What kind of deodorant REALLY blocks sweat - STRONG sweat?
July 9, 2010 7:43 PM   Subscribe

The slightest heat will make me sweat. My underarms get soaked. My deodorant isn't cutting it! What do I use?

Hello everyone.

I know that many topics on deodorant have come and gone, but my question is specific.

I have been using Speed Stick (gel) for quite a long time now. I discovered within the last year that it does in fact stain my shirts when I sweat a lot, and that this is probably due to its aluminum content. So I can no longer use this deodorant.

I also can't use the same deodorant because it simply isn't powerful enough to stop my sweat. It is an anti-perspirant, but it doesn't get me out the door before my underarms are wet, even in cool weather. I'm like that, I guess.

Catch: I've tried a ton of other anti-perspirants, and none of them are strong enough.

The question: Which anti-perspirant should I use?? Are there any really strong ones that might actually stop the underarm sweat power of a man such as me?


-I can't have aluminum in the deodorant, obviously
-I'd prefer a non-dry deodorant, since I've had rashes before from using dry stuff (but having dry underarms is MUCH more important, so ignore this if you know of powerful stuff)
-I'd prefer stuff that is either non-scented or smells good.
-Price isn't that much of a factor, but it is something of a factor.

PLEASE help me find a deodorant that won't fail me!
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
A good guy-friend of mine (cyclist) swears by this stuff. It's mineral salt, and it has no scent. You just moisten it a little, and then use it as you would any deodorant stick.
posted by heyho at 7:53 PM on July 9, 2010

Are you sure it's aluminum that causes pit stains?

Go find the ladies' deodorants and grab one of the prescription-strength brands. (I think Secret was the first to have one available but there are more now, now sure how scent-y they are but lots of regular women's deodorant comes in unscented flavor.

Things I have heard on the internet (so, take with a heaping handful of salt):
Plain old vinegar put on a clean, dry armpit will work.
Dr. Bronner's liquid soap used in the same way.
Regular deodorant (non-anti-perspirant) sometimes causes less sweat than anti-perspirants.
posted by sallybrown at 7:58 PM on July 9, 2010

Heyho, your link confuses me. The product claims it's composed of mineral salts, and that it doesn't contain unhealthy chemicals, but then uses as an example of "unhealthy chemicals" another mineral salt (aluminum chlorohydrate).

Also, that ammonium alum it does contain? That's aluminum.
posted by galadriel at 8:17 PM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]

I recommend Certain Dri. It does contain aluminum, but it helps prevent sweat stains on my clothing, so I'm not sure you're correct that it's the aluminum that's causing the stains. It comes in a liquid roll-on and is non-scented, so it meets those two criteria.

I used to stain shirts in one wearing. I now use Certain Dri a few times a week (at night, never after shaving) and a regular prescription-strength deodorant/antiperspirant (Dove right now, sometimes Secret and sometimes Arm & Hammer). I also treat the underarms of all shirts with a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture before washing. All problems are solved.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 8:18 PM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]

Certain Dri worked for me, but it burned every once in a while. They have a sensitive skin formula but I haven't tried it, in case you think it might be a problem. Several of the manufacturers make a "clinical strength" that you put on the night before. I am using Dove's right now and I like it.
posted by Silvertree at 8:26 PM on July 9, 2010

Dude, this was a question I would have posted a few weeks ago.

I found out my problem was switching from deoderant to an antiperspirant with something (aluminum...but not 100% sure) that was staining my shirt pits white.

I switched to tea tree oil deodorant.

It keeps me dry...and my shirts can stay the color that woot made them. Its kinda a hippy thing to get...but it does work...and it smells nice/non-patchoulli.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:26 PM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Have you ever tried not using anti-perspirant for an extended period of time? I went the prescription anti-perspirant route for a while and gave up after months of extremely irritated skin and little to no improvement in sweat. After a few weeks of deodorant only (I use Tom's), my pits balanced out and I now sweat what I consider to be a normal to less than normal amount.
posted by telegraph at 8:26 PM on July 9, 2010

Mitchum is excellent. I've found it works the best for me out of all antipersperents that I've tried.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:27 PM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]

Maxim saved my life. I had tried every natural and unnatural thing on the shelf to stop my hyperhidrosis, but to no avail. I was soaked before I walked out the door, even in cool weather, with big sweat stains under my arms. It was so embarrassing.

Not only did Maxim leave me completely dry, but I found that after using a bottle or two of Maxim over the course of a year or so, I no longer need it. I can buy regular products off the shelf with no problem now. I'm not sure why this is, but it's been years since I last used it and that's still the case.

It does contain aluminum, in fact that's the active ingredient; however, I agree with those who question that the aluminum itself is causing the staining. I've found that now that I don't oversweat, the stains are gone, so it may be pure sweat or a combination of sweat plus aluminum.

One bad thing about the Maxim is that since it is strong, it really irritated my skin and my armpits were itchy as hell sometimes. Totally worth it in my opinion, though.
posted by unannihilated at 8:43 PM on July 9, 2010

certain-dri. certain-dri. certain-dri. nothing else has ever worked for me and i know this sounds like a ridiculous thing to say about a product, but: it changed my life. i can wear whatever i want and go out in whatever kind of weather and my armpits are dry! i used to sweat through t-shirts even when in the dead of winter when it was five degrees out. no longer! new york has had a crazy heat wave this week and every single part of me has been soaked by sweat except my armpits. seriously, certain-dri changed my life.

extra points: i don't get smelly, only sweaty, so i don't use a deodorant at all, and have not had a single pit stain since i started using certain-dri.
posted by lia at 8:55 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm with telegraph.

