We have tested 13 different deodorants and can now name the Vichy 48hr Antiperspirant Treatment Roll-on as our Best Choice. This deodorant is both long-lasting and is able to counteract perspiration efficiently without staining your clothes. It has a subtle but fresh scent, making it an appropriate choice for both men and women. Our favourite women's deodorant is the Clarins Gentle Care Roll-on. It is incredibly efficient and quick to dry and can easily survive both a whole day of work in the office and a workout. The best men's deodorant we tested is Giorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme Deo Stick, a deodorant with a pleasant scent which is both long-lasting and quick to dry.
We carried out the tests ourselves and tested all the products as they are intended to be used in reality. In our deodorant tests, both men and women tested the products on several occasions and under different conditions. The deodorants were tested both during calm activities and during sweaty exercise sessions. We also evaluated how long the deodorant worked effectively for. The parameters detailed below formed the basis of the score we gave each deodorant.
Counteracting sweaty odours: How well does the deodorant counteract sweaty smells? How long does it last? Can it cope with different types of sweaty activities, and how often do you need to top it up?
Use: How easy is the deodorant to apply? Does it feel dry or moisturising on the skin? What does the deodorant smell like?
Stickiness: How quickly does the deodorant dry, and how soon can you put clothes on after application? Does the deodorant leave stains or discolour your clothes?
We based our evaluation on our overall experience of using the deodorant. We then compared this to the product price to determine its value for money and allocate a score to the deodorant.
A durable and freshly scented deodorant that effectively counteracts sweat without leaving any marks
Target group: Unisex Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
A deodorant that is effective, gentle and lasts all day long – what more could you want? Put simply, this deodorant from Vichy is a great choice for both men and women. Its light and fresh scent is a unisex one. Because it is so neutral, it's also suitable for people all different ages. Even though this pleasant scent is very minimal it lasts throughout the day, leaving you with a fresh feeling. This deodorant also succeeds fantastically well at counteracting sweat. Whether it's a sweaty evening out and about in town or a tough spinning session at the gym, this Vichy deodorant helps you to retain the fresh feeling you had when you applied it in the morning.
The rollerball is relatively large, meaning that a quick stroke to each armpit is enough to amply apply the right quantity of the calming, gentle cream. Initially it feels slightly sticky, so you will need to wait a short while before putting on your clothes if you want to avoid getting white marks on them. When the product has dried, it doesn't leave any kind of discolouration – either white stripes or yellow patches. Both for its performance and the value-for-money it provides, Vichy's antiperspirant is deserving of the top spot in our test.
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An incredibly effective and quick-drying deodorant which lasts all day long, even during exercise
Target group: Women Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
This is a true deo-hero! If you want a fast-drying deodorant that leaves a really dry feeling, this is the one for you. The large rollerball means that a quick stroke to each armpit is enough to amply apply the right amount of deodorant. The drying time of the deodorant is minimal despite it managing to get your armpits really dry. This quick drying time means that there's no chance of any marks on your clothes. The scent of this deodorant is slightly different - it has a strong, almost clinical smell that's not the slightest bit flowery or perfume-like. However, while it may have a strong scent when you apply it, the scent dissipates very quickly and soon becomes very neutral. Even after a long and hectic day, your underarms will have the same neutral scent as when you set out in the morning. Not even a really sweaty exercise session in the evening is a challenge for this deodorant, as we found it to cope with these easily. This is clearly an incredibly effective deodorant deserving of its second-place position in our test.
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A deodorant with a soft consistency, quick drying time and a fantastic scent which lasts for ages
Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
The fresh scent of Georgio Armani's deostick is without a doubt our favourite scented deodorant for men in this test. The musky tones are clear but not overpowering, allowing the deodorant to stand up on its own but also easily combine with a scent for more dressy occasions. Despite the fact that the scent is minimal, it manages to last all day alongside the fresh feeling of the deodorant. You won't just have a positive experience with this deodorant because of its scent, the soft and pleasant consistency also makes it easy to apply just the right amount of the quick-drying deodorant cream in the morning. However, we found the cream did make the skin very dry, so if you have sensitive skin it could be a good idea to use a moisturising cream first.
