Face it: Choosing the right deodorant or antiperspirant can make or break your day. How effective is that presentation if you won’t stand within three feet of people after you’ve made it? Or if dashing through your morning routine has you smelling like salami by lunch, how are you supposed to feel comfortable interacting with others for the rest of the day?
The key to come up smelling like roses is to pick a deodorant according to your specific needs and preferences—and to know some basic terminology. “Products labeled as deodorants mask the smell of perspiration, while antiperspirants contain ingredients that work to make you perspire less,” explains New York dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU’s Langone Medical Center.
It’s important to note that sweat itself doesn’t stink—it’s the buildup of yeast and bacteria that causes that infamous trail of body odor. So deodorants may work for some body chemistries, while others may prefer using an antiperspirant, though Day says the acidity of the latter can sometimes irritate the delicate underarm area.
We’ve given the newest launches on the market a go, to bring you the best options that fit everyone’s needs and preferences, from traditional to natural. Check them out!
You Want The Most Natural And Organic
If you’re freaked out by chemical ingredients in your deodorant, Ava Anderson Non-Toxic relies on old-fashioned, aluminum-free baking soda to neutralize odor. And color us incredibly impressed—this stick really worked to stall body odor through an hour-long workout followed by a packed day in 80 percent humidity! Organic coconut and tea tree and peppermint oils keep you feeling fresh, while organic shea and cocoa butters soothe the underarm area.
You Sweat Hard Under Stress
Do your clothes turn wet with sweat when giving a work presentation or meeting new people? Heat and movement-induced stress comes from the eccrine sweat glands, while stress sweat comes from both the eccrine and apocrine glands. The latter contains a higher concentration of lipids and proteins that are a feast for odor-causing bacteria and can result in 30 times more wetness than “normal” sweat. Secret targets stress sweat with odor-neutralizing molecules and prescription-strength wetness protection that work at the root of the cause instead of merely trying to disguise it.
You Want To Go Aluminum-Free
Crystal deodorant prevents body odor from brewing with natural mineral salts that form an invisible layer on skin that creates an unfriendly environment for bacteria growth—the underlying cause of stench. While the original is unscented, the new Essence line adds a light touch of natural essential oil fragrance that is free of alcohol, parabens and phthalates. Our favorite is the calming lavender and white tea, which also offers soothing anti-inflammatory benefits.
You’re A Profuse Sweater
If you’re one of more than six million people in the U.S. who suffer from profuse sweating (known as Hyperhidrosis), you’ll want to check out a new clinical antiperspirant that claims to put an end to the often socially embarrassing situation. Sweat Block is a liquid formula containing 14 percent aluminum that’s soaked on a soft cotton pad. Dab the pad under arms once a week before bedtime, and a block will form in your sweat glands overnight that will last up to a week—even through showers and swimming. The brand suggests you apply a natural deodorant if needed daily to mitigate odor.
Dark Underarms Are A Problem
When the underarm area is irritated by repetitive shaving, it tries to protect itself by creating splotchy dark patches. Dove takes on the problem by blending calendula and sunflower seed extracts into their stick that moisturize to speed up natural skin renewal. Over time, darkness is replaced by a more even tone. The formula also provides the brand’s trademark 48-hour wetness and odor protection.
Your Underarms Sting
Feeling the burn should happen at the gym, not when you’re applying deodorant. Pristine Beauty’s aluminum-free stick uses two probiotics to kill “bad” odor-causing bacteria. The yummy creamsicle-scented formula soothes sensitive underarms with organic white sage and pure moisturizers like glycerin, aloe and tangerine oil. The fun retro packaging even makes us feel kind of fabulous swiping it on our pits. A portion of all the brand’s proceeds benefit breast cancer charities.
You’re Super Active And Get Super Stinky
If you’re constantly on the go—whether it’s sports, workouts or just a very physical lifestyle—Degree’s new clinical protection deodorant features prescription strength wetness protection and microencapsulated fragrance that gives an instant release of freshness when you move. Instructions say to apply before bedtime so that the formula can form a deep level of protection while sweat glands are at rest. The protection then lasts throughout the following day (even through a morning a shower), and you can also optionally reapply upon rising if you feel the day to come really calls for it.
Hot Flashes Are Heating Up
When hot flashes hit, it can seem like nothing short of sticking your head in a freezer will help. While not technically a deodorant, a new product claims to replicate the ice box effect to keep you dry and comfortable. Coldfront’s cooling gel packs slip into a sunglasses-like travel case that keeps them cool for up to 12 hours. The thermal technology allows you to use a pack and then put it back in the case to re-cool within 20 minutes. We disbelievingly put it to the test—and turns out, it’s all the instant comfort of ice without the drips or meltdown; simply hold to your neck, chest or underarms for fast relief.
You’re A Low Sweater
First, we kind of hate you. But since you’re blessed with a minimal level of sweat, a natural spray like Weleda that neutralizes odor instead of preventing perspiration could be the perfect refresher. Astringents like lemon and tea tree leaf extract keep underarms feeling fresh while a blend of essential oils provides a gentle aromatherapy experience. Choose from citrus, sage and wild rose scents.
Odor Is Your Nemesis
Don’t sweat it—Suave is on stink patrol. The brand combines a clinical antiperspirant with a super strong deodorant that neutralizes odor with rich vanilla and robust passionflower. It’s recommended you apply before bedtime to allow the product to set its mojo while you sleep, and then reapply in the morning for extra odor protection all day.
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