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19 Best Deodorants and Antiperspirants for Women, According to Skincare Pros

Say goodbye to sweat and body odor with these effective formulas.

best deodorants for women
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Sweat is a natural process that occurs to regulate body temperature and sweating is a sign of a healthy body, but its secondary, less-lovely effects are sticky skin, unsightly armpit stains and foul body odor. Luckily, there are many effective deodorant and antiperspirant products on the market to help combat sweaty armpits, excessive sweating and women's body odor.

The difference between the deodorant and antiperspirant products: "Deodorants help malodorous body parts smell fresh by depositing a film on the skin," explains Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. Ingredients in deodorant fight the bacterial growth that causes sweat to smell bad, but "fragrances can also be designed to mask the malodors without trying to stop the bacterial growth," she says. Antiperspirant, unlike deodorant, contains active ingredients like aluminum and zirconium salts that form gel-like plugs in the sweat ducts, preventing sweat from reaching skin’s surface. "This decreases the malodor generation of bacteria," Aral says. Since aluminum salts are also said to have antimicrobial properties on their own, they can reduce bad odors too.

How we test deodorants and antiperspirants

The GH Beauty Lab tests new deodorant and antiperspirant formulas on expert evaluators who use them in their everyday lives, judging them for efficacy of prevention of sweat and masking of body odor, texture, scent, residue, feel on skin and how long their effects last.

When it comes to deciding between formulas, skincare pros advise that you think about what your priorities and concerns are. "If excess sweating is more of a concern, look for an antiperspirant," advises Janiene Luke, M.D., associate professor of dermatology at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. "Some products can serve as both deodorants and antiperspirants depending on the ingredients, so seek out a combination antiperspirant/deodorant to get odor protection along with sweat reduction."

Here, the best deodorants and antiperspirants for women of 2021 for even smelly armpits, strong body odor and serious sweat, according to GH Beauty Lab experts and dermatologists, including organic and natural formulas and aluminum-free deodorant:

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1
Best Overall Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women
Antiperspirant Deodorant with Pure Essential Oils
Secret
Secret

  • High-end aromatherapy scents
  • Effective sweat and odor protection
  • Good value

A  Good Housekeeping Beauty Award winner and GH Beauty Lab expert favorite, Secret turns a body basic luxe with sophisticated packaging and true essential oil-based scents like lavender, cedarwood and rose in this effective antiperspirant/deodorant. "It works like a charm keeping skin dry and feeling soft, even through two hour long tennis practices," reports GH Beauty Lab Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann. "I like the delicate whiff of scent they give which is far subtler than other deodorant/antiperspirants that can quickly become too much for me." Another tester agreed: "No telltale 'deodorant' smell — more like aromatherapy." (It also comes in an aluminum-free version.)

2
Best Value Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women
Dry Spray Antiperspirant Deodorant Nourished Beauty
Dove
Dove

  • Easy to apply spray formula
  • Dries fast
  • Can be used all over the body
  • No visible residue

Dove's dry spray deodorant technology has made a convert of even  beauty editors who are lifelong solid users. "For years I was a stick deodorant girl, but recently I switched to spray and I’m never going back," says beauty editor Dori Price. "I love that this dries super quickly and I never feel sticky after — I can get dressed right away!" Plus, the large-sized can is long-lasting for the baragain price.

3
Best Women's Antiperspirant Deodorant for Strong Body Odor
Clinical Strength Stress Response Antiperspirant Deodorant
Secret
Secret

  • Potent odor and sweat-fighting ingredients
  • Good value
  • High level of antiperspirant aluminum

For those prone to heavy body odor (hello, smelly armpits!), opt for a deodorant labeled "clinical strength", like Secret's formula, which Dr. Luke recommends. Clinical and prescription strength deodorants are the strongest over-the-counter option for those looking to combat serious body odor. With a high 20% level of aluminum zirconium (one of the most popular and effective antiperspirant ingredients) it will effectively fight both undesirable underarm aromas and moisture.

4
Best Aluminum-Free Deodorant for Women
Refillable Deodorant
Dove
Dove

  • Lasting odor protection
  • Lightweight, skin-softening formula
  • Sustainable refillable packaging
  • Made without aluminum

  • Not antiperspirant

A GH Beauty Award winner, Dove’s aluminum-free deodorant with one-quarter moisturizing ingredients and 48-hour odor blocking has gone sustainable in sleek, functional refillable packaging that reduces plastic waste. The case comes with a lifetime guarantee. “One of the best product launches I’ve seen in my career and definitely prevents malodors,” Aral says. GH Beauty Lab Chemist Danusia Wnek agrees: “ I am blown away by this product — it's the only deodorant without antiperspirant that’s kept me smelling good all day long and feels light."

5
Best Organic Deodorant for Women
The Clean Deo
Beautycounter
Beautycounter

  • Formulated with organic plant-based ingredients
  • Sustainable refillable packaging

  • Pricey
  • Not antiperspirant

Beautycounter's refillable deodorant, made with organic ingredients like corn starch and coconut oil, won a GH Sustainable Innovation Award for minimizing the amount of single-use plastics in landfills. The formula "feels like a balm once applied and I liked the easy to swap refill," Wizemann says. When it comes to sustainability, "the brand is looking at the big picture,” one GH expert judge said. 

6
Best Natural Deodorant for Women
Natural Deodorant Stick
Freedom
Freedom

  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Baking soda-free
  • Not irritating
  • Great scent

  • Not antiperspirant

Made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax and arrowroot powder, Freedom's deodorant formula is a GH beauty editor favorite. "I love that it's made without baking soda, which can irritate my skin, and that the coconut scent is subtle yet doesn't let odor through like other 'natural' deodorants can," GH's beauty director says.

7
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant for to Fight Sweat
Extra Strength Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant
Certain Dri
Certain Dri
Now 15% off

  • Strong sweat protection
  • High level of antiperspirant active ingredient
  • Good odor protection

If you struggle with excessive sweat, look no further than Certain Dri's clinical strength antiperspirant/deodorant, which lives up to its name. It's made with a high 25% concentration of the sweat-stopping active ingredient aluminum. "I recommend this for those who have excess sweating and need better control," Dr. Luke explains. 

8
Best Fragrance-Free Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women
Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Clinical Strength
Vanicream
Vanicream

  • Free of potentially irritating fragrance
  • Protects against sweat and odor

  • Gel goes on wet and dries down
  • May not provide lasting odor protection for some

Dr. Luke recommends Vanicream's fragrance-free antiperspirant/deodorant for those who have sensitivity or are allergic to fragrances. "This deodorant is the first one I tried that actually works, without causing that awful itching or burning sensation," an Amazon reviewer said. 

9
Best Sustainable Deodorant for Women
Natural Aluminum-Free Deodorant
Eir
EiR NYC

  • Aluminum-free
  • Protects against odor
  • Sustainable biodegradable packaging

  • Not antiperspirant
  • Pricey
  • May be tricky to push up

Stay fresh with Eir NYC’s minimalist aluminum-free “natural” deodorant, a winner of GH's Sustainable Innovation Awards. Expert judges appreciated its simple biodegradable paper packaging. Testers needed a little practice with the push-up design, but they said they got good odor protection. 

10
Best Vegan Deodorant for Women
African Black Soap 24-Hour Deodorant
Nubian Heritage
Nubian Heritage

  • Gentle formula
  • Vegan
  • Subtle scent

  • Not antiperspirant

GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann is a loyal fan of this Nubian Heritage vegan (and affordable!) deodorant formula. "I like its subtle scent and how gentle it feels on my skin, but still keeps it dry throughout the day," she notes.

11
Best Deodorant For Sensitive Skin
Dry Serum Antiperspirant
Dove
Dove

  • Skin-calming serum formula
  • Good value
  • High-end scent

To coddle sensitive underarm skin, turn to Dove's skincare-inspired formula. "This innovative serum antiperspirant/deodorant formula is more like a softening skincare product than a traditional stick," says a GH beauty editor. "The creamy texture glides on skin and feels soothing, with zero irritation, and the floral fragrance smells luxurious, unlike the usual powdery scents."