Armani's deodorant has no problems with a quiet day in the office, hectic meetings or a gym session. It copes well with exercise sessions even if they are early in the day. However, sweaty activities in the evening are a bit tougher on the deodorant if you haven't topped it up during the day. Despite this shortfall, we found no patches or discolouration on our clothes either during normal everyday use or during sweatier exertions.
A fantastically sweat-suppressing deodorant which is gentle on the skin and lasts throughout your whole day's activities
Target group: Women/Men Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
If you're late for work and all sweaty, the Biotherm roll-on is your saviour – use it and you won't need to worry about smelling bad all day. Nor will a sweaty conditioning session in the gym pose this deodorant any problems. The Biotherm Pure Invisible is an antiperspirant that uses aluminium salts to counteract sweating. It promises to last for 48 hours; while this might not be completely accurate, it's also not far from the truth.
The deodorant is also free from alcohol in order to be extra gentle on your skin. It really is gentle – leaving your skin feeling both soothed and moisturised after you’ve applied it. The rollerball is large and follows the shape of your underarm well. With just one stroke you can easily spread the right amount of deodorant over your skin, which then dries relatively quickly and leaves neither white marks nor yellow patches on your clothes. Since the scent is mild although slightly soapy, it may be too flowery for some. However, the scent is quickly neutralised, meaning that it works well if you want to combine it with other scented products such as body mist or perfume. The scent is neither typically masculine nor feminine, so it's perfect for either sex. Because of this neutral scent the deodorant is also suitable for people of all ages.
A non-sticky, balanced scent and dry stick format deodorant
Target group: Men Formula: Deo stick Antiperspirant: No
Hugo Boss is one of the most classic scent brands for men. There's a reason behind this popularity - the Hugo Boss Deo Stick smells really good. It's neither too strong nor too weak; it’s quite simply perfect. This means that it's great for everyday use in the office but also at parties, since you can easily combine the deodorant with other perfumes. While its gorgeous scent does counteract sweaty smells acceptably, it isn't exceptionally good at this task. So while on a normal day this won’t be a problem, a sweaty gym session or breaking a sweat running for the train provides a bigger challenge for this deodorant.
The deodorant is easy to apply. While the stick is quite hard and dry in comparison with many other similar deodorants, this makes it easier to apply the right amount without it feeling sticky. However, it can feel a bit rough on sensitive skin and the deodorant isn’t optimal if you have a lot of hair under your arms. In these situations a softer stick would work better. Despite this, the quick drying time and the fact that Hugo Deo Stick doesn't leave any marks even during exercise, made this a popular deodorant in our test.
A gentle deodorant with a perfect consistency and quick drying time that effectively counteracts sweat
Target group Men Formula Roll-on Antiperspirant Yes
The large rollerball in this Biotherm roll-on makes the deodorant simple to apply, while the soft cream of the deodorant has both a perfect consistency and a short drying time. This means that it is quickly absorbed by the skin, leaving it dry but feeling soothed and moisturised. This dry feeling lasts all day without any problems, through both calmer activities and sweaty cross-fit sessions. The deodorant has a masculine scent that's unfortunately reminiscent of a cheap aftershave. However, this scent is very minimal and is even more neutral after application, allowing the deodorant to be used together with another scented product. We feel that Biotherm could just as easily have skipped the scent altogether and simply made the product a really good antiperspirant. It won’t cause any discolouration to your clothes, and due to the quick drying time you can also get dressed immediately after using the deodorant.
