There’s no nice way to say it: guys are gonna sweat. And while you’re mostly dealing with water here, some parts of your body (like, say, your armpits) also secrete proteins and fatty acids. These things are harmless but annoying; when they react to bacteria on the body, you get a little thing called trans-3-Methyl-2-hexenoic acid — a.k.a. body odor.
You already know what to do, of course. But before you reach for the same old stick you’ve been using since the first day of middle school, you might want to consider your other options. When it comes to something as essential as deodorant, it’s worth sweating the small stuff.
Best Natural Deodorant: Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
Made entirely from naturally derived ingredients, such as hops, aloe vera and eucalyptus, this stick from Vermont’s Ursa Major fights odor and wetness without unwanted chemicals or irritants. For an even gentler option, check out the brand’s fragrance-free Base Layer Deodorant. Both options are available in 1.65- and 2.6-ounce canisters.
Best Smelling Deodorant: Baxter of California Deodorant
Baxter of California’s deodorant is effective at beating body odor but don’t fool yourself. You’re paying a premium, not for the scent it takes away, but for what it offers: an addicting combination of citrus and musk. It’s crisp, fresh and smells good enough to convince you to skip the cologne.
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant: Kiehl’s Body Fuel Men’s Deodorant & Anti-Perspirant
From one of the most respected names in skincare comes this unscented antiperspirant designed for one thing and one thing only: to keep your pits dry. Good thing it works.
Best Spray Deodorant: Aesop Déodorant
There are three things you need to know about Aesop’s ultra-premium deodorant spray: it’s expensive, it has alcohol and it’s heavily fragranced, with a bevy of essential oils that give it a woody, almost spicy aroma. If all that tracks for you, it’s a unique option with a ton of character.
Best Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant: Certain Dri Antiperspirant Roll-On
Need something with a little more oomph? This is the most powerful over-the-counter antiperspirant you’ll find at the drugstore, delivering up to 72 hours of protection thanks to the same active ingredient in the prescription stuff: aluminum chloride.
Best Deodorant for Sensitive Skin: Vichy Dry Touch Deodorant
Though more popular in Europe, the French drugstore brand Vichy deserves a shout here. Its roll-on, alcohol-free Dry Touch Deodorant goes on easy and features the brand’s signature mineralized water, sourced from France’s Auvergne region, to help protect your skin against aggressors.
Best Affordable Deodorant: Old Spice High Endurance Original Scent Deodorant
It works. It’s cheap. It smells like dads (in a sort of endearing way). It’s not the best option on this list, but if you’re on a budget and favor function over flair, it’s tough to beat Old Spice’s High Endurance line.
Best Affordable Antiperspirant: Speed Stick Power Unscented Antiperspirant Deodorant
Same deal as Old Spice — cheap, available — only without the dad smell. This one is a pure utility player. And every grooming routine could use a few more of those.
Best Bespoke Deodorant: Helmm Reusable Deodorant
Helmm lets men customize the formula, scent and vessel for their deodorant, with functional options ranging from anti-perspirant to sport and scents spanning "Hudson" to "Night Market."
Best Prebiotic Deodorant: OffCourt Performance Body Spray
OffCourt's aerosol deodorant addresses stench-causing bacterias by encouraging the growth of good ones. Yes, this option is prebiotic, but it doesn't just mask your musk. It smells fresh and complex despite coming from a can.
Best Refillable Deodorant: Myro
Refillable deodorants have emerged in recent years to combat single-use plastic and take the effort out of buying — most brands follow the same subscription models made famous by Dollar Shave Club. Sound like something you might want to try? Check out Myro, which is cheaper than competitors like Helmm and By Humankind while offering more scents and case color options.
Best 'Give Back' Deodorant: Bravo Sierra Deodorant
Free of aluminum, baking soda and parabens, Bravo Sierra’s woodsy-smelling deodorant uses cassava plant extract to battle nasty perspiration. And while the product is notable in its own right, the company actively supports US service members and their families by donating five percent of all sales to Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs.