please recommend an effective unscented deodorant
July 5, 2022 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I would like to use an effective unscented deodorant. I don't care about antiperspirant qualities, I don't have particularly sensitive skin, and I'd prefer for it not to hurt my shirts but that's not super important. What should I try?

I don't have air conditioning, I prefer not to shower eight zillion times a day/week, and I'm a sweaty kid. I don't mind being sweaty but I'm sick of worrying that I smell bad. "Bad" includes "overpowering nasty masking smell" or "chemicals that make scent-sensitive people uncomfortable".

My day often involves riding a bicycle at commuting speeds outside so it'd be amazing if you know a deodorant that can stand up to that level of stink production, but I understand that we don't always get what we want in this world.

Similarly, it'd be nice not to have pit stains in all my shirts, but I'm pretty used to keeping my arms down for stink control reasons anyway.
posted by yomimono to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
I am a sweaty and stinky person. I've been using Each and Every for a few years and love it. They have a fragrance free version, which I can't personally vouch for because I like pretending I'm standing in a pine forest when I sniff my definitely no longer stinky pits. Holds up to my anxiety sweats, which are the stinkiest kind.
posted by carrioncomfort at 10:36 AM on July 5, 2022

Hello fragrance-free works pretty well and is easily available in drugstores or big box stores.

I find all natural deodorants work much better if I use a charcoal soap under my arms every time I shower. I like the Megababe space bar. I keep it in one of those mesh soap bags so there’s some scrubbing power.
posted by assenav at 10:37 AM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Mitchum - it comes in numerous unscented varieties, stick, gel, roll-on and aerosol. It works really well. I have very sensitive skin and Mitchum has never irritated it.
posted by essexjan at 10:53 AM on July 5, 2022 [13 favorites]

You might try nuud. I've used it in both Florida & Alabama in the summer and it seemed to be effective!

It smells a tiny bit like sun screen for maybe 10 minutes after you apply, then no smell and no armpit stink for days!
posted by gregr at 10:54 AM on July 5, 2022

"Mitchum Smart Solid Clinical Performance Unscented" - the solid not the gel, you have to specifically search for "smart solid." The unscented version is fantastic. It happens to be an antiperspirant but otherwise meets your requirements. And it lasts more than a day. I'm a woman and I've had male partners borrow it and then ask me where to get some because it actually works.
posted by danceswithlight at 10:59 AM on July 5, 2022 [4 favorites]

I don't see Lume mentioned yet. I learned about it here and have been using the unscented version for about a year. Works well!
posted by 10ch at 11:04 AM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Sure unscented -- please increase demand so they keep making it!
posted by amtho at 11:20 AM on July 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

I found that Lume actually made me smell worse! But I have had good luck with Native (I like the charcoal one) and more recently Freedom.
posted by wisekaren at 11:23 AM on July 5, 2022

I use PitRok (not sure where you are based, but it can be bought in the UK) which is a natural crystal/mineral salts deodorant. I use it daily and have found it very effective. Also the stick lasts forever- I have been using the same deodorant for over five years.
posted by foxmardou at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

Certain Dri; you may only need to use it every few days.

Or for a more hippie solution, baking soda. Wash 'pits with baking soda in shower, then apply baking soda post-shower while still wet.
posted by metasarah at 11:41 AM on July 5, 2022

The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution: not technically a deodorant, but when liberally applied with a cotton pad every day, it rebalances the pH in your armpits such that odor-causing bacteria don't multiply there. No scent.
posted by Bardolph at 12:02 PM on July 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

I have had huge success with eliminating smell by using The Ordinary’s glycolic acid liquid. Some people put it into a spray bottle for easy application, but I just pour about a teaspoon out into my hand and then massage it into each armpit. It has no smell, but the acid interferes with the bacterial colonies that make BO. You will still sweat unless you use an anti-perspirant in addition, but it’s very effective for killing odors. It’s easy enough to wash your pits and reapply if you’re not showering daily.
posted by quince at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

Mitchum roll-on. I've been using it for years.
posted by Dolley at 12:12 PM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

When you say you "don't care" about antiperspirant properties does that mean that you don't want them, or don't care either way? Certain Dri is purely a antiperspirant, but it is extremely effective, and sweat is the main thing that causes BO, so stopping sweating is very effective at preventing you from smelling bad.
posted by wesleyac at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2022

One thing to note about antiperspirant, which may affect your smelliness, is that they take time to take effect -- most recommend putting on antiperspirant before going to bed so it has time to work its way into the skin and prevent perspiration in a relatively dry environment, rather than putting it on right away in the morning and then hopping on your bike.

Edit: I hate artificial smells and I'm with amtho, I like Sure Unscented deodorant and have been using it for years, but have trouble finding it in stock lately, so my 2nd go-to is Arm & Hammer unscented deodorant.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:26 PM on July 5, 2022

I have used the Crystal Deodorant Stick for over 25 years. It is unscented, dry and does a great job preventing perspiration and odor. The other great thing is it only costs about $5 and can last up to a year(assuming you don’t drop it and crack it) I’m allergic to some of the ingredients in regular deodorant but have never had an issue with this. The other nice thing is if you travel with carry on luggage you don’t have to put it in you liquids bag.

