How Do I Choose the Best Deodorant Stick?

Madeleine A.

Choosing the best deodorant stick may depend on price, whether scented or unscented is preferred, and the potential for an allergic reaction. Those who are sensitive to smells may prefer an unscented brand of deodorant stick, where others may opt for the scented. In addition, those who have skin sensitivities may prefer to use a hypoallergenic brand of deodorant stick.

Deodorants may help reduce underarm sweating.
Deodorants may help reduce underarm sweating.

Effectiveness, and how much a person perspires may also play a role in a person's choice of deodorant stick. For people who sweat profusely, a maximum-strength, or even prescription-strength, may be preferred. In those who suffer from hyperhydrosis or excessive perspiration, the physician can recommend a prescription-strength product that contains an antiperspirant component to help dramatically reduce underarm sweating.

Some deodorants are made to smell similar to cologne.
Some deodorants are made to smell similar to cologne.

Since a deodorant stick is only effective in treating odor, those who need perspiration protection will want to consider a combination deodorant/antiperspirant. They are usually priced the same as the deodorant stick and can be purchased at a drug store, grocery store, or retail store. Many believe that deodorant is meant to reduce perspiration, but unless the label states that it's an antiperspirant, it will not affect perspiration levels.

Sometimes, choosing the right deodorant stick may be dependent upon a person's activity level. If a person leads a sedentary lifestyle, he may not perspire as much, eliminating the need for a strong deodorant stick. Conversely, a very active person may sweat more and prefer a stronger product. Generally, the more a person perspires under the arm, the stronger the odor is.

Some people have a condition that prevents them from sweating at all. In these people, deodorants or antiperspirants may not be needed. Also, some fragrance designers also include deodorants in their fragrance lines. These products can usually be purchased at department stores, where the same designers sell their colognes. These products are typically more expensive than drug store brands, but many may enjoy wearing a deodorant that smells like their favorite cologne.

Although most deodorants are generally harmless, some people cannot tolerate wearing them. For these people, alternative methods of odor protection can be used. These include washing the underarm area multiple times per day with a hypoallergenic mild soap or even using a natural mineral stone to prevent underarm odors.

When alternative methods are ineffective in treating underarm odor, the person can discuss options with his health care provider, who may recommend other treatment options. Allergy medications may be recommended for those people who suffer from allergic reaction to deodorants.

A stick of underarm deodorant.
A stick of underarm deodorant.

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Discussion Comments


You never realize how thankful you are for good deodorant than when you are in the locker room with a bunch of junior high kids.

The few times I have been in my daughters locker room, I am aware that not every girl in there is wearing deodorant.

When I was younger and involved in athletics, I needed to use a deodorant and antiperspirant. It was just as important to control the odor as it was the sweating.

Now that I am much more sedentary, the only time I use an antiperspirant is when I know I am going to be sweating a lot - which isn't very often.

I have noticed if I am stressed about a situation I will sweat more than usual. This is when something like a combination of deodorant and antiperspirant works best.


@honeybees - You are fortunate that you have not had a problem with any deodorant you have tried. I have sensitive skin and it seems like that involves my underarms too.

After trying many name brand deodorants, I had a hard time finding one that I would not break out with. They would work well for a couple weeks, then I would get red, itchy bumps under my arms, and knew I would need to find something different.

I even tried the unscented kind, but still didn't have much luck. Finally I tried a natural stick deodorant that I can tolerate. My skin has not broken out from using this, but I don't think it works as well when it comes to controlling odor.

If I sweat much during the day, I need to apply it more than once. I guess I would rather have this than having an allergic reaction all the time.


I am not too picky about the type of deodorant I wear. As long as it works and I like the smell of it, I am happy.

No matter what brand of deodorant I have used, I have not noticed that one brand works any better than another brand.

Because of this, I will usually buy what is on sale and try to save some money that way. I won't use anything other than a stick deodorant though.

I know some companies sell a cream which would be way too messy. My mom uses a roll on deodorant, but I tried that once, and went back to the stick deodorant.


I just wanted to add that I think you can now buy the "prescription strength" anti-perspirants at the regular grocery store. I have a good friend that has a problem with sweating too much, and she used to have to get her deodorant with a prescription. However, now some companies make the stronger deodorants available over the counter, so she just buys those.

Honestly, I keep a stick of the extra-strong deodorant/anti-perspirant around for when I go to the gym or I think I'm going to be sweating a lot. Normally a regular deodorant stick works fine for me, but sometimes you just need a little extra help, you know?


@SZapper - It's nice that those deodorant crystal sticks work for you. I tried one out a while ago because I read somewhere that deodorant and anti-perspirants aren't really that great for you. However, the deodorant crystal didn't work for me at all, so I switched back to a regular deodorant stick.

As far as normal deodorant sticks go, I've found that the brand doesn't really make much difference for me. Sometimes I even buy the off-brand deodorant sticks at my local dollar store. Why spend more money when the cheaper kind works just as well?


I've noticed that I need to use different types of deodorant based on the time of year. As the article said, sometimes you sweat more than others. I know I sweat a lot more in the summer when it's hot and I'm more active than in the wintertime when it's freezing cold out and I'm not engaging in as much physical activity.

Usually during the summer, I use a combination deodorant/anti-perspirant to cover all my bases. However, during the winter I normally use one of those deodorant crystal sticks you can get at a natural foods store. The deodorant crystal only works as a deodorant, not an anti-perspirant, so that's why I only use it in the wintertime.


For me the most important thing to think about when I am buying deodorant is how it smells. In the end that is the most important thing. Because if it smells bad, I can't stand to wear it no matter how well it keeps me dry.


@StarJo – I had the same problem, and I figured out a couple of solutions. For one, I started showering and shaving at night. That way, I don't have to apply deodorant until the morning, because I'm not going anywhere but to bed.

Instead of applying deodorant after my shower, I put some aloe vera gel on my underarms instead. It soothes my skin and seems to prevent irritating bumps from forming.

One problem that I had been experiencing previously was red circles under my arms. The whole area seemed inflamed.

I switched to a formula made for sensitive skin. I got rid of my red circles by using this product and applying it the morning after my nightly shower.


I am a naturally nervous person, and I think this is why I perspire a lot under my arms. So, I have to use a product that contains both an antiperspirant and a deodorant.

I feel double protected when using this. I know that I don't have to worry about developing a strong odor or wet spots under my arms when I'm wearing the deodorant/antiperspirant.

I have been having one problem with the product, though. It seems that if I apply it right after I shave the area and shower, I break out in red bumps.

The bumps start to burn and sting as time goes on. Does anyone know what I can do to fix this problem?


@wavy58 – I actually love the scent of my deodorant. I have bought various fruity scented sticks, and to me, they smell better than most perfumes!

Sometimes, I catch a whiff of my deodorant during the day and wonder what smells so good. Then, I remember that it is my peach scented deodorant! It's always a pleasant surprise to realize that the aroma is coming from my body!

Personally, if someone asked me what I was wearing, I would not be embarrassed to tell them that my deodorant is scented. If someone notices it, then this means that it must be working, because instead of an odor, there is a pleasing smell.


I use an unscented deodorant stick, because I find the scented variety to be overpowering. I used to use the scented kind, but its smell was so strong that it canceled out the effect of my perfume.

I really don't want other people around me to be able to smell my deodorant, even if it does have a nice scent. I'm too afraid they might ask me what perfume I'm wearing, and I couldn't bring myself to tell them it isn't perfume that they are smelling.

I have found a deodorant stick that keeps me from having underarm odor without masking it with another scent. To me, this is what deodorant was meant to accomplish.

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