The 9 Best Clinical Strength Deodorants and Antiperspirants of 2022

Keep your sweat under wraps

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Finding a good antiperspirant or deodorant that checks all your boxes can be difficult, especially given the vast variety of choices available on the market. First, it is important to understand the distinction between an antiperspirant and a deodorant before you start shopping. “There is a difference between deodorants and antiperspirants. We often use the terms interchangeably because most US products contain both, but they are actually different,” says Jeaneen Chappell, a dermatologist based in Texas and member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS). “Pure deodorants do not have antiperspirant (sweat blocking) activity. They are meant for odor control, not sweat control.” 

If you’re looking for something that will curb any underarm wetness, then that is where an antiperspirant comes in. “Antiperspirants decrease your sweat production from the areas you apply them,” says Dr. Mary Stevenson, a dermatologist with NYU Langone Health and member of WDS. Ingredients with “aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum zirconium complexes” are in antiperspirants and they work by blocking the sweat glands from releasing sweat. “Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate is often found in sensitive skin formulations,” Dr. Stevenson adds.

One reason why an antiperspirant might not be working for you is that the concentration of aluminum is not high enough to address the sweat your glands are producing. “Regular antiperspirants will have lower percentages of aluminum chloride versus clinical strength, which will have a higher percentage,” Dr. Chappell says. “The highest over-the-counter amount is 20%.”

We researched dozens of antiperspirants and deodorants and evaluated them for reviews, active ingredients, scents available, length of protection, price, and return policies. Each of the products chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best antiperspirants and deodorants on the market today.

Our Top Picks
Apply once at night for up to 48 hours of sweat protection.
It has the highest level of aluminum chloride without a prescription.
This fights back on hot days and during intense workouts.
Its moisturizing ingredients help prevent redness and discomfort.
Best for Hyperhidrosis:
SweatBlock Antiperspirant at Amazon
The towelettes block up your pores overnight to prevent moisture and provide protection for up to seven days.
It's great for improving your skin’s tone and texture after shaving.
Incorporates 100% recycled packaging alongside a sea of natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, and shea butter.
The smell is fantastic and it lasts until you wash it off.
With this, there is no stinging (or stinking!), and definitely no burning sensation.

Best Overall: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid

Secret Clinical antiperspirant
Pros
  • 48-hour protection

  • No white streaks

  • Multiple scent options

Cons
  • May cause skin irritation

Say goodbye to pit stains and white streaks on clothing with Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid antiperspirant. The stick has the key ingredient of aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, which works by locating the water in the sweat gland and blocking it from producing any sweat. This antiperspirant promises 48-hour protection from any odor or wetness that can form in the armpit. 

Apply one of the product's seven available scents once at bedtime or after you bathe to dry skin for the best results. Then allow for the product to provide you protection for the following day without interrupting your daily activities. Customers say the antiperspirant is a gamechanger in addressing sweat.

Active Ingredients: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex | Dosage: Apply once at bedtime or after bathing | Scents Available: 7

Best for Sweat: Certain Dri Clinical Prescription Strength Antiperspirant

certain dri antiperspirant
Pros
  • 72-hour protection

  • Controls sweat

  • Price

  • Works overnight

Cons
  • Limited scents

  • Can cause skin irritation

If you’re always self-conscious about your sweat, you need the Certain Dri Clinical Prescription Strength Certain Dri’s prescription-strength antiperspirant is one of the strongest sticks on the market to address sweat if you don’t have a prescription. All it takes is swiping the stick on with a few strokes before bedtime so the active ingredients can soak into the skin while you sleep. Then, during the day, the prescription-strength antiperspirant works all day long blocking the sweat glands so you don’t have to worry about any wet patches.

Customers say this is the one antiperspirant that actually stops them from sweating and producing odor throughout the day. However, given the strength of the stick, it can cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin or when it is applied incorrectly.

Active Ingredients: Aluminum chloride, 12% | Dosage: Apply once at bedtime or after bathing | Scents Available: 1

Best for Men: Dove Men Care Clinical Deodorant Stick

Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
Pros
  • Combats sweat and odor

  • Variety of scents

  • Moisturizing ingredients

  • 24 hour sweat protection

Cons
  • Lacks natural ingredients

This antiperspirant prioritizes combating sweating and odor all while keeping the armpits moisturized throughout the day. The antiperspirant includes aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, which blocks sweat glands, mixed with a unique “triple action moisturizer” created by Dove to prevent any skin irritation that can often occur when applying a product to the armpits. Also, the antiperspirant comes in several scents to keep you feeling fresh all day. 

Apply the stick once before bedtime to allow for it to soak into the skin and start working against the production of sweat. The product promises 24 hours of protection against odor and sweat.

