also other products in the Advanced Care line. The Cool Essentials antiperspirant features a crisp soothing cucumber/green tea scent. You can also get Dove Advanced Care in other variants such as Caring Coconut (sweet coconut), Revive (pomegranate and lemon verbena), Clear Tone (floral), and Original Clean (classic shower-fresh Dove scent).
Dove has been producing body care and hygiene products for over 60 years, so they’re definitely a name you can trust. However, what really sets them apart from other beauty brands is their commitment to real beauty.
Every purchase of a Dove product contributes to the Dove Self-Esteem Project, a brand initiative that aims to inspire confidence, happiness, and self-love in young girls. While it isn’t absolutely necessary in a deodorant, it’s nice to know that by buying Dove, you could also be helping out this pro-woman charity.
What I Love About This Deodorant
Because the formula is 25% moisturizer, the deodorant stick feels like a soft, smooth lotion more than an anti-perspirant. Still, it’s super effective and keeps the sweat and funky smells away for more than a day. It works well enough that you don’t need to keep re-applying during the day, even during the heat and crazy workouts.
Since it’s a popular brand, you can find it pretty much anywhere, whether online or in your nearest supermarket. Running out will never be a problem since you can easily replenish your stocks.
Advanced Care has a pretty impressive line-up of products that address different concerns, from sensitive skin to stress sweat to dark and rough underarms. They come in a huge variety of scents, so there’s surely something for everyone. The scents are all light and pleasant, never overpowering.
While Dove Advanced Care definitely works for a lot of people, some people reported it creates a bad sickly-sweet smell when used. This is likely due to how specific body chemistry can react to deodorant, so while it’s not a con, it’s definitely something to look out for.
Crystal is the world’s #1 natural mineral salt deodorant. It’s been the OG mineral roll-on for decades and has recently made a come-back thanks to health-conscious millennials. This deodorant is hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, so that you are guaranteed a safe and effective solution to your pit problems.
This deodorant doesn’t contain aluminum, parabens, artificial dyes, artificial fragrances, and other harmful, irritating chemicals. It’s not an antiperspirant, but it does have baking soda in the formula, so it does help keep your underarms dry without clogging your pores. The mineral salt creates a protective barrier that kills bacteria and prevents odors before they start.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting green alternative to mainstream deo, Crystal Mineral Deodorant is your guy. This deodorant is both vegan and cruelty-free.
Crystal comes in unscented and scented versions. My personal fave is the sweet yet delicate Vanilla Jasmine scent. You can also get it in Lavender & White Tea, Chamomile & Green Tea, and Pomegranate.
What I Love About This Deodorant
First off, I can’t get enough of the floral/tea scent combinations. It’s not entirely unique in the deodorant industry, but Crystal’s fragrance formula is particularly soothing and pleasant.
The roll-on applicator makes it easier for the product to absorb quickly without making you feel oily or sticky. I’m pretty partial to liquid deodorants because they tend to last longer and are therefore much more cost-effective. Plus, they never feel clumpy or flakey—only incredibly moisturizing.
Crystal Mineral Deodorant is a best-seller in the aluminum-free category, and for good reason. It promises up to 24 hours of protection from body odor, doesn’t stain clothes, and is actually quite affordable for a natural deodorant.
This might be because of the baking soda, but some people experienced itchy, burning rashes with continued use of Crystal Mineral Deodorant. If you’ve had bad experiences with baking soda formulas in the past, it may be best to stay away from this one! Some buyers also didn’t quite like the smell and thought it was too strong, but that really boils down to personal preferences.
Out of all of the options on this list, Meow Meow Tweet is definitely the most eco-friendly. This deodorant cream comes in cute, biodegradable, zero-waste packaging that eco-conscious types will love. It’s also certified cruelty-free and vegan, with certified organic, fair trade ingredients. If ethical consumption and sustainability are your main concerns, you can’t get any better than Meow Meow Tweet.
Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream is proudly handcrafted in the USA with a special combination of dietary magnesium, arrowroot, and fresh essential oils. You won’t find any aluminum or baking soda on the ingredients list, so it’s suitable even for people with sensitive skin. It effectively tackles moisture and odor for long-lasting, all-natural protection.
The deodorant cream comes in two scents, the fruity, citrusy Grapefruit, and a relaxing Lavender. Both are made from organic plant oils and wild-crafted botanicals. If you don’t like the cream-in-a-jar application, you can get the same formula in a convenient push-up stick applicator.
What I Love about This Deodorant
Caring for the environment and caring for your health don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Buying Meow Meow Tweet gives you the peace of mind that you’re not adding even more to the world’s waste.
