Men tend to be a fairly ripe-smelling lot. We tend to sweat more than women, and though the sweat itself isn't smelly, it can lead to some pretty foul odors.
One word: bacteria.
Your armpits are a breeding ground for bacteria, which need a moist, warm environment to flourish. When you sweat, you're basically feeding the bacteria. They grow out of control and break down your sweat into acids. Those acids are the sharp, tangy smell.
A helpful little stick or roll-on helps to mask the scent of your body odor, making you more attractive and appealing to those around you.
To make it easy for you, we've done extensive research, personally tested close to 100 brands and read thousands of reviews. The results: we've found the very best deodorant for men.
The right scent really can make or break your chances with the ladies! This means that it's vital that you choose the right roll-on or spray. No pressure, right?
The truth is that there's no "one size fits all", it's all about finding the one that matches your unique body scent and helps to mask your body odors. Now, on to our list of the best.
All natural, hypoallergenic, won't clog pores, great for men and women, completely odorless, great for all conditions, one of the most effective natural deodorants around, inexpensive, and doesn't leave your clothes or skin sticky
May cause dry skin, which can lead to skin darkening; may leave greas stains on shirts
Performance: This 100% natural deodorant is one of the best options for guys who don't want to smell at all. The unscented formula is also non-comedogenic, meaning it won't cause acne or pimples on your underarms. The formula is also free of all artificial ingredients—no aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, silica, etc. It's a hypoallergenic product that contains just 4 non-irritating ingredients.
The deodorant will help to kill off body odors, though it's most effective when used in the summer (the ambient heat melts the stick a little, making it easier to apply). It's suitable for any use: gym, outdoors, at work, at home, etc. Be warned: it is prone to leaving greasy pit stains on your clothing if you're a heavy sweater.
Note: You may also need to use moisturizing lotion to prevent the deodorant from causing dryness/skin darkening of your underarms.
Smell: If you want a truly odorless deodorant, you've found the right product. This isn't a deodorant with a mild smell—there's NO smell at all. The lack of fragrances means the deodorant is less likely to irritate your skin. For guys who use a light body spray or cologne, this is the perfect choice.
Price: At $8, this is one of the best-priced natural deodorants around. It may not be the most effective odor-killer, but it's a good option for men who want to go 100% natural/vegetarian with their lifestyle and beauty products.
Certified Organic and non-GMO, leaves no stains or residue, ideal for people with sensitive skin who want a product without aluminum
Can cause "yeasty" armpits
Performance: If you want to show your body some love, this organic deodorant without aluminum is definitely the product worth trying. It's made with all organic, non-GMO ingredients, including coconut oil, sugar, beeswax, and baking soda. The result is a highly-effective odor-killing deodorant that is completely natural and free of chemicals. The cream itself is even packaged in PVC and BPA-free containers.
It may feel weird to apply a natural cream deodorizer without aluminum to your underarms, but it's surprisingly cooling and will even help to hydrate your skin. Some people have complained of underarm "yeast" (thanks to the sugar), but it's a rare problem. It offers odor protection for up to 8 hours, and it's non-staining and non-irritating.
Smell: If you want a product with a mild, manly smell, you've found it! It smells like natural coconuts, giving you a fresh, tropical scent all day long. If you use a potent cologne, this is a great deodorant to use. It will add a subtle hint of freshness without overpowering or mixing with your regular scent.
Price: At $9 (plus shipping), this is the priciest product on our list. No surprise, considering it's organic, natural and is a deodorizer without aluminum. It's worth paying a little more if you want only all-natural, GMO-free products in your home.
Manly, woodsy scent; non-greasy and doesn't stick to your skin, hair, or clothing; easily absorbed, use less with each application; odor-killing and reduces underarm sweat; features natural ingredients, aluminum-free, and vegan
May irritate/cause rashes, and may also leave white residue on clothing
Performance: If you're looking for an effective natural, odor-killing deodorant, you gotta give this stuff a try. The mineral-based ingredients help to combat odor while the plant-based ingredients combat moisture.