Active Ingredients: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex | Dosage: Apply once at bedtime or after bathing | Scents Available: 11

Best for Women: Mitchum Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant

Mitchum Women Clinical Soft Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant
Pros
  • 48-hour protection

  • Multiple scents available

  • No white streaks

Cons
  • Poor packaging

Mitchum Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant's advanced formula doesn’t disappoint and will keep your sweating under control. 

It delivers 48-hour protection and while it’s available in three subtle scents, unscented is your best bet to avoid all irritations. “Fragrance is a common irritant found in many deodorants, especially for sensitive skin types,” New York City-based dermatologist Marie Hayag, M.D., says. “In addition, those who are not initially allergic to fragrance can develop an allergy to it over time, which can lead to irritated, red, and inflamed skin”

Active Ingredients: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex | Dosage: Apply once at bedtime or after bathing | Scents Available: 3

Best for Hyperhidrosis: SweatBlock Antiperspirant

SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Wipes
Pros
  • 7 days of protection

  • Sweat-blocking formula

  • Works overnight

Cons
  • Lacks odor protection

The SweatBlock Antiperspirant puts an interesting twist on controlling sweat by using wipes instead of a solid stick of formula. The wipes are formulated with 14% aluminum chloride—a key ingredient used to block the sweat glands from producing moisture. After using one wipe, the sweat protection can last for up to seven days.

The best way to use this product is in the evenings when the armpits are clean and dry. Dab, don’t rub, the wipe onto your skin, and then allow the liquid to air dry for about five minutes. The formula should then work overnight to block the sweat glands so you wake in the morning ready to be active with a “dry shirt guarantee” from the company. For best results, it is recommended to use the product for several weeks so your armpits can get used to the formula.

Active Ingredients: Aluminum chloride | Dosage: One wipe before bedtime or after bathing | Scents Available: 1

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant

Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant
Pros
  • Alcohol-free formula

  • Multiple scents

  • 48-hour sweat protection

Cons
  • Can cause streaks

Experiencing a painful rash or skin irritation on the armpit can make it difficult to address sweat and odor. Dove has created an alcohol-free antiperspirant that tackles sweat and odor without causing irritation for people with sensitive skin.

The product comes in five different scents, allowing you the option of how you want to smell throughout the day. It also contains moisturizing ingredients, which help prevent any potential irritation that can occur after application. The product can sometimes cause streaks on clothes, though, so be careful when dressing in the morning. 

Active Ingredients: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex | Dosage: Apply once in the morning or at bedtime | Scents Available: Five

Best Aluminum-Free: Hello Fresh Citrus Deodorant

Hello Shea Butter Fresh Citrus Deodorant
Pros
  • No aluminum

  • Recycled packaging

  • Multiple scents

Cons
  • Lacks sweat protection

In recent years, people have raised concerns about the potential side effects and health risks of using antiperspirants with aluminum as the main ingredient. There have been no clinical studies to show that the ingredient will have harmful side effects against the person, however, several companies have now created aluminum-free deodorants for those concerned.

Hello’s naturally friendly deodorant is formulated with natural ingredients like tea tree oil and shea butter. The stick is also packaged with 100% recycled materials in an effort to be environmentally friendly. Just a few swipes of the deodorant will leave you odor-free for the rest of the day. But, be warned, the product is not an antiperspirant so it will not limit sweat.

Active Ingredients: None | Dosage: Apply once in the morning or at bedtime | Scents Available: Four

Best Smelling: Amplixin Cashmere Mist Deodorant

Cashmere Mist Deodorant Stick by Donna Karan
Pros
  • Scented

  • Soothing on skin

Cons
  • Lacks long-lasting sweat protection

Smell good all day long with Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist deodorant/antiperspirant stick. The scent is a soothing blend of fresh floral jasmine that’s mixed with sandalwood and vanilla. Although the deodorant is on the pricier end, its award-winning scent might just win you over if you’re looking for a stick that can work to keep sweat away while also acting as a perfume.

With this deodorant and antiperspirant all in one, you won’t need any other fragrances to put on in the morning. Some customers warn, though, that the antiperspirant doesn’t offer as long lasting of sweat protection as others, so that is something to consider when making your next purchase.

Active Ingredients: None | Dosage: Apply once in the morning | Scents Available: One

Best Natural: Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On

Crystal Mineral Body Deodorant Roll-On, Unscented
Pros
  • Free of parabens

  • Aluminum-free

  • Targets odor

Cons
  • Lacks sweat protection

Not everyone is looking to curb their sweat, so a natural deodorant can be the best option. Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-on is free of aluminum, parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrances. The product also comes in a variety of scents, so you can smell fresh all day long.

Given that the deodorant is not an antiperspirant, that means it will not work to block the sweat glands from producing moisture in your armpits. So you will still sweat while using the product. But it will work to control odor no matter the activity.