Natural deodorants are a bit tricky to get right, but Meow Meow Tweet has a pretty impressive formula that includes tons of moisturizing oils, like coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, and more. This means that you’ll never feel dry or rough, even at the end of a hard day’s work. All of the ingredients are fair trade, which means that the farmers who sell these products are paid fairly and treated with respect.
All the efforts to create a sustainable and eco-friendly product obviously comes at a price. Meow Meow Tweet is a bit on the expensive side, even when you compare it to other natural deodorants.
While Meow Meow Tweet is definitively loved by many, some people claimed that they smelled worse after applying the deo cream. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as unique body chemistry or their body detoxing from months of chemical deodorant use.
Green Tidings shows up on many best deodorant lists and is a major best-seller. Wonder why? Green Tidings is a; phthalate-free, completely non-toxic, cruelty free, vegan and even gluten-free deodorant.
Phew, that’s quite an impressive list! No wonder Green Tidings has won so many awards. So what does Green Tidings contain? The pure, vegan ingredient list includes coconut oil, tapioca starch, baking soda, fair trade organic shea butter, wildcrafted candelilla wax, magnesium oil, and essential oil. That all comes together for 24 hours of protection without any caustic or clogging ingredients.
Green Tidings comes in a no-mess stick form. There are only two options for scents: lavender and unscented. However, they offer different sizes and bundle packs to help you save money.
What I Love About This Deodorant
I know it’s not part of the deodorant itself, but I do want to take a moment to praise Green Tidings’ excellent customer service. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their products, which means that if you’re unhappy in any way with their deodorant, they’ll gladly refund you what you’ve paid.
The stick form isn’t messy at all and it rolls on smooth. This is great for people with sensitive pits. It lasts incredibly long, completely neutralizes odor, and results in what one reviewer called “near flawless” underarms.
It’s undeniably one of the best natural deodorants out there, and thousands of other people agree! Green Tidings All-Natural Deodorant currently boasts a 4-star rating average across over 7,000 reviews on Amazon.
This deodorant stick is prone to leaving stains and white marks on your clothes, so be sure to let it dry out and absorb before dressing up. You could also minimize this by lessening how much you apply. There’s also a bit of a learning curve—you may need to warm it up first before it becomes pliable enough to swipe easily.
You may encounter irritation or foul odors for the first couple weeks. This could either be a bad reaction to the deodorant or an armpit detox. If irritation and bad odor continues for longer than 2-3 weeks, discontinue use and try another one of my recommendations!
Secret makes another appearance in the top 10 women’s deodorant list with their Scent Expressions antiperspirants. Unlike the Clinical Strength deodorant, Scent Expressions come in an easy-to-apply and mess-free clear gel that is good for all skin types. It dries clear and doesn’t stain your clothing at all.
The Secret antiperspirant formula is already proven to reduce wetness and odor, but the reason I wanted to include Scent Expressions on this list is because of the sheer number of options you have for fragrances. There are a ton of fun scents you can get, including:
- Pasion de Tango: exotic mango infused with pineapple
- Cocoa Butter Kiss: tropical, warm, sun-kissed cocoa butter
- Coconut Splash: delicious, sweet coconut
- Luxe Lavender: soothing, spa-like lavender
- So Very Summerberry: bursts of summer berries with floral rose hints
- Sunny Citrus: blend of citrus fruits
- Truth Or Pear: light and fruity green pears
Secret Scent Expressions also comes in twin packs, Invisible Solid, and Body Splash.
What I Love About This Deodorant
I only listed a handful of scents, but there are tons of other scents you can get from the Scent Expression line. On the one hand, I love that I can wear a different scent everyday to match my mood. On the other hand, it makes it really difficult to pick the one I like the most!
The 48-hour protection is another great thing about Secret Scent Expressions. You’ll smell fruity, floral, or whatever else for up to two days before you need to worry about your body odor.
Clear gel’s become increasingly popular on the market because it doesn’t stain, clump, or flake. It might go on wet at first, but it’s great at keeping you both dry AND moisturized.
Being a commercial antiperspirant, Secret Scent Expressions does contain both aluminum and propylene glycol. If you’re looking to avoid these ingredients, then you’re better off choosing a natural deodorant instead.
Some people also complained that the packaging is a bit deceptive. While the container is decently-sized, the amount of product actually available for use seems a bit small, and could last maybe 2-6 weeks depending on use.
Why You Should Use Deodorant
When you do your chores, head to work, hit the gym, and basically just go about your day, it’s totally natural to sweat. Sweating is our body’s own way to cool us off and detox, so it isn’t bad…it just feels uncomfortable and is often accompanied by some nasty odors.
