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.
Ursa Major Hoppin’ Fresh Deodorant
Best Natural 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.
Baxter of California Deodorant
Best Smelling 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.
Kiehl’s Body Fuel Men’s Deodorant & Anti-Perspirant
Best Antiperspirant Deodorant
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
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.
Certain Dri Antiperspirant Roll-On
Best Prescription-Strength Antiperspirant
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.
Vichy Dry Touch Deodorant
Best Deodorant for Sensitive Skin
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.
For a more affordable skin-friendly option, check out Schmidt’s Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant.
Old Spice High Endurance Original Scent Deodorant
Best Cheap 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.
Speed Stick Power Unscented Antiperspirant Deodorant
Best Cheap Antiperspirant
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 Refillable Deodorant
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.
Bravo Sierra Deodorant
Support Our Troops
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.