12
Best Body Deodorant for Women
Deodorant Tube
Lume
Lumé
Now 44% off

  • Can be used all over the body
  • Lasting odor protection

  • Not antiperspirant
  • Pricey

Sweat isn't exclusive to our underarms: Sometimes things can get a little heated all over the body. Behold Lumé's star product, which received praise in a study conducted by the GH Beauty Lab for being easy to use and providing long-lasting protection for keeping even areas outside the underarms odor-free throughout the day.  “It seemed very effective, and the tube allowed me to apply liberally and to use it all over my body," one tester said. "Plus, it did not stain my clothing!"

13
Best Women's Antiperspirant Deodorant for Travel
Freshies Invisible Solid Antiperspirant and Deodorant
Secret
Secret

  • Small portable packaging
  • Full sweat and odor protection

  • Pricey for the size

Another GH Beauty Award winner, this first-ever sphere deodorant from Secret is more than a ball to use. “It fits even in a small bag but works just as well as my full-size!” a tester reported, making it perfect for toting or travel. 

14
Best Hydrating Antiperspirant Deodorant for Women
Derma+ Antiperspirant Invisible Gel & Deodorant
Secret
Secret

  • Softens skin
  • Protects against odor and sweat
  • Conditioning gel formula

Soften itchy, rough underarm skin while you stay fresh with Secret's novel antiperspirant and deodorant gel infused with coconut oil. "It feels like a moisturizer going on skin and relieves that uncomfortable feeling you can get under your arms," GH's beauty editor says. 

15
Best Unisex Deodorant for Women
Deodorant
Mario Badescu
Mario Badescu

  • Neutral, lasting scent
  • Baking soda-free
  • Smooth glide

  • Not antiperspirant

Mario Badescu's minimalist deodorant is a favorite of both Wizemann and her husband. "It is slightly scented, with traces of lemon and sage, but the scent doesn’t dissipate quickly and is unisex," she says. "I like it the most for how it easily glides onto skin thanks to its buttery texture containing shea butter and its comfortable, powdery finish." Plus, "it doesn't contain baking soda, so there is no itchiness," Wizemann adds.

16
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant for Athletes
Antiperspirant Deodorant Coconut & Hibiscus
Degree
Degree

  • Strong odor and sweat blocking
  • Created for wear during physical activity
  • Bargain price

Created specifically for women in motion (hence the name!), Degree is a great choice for female athletes thanks to its powerful odor and sweat protection. "It's advertised as 48-hr protection and it does just that, even after a hike/workout," a Walmart reviewer reported. 

17
Best Luxury Deodorant for Women
White Tea Cream Deodorant
Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden

  • Scented with fine fragrance
  • Cream formula

  • May not be strong enough for excess sweating or odor

Infused with Elizabeth Arden's iconic soft, warm white tea scent, this pick elevates your everyday deodorant to a fine fragrance experience. "This is one of my all-time favorite perfumes, and I love that I can wear it as a deodorant, too," a GH beauty editor says. 

18
Best-Smelling Deodorant for Women
The Healthy Deodorant
Lavanila
Lavanila

  • High-end fragrances and packaging
  • Contains skincare ingredients

  • Not antiperspirant
  • May not be strong enough for serious odor

One of the original aluminum-free deodorants, Lavanila's sticks are beloved by GH's beauty editors for their delicious vanilla-based scents that come in variants from lavender to lemon and eucalyptus. Plus, the formulas are infused with skincare ingredients like aloe and botanical extracts.

19
Best Deodorant Wipes for Women
Underarm Deodorant Wipes with Coconut Milk & Essential Oils
Pacifica
Pacifica

  • Can be used all over the body
  • Easy to use
  • Good for on-the-go
  • Great scent

  • Not antiperspirant
  • May not be strong enough for serious odor

Wipes offer a quick and easy way to deodorize on-the-go and for discreet touch-ups. These Pacifica aluminum-free deodorant wipes, a GH beauty editor favorite, are made with coconut milk and shea and have a lightly sweet, tropical scent. "I glide these all over whenever I don't have time to shower and need a refresh," she says. 

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