Alcohol can also be harsh on skin. “Deodorants are often alcohol-based,” adds Dr. Graf, so if you have extra sensitive skin that is prone to irritation or dryness, you may want to skim the ingredients and find something alcohol-free.
What to look for in a deodorant
“Deodorants can contain potentially sensitizing ingredients like baking soda and synthetic fragrances,” says Dr. Mikailov. “Instead, consider deodorants formulated with natural antimicrobial ingredients like coconut oil. If you are looking to reduce underarm wetness as well without blocking the sweat glands, look for ingredients such as clay, rice powder, corn starch, and arrowroot powder, which absorb moisture.”
“Ultimately, you’re looking for a deodorant that works well with your skin and that you enjoy the scent of and the way it works,” adds Dr. Graf.
“This is an accessible and effective deodorant that is great for sensitive skin,” says Dr. Graf about the Dove 0% Aluminum Sensitive Skin Deodorant. The formula is alcohol-free and “includes moisturizers to keep underarms soft and smooth, as well.”
Dr. Hartman recommends the Megababe Rosy Pits Daily Deodorant, which also features antifungal coconut oil, colloidal oatmeal to hydrate and soothe sensitive pits, and cornstarch to absorb some underarm wetness.
Generally speaking, one is not better (or safer) than the other. It totally depends on what issues you’re trying to address and what your skin will tolerate. “It really depends on personal preference,” says Dr. Graf.
If you’re trying to stay dry and control sweat, you’ll need an antiperspirant with aluminum salts to target your sweat glands. If odor is your only concern, deodorant will offer odor protection. Deodorant is also more likely to meet retailers’ clean beauty standards, so it may be the best pick if that’s a priority for you.
Should I get both deodorant and antiperspirant?
We won’t stop you, but it’s probably not necessary to buy both. “Most antiperspirants are deodorants as well, so you don’t need to double up,” says Dr. Farhang.
More on sweating and what products to use:
Now, Anitta’s 10 Minute Sweat Proof Beauty Routine: