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12 best deodorants and antiperspirants for women
Whether you're looking for an antiperspirant to limit excessive sweating or just want a deodorant that smells nice, here's our roundup of the very best deodorants for women to keep your pits from, well, being the pits.
By Tina Williams | Last updated Aug 4, 2022
Deodorant is a bit like Wi-Fi (bear with us) – you don't tend to think much about it or how it works until it doesn't. While sweat production isn't a bad thing – it's what stops us from overheating – the smell and dampness are generally not positively received.
While you may be of the 'Whatever's on offer' school of thought, sometimes a change in lifestyle, like more exercising, or hormonal changes may mean your usual brand isn't doing for you what it used to, or perhaps you’re considering switching to an antiperspirant rather than a deodorant.
What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?
While some brands use these terms interchangeably, there’s quite a big difference in how deodorants and antiperspirants work. According to WebMD, a deodorant helps to reduce the number of bacteria-producing odours that come with sweating, plus it generally has a powerful fragrance that masks any unpleasant smells. Antiperspirants, however, block your body’s eccrine glands which make sweat, thus controlling how much you perspire too.
So, while deodorants are considered to be cosmetic, certain antiperspirants are classed as drugs and are regulated by strict production and usage guidelines. This means they’re subject to procedures and policies and have expiration dates on the labels.
The type of deodorant or antiperspirant you choose will come down to what you need it to do. If excessive sweating is an issue for you, an antiperspirant would probably be best. However, if it's not, a deodorant may be more than enough. You’ll also need to consider whether you prefer a roll-on, stick, spray, or more eco-friendly bar. The options are endless.
Are deodorants and antiperspirants safe?
The short answer is yes. Both antiperspirants and deodorants have been deemed safe for everyday use and according to Cancer Research UK, using deodorants, antiperspirants and body sprays does not cause cancer. Still, with ingredients like aluminium and parabens, some people are opting for more natural alternatives. The good news is that you’ll find the best natural deodorant and natural antiperspirant stick on our list.
If the sweat and toil of being a parent will teach you anything, it's what makes a great deodorant – so, we took the advice of Mumsnet users, especially on our Style and Beauty forum, and rounded it all up for you in one place. You're welcome.
Here are the best deodorants and antiperspirants for women in 2022.
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Fresh Cream Deodorant
Which are the best deodorants and antiperspirants for women?
- Best overall deodorant for women: Dove Go Fresh Aerosol Spray
- Best budget cream deodorant for women: MooGoo Fresh Cream Deodorant Lemon Myrtle
- Best roll-on antiperspirant for women: Mitchum Invisible Women 48HR Protection Roll On Deodorant & Antiperspirant
- Best spray deodorant for women: Weleda Citrus Deodorant
- Best antiperspirant for excessive sweating: Sanex Dermo Extra Control Antiperspirant
1. Best overall deodorant for women: Dove Go Fresh Aerosol Spray
Price: £2 | Buy now from Amazon
“I use the Dove green tea and cucumber one. It's lovely and smells fresh all day.” MusicToMyEars800
“I have most success with Dove Go Fresh (the pear one is gorgeous)” Thehop
If you’re looking for a great all-round deodorant with an incredibly refreshing fragrance, the Dove Go Fresh range gets a good rep on Mumsnet and is available in a few scents from Grapefruit and Lemongrass to Cucumber and Green Tea and Pomegranate and Lemon Verbena.
As with most Dove products, this antiperspirant contains ¼ moisturising cream and vitamin E, plus it is alcohol free, making it kinder to sensitive skins. In fact some reviewers report that it’s one of the only antiperspirants that doesn’t aggravate dry skin conditions such as eczema.
- Smells great
- Offers 48-hour protection against sweat and odour
- Contains ¼ soothing moisturising cream
- Doesn’t irritate sensitive skin
- May leave a white residue
- Some say it’s slightly sticky
2. Best budget cream deodorant for women: MooGoo Fresh Cream Deodorant Lemon Myrtle
Price: £6 | Buy now from MooGoo
“MooGoo deodorant is un-fragranced and really effective.” LookdeepintotheParka
Not only is this best-selling natural deodorant kind to your pocket, it’s also kind to your skin as it’s aluminium free and doesn’t contain parabens or phenoxyethanol - a potentially harmful preservative found in many cosmetic products.