A pleasantly scented and gentle deodorant that leaves no marks
Target group: Women Formula: Roll-on Antiperspirant: Yes
The Nuxe Body is a deodorant with an antiperspirant effect provided by alum and silver contents, which effectively counteract both sweating and odour. While a calm day at the office poses the deodorant no problems, it doesn't entirely keep sweaty smells at bay during a tough spinning session. The scent is pleasant but mild, with a hint of sweet vanilla. This means that it works well if you want to use it together with a more scented body lotion or perfume. The rollerball is small and you will need to use several strokes in order to cover your armpit. The consistency is also quite runny, meaning you can easily end up applying too much. It also means that it can take a long time for the deodorant to dry, but when it is dry it doesn't leave any marks on your clothes. The deodorant is very gentle on the sensitive skin, which will feel both moisturised and soothed after application.
A fresh, lemon-scented deodorant which can easily be sprayed from a hygienic bottle
Target group: Women Formula: Spray Antiperspirant: No
Weleda's vegan deodorant contains alcohol to kill the bacteria under your armpits and it has fresh lemon scent that is intended to conceal the smell of sweat. Despite the fact that it doesn't contain any antiperspirant, it manages to keep sweaty smells away even during a long day in the office. However, the deodorant has problems coping with the challenge of sweaty activities like a gym session after work. Because the deodorant is applied with a spray, it takes a little while to dry. Despite this the spray has a good spread, meaning that only one press is enough for an even application across the entire armpit. In terms of appearance, the packaging for this deodorant stood out the most in our test. The deodorant comes in a small, oblong yellowish glass bottle, which is easy to store in your bag. The spray design also gets plus points as it feels more hygienic to spray something on your underarms than to apply the same rollerball day after day.
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A gentle deodorant with a soft, pleasant consistency that doesn't leave any marks
Target group: Unisex Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
The idea at the core of Calvin Klein's CK One is that its scent is aimed at both men and women. While it is relatively neutral, unfortunately it falls between both camps and fails to really work for either men or women. However, the scent proves to be more neutral once applied. The application of the deodorant is very good - the top of the deodorant initially gives a plasticky impression, but it's soft and gentle on the skin. The consistency of the deodorant is sufficiently hard allowing the right quantity of the soft, soothing cream to be easily be applied to the armpit.
Even though the deodorant gives a fresh feeling after application, it can't cope with covering sweaty smells all day, not even during calmer activities. This is particularly the case for male users, who tend to sweat more than women. However, the CK One gets major plus points for not marking your clothes even if you put them on immediately after you've applied the deodorant.
A very soft and moisturising cream deodorant, with a mature scent
Target group: Women Formula: Cream Antiperspirant: Yes
The cream format of this deodorant leaves you with a fresh feeling that effectively counteracts sweaty odours. It copes with calm, peaceful days without problems, but has difficulty dealing with sweaty activities such as training sessions or running for the morning bus. You use the top of the bottle to apply the soft, moisturising deodorant to your underarms and carefully work in the cream so that it's not sticky. The deodorant’s cream format means that it feels extremely gentle on the skin to the extent that it can even be used on newly shaved armpits. The scent has a prominent green tea notes, giving the deodorant a mature character.
The top of the deodorant is entirely plastic with a hole a few millimetres across in the centre. The idea behind this is that you twist the bottom part of the deodorant to press the cream up out of the opening. Unfortunately this works very badly – often you repeatedly twist the tube and nothing happens, then the packaging suddenly splurges out far much deodorant which ends up all over your armpit. The same thing happened to us every time we tested the deodorant, which felt like a very disruptive occurrence to our morning routine.
Leaves no marks, dries quickly and has a fresh scent
Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
Cool Water is a very apt name in describing the scent of this deodorant. Each time you apply it to your armpit it emits a masculine, fresh and cold scent leaving you with a fresh feeling and ready to take on the challenges of the day. However, the scent can be perceived as a bit too strong and slightly overpowering if you aren’t looking for a perfume. The scent manages to last for about half a day before it starts to fade and needs to be topped up with more deodorant. Unfortunately the fresh feeling also fades with the scent.
