Can you recommend me the best anti-perspirant deodorant ever?
August 26, 2015 2:12 PM   Subscribe

I used to use Dove roll on but am currently trying out Nivea Dry Comfort. I'm not sure whether I'm particularly sold on it. While my armpits generally smell okay, sometimes the armpit area of my clothes ends up smelly anyway. Can you tell me what's up with that? And/or: Can you recommend some kind of anti-perspirant which also imparts a pleasant smell, not just a neutral one?
posted by kinddieserzeit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I had the same problem with various antiperspirants. Secret Clinical Strength turned out to be best for me. I've sniffed both scents and they're pleasant, but mild.
posted by wryly at 2:21 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Certain Dri! Their PM formula is unscented, but their AM formula has a nice mild scent.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 2:23 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

I don't have any brand recommendations, but putting it on before you go to sleep might help...
posted by Huck500 at 2:24 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

I swear by Mitchum. If this doesn't cut it consider asking your physician for a prescription for Drysol.
posted by arrmatie at 2:34 PM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

posted by intensitymultiply at 2:35 PM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

x. It doesn't seem to make a difference whether I apply at night or in the morning.

x. I wore a new dress this evening. When I took it off tonight, the armpit of the dress was smelly. But my actual armpits were not smelly. Is that a problem that could be solved with clinical strength anti-perspirant?
posted by kinddieserzeit at 2:43 PM on August 26, 2015

Nthing Mitchum. Here's the one I use. I find it to be as good as the clinical strength ones but cheaper.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 2:47 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is it possible the smell was in the dress before you wore it tonight? I've never had a smell transfer into clothing that wasn't on my body too.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 2:50 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

I am a fan of the Mitchum Smart Solid, which feels like cool water going on and leaves zero residue.
posted by joan_holloway at 2:51 PM on August 26, 2015

you may need to wash your clothes better (no offense!)? i get the smelly clothes, but i'm ok thing sometimes, and i blame the clothes and wash them a couple of time in a row. you can rub extra (liquid) detergent on the armpit area of the clothes before washing.
posted by andrewcooke at 2:51 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Multi-part process:

* Arm & Hammer for women (I prefer powder scent). Best daily antiperspirant/deodorant I've tried.
* CertainDri as directed (at night) on occasion - maybe a few times a month, or a few days before a big event that might make me nervous or sweaty.
* Spray the armpits of your clothes liberally with plain white vinegar before washing (right before is fine, or ahead of time) and hang-dry shirts so as to not get that baked-in sweat smell.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 2:57 PM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

The Secret Hawaii Citrus Breeze smells amazing. Whether I have "pit smell breakthrough" depends on a ton of factors. It holds up pretty well though.

If you're going to go clinical, I do love the smell of the Secret Clinical in "Completely Clean." The name would maybe imply fragrance free, but it has a nice non-perfumey scent.
posted by peep at 2:58 PM on August 26, 2015

Can you tell me what's up with that?

Basically, your antiperspirant isn't stopping all perspiration, just some. Deodorant is not actually a de-odor-ant, just a mask, so whatever sweat hits your clothes is still sweat.

What can make it worse is that clothes can get a waxy buildup from your d/ap that doesn't wash all the way out. Some fabrics are definitely worse about this than others - I have some black synthetic (rayon-y) shirts that make it really obvious that there's a buildup there, and I haven't ever gotten it all out but I also haven't gone after it with a nail brush or anything either. That stuff can trap the stink, and possibly develop a stink of their own by trapping moisture and dead skin and stuff and getting funky.

If you want to use a clinical-grade antiperspirant it'll be less likely to let some sweat through, but if you live in a warm enough climate you'll need to completely dip your torso in it after exfoliating, and then scrub out any residue left on the fabric, to not eventually get a lingering funk.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:21 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

I first used Mitchum to reward them for their slogan "So effective, you can skip a day."

It really is.
posted by builderofscience at 3:24 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

you may need to wash your clothes better (no offense!)?

This dress was brand new and I'd even washed it once to make sure that I wasn't exposing myself to grime, dye, formaldehyde etc. It also didn't smell when I put it on. I guess it could be some reaction between anti-perspirant, sweat, and the (unfortunately synthetic) fabric? I was on a date, so maybe I was sweating particularly smelly sweat that somehow got wicked away from my body by the fabric?

I'll definitely have to look into Mitchum and Certain Dri (I like the sound of there being both an AM and PM formula!)

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 3:35 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is really nice, and stops any armpit wetness or odour completely for me even after a 10k run or long bike ride. It's a cream, you apply it in the evenings and it lasts 24-48hrs.

It's sold under both the Dove and Sure brands in Europe (exactly the same product, same packaging just a different logo). Looks like this is the US brand, slightly different fragrances.