Like most roll-ons, MooGoo is easy to apply and has a slightly alkaline formula that prevents odour-causing bacteria from growing. Made with milk of magnesia and a light, fresh lemon myrtle scent, you can rest assured this deodorant isn't overpowering and won't compete with your fragrance.
We also like that it’s naturally preserved with hops extract and is aluminium free, which is a bonus for those who are concerned about this metal.
- Easy to apply
- Soothing, creamy formula
- Won’t sting shaved skin
- Suitable for all skin types
- Doesn’t control sweating
- The roller ball may be stiff initially
3. Best roll-on antiperspirant for women: Mitchum Invisible Women 48HR Protection Roll On Deodorant & Antiperspirant
Price: £2 | Buy now from Amazon
“Mitchum Roll On (the proper roll on, not the wind-up stick) is the only thing that works for me. In summer when I'm going to be exercising, I also add some sure spray on top.” BritInAus
“Mitchum. The unscented works best for me.” PabloSlow
Another antiperspirant with rave reviews on the Mumsnet Talk Forum, Mitchum Invisible gets a thumbs up for effectiveness and certainly lives up to its claims. It glides on seamlessly and prevents sweat patches, no matter how much you’re rushing around. Plus, Mitchum Invisible provides a shield against odour caused from heat, motion and stress, thus offering double protection against odour and sweat.
- Has a light, fresh scent
- Offers triple odour defence
- Lasts long
- Leaves no white marks on clothes
- Dermatologically tested
- May cause redness and bumps in some people with sensitive skin
- Can dry out the skin
4. Best natural deodorant: Weleda Citrus Deodorant
Price: £11 | Buy now from Amazon
“I prefer spray deodorant to stick and roll on. I find it works better, smells nicer and lasts ages…” Sanada
If you’re looking for a light natural, refreshing deodorant spray rather than a stick or roll-on, the Weleda Citrus Deodorant is a good choice. This deodorant is 100% organic and contains a blend of lemon and sweet orange essential oils, thus offering a subtle summery scent that’s designed to help you stay cool and fresh.
It’s worth noting that this bottle is a smaller pump action spray, and is not an aerosol spray, therefore it may not offer the full coverage you’re after if you sweat a lot and it doesn’t last for more than a day. However, it dries quickly and does the job of neutralising body odour naturally, without clogging the underarm pores like some antiperspirants.
- 100% natural and organic formulation (no synthetic fragrance)
- Light and refreshing
- Neutralises body odour
- Won’t clog pores
- Pricey for a deodorant
- Essential oils aren’t suitable for all skin types
- Smell doesn’t last too long
- Glass bottle may break if being transported
5. Best antiperspirant for excessive sweating: Sanex Dermo Extra Control Antiperspirant
Price: £2 | Buy now from Amazon
“Sanex all the way!” DumbledoresArmy
The Sanex Dermo Extra Control Antiperspirant is perfect for those who prefer the freshness of a spray, but don't want it to be harsh on the skin. It aims to work with your skin to restore its natural pH levels and prevent both sweating and body odour for up to 48 hours if applied correctly.
It’s also made with clay, a natural drying ingredient that prevents sweat stains without irritating your skin. Users claim it’s effective at preventing both stress sweat and sweat from exercise, making it a good choice if you’re heading to gym before or after work.
The only downside is that it may leave white marks on your skin and clothing if you spray it too close.
- Dries quickly
- Smells great
- Lasts long
- Doesn’t contain alcohol
- Suitable for men and women
- May leave white marks on skin and clothes if sprayed too close
- Some users say it could sting and cause a rash
6. Best deodorant balm: Natural Deodorant Co. Gentle Deodorant Cream
Price: £12 | Buy now from Amazon
“I’m currently using Natural Deodorant Co. Their Vanilla and Manuka is great but I also love the Tangerine.” mychildrenarebarmy
If you’re not a fan of deodorant sprays or roll-ons, we’ve found that this gentle deodorant cream from Natural Deodorant Co. does the job of keeping underarms fresh and sweat free for hours. It’s also easy to apply, simply use your fingertips to smear a small, pea-sized amount of the cream in your armpit area (make sure the area is completely dry first), and you’re ready to go.
