The 10 Best Clinical Strength Deodorants and Antiperspirants of 2021

Keep your sweat under wraps

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First Look

Best Overall: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid at Amazon

"Apply once at night for up to 48 hours of sweat protection."

Best Budget: Suave Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant at Amazon

"Its rich emollient base moisturizes dry underarms."

Best for Sweat: Certain Dri Clinical Prescription Strength Antiperspirant at Amazon

"It has the highest level of aluminum chloride without a prescription."

Best for Men: Dove Men+Care Clinical Deodorant Stick at Amazon

"This fights back on hot days and during intense workouts."

Best for Women: Mitchum Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant at Amazon

"Its moisturizing ingredients help prevent redness and discomfort."

Best for Hyperhidrosis: SweatBlock Antiperspirant at Amazon

"The towelettes block up your pores overnight."

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant at walgreens.com

"It's great for improving your skin’s tone and texture after shaving."

Best Aluminum-Free: Hello Fresh Citrus Deodorant at Ulta

"Incorporates 100 percent recycled packaging alongside a sea of natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, and shea butter."

Best Smelling: Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant at Amazon

"The smell is fantastic and it lasts until you wash it off."

Best Natural: Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On at Amazon

"With this, there is no stinging (or stinking!), and definitely no burning sensation."

When it comes to clinical strength deodorants and antiperspirants, it's important to know that there are a few major differences between the two. Clinical strength formulas simply cover up or eliminate odor from sweat, whereas antiperspirants have the ability to actively stop someone from continuously sweating. 

Depending on your perspiration level or any discomfort you face because of it, you may want to reevaluate the stick you’ve been using. To ensure your needs are being met, check out a breakdown of some of the best clinical strength deodorants and antiperspirants below. Whether you have sensitive skin or prefer to go the aluminum-free route, there are plenty of options to choose from.

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

Best Overall: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid

Secret Clinical antiperspirant
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Long-lasting protection

  • No white streaks

Cons
  • Price

  • Not all-natural

Start your day sweat-free and stay dry with Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Deodorant, which guarantees double the amount of sweat protection than other leading competitors. 

Apply it once and you’ll be protected from sweat for up to 48 hours. You won’t have to worry about those pesky, white deodorant marks either as Secret’s Invisible formula is exactly that, invisible.

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

Best Budget: Suave Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant

Suave clinical protection
Courtesy of Walgreens.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Scented

  • Dermatologist tested

Cons
  • Contains aluminum

  • Not all-natural

For those on the hunt for something budget-friendly that works, look no further than Suave Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant. This has been dermatologist-tested and won’t leave you with any underarm irritation. 

“Underarm irritation from a deodorant can be caused by any number of ingredients, but good clinical strength deodorants include antiperspirants in the aluminum category such as aluminum chloride and aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex,” New York City-based dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D., told Verywell Health. Luckily, Suave is actively made of aluminum along with an emollient base that moisturizes and soothes the skin without making you feel damp or emitting unwanted body odor.

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

Best for Sweat: Certain Dri Clinical Prescription Strength Antiperspirant

certain dri antiperspirant
courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Prescription strength

  • Controls sweat

Cons
  • Does not address odor

  • Can cause irritation

If you’re always self-conscious about your sweat, you need the Certain Dri Clinical Prescription Strength Antiperspirant. Dri has the highest non-prescription levels of aluminum chloride, which is the key to dry underarms. Moreover, for the best results, you should apply it to clean skin at night in order for the antiperspirant to absorb deep into your pores. By the time you wake up, you’ll have sweat-blocking protection for up to 72 hours. 

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

Deodorant keeps you smelling fresh, whereas antiperspirant also helps to reduce sweat. —Dermatology specialist Jennifer M Wong, RPA-C physician assistant at Advanced Dermatology PC

Best for Men: Dove Men+Care Clinical Deodorant Stick

Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Combats sweat and odor

  • Fresh scent

Cons
  • Applicator

  • Hard to wash off

The short version is men sweat differently than women. Due to testosterone, males start perspiring at lower temperatures and generally produce more sweat. No matter what, the Dove Men+Care Clinical Deodorant Stick can combat it all. 

Based on how much you sweat, you can apply a couple clicks of the deodorant in the morning and at night. If you have sensitive skin, you can breathe easy knowing it’s equipped with moisturizing technology to help against skin irritation. “The underarm skin is very sensitive making it prone to irritation, redness, and itching,” Graf emphasized.