Sweat doesn’t actually have a smell on its own, it’s actually completely odorless! Body odor actually comes from bacteria, which is activated when it comes into contact with your sweat. While you can’t—and shouldn’t—completely eliminate your sweat, there are products you can use to neutralize stink and stay fresh throughout the day.
Deodorant doesn’t stop you from sweating, but it doesn’t prevent foul underarm smells by creating a hostile environment for the odor-causing bacteria and covering it up with nice fragrances.
Some people are lucky enough not to sweat and smell so much, so they may not have to use deodorant. But for most people, it’s a daily essential that helps them navigate the world with confidence. Deodorant is especially recommended for people who have active lifestyles (e.g. people who work out regularly or who have physically demanding jobs), live in hotter climates, or just simply sweat more than the average person.
If sweat stains and body odor are a big concern for you, then deodorant just might be the thing you need to keep dry, clean, and smelling good even while tackling the day’s challenges.
What To Look For In The Best Women’s Deodorant
Just take a peek into the nearest deodorant aisle, and you’ll see that there are endless options available for you. That doesn’t even take into consideration all the natural deodorants you can find online! Choosing the right deodorant can be difficult, but as long as you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down the best women’s deodorant for you.
The most important thing about a deodorant is whether or not it actually works. You don’t want to spend time and money trying out new products just to find out that you still have sweaty, smelly pits. A good deodorant will absorb quickly into the skin, last all day, and effectively counteracts body odor.
It’s also important to know that while a deodorant could be effective at first, your body could eventually learn to adjust to it. This could explain why your go-to deodorant no longer works, and you may need to find a new one.
Whether you like floral fragrances, citrusy smells, or a subtle musk, there’s definitely a deodorant out there with a scent you like. There are even unscented deodorants for those who just want a clean and crisp feeling without any extra bells and whistles. Whichever you pick, just make sure it’s something you’ll be able to stand for 12-24 hours at a time!
Most of us could benefit from taking a look at the ingredients list of the products we buy before we purchase them. You may be surprised at what you’ll find, even on supposedly “healthy” and “natural” deodorants. Stay away from harmful, toxic ingredients and those you may have a sensitivity to. Read on to find out more about ingredients you need to avoid in your deodorant or antiperspirant.
If you’ve made a commitment to organic, vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly products, don’t worry. There are deodorants out there that fit the bill. Check out natural deodorants that can accommodate your desire for a healthier, greener lifestyle. Watch out for those with recyclable or biodegradable packaging to reduce your carbon footprint and waste.
Do you only need a deodorant or do you also need an antiperspirant? If wetness, or stickiness are major problems for you, consider buying a deo/antiperspirant combination that can combat both odor and sweat. Depending on how much you sweat, you could either need a regular antiperspirant or a prescription-strength one.
Make sure to check the label and ingredients list first. Most commercial antiperspirants have aluminum or baking soda to block pores and absorb sweat.
The most popular applicator type is the stick, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just this one kind of deodorant. There’s also liquid roll-ons, gel types, sprays, and creams. It really boils down to preference, some people find certain types easier to use than others. Some manufacturers make their deodorants in different forms, so you can get the same formula in the applicator you want.
As with everything else, cost is usually the biggest hurdle when purchasing deodorant. We’ve included deodorants at different price points on this list to prove that you don’t need to splurge to get quality.
You also have to consider not just upfront cost, but how cost-effective a deodorant will be. An initially cheaper product will be more expensive in the long run if you have to use a lot of it for it to work, while a more expensive yet effective deodorant might be worth the extra bucks.
The best deodorant for you may be subjective, but the standards for good customer service never change. Some brands offer money-back guarantees in case you’re not happy with the purchase. Deodorants don’t cost a life-changing amount, but it’s nice to know that you can get your money back if the product doesn’t work—or worse, if it causes major skin reactions.
What Deodorant Ingredients You Should Avoid
Did you know that your deodorant can contain harmful harsh chemicals? Some deos may claim to be effective, but actually just disrupt your natural detox process while exposing you to toxins. Here are 7 common deodorant ingredients you need to be wary of.
Parabens are pretty easy to spot on an ingredient list—just look for anything ending in “paraben”, like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, and benzylparaben. Parabens are most commonly used as a preservative.
Some scientific studies found that parabens can mimic estrogen, which can throw off your hormonal balance. There has been research showing links between breast and prostate cancer and the presence of parabens in the body.
Propylene glycol is an additive found in both food and cosmetics. It’s great at retaining moisture, preventing ingredients from separating, and dissolving substances.