And because it sticks well to the skin and acts as a natural moisture barrier, this deodorant cream lasts for a good 24 hours before having to reapply. Rather than relying on chemical ingredients to prevent body odour and sweating, this gentle formula contains a blend of magnesium oxide and white clay to help you smell fresh and stay dry. Available in tangerine, lavender or coconut and shea scents.
- 100% natural
- Aluminium free
- Keeps you fresh and dry
- Easy to apply
- Gentle shea butter formula - ideal for sensitive skin
- Environmentally friendly packaging
- Available in a variety of refreshing scents
- Not 100% sweat proof
7. Best natural antiperspirant: Mitchum 24HR Natural Vegan Stick
Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re a fan of Mitchum antiperspirants, but like the idea of a natural, aluminium-free product, then you’re in luck with Mitchum Women 24HR Natural Vegan Stick. Formulated with botanical oil extracts to neutralise odour naturally and bamboo powder in place of aluminium to absorb sweat, this antiperspirant is derived from 96% natural ingredients and feels light and powdery on the skin.
While it may not be as long lasting as some of the other Mitchum antiperspirants, this natural formula still offers 24HR dryness and protection before having to reapply, and is said to be gentler on sensitive skins. We also like that it has a fresh, natural coconut fragrance that doesn’t smell too strong.
- Natural and vegan friendly
- Preservative free
- Really effective at neutralising body odour
- Quite pricey
- Doesn’t last as long as other Mitchum products
8. Best deodorant for sensitive skin: La Roche-Posay Physiological Roll-On Deodorant
Price: £16 for two | Buy now from Amazon
“La Roche Posay do one for sensitive skin” Staywithmemyblood
When it comes to effective skincare you can trust, La Roche-Posay has a good reputation and the same goes for its deodorant range. This soothing roll-on deodorant does a great job of preventing body odour and sweating for up to 24 hours, but without drying the skin or causing it to be red and tight.
It’s also free from alcohol, parabens and aluminium salts, and is enriched with ultra-absorbent perlite to fight against humidity in the armpit area, zinc gluconate to fight odour-producing bacteria and soothing allantoin, which is a plant extract known to reduce irritation and skin sensitivity.
- Light and effective
- Has a refreshing scent
- Won’t cause a rash or irritate the skin
- Quite pricey
- Not as effective as traditional antiperspirants
9. Best solid deodorant bar: Lush Aromaco Solid Deodorant
Price: £7 | Buy now from Lush
“I get on with Lush Aromaco. It's not an antiperspirant but I never smell sweaty when I use it.” GinandSonic
“Lush Aromaco bar. Doesn’t stop sweating but does stop smells and no packaging. I’ve always been very sweaty as a person and didn’t think I’d cope without antiperspirant but I’m converted.” BuffaloCauliflower
If you want to go one step further in terms of an eco-friendly deodorant, you might want to consider a deodorant bar or solid deodorant, free from any plastic packaging. This is essentially a roll-on stick without the case.
The Aromaco contains soothing antibacterial chamomile vinegar and witch hazel infusion, which can limit sweat production by reducing pore size. It’s also a cruelty-free and vegan. And if your feet are the root of your odour issues, Lush also does a gentle, but effective foot deodorant powder.
- Simple to use
- Smells super-fresh
- Keeps skin dry
- Lasts long
- Doesn’t stop sweating
- Doesn’t come with a storage container
10. Best women's antiperspirant for sports: Sure Women Maximum Protection Confidence 96h protection Antiperspirant Cream
Price: £5 | Buy now from Boots
“Another vote for the Sure Maximum Protection - I use the Sport one. It was the only thing to conquer my post-baby B.O. and continues to leave me whiff free all day.” GroggyLegs
“I was going to suggest Sure Maximum Protection, the cream. Absolutely brilliant for me.” MrsPelligrinoPetrichor
Designed specifically to cope with the impact sport has on sweating and odour, this Sure Maximum Deodorant Cream offers powerful 96-hour protection against sweat and odour using a 'body-responsive TRIsolid formula'. In fact, manufacturers claim it offers three times the sweat protection than its normal antiperspirant does, plus it also has a nice, fresh citrusy smell with jasmine, apple and rose notes. Another bonus is that this formula contains additional moisturising ingredients to prevent possible skin irritation.
