Plain and simple: Everyday deodorants aren’t always strong or long-lasting enough for an intense workout session. That’s why you may want to keep one of the best sports deodorants stashed away in your gym bag, particularly when you have a big workout planned. But, what makes for a great deodorant for athletes?
Keep in mind, some deodorants use “sport” on the packaging to describe the product’s fragrance. While
deodorants are formulated to prevent or mask unwanted odors, you might appreciate an antiperspirant deodorant that incorporates aluminum to help reduce sweat, too. Typically, the average amount of aluminum in antiperspirants is around 18.2% for men and 15.2% for women, the antiperspirants featured below have concentrations of at least 18% for extra protection.
Now, something to note going in: Since aluminum blocks excessive sweat from leaving your pores during a workout, there have been some
health concerns around aluminum in antiperspirants, but they’ve yet to be substantiated. Doctors have confirmed that the aluminum in antiperspirants is safe, and according to Penn Medicine, it can be processed by your body if you have normal kidney function.
While aluminum is the leading ingredient for protecting against sweat, there are also great options if you prefer a deodorant without antiperspirant. An aluminum-free product may not prevent you from sweating altogether, but
they can help keep unwanted smells at bay.
Keep scrolling to check out the best sports deodorants to keep you smelling fresh no matter how hard you exercise.
1 The Best Overall, All Things Considered
Secret deodorant features a formula with 20% concentrate of aluminum to provide up to 48 hours of protection. Reviewers have described the scent as “pleasant but very mild” and “not overpowering.” While a bit pricier than your average deodorant, its strong formula won't irritate your skin, as some other prescription-strength deodorants are prone to do. One fan raved, “Whether it's exercise, work, outdoor activities or life, you can rely on this deodorant to hold up and protect you.” One reviewer wrote: “I’m very happy, this is my go-to deodorant. I work in a greenhouse and average around 22,000 steps a day at work. Needless to say, I sweat. A lot. This deodorant has been a game changer for me! It smells fresh, and I honestly feel more confident when I’m using it compared to the Degree Sport I had been using.” 2 This Editor-Approved Antiperspirant With A ‘Pleasant’ Scent Bustle editor Kori Perten relies on Degree’s antiperspirant deodorant to reduce sweat and keep odors at bay on the daily. She describes, “I wear this deodorant every day, but I reapply before workouts to stay extra fresh.” It features a formula with a concentration of 19.2% aluminum. According to Perten, “It doesn’t block all sweat, but I find it reduces it, while effectively blocking any unwanted smells.” What does Perten think of the “Adventure” scent of the deodorant? It’s “honestly very, very pleasant,” she confirms. One reviewer wrote: “I’ve used degree for several years and I know that I can spend all day sweating and not worry about smelling [...] Extreme heat, extreme stress or a combination of the two Degree hasn’t let me down yet.” 3 The Best Gel
The fast-drying gel formula in
Mitchum's gel deodorant contains 25% aluminum for strong protection and won't leave residue on your clothes. Although this alcohol-free product is labeled as “sport” and marketed towards men, the biggest difference between this deodorant and Mitchum's gel antiperspirants for women is a variation on fragrance ingredients. One reviewer claimed that this “doesn't have much scent,” so it might not be too overwhelming. However, if you’d prefer no scent, try Mitchum’s unscented version. Or if you’re just looking for a lighter scent, opt for Mitchum’s gel deodorant for women, which has a less musky scent but only 20% aluminum (compared to the 25% above). One reviewer wrote: “Best gel antiperspirant I’ve ever purchased. Really surprised! [...] I usually have to reapply 2-3 times a day because of my excessive sweating. I applied this at 9am and by midnight I could still smell it. Not only did it prevent me from sweating, it gave off a very pleasant smell.” 4 The Best Spray
Dove antiperspirant spray has a 20.2% aluminum formula and offers up to 48 hours of odor and wetness protection. The formula dries quickly and doesn’t leave white streaks or stains on clothes. This deodorant has a scent that’s “nice and light - not overpowering,” according to one reviewer. It’s alcohol-free and also contains moisturizing ingredients to prevent skin irritation. As a plus, it’s sold in a pack of three at a reasonable cost. One reviewer wrote: “I really like Dove products for myself and my family. This antiperspirant works great throughout the day. I love the scent. I also think Amazon's price was a good deal!” 5 The Best Aluminum-Free
If you've done your research and are convinced aluminum isn't for you, then this
Old Spice sports deodorant is a solid bet. It's free of aluminum and boasts up to 48 hours of odor protection. Reviewers on Amazon have praised the long-lasting nature and effectiveness of this product, and one reviewer described: “This product has a fresh, sporty scent and it effectively fights odor.” Just keep in mind that it’s formulated to keep odors at bay and not necessarily stop sweat. One reviewer wrote: “No smell even if you are working out. It lasts all day. I liked the price and the very mild smell.” 6 The Best Unscented Stick
If you want to veer away from fragrances,
Vanicream’s unscented deodorant works to prevent sweat and odor during your workouts. Aside from artificial fragrances, it’s free of formaldehyde and dye, which can irritate sensitive skin. It’s made with an aluminum concentration of 20%, and one reviewer described: “It does not have any scent. Yet it keeps away the BO all day!” The deodorant dispenses a white formula that dries transparent and offers protection for up to 24 hours. One reviewer wrote: “I have terrible Eczema and often get the scaly rashes in my underarms. I have started putting Vanicream moisturizer on minutes before I put this on, and my skin there is back to normal. I tend to be a very heavy odorous sweater, and in 90 degree high-humid heat this has lasted for hours with no sweat or smell.” 7 The Best Roll-On Ban’s roll-on deodorant is formulated with 18% aluminum and minimizes sweat and odor for up to 24 hours. Many reviewers have confirmed that it “keeps them dry” and “smelling fresh” and that the different fragranced options aren’t overpowering. The roll-on applicator dispenses a transparent liquid onto the underarms and dries down almost immediately upon application. One reviewer wrote: “I had never used roll-on deodorant before, but thought I'd give it a try since there was a special on this on Amazon. I really like the smell and it seems to actually work. I workout hard for about two hours a day and it holds up!”
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This article was originally published on
Aug. 19, 2018