While the FDA has classified it as generally safe for use and consumption, studies have found that daily exposure to propylene glycol can increase your risk of liver damage, heart problems, and issues with the nervous system. Some people also have an allergic reaction to propylene glycol, even in trace amounts as little as 2%.
Deodorants can come in a crisp white or cute pastel shades. Colors and bleaches are often added to the formula to produce a visually-appealing deodorant, but it’s absolutely unnecessary for the product to work. Sometimes, artificial colors can even be harmful and expose you to potential carcinogens and allergens.
The most common dyes that are linked to allergic reactions include carmine (red dye), tartrazine (yellow dye), and annatto (yellow dye).
Aluminum (and its many derivatives) is the main active ingredient in most commercial antiperspirants because it’s incredibly effective at clogging your pores and preventing sweat from forming on the surface of your skin. However, there has been research linking breast cancer, prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease with continued exposure to aluminum and its various forms.
TEA & DEA
Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA) are two words you need to look out for. These can be easily absorbed by the skin and impact your kidney and liver functions. They’re toxic enough that Europe has banned products containing these chemicals from being sold in the EU due to their carcinogenic properties. Still, some manufacturers have yet to strike them for their formulas, so you need to be diligent.
Steareths (seen on your ingredient list as Steareth-2, Steareth-4, Steareth-5, Steareth-6, Steareth-7, Steareth-10, Steareth-11, Steareth-13, Steareth-15, or Steareth-20) are waxy compounds that keep the ingredients in your deodorant from separating. They’re formed through a reaction between ethylene oxide and stearyl alcohol. In the process of ethoxylation, harmful carcinogens are produced. Plus, steareths can be mildly irritating in large concentrations.
Triclosan is known for its antibacterial properties, which is why it’s commonly included in hygiene products like deodorants and soaps. However, recent research discovered that triclosan alters hormone regulation in animals, may contribute to resistance to antibiotics, and could be harmful to the immune. Because of this, the FDA has started to ban triclosan from some products.
How To Use Women’s Deodorant
Applying deodorant is pretty much an intuitive process you may already be familiar with. However, different types of deodorant need to be applied differently. Always read the label to see if there are any special instructions. Generally, applying women’s deodorant follows this procedure:
- Take a shower and wash your armpits thoroughly to remove sweat, dirt, and other grime. You want to start with fresh, clean armpits to maximize the effectivity of your deodorant.
- Dry your armpits with a towel. Do not put on any clothing yet since some deodorants can leave residue, streaks, or stains on clothes.
- Take the cap off your deodorant.
If stick/gel deodorant: Turn the wheel 2-3 clicks to get enough product out.
If cream deodorant: Scrape up a small amount using the included spatula or your clean fingers.
If spray deodorant: Shake the deodorant can for 5-10 seconds.
- Raise your arm to expose the underarm region. Grip the deodorant with your opposite hand to make it easier for you.
- Apply the deodorant evenly and thoroughly over the whole area. Be careful not to use too much product because this is wasteful and can stain your clothes.
If stick/gel deodorant: Swipe on your underarms a few times until you’ve covered the underarm area.
If cream deodorant: Spread the deodorant until the product is absorbed into your skin.
If spray deodorant: Position the can around 3-6 inches away from your armpit. Spray for 4-5 seconds to coat thoroughly.
- Repeat the process on the other armpit.
- Wait a few minutes for the deodorant to dry and absorb into the skin before getting dressed.
- If necessary, re-apply throughout the day to maintain maximum freshness.
Deodorant Vs. Antiperspirant: What’s The Difference?
People often think that the words “deodorant” and “antiperspirant” are interchangeable. But there’s actually quite a big difference between the two that you should know.
Deodorant, as the name implies, de-odors your underarms. That means it neutralizes or masks the smells from the odor-causing bacteria in your armpits. If odor is your main concern and you don’t sweat very much, then you may just need a deodorant.
Antiperspirants, on the other hand, actively block the sweat by clogging up your pores. This helps prevent the smell before it even starts and also reduces the wet, sticky feeling you get in the underarm area. If excessive sweating and sweat stains are a big problem for you, you might want to consider an antiperspirant.
To know if a commercial product is an antiperspirant, check the ingredients list. Aluminum is commonly listed as the active ingredient in most antiperspirants. You can also get combination deodorant/antiperspirants that work effectively to combat both sweat AND smells.