The product is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, aluminum, phthalates, and propylene glycol. For those who want a "natural" deodorant (but can't go fully au natural), this is the best option. Despite the oil-based ingredients, the formula is non-greasy and non-sticky. You can go all day feeling fresh and smelling great thanks to this natural deodorant.
On the downside, it tends to leave white residue on your clothing and skin, and may irritate your skin or cause rashes.
Smell: The scent is the main selling point of this bad boy. The scent of juniper and cedarwood gives it a rich, manly smell that reminds you of a walk through a forest after a spring rain. It's definitely a scent you'll want to wear every day.
Price: Like most "natural" deodorants, you'll pay a bit more for this one--$11 for a 3.25-ounce stick. It's not the priciest vegan deodorant on the market, but it's not the cheapest either. Totally worth it, though, given its amazing effectiveness!
Fresh and natural, airy scent you can't help but love, offers good sweat and odor protection, easy application
Strong natural smell
Performance: If you want a top-quality natural antiperspirant, you'll love this bad boy. Put it on in the morning, and you'll stay dry all day long. Once you master the nozzle (it's a bit tricky), you'll find it's easy to apply a quick spritz rather than having to rub a stick or roll-on against your senstive armpits.
It's a highly effective natural antiperspirant that will reduce sweating, but the strong scent doubles as a potent deodorizer. Even after a good deal of physical activity, you'll find your armpits mostly dry. Definitely a quality purchase!
Smell: This AXE product offers a pleasant natural smell--a combination of ginger, citrus, and coconut that is tropically fresh and delightfully musky. The smell lasts for well over 24 hours, but it tends to be very strong at first. It can replace any cologne or body sprays, as the deodorant itself has a potent scent that is guaranteed to mask any body odors.
Price: At roughly $5, this is one of the pricier commercial product on the list. However, considering the 24-hour freshness and delightful scent, it's a product worth buying. You'll find it lasts a lot longer than your average roll-on or stick deodorant/antiperspirant.
Lasts well over 24 hours, pleasant scent that is subtle and masculine, gentle on sensitive skin
Smells very strong with heavy sweat
Performance: If you are looking for a brand that will keep you smelling the best - fresh and clean through any workout or game, this is the product for you! Not only does it last a long time (over a day), but it will survive heavy sweat. It leaves no residue or stains on your clothing, and it will offer long-lasting protection no matter how much you move.
For those with sensitive or easily irritated skin, this is a product worth considering thanks to its skin-friendly formulation.
Smell: For those guys who love the classic Old Spice smell, this is the product you want. You get that musky, manly scent of your first cologne every time you apply it to your underarms. Be warned: the smell grows stronger with heavy sweat.
Price: At $15 for a 4-pack, it's a surprisingly well-priced product ($3.75 per stick). It will last a long time, making it a good option for athletes and those who sweat A LOT.
Incredibly effective anti-perspirant, leaves no pit stains, reduces amount of sweat produced by glands
Minor irritation for the first few uses
Performance: For those who sweat a lot, this is the product for you! It's a "non-prescription, prescription-strength" product that can even combat problems like Axillary Hyperhidrosis (Swamp Pits). For those who sweat more than normal, Certain Dri will deal with the problem once and for all. Some people even use it to reduce sweat on their hands! You'll be the best smelling man around.
Not only does it offer much longer-lasting sweat protection, but it will, over time, reduce the amount of sweat produced by your underarms. Once your skin gets used to the product (can cause burning/irritation for a few days), you'll find your armpits are permanently dry. It will prevent pit stains and leave no white residue on your clothes.
Smell: This is an unscented product, so it's perfect for those who like to use mild-scented body sprays or colognes. Note: you may need to wear deodorant to mask body odors. This product only stops sweat, but it doesn't deal with bad smells.
Price: You will pay $7.55 for this antiperspirant, making it a bit of a pricey purchase. However, you will find yourself using it less and less as time goes on. Some people have reported using the same stick for up to 1 year. Definitely a worthy long-term investment!
