Leading dermatologists share the top deodorants and antiperspirants they personally use and recommend to their patients, basing their decisions on the formula’s trusted, skin-friendly ingredients and ability to perform, whether that means controlling body odor, sweat or both.
“I suggest Dove products because they include moisturizers, which make them less irritating. This spray is also useful to control sweating under the breasts. For women who are often experiencing sweating as a symptom of perimenopause or menopause, I generally recommend combination antiperspirant/deodorants rather than deodorants alone.” —Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD
“I’m a fan of Native, which is a deodorant that is natural and aluminum-free. They make a really gentle deodorant for those who have sensitivity as well, which is fragrance-free and devoid of any harsh ingredients.” —Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD
“Native deodorants are available in many different formulations and are both aluminum-free and paraben-free. Though the sensitive formula is free of baking soda, the regular formulas contain coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter and magnesium hydroxide, which work together to mask odor and neutralize odor-causing bacteria.” —New York dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD
“Body odor is most pungent during the reproductive period of our lives, with all the hormones being so active. The best way to reduce the odor is usually regular hygiene and antiperspirants. There are some super sweaters that may need medical procedures, like Miradry, or prescription topical antiperspirants, but the average sweating person can use a drugstore brand such as Secret Clinical Strength antiperspirant, which is pretty effective and available in non-fragranced to a masking fragrance.
Deodorants are really not to reduce sweating, but to mask odors, and the odor is usually a byproduct of sweating mixed with normal skin bacteria.” —Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby
Vanicream Gel Deodorant ($10)
“It’s aluminum-free for those who wish to avoid aluminum, and its gel formula dries without white residue. It’s also completely free of fragrance, botanical ingredients, parabens, and other potential chemical irritants. For those seeking a combo antiperspirant/deodorant, Vanicream’s solid formula accomplishes just that without the addition of any potentially irritating or harmful ingredients. The antiperspirant does contain aluminum, but I do not see this as problem unless someone has a specific allergy or sensitivity to aluminum.” —Dallas dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD
“Vanicream Deodorant is a great aluminum-free option that is great for those with sensitive skin. It contains only five ingredients, is free of common chemical irritants and is paraben-free, gluten-free and does not contain any botanical extracts.” —Dr. Garshick
“This is my favorite deodorant because it works well, it’s long-lasting and it’s fragrance-free. Fragrance-free is a MUST for deodorant, as it’s very common to have irritation in the axillae when fragranced products are applied to skin that is already sensitive, and also may have been shaved, and therefore even more sensitive. This particular deodorant is hard to find in the U.S., but not impossible. A fragranced version is more readily available in the U.S., but fragrance doesn’t work for me, and it’s something I recommend avoiding in deodorant.” —Dr. Marcus
“This deodorant is free of aluminum and alcohol and uses green tea and cucumber to provide a fresh scent, as well as moisturizers to soothe the skin. Additionally, it is in a refillable container, so is helpful for the environment as well.” —Dr. Garshick
“It’s an aluminum-free deodorant and dries quickly, leaving zero residue behind, and it smells fresh, too.” —Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD
“Containing aluminum chloride, this antiperspirant contains the same ingredient that is found in prescription antiperspirants to effectively reduce sweating. It is best to apply at nighttime for maximum benefit and to minimize irritation.” —Dr. Garshick
“This one features a blend of shikimic, mandelic and lactic acids, which function to lower the pH of the skin and provide and inhospitable environment for bacteria, thereby fighting odor. As a bonus, the acid blend acts as a mild exfoliant, which may help to prevent ingrown hairs for those who shave or wax. Hyaluronic acid in this formula hydrates, while aloe vera juice soothes the skin. Although this formula is technically fragrance-free, it does contain essential oils, which give the product a pleasing scent. Those with very sensitive skin may wish to test this product for a few days to make sure they don’t react to the essential oils.” —Dr. Marcus
“This deodorant works well to fight odor using CannaCell antioxidants and organic hemp seed oil, in addition to vegan probiotics. It can be used daily and is gentle on the skin. Additionally, it is gluten-free and cruelty-free and offers a fresh scent, leaving the underarms feeling and smelling good all day long.” —Dr. Garshick