Deodorant is a necessary hygiene product, especially if you’re really into fitness. You’ve likely picked one brand and stuck with it, even if that brand stains your clothes or doesn’t manage odor as well as you hoped. Choosing the right deodorant for your body can be a stressful experience unless you have this handy guide to help you through the process.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirants
There are two types of sweat tackling products you’ll find at the drugstore: deodorants and antiperspirants. Antiperspirants are usually made from aluminum salts that temporarily plug the sweat glands and are great for people that sweat a lot throughout the day. Antiperspirants will keep your clothing dry – just be sure to find one with at least 10 percent aluminum chloride.
However, if you have excess sweating issues, average antiperspirants may not be enough. For example if you have hyperhidrosis, you may need something stronger, like Drysol, Duradry or Certain Dri.
Deodorants don’t necessarily stop sweat from coming out of the pores and instead tackles the bacteria from your sweat and cuts down body odor. You can purchase both a deodorant and antiperspirant, which will benefit you if you want to tackle B.O. and sweat.
Choosing the Right Formula
Now that you’re deciding to switch to a new formula, you should consider switching your formula once again after 6 months. Similar to antibiotics, a deodorant formula that’s used frequently will start to lose its potency. This is usually why your body stick stops blocking out odor after a period. If you need extra protection, switch to a clinical brand with 20 percent aluminum chloride and use it before bed.
Regardless of what you use, you’ll need to apply it daily, preferably in the morning, so you can get the full benefits of the formula you chose. You can choose between sprays, gels, sticks, or creams. On the first use, only apply a dime-sized amount in case of an allergic reaction.
Sprays are great for anyone who prefers not to shave or have sensitive armpits that don’t like to be touched with sticks, creams, or gels. Underarm hair can become tangled or unkempt if you use something other than a spray, which can become uncomfortable. However, if you do shave, avoid alcohol-based sprays because they could irritate your skin. When spraying your underarms, try to get close, or you may spray too much and overpower the scent.
Blue gelled underarm deodorant feels very light and cool to the touch and is unlikely to come off on your clothing. Just to be safe, make sure the gel is dry before putting on a shirt anyway! It initiates on impact to prevent sweating and stop odor, but gel can get a little sticky if misapplied. Don’t add too much gel deodorant, or it could feel mushy when you close your arms. Other than that, pick gels if you need to dress for a big event to avoid underarm smears.
You’ve likely used a stick formula in the past because they’re so plentiful, but there is probably another reason you’ve used them: they’re cheap, effective, and contain dimethicone. Dimethicone soothes skin on contact, which can help freshen skin after shaving. If you notice clumping, that’s likely due to the zinc in the formula. However, if you don’t have any special deodorant needs, you can almost always count on the stick to do its job.
Creams usually come from a tube or jar and aren’t commonly seen in a drugstore unless you venture down the specialty skin department. Anyone with sensitive skin will love creams because they contain hydrators instead of aluminum salts. If you have B.O., you may want to pass up creams for something else. Still, if you find your armpits are irritated due to razor burn or rubbing, maybe try out a cream-based deodorant.