This natural deodorant by Oars and Alps absorbs odors and leaves your skin refreshed and nourished! The Fresh Ocean Splash scent will leave you smelling great all day long. This all-natural formula is perfect for sensitive skin as it's non-irritating.
It's a natural deodorant - so there are no harsh chemicals or irritants - but depending on how much you sweat, you may need to re-apply a few times throughout the day.
A natural deodorant that actually works! This deodorant will keep you smelling fresh throughout the entire workday. If you have an extra busy (sweaty) day, you may need to re-apply a few times throughout the day to keep your body smelling refreshed.
This deodorant is all-natural, so it won't keep you from sweating, but it will keep away the bad odors. If this is your first time using natural deodorant, give your body a few weeks to adjust and purge the toxins from antiperspirant. Because the formula doesn't contain any harsh chemicals, you can say goodbye to pit stains!
The stick applies clear to skin, and never leaves behind any sticky residue so you can feel comfortable and confident using this product.
The scent is Fresh Ocean Splash. You'll notice hints of cedarwood, lime, and fresh greens as well. Most users rave about the smell of this deodorant, stating it smells super fresh and revitalizing.
For 2.6oz, you pay $14. The price may seem a little steep for deodorant, but keep in mind that this product is all-natural and doesn't contain any toxins. You're paying for quality. Also - this deodorant is long-lasting - you should be able to use it for several months before running out.
Formula is clinically-proven to be non-irritating, beautiful fresh scent, offers 48-hour protection from sweat and body odors without irritating sensitive skin
Leaves chalky white residue on your underarm hair
Performance: If you have underarm skin prone to rashes and irritation, you'll want to give this Dove deodorizing antiperspirant a try. The product is formulated specifically to be non-irritating, so you should be able to use it without worrying about skin problems.
For those with long underarm hair, be warned: it will leave a crumbly, chalky residue on your hairs. That being said, the residue will not transfer to your clothing, so you won't have to worry about stains. It also washes off easily in the shower.
The product is highly effective, driving off body odors for easily over 24 hours. It falls a bit short in the antiperspirant effects, but it will reduce sweat while offering excellent odor protection. Best of all, it won't leave your armpits feeling sweaty or wet even after intense perspiration, which also prodects tender skin.
Smell: This brand has a pleasant manly scent, one that is subtle and musky without being overpowering. The smell grows a bit stronger when applied to sweaty armpits, but it will not clash with your cologne or body spray. A great choice for those who use subtler scents.
Price: At $5.84, this is a mid-priced product. It's a bit pricier than the top-ranked products on this list, but it's still a worthy purchase for those who want to avoid irritation, rashes, and skin problems.
Offers both a deodorizor and stops sweat with a highly effective odor-neutralizer, pleasant tropical scent
Feels wet on your underarms (as with all gel products)
Performance: This gel-based product works like a charm to keep away odors! Though it's not the most effective antiperspirant around (you will still sweat), it is a HIGHLY effective deodorizer that will prevent bad smells and keep your underarms fresh and clear all day long.
When applied to your armpits, it's moist and cooling. It takes a few minutes to dry, but once it does, it will fight both odors and sweat. Say goodbye to pit stains and white deodorant residue! This clear gel won't leave any marks on your clothing.
Smell: If you're looking for a mild scent, search elsewhere. This is a potent product that is ideal for those who sweat profusely, and who need protection from underarm odors. The tropical scent is fresh, pleasant, and "sporty".
Price: This is probably one of this brand's best features. Not only is it high quality, but it's cost-effective--just over $7 for a two-pack. Considering the long-lasting odor protection, it's the best smelling and most affordable deodorant around!
It can be tough to find the "right" product, but we've got some tips to help you out…
The two are NOT the same:
Deodorant is a formulation of alcohol and scents to kill off the bacteria that cause smell. It can also mask body odor. The average deodorant lasts for up to 8 hours, but won't regulate perspiration.
