Winter is here.
And just because colder weather is upon us, doesn’t mean our orifices stop sweating. The exact opposite, actually, especially for people like me. If I reincarnated as a piece of fall clothing, I would most likely be a sweater, one that traps heat and is completely pleasant outdoors but turns into a swampy mess when coming back inside. I mean, how does one prepare for indoor spaces and their own unique thermostat settings? My Amazon Echo
can detect the weather outside, but isn’t there like, an app that tells you the temperature of a room before you get there? Major app idea, alert!
Usually, you carry that one stick of deodorant from some generic brand you saw on some viral video with that crude joke about having clean balls. Though that’s perfectly fine, I’d suggest it’s time for an upgrade. After testing multiple deodorants that have been raved by the Internet, I’ve learned that having at least a few deodorants in your grooming stash is something that’s essential. Here’s what I found.
But first, what is the difference between antiperspirants and deodorant?
Good question. Deodorants are there to purely mask the pungent aroma of bacteria that eat bacteria produced under your arms. They come in many musky fragrances or floral ones, depending which aisle you’re looking at. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, work essentially by plugging underarm pores so that they don’t release sweat. Most antiperspirants have some kind of aluminum salt to do the plugging. When a product says “strength deodorant” like those from AXE, Secret, Gillette, etc., that means it has 20% of aluminum chloride, to get you through those 24-hours.
… Now back to our normal programming!
Kiehl’s Superbly anti-perspirant cream, $19.50
Kiehl’s Superbly anti-perspirant cream is just that, a cream. So that means you apply it like lotion. It’s the best odorless deodorant because of the feel alone. Once it’s on, it dries quickly and you forget that you even have it on. This also makes it easy to wash off. My only caveat is that this one uses an aluminum paste of sorts that many generic brands like AXE and Old Spice use in their products. The “clinical protection” brands you see are usually a 20% concentration of aluminum, while regular strength brands are usually 12%. Kiehl’s is regular strength, and I sweated from my pits just as much as any of the other brands I tested without this ingredient. Unlike the generic brands, though, I didn’t get an allergic reaction to this like I usually do with aluminum. This would be a solid choice for those with sensitive skin. When I want to stay scent-neutral, I would use this, and if the antiperspirant works for you, this would be an even better call. Buy it here
Best every day use
I found myself applying this one several days in a row. I sweat no matter what, so the antiperspirant ingredient here (propylene glycol, in this case) unfortunately, didn’t work for me. But the scent is a minty, refreshing scent, but not overpowering at all. The feel is not sticky at all, it glides on easily. It washes off with some soap and water without the feeling of a residue left behind that I felt with some of the others. The ingredients after its main ingredient of water, are mainly words you’ll see in your chemistry textbooks. On the flip side, they do print that they are made in the USA and do not contain a list of things including GMOs, sulfates, synthetic dyes, parabens and of course, alcohol. AKA it’s super safe for those who care. They also donate a portion of the proceeds to prostate cancer research. Using deodorant never felt so socially good. Buy it here
Tie between Tom Ford Nerolo Portofino
, $52 and L’Occitane , $20
This is a split decision. Of course, you’ll need to find the fragrance that works with you, but here are two that I especially liked.
This season, I’m all about looking and feeling fancy. Tom Ford’s Nerolo Portofino for a unique floral scent will do just that, like you know something that other people don’t. It’s that air of mystery you’ll bask in —well that, and questioning exactly why you spent $52 on a deodorant. When you smell it, you’ll understand. This deodorant should be used sparingly for those special occasions when you’ll need your swanky ass new shoes, not for your New Balances. It applies nicely, and washes off with a scrub but the smell might stay for a day or two. As a bonus: Your clothes will definitely have its luxurious scent. Who needs to do laundry anymore? Buy it here
For a more everyday-type of deodorant, the L’Occitane Roll-on has a smell like you just came out of the barber shop after a nice single-razor shave and a hot towel. To me, it reminded me of when my grandpa used to cut my hair in my family’s garage. The fragrance marries that of baby powder, shaving cream and wisdom. This one is for your casual days when the everyday shoes come out to play. It comes as a roll-on applicator, so you’ll need to let it dry for a minute. The scent will stick to your clothes and probably to your pits for a day or two, but it will keep you smelling fresh all day. Buy it here
Best Natural Deodorant
If none of these antiperspirants work for you of if you’d rather not cake on products that you don’t understand under your pits, why not go all natural and embrace your sweat? I mean, if you’re a natural kind of dude, why not go all-in? Let’s go more for biology here with Weleda Sage Deodorant Spray, which is a spray-on deodorant. The sage scent smells like you just showered in the forest using leaves as your loofah, and the citrus fragrance is like you cuddled some lemons and oranges (you, being the big spoon). The scent is pretty subtle, but will stay smelling nice all day. The ingredients include licorice roots and oils from different leaves, and the smell doesn’t linger past that day typically. It washes off easily and, best of all, everything is natural, if that’s your sort of thing. But it here
Runner Up: LoveFresh Lavender Tea Tree Deodorant Stick, 24
This is probably the most old fashioned style — the stick and all natural. This one, like the classic, also leaves that white stripe on your pits. I didn’t see any residue on my shirts, and it didn’t really feel like there was some sort of chalky goop on my pits. This LoveFresh Deodorant Stick was a nice classic stick, and more importantly, all the ingredients are natural including baking soda, and my pits didn’t itch. Always a good sign. The non-baking soda version which had a magnesium-based ingredient made my pits itch, so I wouldn’t recommend that one for sensitive skin types. I would recommend the Lavender Tea Tree scent, but citrus is always a good way to go. Buy it here.
Benzamin Yi is a freelance graphic designer, writer, and communications consultant based in NYC. In his groom stash, he goes for an all-natural line up at reasonable prices because he doesn’t believe in putting weird ingredients on his body nor putting hard-earned money into overpriced products (while still supporting small businesses and local products). He is a contributor for Very Good Light. Find him on socials @benzyi
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