For optimum use and sweat protection, Sure recommends applying this stick cream at night when your sweat glands are less active.
- Good value for money
- Expert endorsed
- Offers wetness relief
- Easy to apply
- No sticky residue
- May leave white marks on clothing at night
- Some say it’s very drying
11. Best invisible deodorant: Nivea Black & White Invisible Original Roll-On Deodorant
Price: £13 for pack of 6 | Buy now from Amazon
“I use Nivea Black & White Invisible Antiperspirant deodorant roll-on under my arms. When that dries I spray on the matching Nivea Black & White antiperspirant deodorant spray under my arms and under my breasts. It may be over the top, but I never get sweaty in those two areas throughout a physically hard-working day!” LilyJade
“Nivea Invisible Black & White is really good.” Pikachuwithyourmouthclosed
We've all been there – white marks and yellow stains on our black and white tops. Well, Nivea's Black & White roll-on deodorant could well be the answer. It’s designed specifically to protect your clothes (Mumsnet users' reports are that it works) and also does a great job as an antiperspirant, preventing excessive sweating whilst neutralising body odour.
It offers 48-hour protection (even during and after exercise), is gentle on the skin and is lightly fragranced. We also like the roll-on application, which goes on extra smooth without dragging or sticking in the armpit area.
- Dermatologically approved
- Smells great
- Dries fast
- Offers white mark protection on black clothing
- Doesn’t fully prevent sweating
- Some say it feels sticky
12. Best men's antiperspirant for women: Right Guard Xtreme Invisible 72H Antiperspirant
Price: £1 | Buy now from Boots
“I use men's Right Guard. I am a sweaty Betty and find men's deodorant works way better. Minimal sweat and no smell.” Ellona
Some women prefer using deodorant marketed at men as they find it more effective. Research into this has been that often ingredients are not that different, but stronger antiperspirants for men can sometimes be cheaper than women's. They also have different fragrances and are sometimes more likely to be unscented.
A men's deodorant that Mumsnet users recommend is Right Guard and this Xtreme version offers a reassuring 72-hours protection. Win. Additional benefits include: it prevents yellow stains on clothing, it treats body odour at the source and is suitable for sensitive skins.
- Good value for money
- Lives up to its claims
- Offers a direct, concentrated spray
- Has a great, neutral scent that lasts
- Alcohol free
- Has a very strong scent
How to choose the best deodorant or antiperspirant
Here are a few things to consider when choosing a deodorant or antiperspirant
Deodorant vs antiperspirant?
As we’ve discussed above, deodorants help to control body odour, whereas antiperspirants keep you dry by reducing the amount of sweat you produce. The type you choose depends on your unique needs and preferences.
The presence of aluminium in your deodorant might be a factor for you. All antiperspirants contain aluminium, as this active ingredient enables them to do their job of stopping sweat production.
Without aluminium, deodorants don't really stop you sweating. However, there is some evidence that particular natural deodorant ingredients, such as astringents like witch hazel and tannins, dry out the underarms and reduce pore size, which will stop your underarms from feeling so sweaty.
Is aluminium harmful? There seems to be little evidence that it is, in terms of the amount present in antiperspirants. However, there has been past research into links between aluminium in antiperspirants and both breast cancer and Alzheimer's.
There was a study in the early 2000s which linked aluminium and breast cancer, however this later study disputes those findings. Both Cancer Research UK and Alzheimer's Association state that there is no good evidence for these claims.
Roll-on versus spray deodorant?
This is mostly down to personal preference. Roll-ons can often feel gentler on the skin, but some find the wet feeling makes them feel sweaty, and don't like waiting for them to dry. If you're in this camp, opt for a spray. It should be noted that strong sprays can be asthma triggers if that is relevant for you or your family.
Which is better for the environment?