But people are right, if your clothes smell when you don't, the problem is residue build up on the clothes. Try pre-soaking in an enzymatic stain treatment (Biotex or equivalent) or rubbing some Vanish soap well into the seams before the wash.
posted by tinkletown at 3:40 PM on August 26, 2015

I was a devoted Mitchum user (of a roll on version) until they changed the formula a few months ago; the updated product doesn't work at all. I'm in Australia, perhaps they didn't change the US version? If any Mitchum users can elaborate I'd be most grateful. The companies facebook page just had lots of bitching and moaning which made me feel not alone but didn't offer any solutions.
posted by kitten magic at 3:48 PM on August 26, 2015

You said the dress was synthetic, so maybe part of the problem is that the fabric doesn't breathe very well? I've noticed that sweat (and bacteria, = smell) builds up more sometimes when I wear poly fabrics rather than cotton/linen. YMMV, of course.
posted by thetortoise at 4:05 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Synthetic fabrics = instant funk if you sweat at all in my experience. If you're having the issue with cotton clothes, I would second the plain white vinegar pit treatment peanut_mcgillicuty recommends above. Don't feel bad about your clothes washing skills either--not all washing machines have the same capabilities and every body's sweat is different.

I have to do the white vinegar thing with all my clothes and have for years. I'm just smelly like that. I've tried at least 50 deodorants. My clothes always need the treatment, even when I find a deodorant regimen that keeps my pits smelling ok for the day.
posted by purple_bird at 4:49 PM on August 26, 2015

Over a year ago I ditched anti-perspirants and deodorants; I now put a pinch of baking soda on my hand, add some water, and apply to my armpits. I smell less AND sweat less, for about a buck a year.
posted by good lorneing at 5:51 PM on August 26, 2015

I use Certain Dri. I used to sweat through clothes. You may not want this extreme solution (I'm sure it's dangerous) but after using it for a short time, I no longer really sweat in my armpits. Sometimes I throw on some regular Dove or other general deodorant. If I notice an uptick in sweat, I use a bit of Certain Dri, than I may be done with it for a year!
posted by bluespark25 at 6:09 PM on August 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

After reading a few enthusiastic endorsements of Certain Dri here a while back, I went out and bought some. Best. Shit. Ever. I wouldn't use it every day, nor would I need to. Other than that, I use Lady Mitchum, which is the best daily use product I have ever tried.
posted by futureisunwritten at 6:13 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

I recently made the switch (thanks to a thread here on askme) to Old Spice Wolfthorn antiperspirant. Yes, it's marketed toward men - but it smells like candy, works REALLY well, and has eliminated my armpit stank completely under any and all conditions (stress, synthetic fabrics, exercise, hormones, etc.) On searching, I'm entertained that a bunch of the reviews on the Old Spice website are from women who are wearing it. Yay!
posted by VioletU at 7:19 PM on August 26, 2015 [4 favorites]

One way to protect your clothes from both the odor and the yellow/gray discoloration that deodorant/antiperspirants cause is to use garment shields. There are a variety of options, but I have used the ones linked. Read the reviews, too (someone recommended using panty liners) to find one that appeals. Odor can "become one" with the fabric in some clothing, esp synthetic fabrics and be difficult/impossible to get out. The shields plus a product that works on you will save your clothes from permanent stains and smells.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 8:12 PM on August 26, 2015

Certain Dry at night, the roll-on kind. After a while you'll only need to use it a few times a week.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:49 PM on August 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

I use Secret brand's "completely clean" scent gel. The scent is subtle so it won't over power you, but it smells nice, like you just took a shower.

I've used rolls, sticks and those bars (what are they called?) and I don't notice a big difference. The gel is easiest to apply, I think. It dries in a few seconds.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:10 PM on August 26, 2015

I love the Nivea Dry Comfort and I sweat a lot. Way better than certain dri. I'd try applying more liberally and get all of your armpit area. If you're using the little roller it's not very wide and you can miss spots.

The certain dry spray cans are not good. The glass vials with rollers
are great.
posted by slateyness at 5:50 AM on August 27, 2015

I bought this lavender deodorant from a recommendation on MeFi, and I will never shop for deodorant again. It is MAGICAL. And it smells just faintly of lavender--not too strong, but pleasant and clean. $14 for a jar that lasts months.
posted by witchen at 7:49 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I use the Secret Clinical Strength that claims it conquers stress sweat. Apparently there is some science behind it. Heat generated sweat comes from eccrine glands. Stress sweat comes from apocrine glands. Apocrine sweat is stinkier than eccrine sweat because it has additional fatty stuff that is attractive to bacteria. So the stress of your date may have contributed to your issue. I feel your pain! I'm an anxiety sweater myself.
posted by cecic at 10:01 AM on August 27, 2015

I used to use Lady Mitchum gel. It used to have a sticker on the package stating "antibacterial". It doesn't have that any more.

We know that a lot of the smell is due to bacteria. Sometimes my armpits smell bad even right after I've taken a shower and scrubbed and shaved them. On those days, I've used some antibacterial gel (Neosporin) at night and it seems to work ok. YMMV.
posted by CathyG at 1:12 PM on August 27, 2015

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