Some details:
Contains one ingredient: Pure Mineral Salt.
- Prevents odor safely for up to 24 hours
- No residue, no staining, no white marks
- Won't leave skin feeling sticky or oily
- Made without Aluminum Chloride, Parabens, Phthalates, and Artificial Fragrance
- Vegan and Cruelty Free
- Dermatologist tested; fragrance-free
posted by jvbthegolfer at 12:27 PM on July 5, 2022 [6 favorites]

Seconding nuud. I've been using it for over two years and I love it. The little tube lasts for ever because you really don't have to apply it every day if you don't want to, there's no scent, it has never irritated my skin, and it's never stained my clothes. It's also cruelty free and the tube is made of sugar cane plastic. I really do love it.
posted by velocipedestrienne at 12:52 PM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

This seems to be very individual. Lume made me smell like literal puke. But I've been extremely impressed with Blume Hug Me, which smells a little like paint in the tube and makes me smell like absolutely nothing.
posted by potrzebie at 12:55 PM on July 5, 2022

thirding nuud- my gym clothes no longer smell like bo. it's pricey but lasts months- i only put it on after i shower (roughly ever other day) as opposed to daily and it's totally fine. i've even made it three days without reapplying.
posted by noloveforned at 1:19 PM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I too am not 100% sure I understand the question, but I would heartily recommend the entirely unscented Odaban. It's a spray, and the only real problem is that you have to put it onto dry skin, so no post-shower application. It is an alcohol solution, so the area around you smells like vodka for the first few minutes, but afterwards there is no odor. One application lasts several days, typically, though that varies based on activity level. As a bonus it's very small compared to traditional stick or roll-on antipersperants and is only 1 oz. of liquid so even the full size is greaty for travel. Per application, I think it's cheaper than most. From the UK, but available on Amazon and various mail order places.
posted by wnissen at 1:43 PM on July 5, 2022

Ban unscented roll-on antiperspirant deodorant!
posted by SageTrail at 1:47 PM on July 5, 2022

Response by poster: > When you say you "don't care" about antiperspirant properties does that mean that you don't want them, or don't care either way?

I don't care either way.
posted by yomimono at 2:15 PM on July 5, 2022

I use the Mitchum unscented gel and the Alamy unscented gel
posted by kathrynm at 2:22 PM on July 5, 2022

I use Sure Unscented and it's great for my mega-sensitive skin. Technically it has masking fragrances in it but I can't smell it and it doesn't bother me at all.
posted by radioamy at 2:56 PM on July 5, 2022

Sure Unscented is also propylene-glycol-free; while I'm allergic to that ingredient, it's also a bit irritating to many people.

And it works well.
posted by amtho at 3:38 PM on July 5, 2022

So deodorant masks smells, which is why it often smells strongly to do so. Antiperspirant will keep you from sweating so much. So an unscented antiperspirant might actually be what you want?

Also, how about a strategy?
My day often involves riding a bicycle at commuting speeds outside
As a fellow bike commuter, one with a short ride who really doesn't want to smell: as soon as you get into work, go into the bathroom, and clean your armpits. Some folks carry disposable hand wipes. Others pack a small washcloth in a baggie that they bring with them. You could get it wet with some soap at work, wipe both arm pits, then rinse out the soap and wipe them again. You could try with some paper towels, too, but getting some soap in there, and not just water, will go a long way. And then! After this, apply whatever product you get.

If you don't want to clean your pits, then keep some of your deodorant or whatever at work (or carry it with you), and wipe some on right when you get there.

It's the sweat that sits all day that collects bacteria, and it's the bacteria that smell. So if you can get some of the sweat off your pits right from the start, or at least reapply some deodorant, all of this is going to be much easier.
posted by bluedaisy at 4:38 PM on July 5, 2022 [2 favorites]

So deodorant masks smells

Masks or prevents. I’m another fan of crystal deodorant; the big rock will last you years if you don’t drop it.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:40 PM on July 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Speed Stick has an unscented deodorant. I’ve only ever found it on Amazon, but great price and works perfectly.
posted by Neekee at 6:50 PM on July 5, 2022

I’m one of the folks Lume works for, and it hasn’t damaged cotton, rayon, or or merino wool that I wear in direct contact with my armpits (including when I’ve sweat enough for shirts to be damp).
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 9:52 PM on July 5, 2022

The roll-on deodorant by the company Real Purity has a nearly undetectable scent and has made a real difference for me. (Without offering TMI, I will just say that my sweat is of a greater quantity and odor than it was before I entered menopause.)

The only downside is that I have order it online.
posted by virago at 5:06 AM on July 6, 2022

« Older Recommend a Montreal language experience for a...   |   Looking for recs for compassionate gynecologist in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.