There are eco pros and cons for both. The aerosol cans used for sprays can get a bad rep – and indeed the compressed gases they use do contribute to CO2 emissions. They do not, however, directly damage the ozone layer anymore – CFCs used to manufacture aerosols have been banned since 1995.
The good news is that aerosol cans are recyclable, although they do have to be dry and clean to be processed. Most roll-ons, however, are not currently recycled due to the two types of plastic they are often made of (the thicker outer layer and a thinner inner layer).
If the environment is a consideration in your purchase of deodorant, opt for natural deodorant or plastic-free deodorant bar like Lush Aromaco Solid Deodorant.
Is it safe to use deodorant during pregnancy?
As far as we know, yes. While there are some reports on the potential risk of certain chemicals during pregnancy, there is very little evidence to suggest that beauty products, such as deodorants, are harmful to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Some women may choose to avoid stronger products during this time, however, a lot of Mumsnet users have reported not changing their beauty habits.
One thing to be aware of is that some products (not usually deodorants) do contain vitamin A, which does have a link with affecting baby development. Therefore, the advice is to avoid vitamin-A products such as retinol used in anti-ageing serums and creams.
How does crystal deodorant work?
Crystal deodorant is a type of alternative deodorant made of natural mineral salt called potassium alum, which has antimicrobial properties. It stops the growth of odour-causing bacteria but, like other deodorants, won't actually prevent sweat production. Like other non-antiperspirants, it works on the consideration that it's good for your body to sweat, but understandably not so good for you if that sweat smells.
Often seen as aluminium-free, potassium alum does have aluminium in it, although arguably of a lesser quantity than antiperspirants.
It's worth noting that some women have had side effects from switching to a crystal deodorant – such as skin irritation (especially on broken skin). This can calm down once your body gets used to it, but of course, if it continues, or you're worried, do stop using it. As one Mumsnetter says, “The crystal deodorant works brilliantly for me - it doesn't stop me sweating but it stops all odour. Lasts for years too.”
How can I stop excessive sweating?
Rather than just relying on antiperspirants, here are some other things you could try:
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Wear socks that absorb moisture and change them at least twice a day if you can
- Wear leather shoes and ideally wear different shoes day-to-day
- You can also visit your pharmacist to see what they suggest. There are more clinical products on the market, like Secret Clinical Strength that may help.
Excessive sweating is, in fact, a condition called hyperhidrosis. This is common and usually nothing to worry about, however, there is a chance that the sweating could be a symptom of another condition. If it's lasted over six months and prevents you from going about your daily life, do see your GP.
How to get rid of deodorant stains
To prevent deodorant stains, try switching to the invisible (or natural) deodorants above. But if it's too late, try these hacks:
- Before the stain sets in, use a wet wipe to wipe off the deodorant and then wash as normal.
- If the stain has set in or remains after washing, try white vinegar. Put the vinegar onto the stain and let it absorb.
- Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the area and leave overnight. Wash as normal the next day. If the stain is still there, try the method again.
What age should a child start using deodorant?
There's no set age that children 'should' start wearing deodorant, it pretty much comes down to when they start developing body odour, and require it. Body odour and an increase in sweating tend to occur pre-puberty, so between ages eight and 10. If you do notice a change, it could be worth talking them through some personal hygiene basics (washing armpits with soap, fresh clothes) before starting them straight on deodorant.
How we chose our recommendations
Recommendations from real users
Because we know there’s nothing quite as valuable as real recommendations from those who have personally tried a product, we first headed to our Mumsnet Forum to find out which deodorants and antiperspirants Mumsnetters bought themselves to stay fresh and dry whilst running after the kids.
We rely heavily on the tried-and-tested recommendations from approximately 7 million parents in our Mumsnet community each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice!
We then did some thorough research across the web to find out which deodorants and antiperspirants had won accolades or been recognised as natural and/or organic, best for sensitive skins or truly effective at preventing body odour and sweat. Only the safest, dermatologically approved products made our list.
After collating all that information, we trawled the Internet and took a deep dive into consumer reviews across a host of reputable sites to determine which deodorants and antiperspirants had received the best recommendations, taking special note of whether the product contained aluminium and if it truly lived up to its claims of putting an end to armpit sweat and body odour.
Why you should trust us
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