I went through puberty and the parents passed on to me Mitchum, Ban, and while they seemed to make me sweat less, I spent years watching my t-shirts die, a pitiful mess under the arms. Mitchum did a weird bleachy number to many shirts; Ban built up an impenetrable armor.

I gave up, got Tom's one shopping trip to Whole Foods, and my shirts have all since persevered. While I sweat occasionally in this 90+ degree weather, it's not limited to or excessive in the pits.
posted by stance at 9:10 PM on July 9, 2010

-I can't have aluminum in the deodorant, obviously

As others have said, I don't think you are looking at this right. Switching away from aluminum to a different salt is not going to stop the discoloration, it just means the new antiperspirant will cause stains because of whatever its active ingredient is. Antiperspirant works because it is acidic and that acidity can cause discoloration. That'll happen whether there is aluminum present or not.

The reason people don't like aluminum is because they've been duped into believing there is a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's. They're wrong but that's where the anti-aluminum thing comes from, not from staining.
posted by Justinian at 10:41 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding Mitchum. It works, and it doesn't stain.
posted by peep at 10:51 PM on July 9, 2010

If you find that the OTC stuff doesn't do, there are also prescription antiperspirants. Your GP can probably point you at the right sort of specialist to evaluate your sweating and recommend fixes.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:30 PM on July 9, 2010

Thirding Mitchum, it rocks for me.

I'd talk to your GP if it's a big problem - they might be able to either prescribe you something stronger, diagnose the root cause or even Botox your armpits (sounds scary but it works).

(On aluminium and Alzheimer's, that's sort of connected to what I'm researching in the lab at the moment - from my reading I can say that the link between them is tenuous at best.)
posted by teraspawn at 2:01 AM on July 10, 2010

I'm with telegraph.

I went through puberty and the parents passed on to me Mitchum, Ban, and while they seemed to make me sweat less, I spent years watching my t-shirts die, a pitiful mess under the arms. Mitchum did a weird bleachy number to many shirts; Ban built up an impenetrable armor.

I gave up, got Tom's one shopping trip to Whole Foods, and my shirts have all since persevered. While I sweat occasionally in this 90+ degree weather, it's not limited to or excessive in the pits.

Had exactly the same experience. Any anti-perspirant I used actually had the contrary effect and ruined my shirts. Tom's of Maine is what did it for me.
posted by bluefrog at 4:25 AM on July 10, 2010

Thinking out of the box, how about armpit pads instead?

My speedstick works fine but I'm thinking why should I have these chemicals near my lymph glands in the first place.


I'm sure there are other brands out there too.
posted by simpleton at 6:40 AM on July 10, 2010

I, too, would sweat through every shirt I owned, regardless of the weather. Ruined a lot of dress shirts in the process. Thought, "maybe what I need is undershirts!" - bought some, and that worked for about two weeks before I started sweating through both shirts. I was getting a bit distraught.

This past week (at lia's suggestion, as it turns out) I picked up Certain-Dri, replacing my usual Mitchum. It's still a bit early, but in the 2-3 days I've been using it, I have not sweat through my dress shirts OR my undershirts, even in the oppressive NYC Heatpocolypse. The rest of me is still sweating like normal, but my shirts are pristine in the arm region.

(One key difference with Certain-Dri: you put it on at night, because it is apparently easier for it to close your pores while you sleep.)

Long story short: listen to lia! Certain-Dri is the right answer!
posted by Remy at 7:18 AM on July 10, 2010

Another off-the-shelf product similar to Certain-Dri is Drysol.
posted by ghost dance beat at 7:45 AM on July 10, 2010

Certain Dri is the same as Driclor, which is the brand name used in my market. I have raved about it in two other posts. I sweat like a pig all over, but seriously, you can put on a winter parka on a muggy day in August and go for a 5k run and be bone dry in the pits. The only way your pits will be wet is if sweat from your shoulders has run into them. It is the only product I have ever bought where it truly lives up to the hype.
posted by holterbarbour at 7:59 AM on July 10, 2010

Another off-the-shelf product similar to Certain-Dri is Drysol.

Drysol is much stronger than Certain-Dri. Consider it the next step if Certain-Dri doesn't work.

And yes, Nthing Certain Dri. For me it meant that I wouldn't have to wear black t-shirts all summer. (I still wear black t-shirts a lot, but out of choice.)
posted by mendel at 9:13 AM on July 10, 2010

That industrial stuff worked for me, but Axe Dry (stupid ads aside) does also, and I prefer it.
posted by callmejay at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2010

Blood Pressure Medication. Seriously. My brother was a chronic sweater. He is not overweight, but he does have high blood pressure (genetics can be a bitch). His doctor put him on blood pressure meds last year and hasn't had any inappropriate sweat incidents since.

See a doctor. Get your blood pressure checked.
posted by sandra_s at 10:14 AM on July 10, 2010

When my Dove clinical protection failed miserably, I asked a friend who is in the fashion industry (i.e. she's used every product under the sun) and she recommended Fresh's Sugar roll-on without pause. I felt kind of stupid paying $20 for it, but now I would pay more. Best stuff I've ever used.

And don't worry if you're a guy, it doesn't smell too girly and it never gets to the point of giving off oder anyway. Kept me happy during last weeks' heat wave.
posted by cestmoi15 at 3:48 PM on July 10, 2010

odor. sorry.
posted by cestmoi15 at 3:49 PM on July 10, 2010

Go to a dermatologist, there are some rx-only anti-perspirants that are very strong
posted by radioamy at 5:53 PM on July 10, 2010

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