The Best Deodorant for Men, According to Men

We army-crawled our way through the perils of parabens and aluminum to bring you the best deodorants in the game.

Aug 20 2021, 5:26pm

“What’s up, fellas—use any good deodorant lately?” is a bit of small talk I think we don’t hear enough these days. Deodorant is something we don’t really chat or think about, despite (hopefully) using it every day. Most of us layfolk just slather it under our arms in the pre-coffee, post-shower morning haze, and hope it lasts until we get home from work. But gentlemen, that changes today—it’s time to reevaluate your deo of choice.   

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“Before deodorant was introduced in the late 1800s, women used a combination of regular washing and copious amounts of perfume to combat body odor,” explains the Tom’s of Maine’s website. “At the time, body odor was not considered an issue for men as it was viewed as masculine.” Well, boys, times have changed. While smelling like a decaying flounder used to mean you could, I dunno, wrestle bears or something, these days, it just means your Hinge date is going to be texting their friend to call them with a faux “emergency” moments after your Olive Garden breadsticks arrive. (Though, more breadsticks for you, I guess.) 

For me, deodorant has always been a little like toothpaste: I need to re-up, so I head to the pharmacy aisle and grab one that looks... fine. They all kind of look the same and do the same things, or so I thought—until I realized that my underarms deserve better than the slop I was constantly shoving up there. (I also started Googling all of the gnarly ingredients that certain low-quality deodorant brands are tossing in their sticks.) So, we called up our man-friends (who also happen to be underwear experts) and army-crawled our way through the mud, barbed wire, parabens, and aluminum to bring you the best men’s deodorant, according to men.

The Best Natural Deodorant for Men

We’ve all had a friend show us their natural deodorant and tell us how great it works while shaming us for using our drugstore brand. Then, we get close to them, and we’re like oh god, it doesn’t work at all. This happened to me early on in my deodorant-conscious days, and pretty much ruined natty deo for me. However, there are actually lots of all-natural deodorant brands out there that do work, and work well. 

Native is a hot brand right now that’s been lauded by deo-influencers for its efficacy and cruelty-free formula. 

Native Deodorant

Tom’s of Maine has been doing “all-natural” since before your folks knocked boots to a Van Morrison album, so you know its products slap. 

Tom's of Maine Natural Strength Plastic-Free Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Meanwhile, in the more lumbersexual category, Bravo Sierra’s aluminum-free deodorant is made with probiotics that kill odor-causing bacteria at the source, while Underhill’s all-natural scent gives off a “unique fragrance characterized by wild herbs, leather, pipe tobacco, and wood.” (We love an oaky afterbirth.) 

DEODORANT - THE ORIGINAL
Underhill Natural Deodorant

Finally, Agent Nateur (French-sounding, nice) makes a highly rated natural deodorant ​​that pampers your pits with coconut oil, avocado butter, and a "proprietary blend of essential oils"; reviewers note that it lasts through hot yoga and "even beats out other antiperspirants I used that had toxic chemicals." Tight. 

Uni(sex) No. 5 Natural Deodorant

The Best Luxury Deodorant for Men

They’re your armpits, people, and they deserve your respect. (I.e., don’t treat them like… armpits.) They deserve as much luxury as possible—after all, you only have two. Plus, walking around town with luxe deo on your pits is a classy move, Brad. Next thing you know you’ll be buying separate display bowls for your fruits and alliums. 

Now, if you want to smell like a guy who wears a leather jacket, Bad Boy Deodorant Spray by Carolina Herrera is the move. It’s described as “a fragrant expression of duality, representing the bold nature of the modern man.” 

Bad Boy Deodorant Spray

Then there’s Le Labo, which is perhaps too sexy for its own good, making it the frequent subject of memes—but the brand’s delicious-smelling, residue-free deodorant only affirm its powers. 

Deodorant

CLINIQUE’s Antiperspirant-Deodorant Stick for men is also killer-smelling, and one review mentioned it was the “best deodorant for men [they’ve] EVER used.” 

Antiperspirant-Deodorant Stick

You’ll also enjoy the Homme Eau de Toilette Deodorant Stick by Dior—but you’ll enjoy explaining how to pronounce it to people on the subway even more. 

Eau des Baux pour Homme Stick Deodorant

The Best Drugstore Deodorant

We get it: You’re not trying to shell out a ton of cash on deodorant, and you’re pretty happy with your current stick. That’s cool, but if you’re going to go the affordable, drugstore route, why not go with the best options? 