Antiperspirant a mix of chemicals (like aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrate) that reduces or blocks perspiration. The active ingredients block sweat glands, preventing them from secreting sweat. The effects can last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.
Here are a few important facts to know before you choose your product:
For men with sensitive skin, finding deodorant (or any types of hygiene or beauty products) can be a huge challenge! Even mild chemicals and fragrances used in these products can lead to irritation.
When choosing deodorants for sensitive skin, there are four ingredients you MUST avoid at all costs:
Alcohol – Alcohol helps the deodorant to dry quickly, and can provide a cooling sensation for your skin. Unfortunately, it can dry your sensitive skin and irritate it. You'll find alcohol in your gels, roll-ons, and aerosol deodorants.
Aluminum – Aluminum is popular among antiperspirants because of its ability to plug up the sweat ducts and prevent the flow of moisture to your skin. However, aluminum can be irritating to sensitive skin, and can cause a wide range of additional problems (see the "Dangers of Aluminum in Deodorant" section below). Always search for aluminum-free deodorants!
Fragrances – All deodorants come with chemicals that add perfume and fragrance. Sadly, these perfumes can lead to rashes and skin irritation. Deodorants almost always contain these odor-masking fragrances, so you may want to use antiperspirant for very sensitive skin.
Parabens – These are preservatives used in cosmetics, and they're known to irritate sensitive skin, especially if the skin is already irritated or damaged. You'll need to check the ingredients to find any words that have "paraben" in it, such as methylparaben or propylparaben.
According to the experts, men with sensitive skin should consider an antiperspirant over deodorants, as antiperspirants (particularly aluminum-free products) are less likely to cause irritation.
If you notice any rashes or skin problems when using a product, stop using it and wait until the irritation clears up. Then try the same product once more and watch for a negative reaction. If you get even a hint of the previous reaction, it's time to change products. In extreme cases, consider using baking soda to combat body odor and sweat.
While there are natural ways to combat odor and sweat (see the final section), the truth is that chemicals do the job much more efficiently—which is why most deodorants are made using chemical ingredients. Unfortunately, some of those chemicals can be quite harmful:
Parabens – As mentioned above, parabens are a preservative that keep the deodorant from spoiling or the ingredients from degrading. However, parabens have been known to interfere with your body's hormone production, particularly estrogen. Given that the underarms are VERY close to the estrogen-sensitive tissue in your chest, there is the worry that regular application of deodorant could lead to the growth of cancer cells. This isn't just a concern for women, but for men as well!
The National Institutes of Health has stated that there is "a possible connection between their use and breast cancer. However, no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer."
Triclosan –Triclosan is an antibacterial agent used to protect the deodorants and antiperspirants from being contaminated by the bacteria forming in your armpits. It's also used to kill off the bacteria forming on your skin. While the FDA states there are "no known hazards" to triclosan, recent research has indicated the opposite.
Triclosan has been linked to affected microbiomes (beneficial bacteria in the body), altered gene expression, and even unusual hormone activity. There is evidence suggesting that triclosan can impair thyroid function, which can affect brain function and development. While there isn't yet definitive proof to back up the claims, there's enough initial evidence to make you think twice about using this ingredient.
Propylene Glycol – This petroleum-based chemical is used to keep your deodorant or antiperspirant soft and easy to apply. It has been linked to central nervous system damage, along with damage to your heart and liver. Definitely not something you want to be exposed to!
Phthalates – This ingredient is used to encourage the deodorizing and sweat-reducing particles to stick to your skin. While this is a good thing, the not-so-good is that it may disrupt the function of androgen hormones like testosterone. Specifically, it may alter your hormone production, uptake, and expression. This can lead to reduced energy, decreased muscle growth, and even impaired metabolic function. Some evidence suggests phthalates could negatively affect male reproduction. Low IQ scores and higher asthma risks are also directly linked to phthalate exposure.
Silica – Silica crystals are used in a number of deodorants and antiperspirants, as the crystals stick to the skin and provide a vehicle for the deodorizing and fragrance particles. However, silica is a known irritant that can increase your risk of rashes and skin irritation, especially among men with sensitive skin. If contaminated with crystal quartz, it could lead to a higher risk of cancer. It's a known immunotoxin and allergen, making it one more ingredient you'll want to avoid.
Talc – It's hard to believe that talc, the ingredient we've all used in our talcum powders, could be harmful for your health. However, some talc contains asbestiform fibers, which are known carcinogens. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how much/little asbestiform fibers are contained in your talc, making it an ingredient that could put your health at risk.
Want to find out if your deodorants or antiperspirants contain these dangerous chemicals? Skin Deep has a database listing more than 70,000 products, giving each a safety rating according to the chemicals they contain.
Aluminum is one of the ingredients most commonly used in antiperspirants, thanks to its ability to block moisture production by plugging up the sweat ducts. Unfortunately, it's one of the most controversial ingredients used in deodorants and antiperspirants.
First off, aluminum may affect the way your body produces and utilizes estrogen. Anything that throws off the delicate hormonal balance may increase the risk of hormone-related cancers, such as breast or prostate cancer. Animal studies have provided a tenuous link between aluminum exposure and cancer. The fact that the aluminum is applied so close to estrogen-sensitive breast tissue in your chest is definitely cause for concern.
One 2007 study found that the use of antiperspirants can lead to aluminum deposits in the outer breast tissue. While the aluminum wasn't highly concentrated in the central breast, there was enough in the tissue near the underarms to be a cause for concern.
Aluminum exposure has also been linked to Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The metal is a known neurotoxin, and is found in higher concentrations among the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer's. Your body only absorbs a tiny amount of aluminum every time you apply antiperspirant, but over decades it could add up and pose a potential threat to your brain health.
However, these claims have to be taken with a grain of salt. There is only tenuous evidence pointing to the dangers of aluminum for your brain and hormone levels. According to John Bailey, PhD, chief scientist with the Personal Care Products Council, "These products can be used with high confidence of their safety. They've been used for many years, and there's no evidence that suggests a problem."
If you want to find antiperspirants and deodorants made WITHOUT aluminum, visit this link to find a list of brands that don't use the potentially toxic metal in their formulas. You can find aluminum-free products to use if you want to be truly safe.
If you want to use deodorants that are safe and effective for all skin types, even sensitive skin, here are a few of the ingredients that you should consider:
These are the ingredients that will help to improve underarm skin health while reducing sweat output and body odor.
The real danger of antiperspirants has little to do with the chemicals they contain, and more with the way they affect your body.
Remember that sweating is your body's way of cooling off and eliminating toxins. The fact that it causes body odor has more to do with the bacteria living in your armpit than it does to the moisture produced by your sweat glands. Your sweat is just the "damp" that provides the bacteria with the warm, damp environment that helps them to thrive.
When you plug up your sweat ducts or prevent moisture from accumulating in your armpits, you don't stop the actual bacteria themselves. In fact, regular use of antiperspirants has been linked to an increased risk of bacterial infections. According to one study, "Individuals who used antiperspirants or deodorants long-term, but who stopped using product for two or more days as part of this study, had armpit communities dominated by Staphylococcaceae, whereas…individuals…who habitually used no products were dominated by Corynebacterium."
Staphylococcaceae bacteria can be potentially dangerous, while Corynebacterium are harmless, simply producing body odor. By trying to reduce odor, you potentially expose your body to more serious bacterial threats.
Sweat is a perfectly natural thing, your body's way of cooling off and expelling toxins. Antiperspirants and deodorants aren't absolutely necessary for your health.
On the flip side, body odor can be offensive to others. If you want to naturally reduce body odors, try these tricks:
In the end, you may find that you NEED deodorant or antiperspirant to prevent bad smells and excessive moisture. If you're going to use these products, try to find the ones that contain the least amount of potentially harmful chemicals. Be sure to check out our other related articles like men’s colognes, underwear, and pomades.