What the best deodorant does
  • Lasts all day. Many deodorant claims of lasting 24 to 48 hours are exaggerated, but your deodorant should not require frequent reapplication throughout the day.
  • Works well at fighting odor and sweat. The best deodorants/antiperspirants fight odor and wetness at the source, even when it's hot outside or the user is engaged in physical activity.
  • Comes with packaging that is easy to use. The product should be designed for intuitive, easy, even distribution.
  • Doesn't leave white marks. The best deodorants and antiperspirants go on clear and won't mess up your clothing.
  • Dries quickly. Slow-drying deodorants can be uncomfortable and messy leaving residue behind on clothing.
  • Has a favorable scent. The deodorant should smell pleasant and appealing, but never overpowering or off-putting. Fragrance-free versions should be fragrance-free.
  • Goes on smoothly and doesn't irritate skin. Deodorants with harsh ingredients can cause rashes on people with sensitive skin; they can also cause irritation when used directly after shaving.

Know before you go

Antiperspirants temporarily plug the sweat ducts with aluminum compounds in order to reduce perspiration. Several mass-market products work as both antiperspirants and deodorants. All natural products, on the other hand, do not have antiperspirant ingredients.

Reviewers say the following about deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • If you want to reduce perspiration, look for an antiperspirant. Antiperspirants block the sweat ducts, reducing perspiration and the odor that often goes with it.
  • If you just want to prevent odor, look for a deodorant. Deodorants contain bacteria-fighting ingredients to reduce odor, but do little to prevent sweating.
  • There isn't much difference between men's and women's deodorant. A quick look at the ingredient list of products marketed to men and women confirms that they are basically the same. The main differences lie in fragrance, packaging and marketing.
  • Look for fragrance-free products if you have sensitive skin.
  • All-natural products cannot prevent perspiration. Natural ingredients do not block sweat ducts and therefore only provide deodorizing benefits.
  • Don't apply deodorant right after shaving. Skin is more sensitive right after shaving, and both deodorants and antiperspirants can cause irritation.
  • Allow antiperspirants to dry completely before dressing. Yellow stains on clothes are caused by a reaction between antiperspirant ingredients and proteins on the skin. Allowing products to dry completely after application will minimize staining as well as white marks left behind on clothes.

What's to come

According to this report on the global deodorants market by the company SpecialChem, manufacturers are increasingly offering special features in their products in an effort to stay ahead of the competition. Deodorants with moisturizing and underarm-smoothing features, such as our pick for women's deodorant Dove Go Sleeveless, are becoming more and more common. High-end, specialty deodorants with hair-minimizing properties, such as DermaDoctor Gorilla Warfare Hair Minimizing Antiperspirant, are also carving out a niche in the global marketplace. Meanwhile, SpecialChem reports that a growing emphasis on male grooming is expected to lead to growth in the men's deodorant market. Demand for organic and natural deodorants is also on the rise.

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