Active Ingredients: None | Dosage: Apply once in the morning | Scents Available: Five

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an effective antiperspirant that will keep you free of sweat patches and odor free all day long, then we recommend the Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid (view at Amazon). If you’re looking for a deodorant that will just address odor, then we recommend the Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in Clinical Strength Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Sweat Physiology

Arguably the most important consideration when purchasing an antiperspirant is its ability to curb sweat throughout the day. There is nothing more frustrating than finding out the stick is unable to prevent moisture when you’re performing everyday tasks.

If sweat is your problem the key ingredients to look for are aluminum salts (chemical compounds) such as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, and aluminum sesquichlorohydrate. Some OTC antiperspirants have a higher concentrations of aluminum-containing ingredients compared to others.

Louis Kuchnir, a dermatologist based in Boston, Massachusetts, also recommends focusing on how you apply the product if sweat is an issue. “They should be applied when the armpit is completely dry,” Dr. Kuchnir says. “The aluminum will find the water in the top of the sweat gland, get in there, and cause it to become viscous and block the sweat gland all day long. So applying it when your armpit is completely dry is important.” 

“If clinical strength antiperspirants aren’t doing the trick, I’d recommend seeing your local board-certified dermatologist to discuss your sweating,” Dr. Chappell recommends.“You may have excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, which can be treated medically.” Dermatologists can prescribe a prescription-strength antiperspirant with higher concentrations of aluminum chloride to address hyperhidrosis.

Odor

Another key consideration when purchasing deodorant is if it will be able to mask odors the body produces underneath the arms. “The apocrine glands found under the arms secrete sweat that contains fats and proteins that react with bacteria causing a foul odor,” Dr. Farris says. “Deodorants are primarily alcohol-based solutions and often contain fragrance as well. The alcohol changes the pH of the skin and reduces bacterial colonization, hence reducing odor.” 

Deodorants can come in three different forms: scented, unscented, and fragrance-free. Scented means there are added fragrances to the product to help mask the smell your body produces. But be careful, unscented also means that the product contains additives to address smells. “Unscented might add a masking fragrance, something that makes it harder to smell other things,” Dr. Kuchnir says. 

Fragrance-free is a good option for someone who has skin sensitivities to additives put in deodorants and antiperspirants. If you fall in this category, though, it can be frustrating to figure out how else to address odor. “Carrying wipes and reapplying the deodorant/antiperspirant can be helpful for those who have breakthrough odor,” Dr. Chappell says.

Ingredients

One key ingredient often found in antiperspirants is aluminum n various forms (e.g., aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, and aluminum zirconium).” In recent years there has been some concern the ingredient could cause health issues like breast cancer in women, but Dr. Kuchnir says those claims are unfounded. “I believe aluminum chloride is completely safe, and I don’t say that about a lot of prescriptions,” he says. Dr. Farris is also in agreement that the ingredient is safe to use in one’s deodorant. “There is no scientific evidence that aluminum products in deodorant cause cancer,” she says.

Clinical-strength deodorants will contain a higher concentration of aluminum-containing ingredients to address those who suffer from sweaty armpits. “A tip is to look at the active ingredient box located on the back or side of the package. The concentration of aluminum chloride will be listed there, helping to determine product strength,” Dr. Chappell says.

If that’s not enough, people can also visit with their dermatologist for a prescription-grade antiperspirant if they find the one’s over the counter and not doing enough for them to block sweat. If you find you’re having an allergic reaction to your deodorant, you can visit your dermatologist for a patch test to better understand what ingredient might cause the reaction. Fragrance-free deodorants are a good alternative for people who find their skin is more sensitive than others. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best time of day to apply deodorant?

    When using a clinical strength antiperspirant, dermatologists recommend that the product be applied in the nighttime to clean, dry skin. “The most common active ingredients in antiperspirants are aluminum salts that clog the sweat glands and prevent the release of sweat, often why we say to apply them at night, so they have time to work,” Dr. Stevenson says. Applying at night allows the ingredients to settle into the skin ahead of any sweat production. Also, “The risk of irritation is reduced when applied at night,” Dr. Chappell says.

  • How often should you reapply antiperspirant?

    For best results, an antiperspirant should be applied to clean, dry skin, oftentimes in the nighttime prior to going to sleep. In theory, people could apply their antiperspirant multiple times per day if they wanted to clean and dry the area before applying the new coat. But that would take time and could also cause potential skin irritation for the armpit. “If clinical strength antiperspirants aren’t doing the trick, I’d recommend seeing your local board certified dermatologist to discuss your sweating,” Dr. Chappell says. “You may have excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, which can be treated medically.”

  • Does expired deodorant work?

    Overtime, products will break down and be no longer as effective as they were when you initially purchased them. This happens with both antiperspirants and deodorants, so it is important to pay attention to the expiration dates on the products. “If you are experiencing persistent odor or wetness, you may need to look into a different strength antiperspirant or deodorant,” Dr. Chappell says. “It’s not recommended to use expired products.”

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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  1. National Cancer Institute. Antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer.