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There is no single best deodorant for men. That’s because no two guys sweat the same, nevermind differing tolerances for the various ingredients deodorants contain. But because deodorant marketing has jumped off the deep end in recent years, telling us that the ingredient d’yesterday is absolutely horrible, and so we now must embrace the ingredient du jour, or some only-natural formula, it can be hard to suss out exactly what the best options are.
If you’re shopping around for a new deodorant, first consider what you need from the product. Do you have a moisture problem? You might have to bite the bullet and use antiperspirant (I use it daily, happily and desperately). If your skin gets irritated easily, you might actually need a natural formula, one that doesn’t contain any baking soda (which can throw off skin’s pH levels), or at least no alcohol and added fragrance. And yet, if you’re tolerant of all of it, then you can pick something universal and middle of the road, whether that’s a more small-batch brand or a mass-market synthetic stick.
Hopefully, this roundup of the best deodorant for men has something for you, and how much you sweat, your body odor and your sensitivities to various ingredients—or total lack thereof. (Oh, and your budget too—or total lack thereof.)
Best Overall Deodorant
With all of the deodorants out there, it’s worth honoring one that falls squarely in the middle—a product elevated above the mass-market formulas, but accessible to all. Something that doesn’t lean on any particular hero ingredient or claims to be the best at fighting sweat or stands on a mythical moral high ground by using purely natural ingredients. We all have a different approach to underarm upkeep (hence all of the categories on this list) but the one that should please most guys is Malin+Goetz. It spares the primary red-flag ingredients (aluminum, alcohol, baking soda, synthetic fragrance), and doesn’t leave any residue in its wake. Our favorite scent of the trio, Eucalyptus, counters body odor with citronellyl and leaves a tingling, cooling freshness behind.
Best Luxury Deodorant
A run-through of Patricks’ key deodorant ingredients proves why this product is well worth the price: First there’s the mineral-based active Niodor, a rare but damn effective defense against odorous bacteria. Then it’s got Amazonian brown clay, zinc, and tapioca starch to absorb moisture and further mitigate bacterial proliferation. Finish the formula with coconut oil for a comforting, nourishing application, and you’ve got a stick that might spoil you for anything you can pick up on a pharmacy run.
Best Antiperspirant and Deodorant Combo
We’ve been trained to abhor aluminum in deodorant. But if you’re a sweaty person, then aluminum is a lifesaver. (On top of that, the studies claiming it causes breast cancer remain nebulous; if the FDA is clearing its use, then proceed with that knowledge stored away!) Jack Black’s antiperspirant is residue-free (including on clothing, a relief considering the core issue with aluminum-packed antiperspirants is their ability to ruin shirts), and it’s one of the superior moisture-blocking formulas for people with sensitive skin.
Best Natural Deodorant
Ursa Major is one of the brands whose claims you can trust. It sets the bar for transparency, and won’t fib about being its products being 100 percent natural if they aren’t. (And yet, the company is a plastic negative Certified B Corp, a recognition given for its ethics around social and environmental impact.) And you’ll recognize the ingredients on this one, too, from aloe to kaolin clay and baking soda, shea butter, tapioca starch and hops (as in, the kind used to make beer). All of them work to soothe and nurture skin while absorbing moisture and countering odor. They’ve got a stellar baking-soda-free option, too, if you prefer it.
Best Probiotic Deodorants
Hume is a lot of good things: free of baking soda and aluminum, and loaded with moisture- and odor-absorbing kaolin clay, tapioca starch, and diatomaceous earth as well as soothing aloe. But it’s also packed with probiotics to fuel the good bacteria under your pits—which can in turn hold their ground against the odorous bad ones that are trying to move in. This one’s got a grounding fragrance, with wood and ambrous notes that cast a refreshing radius.
Best Baking Soda Deodorant
Bevel’s recent move into hair and body care is a welcomed one—it already had a stronghold on face and shaving products—but its excellent deodorant shows promise across all categories. This deodorant is a close second in “best overall”; if you’re sensitive to baking soda (and/or magnesium), then it’s not the pick for you, but it effectively pairs both moisture- and odor-blocking ingredients with tapioca starch for a thorough freshness. And your skin will thank you, because it has a nourishing base of glycerin, wax, shea butter and oils.
Best Clinical Antiperspirant
Carpe Clinical Strength
If you experience hyperhidrosis or extreme body odor, then you might need something a cut above the baseline. That’s where you call in the clinical-grade options, of which Carpe leads the pack. It’s formulated for people with sensitive skin, so it’s effective on all skin types, despite the high dose of aluminum zirconium. And it’s just one of many products in the brand’s arsenal that target both sweat and discomfort.
Best Drugstore Deodorant
Dove Men+Care Clean Comfort
The industry’s focus on natural and organic ingredients is a net positive, but that doesn’t mean that all synthetic options are bad, either. Some brands move the needle by reinventing the wheel in the opposite direction: By making large-batch formulas with lab-tested, dermatologist-approved ingredients. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a dermatologist who doesn’t love Dove across the board, and that includes their deodorants, too. If you don’t want to break the bank, then put your money here. (Best of all, both the deodorant and antiperspirant promise 48-hour protection.)
Best Deodorant With Alpha Hydroxy Acid
One less common way to counter odorous bacteria is the use of alpha-hydroxy acids. These ingredients gently dissolve dead skin cells, grime and dirt, but also dismantle a good amount of those “bad” bacteria, too. Nécessaire’s gel formula uses five percent AHAs (mandelic and lactic acids), which also help smooth bumps on freshly shaven pits. It fortifies skin with niacinamide and tones and soothes skin with witch hazel (which also keeps pH levels in check).
Best Men’s Deodorant Spray
We’ve come a long way since Axe. OffCourt’s body spray feeds the good bacteria on your skin, to help fortify them against the odor-causing versions. It’s the perfect gym-bag tote, and won’t leave a cast or residue on skin or clothes. It harnesses zinc, xylitol and lactic acid (another AHA) to counter odors, and delivers a light, noninvasive refreshing aroma (there are three fragrance options: citrus and driftwood; coconut and sandalwood; and fig leaves and musk). All that said, if you’re sensitive to fragrance or alcohol, you’ll want to test this on a patch of thick skin before you commit.
Best Antiperspirant and Deodorant Spray
No matter what color your shirt, this spray won’t compromise the underarm fabric despite a long-lasting (72-hour!) antiperspirant and deodorant defense. It applies clean and dry, and smells fresh on contact—but also maintains that clean scent throughout the day as you move about, thanks to some reactivation taking place at a microscopic level.
Best Underarm Deodorant Spray
This easy-to-distribute mist from Bravo Sierra is free of all the bad stuff you might find in budget brands (think parabens, silicones, and flammable propellants), meaning this spray is good for both you and the environment. Its smart-lock cap prevents unwanted expulsion while you’re traveling, plus the deodorant’s vetiver and cedarwood scent is soothing to the senses. It even wears well as an all-over body spray, casting a barely there but uplifting olfactive radius.
Best Natural Deodorant Spray
Ursa Major is the first brand to fill two spots on this highly competitive roster, thanks to its newly launched Hello Hinoki natural deodorant spray. This stuff is so gentle on the most sensitive of skin, thanks to an artificial fragrance-free formula that packs on 19 naturally derived ingredients. Its name comes from the soothing hinoki cypress extract, which combines with lemon tea tree and jasmine for a natural “forest bathing” essence. Its odor-blocking abilities combine from a combination of yeast ferment and the aforementioned lemon tea tree extract.
Best Deodorant Cream
Nuud Deodorant Cream
Don’t underestimate deodorant cream as another great option for stink mitigation, since it’s easy to rub in your pits with the same end game. We love nuud’s creams best of all, since they are 100% natural and vegan, won’t stain clothes or clog pores, and are free of fragrance, aluminum, and alcohol. One pea-sized amount works under each pit and should neutralize odor for as little as 72 hours and as long as one full week. (We recommend using their attachable cap head that turns the tube into a roll-on stick, too.) With ingredients like coconut and almond oils, zinc oxide, mineral clay, and carnauba wax, this cream nourishes skin and neutralizes odorous bacteria.
Best Smelling Deodorant
If your fragrance of choice is from a luxury brand like Dior, Chanel, Tom Ford, or Hermès, then there’s a good chance the label makes a deodorant in that same scent. Take one of our all-time favorite scents (and a timeless classic at that), Hermès’ own Terre d’Hermès, a woodsy scent with crisp citrus and spicy pepper notes that give it some universally beloved nuance. You can wear this deodorant in tandem with the cologne if you want all the elements to be working together, or you can wear it on its own if you want to cast the subtlest radius (but an undeniably fresh and chic one, at that).