Best deodorant for sensitive skin
The best deodorant for sensitive skin
Deodorant is one personal care item most of us can’t live without. But when your deodorant is causing your underarm area to itch or rash, you may need to stop using your current product. Ditching deodorant altogether isn’t an option for most. Fortunately, many brands now create sensitive skin formulas that work without irritating ingredients.
Deodorant ingredients to avoid if you have sensitive skin
Many deodorants contain synthetic fragrance to mask the odor of sweat. Because manufacturers aren’t required to specify on their label what is in the fragrance, you won’t know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. Synthetic fragrances are made from hundreds of chemicals that can cause allergic reactions to the skin, respiratory system and even in severe cases anaphylaxis.
Many skin reactions to deodorant are caused exclusively by fragrance. For sensitive consumers, even naturally-derived fragrances like essential oils can be problematic. Opt for a deodorant that is fragrance-free because “unscented” options may still contain fragrance.
Deodorants that double as antiperspirants contain aluminum salts. These salts essentially plug the pores so that you sweat less and thereby have less odor. Aluminum may cause contact dermatitis, which is a skin reaction from chemicals.
Aluminum in antiperspirants can build up in your body, but more research is needed to determine its implications. Many health-conscious consumers err on the side of caution and opt for deodorants that are aluminum-free.
Alcohol is a common deodorant ingredient used to curb the growth of odor-causing bacteria. If you have sensitive skin or have just removed hair from the underarm area, a deodorant containing alcohol can sting. Alcohol is also very drying for the skin.
Instead of alcohol, look for skin-friendly alternatives like arrowroot powder, cornstarch or activated charcoal. Natural deodorants use these ingredients to absorb wetness and reduce odor.
Natural deodorants may skip aluminum in favor of baking soda to absorb sweat and neutralize odor. Applying baking soda to your underarms daily can raise your skin’s pH to abnormal levels, which results in redness, irritation, dryness and rashes. While baking soda is a non-toxic alternative to aluminum, if you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid it. Baking soda is often listed as sodium bicarbonate on ingredient labels.
Parabens are common chemical preservatives widely used in cosmetics. They prolong a product’s shelf life by inhibiting the growth of mold and bacteria. Parabens and other preservatives can trigger skin reactions like rashes and irritation. Look for conventional and natural deodorants with paraben-free formulas.
Deodorant may include artificial dye to change the color of the product. Dyes may irritate sensitive skin and stain clothing.
Best deodorants for sensitive skin
Best of the best drugstore deodorants for sensitive skin
Vanicream Clinical Strength Antiperspirant and Deodorant: available at Amazon
This unscented deodorant has been dermatologist-tested for its clinical-strength protection that’s also sensitive on skin. While it contains aluminum for antiperspirant power, it is free of dyes, parabens, alcohol and fragrance.
Vichy 24-Hour Dry-Touch Deodorant: available at Amazon
This is a high-quality drugstore deodorant that’s free of aluminum, parabens and fragrance. Its active ingredient, zinc gluconate, combats odor and doesn’t leave a residue. It’s also alcohol-free so it won’t sting if you apply it right after you shave.
Secret Clinical Strength Soft Solid Sensitive Unscented Deodorant: available at Amazon
If you have sensitive skin and sweat a lot, this creamy deodorant will offer clinical-strength protection. The unscented solid is free of dyes and parabens but contains aluminum.
Best high-end natural deodorants
This deodorant paste comes in a convenient applicator. It is free of aluminum, baking soda and essential oils, all of which can irritate the skin. The soothing formula contains mandelic acid and arrowroot for odor and moisture control.
A plant-based deodorant with a coconut oil base. Aloe hydrates and soothes skin, while its tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils keep you smelling fresh. This vegan deodorant is also aluminum, talc and paraben-free.
This green stick deodorant is packed with botanical ingredients to combat odor, but stays clear of toxins and synthetic fragrance. It soothes razor-burnt skin with anti-inflammatory vitamin E.
Best budget-friendly deodorants for sensitive skin
Almay Clear Gel Antiperspirant and Deodorant: available at Amazon
At a very low price, you can still protect your skin from irritants with this fragrance-free deodorant and antiperspirant. Its clear gel formula is also alcohol-free and dermatologist-tested.
Dove Invisible Solid Antiperspirant and Deodorant for Sensitive Skin: available at Amazon
If you get razor bumps, this invisible solid deodorant contains moisturizers to help skin repair from shaving irritation. While it’s not entirely fragrance-free, its scent is soft and works for users who don’t find natural alternatives effective.
Best aluminum-free natural deodorants
Schmidt’s Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant for Men and Women: available at Amazon
One of the top brands for aluminum-free natural deodorant, this geranium flower stick is formulated especially for sensitive skin. It is baking soda-free and masks odor through natural charcoal and essential oils.
Native Deodorant Unscented: available at Amazon
Native’s unscented stick is perfect for anyone who does not want fragrance. Although completely free of aluminum, baking soda and fragrance (even the natural kind), this deodorant still has staying power.
SmartyPits Natural Aluminum Free Deodorant for Sensitive Skin: available at Amazon
This deodorant is made specifically for sensitive skin. It is aluminum-free and does not have baking soda either. It comes in natural and unscented options with prebiotics to support your skin’s delicate microbiome.
Best whole body deodorant for sensitive skin
Lume Natural Deodorant For Underarms and Private Parts: available at Amazon
For coverage extending beyond your pits, this natural body deodorant works anywhere sweat and odor collect. It is aluminum and baking soda free, so it won’t irritate the skin. It comes in naturally-scented and unscented varieties.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.