The consistency of the cream in the deodorant stick is slightly softer than those from other manufacturers, meaning you often end up applying slightly too much of the deodorant making your skin feel slightly damp. However, it dries in very quickly and leaves you with a really dry feeling under your arms. This quick drying time reduces the risk of marks, allowing the deodorant to work well even during a stressful morning routine when you need to put your clothes on immediately after applying it. The deodorant also doesn’t leave any discolouration during the day. However, we found that the deodorant may be a little bit too dry for sensitive skin.
Feels soft on the armpits and leaves no marks, concealing sweaty odours well
Target group: Men Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
Despite the fact that the Paco Rabanne Deo Stick isn't an antiperspirant, it succeeds very well in keeping sweaty odours at bay throughout the day. The scent is very strong, managing to remain both during calm activities and sweatier exercise sessions. However, the scent is probably too strong if you intend to use another scented product as well or have a sensitive sense of smell. Even though we felt the scent smelt good, we also feel that the strong scent isn't suitable for all occasions. For example, it might not be appropriate for an office environment in which you might need to consider others who are sensitive to heavy scents. The scent also clings to your clothes, meaning they can still smell of it several days after use.
Despite this heavy scent, the deodorant feels gentle on your underarms after application. The consistency is slightly runny, making it easy to apply too much deodorant which then takes a long time to dry. However, when the cream has dried it doesn't leave any marks on clothes, either during everyday use or during an exercise session.
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A non-sticky roll-on deodorant with a good scent which is easy to apply
Target group: Women Formula: Deostick Antiperspirant: No
This deodorant gives off a strong but pleasant scent when applied to your underarms. Despite this strong scent, the deodorant feels smooth on your skin and doesn't irritate it. The consistency of the deodorant cream is very good, making it easy to apply just the right amount of it without getting a sticky feeling. While the deodorant does contain alcohol in order to counteract armpit bacteria, it doesn’t seem to counteract sweat well at all. Unfortunately the strong scent isn't particularly good at concealing sweat smells either, meaning during afternoons on hectic days you'll probably want to keep your distance from both friends and colleagues. Using this deodorant for an exercise session is out of the question unless you're going for a solitary run far away from civilisation. If you normally spray on perfume and want to smell a little bit less, this could be a good alternative if you aren't very active during the day. Another alternative could be to combine the deodorant with an antiperspirant that you have applied the evening before.
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For most people, deodorant is part of their morning routine after they have showered and are feeling clean and fresh. Deodorant helps to keep sweaty smells at bay and is equally popular with women as it is with men. For many, that little deodorant container in the bathroom cupboard is just as important as their toothbrush! While it is natural for humans to sweat, it is not the sweat itself that actually smells. The characteristic sweaty odour is caused instead by small bacteria that flourish in warm, damp environments such as sweaty armpits.
Deodorants primarily function in three ways to help keep us odour-free. The first of these is some form of added perfume to conceal the odour already caused by the bacteria. The second is a range of additives that kill the bacteria so they can't produce the substances which create bad odours. These additives are most often alcohol or triclosan but can also be some form of metal compound, which doesn't kill the bacteria but helps to slow down bacterial growth. The third and last characteristic of some deodorants is that they reduce sweat. These are called antiperspirants and they use substances to block pores around the sweat ducts or cause them to contract. The most common substance that works as an antiperspirant is aluminium. Because an antiperspirant counteracts sweating by blocking the sweat ducts, this type of deodorant can also be applied in the evening before you go to bed. An antiperspirant normally lasts for at least 24 hours, so if the deodorant is applied in the evening it has time to work properly before it's time for the following day's exertions. You can then top this up by using a deodorant in the morning which produces a pleasant scent using perfume.
For a long-time sprays were the most common type of deodorant, but there are now a range of alternatives such as roll-ons, creams or deosticks. The type that you choose depends on what you're used to and what type of deodorant you prefer. The most hygienic choice of deodorant is a spray deodorant, because no part of the deodorant packaging touches your armpit. Antiperspirant deodorants most often come in roll-on form, while deosticks are the most common form for deodorants focused on providing a pleasant scent.
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