Stick Vs. Gel Deodorants
While there are also other kinds of deodorants (like creams, lotions, or sprays), the two most common types you’ll see on the shelf are stick and gel deodorants. Both aim to do the same thing, but they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Stick deodorants are the most familiar. They come in an easy click applicator that you’ve probably already used. Sticks are known to be very effective. They’re also much easier to find, and you often have tons of options to choose from. The powdery formula is very popular because it helps you feel clean, fresh, and dry in the underarms.
However, it can also feel flakey or crumbly. Stick deodorants are also more prone to staining your clothes. There’s also a higher chance of irritation due to its ingredients and pore-clogging thickness.
Gel types are relatively new to the market, but they are an attractive option to people who aren’t big fans of the solid stick version. Gel deodorants are clearer, lighter, and more undetectable than stick deodorants when applied. It doesn’t feel as heavy when you sweat and you won’t get any stains or marks on your clothes.
The trade-off is that, due to their lightweight formula, gel deodorants are sometimes less effective at masking odors than their stick counterparts. It can also feel a bit slimy or sticky when you sweat. Currently, there are less options for brands and scents in gel form, but they’re quickly catching up.
Short History Of Deodorants
While the modern deodorant didn’t show up until much, much later, people have been using some form of odor-neutralizing products for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used to take regular perfumed baths and apply scented oils to their underarms to control body odor. Asian cultures started using deodorizing mineral salt rocks on their armpits to kill bacteria, get rid of funk, and prevent excessive sweating.
Deodorant as we know it today first appeared in 1888. A brand called Mum, established in the United States, developed the first commercial deodorant that year. It wasn’t until 1903 that antiperspirants came onto the market. The first antiperspirant was called Everdry and used aluminum chloride to block sweating. Decades later, inspired by the ball-point pen, Ban created the world’s very first liquid roll-on deodorant.
The deodorant boom happened in the 1940s and 1950s. This was the period when the market increased a whopping 600 times, due in part to advertisers finally marketing hygiene products to men. Before this, deodorant was seen as a feminine care product that only women used.
The first aerosol spray was introduced in the early 1960s. It became super popular because it was convenient, very easy to use, and didn’t involve direct (and sometimes abrasive) application on the underarms. At its peak, aerosol sprays made up over 80% of the market share. That number significantly shrank when the FDA started having growing concerns over the use of and long-term exposure to aluminum zirconium that the sprays often contained. Sticks then made a comeback as the most popular type of deodorant.
Today, the majority of the world’s population uses some form of deodorant. Aligned with the global shift towards healthier alternatives, natural deodorants have burst onto the scene with surprising popularity. Natural deodorants use a combination of new innovative methods and ancient deodorizing practices to create effective, environmentally-friendly, and cruelty-free products for a more enlightened market.
Women’s Deodorant FAQ
Here are the answers to some of the most pressing questions you may have about women’s deodorant.
Do women really need to use deodorant?
While it’s not an absolute necessity to survive, many women feel that it keeps them feeling cleaner, fresher, and more confident throughout the day. Deodorant has been proven to mask bad smells and protect against underarm wetness, so if these are problems in your daily life, you should use deodorant. Some women, though, can get through their days with minimal or even no deodorant use.
Can women use men’s deodorant?
It would make sense that because men sweat more and generally have stronger body odor that their deodorant would have a different formula. But studies have shown that that is not the case! Although brands will have you think otherwise, men’s and women’s deodorant actually contain the same ingredients in the same quantities. The main difference is smell, the rest is marketing.
In fact, separating men’s and women’s deodorants wasn’t always the status quo. In the early 90s, unisex deodorants were so popular that they made up 30% of the market share. Sales have gone down to 10%, partly because advertisers have pushed the difference, and partly because people are more likely to buy something that targets them specifically.
Can I use deodorant if I have sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin makes it really difficult to find the right products that won’t irritate or hurt your skin, but it’s not impossible. Find a formula that works for you. There are tons of deodorants with skin-friendly formulas that you can try out. If you see any sign of irritation like rashes, burning, or stinging, stop using the deodorant immediately.
Thanks to deodorant and antiperspirant, you don’t have to let bad body odor control your life. You can choose from the infinite number of both mainstream and natural deodorants that are available on the market today.
There are tons of things to consider when choosing the best deodorant for women. You’ll have to weigh your options to make the right choice, but I hope this guide helps point you in the right direction.
If you’re just looking for a proven deodorant to keep you smelling good and fresh, then you can choose a popular drugstore brand like Dove or Secret. If you want to make healthier, greener choices, then a natural, vegan deodorant like Green Tidings or Meow Meow Tweet will do the trick. If you sweat more or have a fast-paced, active, stressful modern lifestyle, consider an antiperspirant to reduce the icky, wet feeling you get at the end of a long day.