Dove’s Men+Care has been my personal go-to after years of being shamed in locker rooms for using a stick from a brand that shall not be named. (Think: hatchet.) It has 48-hour protection, which is overkill, and smells great. 

Dove Men+Care Deodorant Stick Clean Comfort (Pack of 7)

The other timeless drugstore deodorant is Old Spice, which your father was wearing in spades when he met your mom. The product description literally says, “Even if you stood in the blast radius of a nuclear bomb, this stuff would not stop working.”

Old Spice Aluminum Free Deodorant for Men

Best Sports Deodorant

For the active bros out there, sports deodorant is a must-have. Before I switched to Gatorskin Tires, I took my bike out for a spin, and figured deodorant was unnecessary, since I wasn't going to see anyone and I’d be showering as soon as I got back. Of course, I got a flat tire a few miles from home, and had to lug my bike home on the subway, stinking up the place like a ripe compost bucket. If I were wearing Degree Ultraclear, with its long-lasting sweat protection, or Art of Sport deodorant, which is ​​infused with natural botanicals matcha and arrowroot, I wouldn’t have gotten so many dirty (smelly?) looks. 

Degree Men UltraClear Antiperspirant
Art of Sport Variety 3-Pack Mens Deodorant

Or, perhaps if I’d sufficiently slathered myself in ​​Citrus Vetivert Extra Strength Deodorant by Taos Aer, with its gel-to-powder activity-focused formula, those eighth-graders wouldn’t have bullied me so much.

Citrus Vetivert Extra Strength Deodorant

Best Deodorant With Antiperspirant

We’re people; we sweat. Some, though, more than others. Like, a lot more. I had a friend in college who used to leave the dorm with paper towels in his pocket so he could dab at his pits throughout the day—after using some prescription-strength roll-on. But even if your pituitary gland isn’t a wreck, we’ve all been there. You leave the house to go to work looking like a million bucks, but by the time you arrive, you’re drenched in pit sweat and your backpack and shirt have fused together. Enough is enough. 

Invest in the Certain Dri Prescription Strength Clinical Antiperspirant, which over 17,000 formerly sweat-drenched folks on Amazon say does not fuck around…

Certain Dri Prescription Strength Clinical Antiperspirant

Or Mitchum's scentless antiperspirant, which leaves no residue, keeping your shirts (and/or high-waisted kilts) safe.

Mitchum Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick

Other great options include Pit Boss by Jack Black, which—thankfully—isn’t associated with the actor, just long-lasting odor-protection and vitamin E. It's the perfect bridge between old-school man grooming and a modern knack for thoughtful ingredients. 

Pit Boss Antiperspirant & Deodorant

Tired of solid deodorant? Maybe a cream is more your speed—like legendary skincare house Kiehl's Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream, perhaps. It leaves your skin feeling soft, soothed, and conditioned, and protects against sweat and odor for 24 hours.

Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream

Best Spray Deodorant

Sometimes, chalky white deodorant or gloopy liquid deodorant isn’t the move—say, you don’t want to stain a new shirt, dress, or hot-dog costume. We’ve been there. That’s where spray deodorant comes in. It’s easy, you never have to worry about missing a spot, and there’s a certain amount of fun that comes with fumigating your pits in the morning. OffCourt is a brand that’s been shaking things up in the deo scene for a while now, and its aluminum-free spray is packed with powerful prebiotics to kill pit stank and rip out its roots. Think AXE, but, like, not douchey. (We also have a full review of this magical stuff here.)

OffCourt Deodorant Body Spray

Degree, the steady ship that it is, has a bunch of fun scents, including coconut and mint—my roommate’s personal fave. 

Antiperspirant Deodorant Spray Coconut & Mint

Montblanc’s Legend Body Spray is “the incarnation of a resolutely masculine fragrance, both modern and timeless, with depth, modernity, and the right amount of discreet mystery.” Write that down so you can talk about it at parties. Reviews describe it as "amazing" and "masculine" with a "modern classy feel." People love being asked to smell other peoples’ armpits—that’s a Rec Room Guarantee. 

Legend Body Spray

Pits out, thighs out—that’s all we know. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.  

Tagged:

armpits, sweat, Hygiene, deodorant, drugstore, natural deodorant, toiletries

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