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

Best for Women: Mitchum Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant

Mitchum Women Clinical Soft Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Long-lasting sweat protection

  • Three scents available

Cons
  • Product can break apart

  • Sticky residue

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”

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex


Avoid applying deodorant or antiperspirant immediately after shaving. Products containing alcohol can cause irritation and an uncomfortable skin reaction. Additionally, make sure you apply the product to a clean, dry surface. —Alexis Parcells, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Parcells Plastic Surgery

Best for Hyperhidrosis: SweatBlock Antiperspirant

SweatBlock Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Wipes
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Tackles sweat

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Takes time to see results

  • Does not address odor

If you're sweaty all the time, you could have a condition known as hyperhidrosis, but you should consult your doctor first to confirm. As soon as you find out if this is what’s going on, consider the SweatBlock Antiperspirant. 

With SweatBlock, you’ll get a set of clinical strength towelettes that can tame your extreme sweating for seven days. To ensure they live up to their “dry shirt guarantee,” clean your armpits, remove any excess underarm hair, and dab, don’t rub the towelette on yourself. Finally, let your skin air dry for five minutes and you’re all set.

It's best to use the towelettes before going to bed as the formula can block up your pores overnight to reduce overall sweat levels. Since you likely have other problem areas, know that you’re able to use SweatBlock for your hands, feet, or wherever else you’re experiencing pools of perspiration.

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum chloride

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant

Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • No harsh chemicals

  • Moisturizes

  • Sweat protection

Cons
  • Can stain clothes

  • Lacks long-lasting odor control

Having sensitive skin can be challenging, but it’s all about making sure you know what’s in your deodorant. Not only does the Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant offer strong sweat protection, it’s free of any harsh chemicals. 

Dr. Hayag also pointed out some toxic ingredients to keep an eye out for in deodorants include triclosan, parabens, propylene glycol, and more. “In 2016, Triclosan was banned as it’s harmful to the human body and environment,” Hayag explained. “Parabens increase the risk of breast cancer, while propylene glycol can lead to dermatitis and cause the skin to become red or inflamed.” 

As long as you steer clear of these things, you should be good to go. Another benefit of Dove’s Clinical Protection is that a quarter of it is made of moisturizers, which can smoothen and soothe your skin after shaving. 

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

For those with allergic or highly sensitive skin, avoiding fragrance is key. Unscented deodorants work just as well as fragrant ones. It’s the chemical compounds in deodorant, the fragrance, that is effective in eliminating odor-producing bacteria. — Alexis Parcells, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Parcells Plastic Surgery

Best Aluminum-Free: Hello Fresh Citrus Deodorant

Hello Shea Butter Fresh Citrus Deodorant
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Aluminum-free

  • Recycled packaging

Cons
  • Lacks long-lasting sweat protection

  • Applicator

“There’s a lot of controversy regarding aluminum present in antiperspirants,” says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. “Some sources contend that aluminum is a neurotoxin (harmful to the nervous system) and may be linked to cancer, such as breast cancer. However, conclusive evidence for this does not exist and aluminum in antiperspirant is regulated by the FDA.” 

Even though it’s easy to just pick up the first aluminum based deodorant you see, why not take an extra moment to read the ingredients label and grab one that’s free of this potentially harmful chemical? The Hello Fresh Citrus Deodorant has a thoughtfully-created formula that incorporates 100 percent recycled packaging alongside a sea of natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, shea butter, and more.

Type: Deodorant | Active Ingredient: None

Best Smelling: Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant

Cashmere Mist Deodorant Stick by Donna Karan
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • Scented

  • Soothing on skin

Cons
  • Lacks long-lasting sweat protection

  • Pricey

Treat yourself to the Donna Karan Cashmere Mist. It’s aromatherapy and an antiperspirant all in one. You’ll immediately feel relaxed as the effective antiperspirant combines Moroccan jasmine, lily of the valley, and the freshness of bergamot with sandalwood, amber, and musk to produce a scent anyone would enjoy. 

The award-winning formula behind it is also as gentle and calming as its scent. In addition to its effective ability to control perspiration and wetness, it can be used immediately after shaving without causing its irritation. It’s an ideal mist for all, especially those with sensitive skin.

Type: Antiperspirant | Active Ingredient: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex

Best Natural: Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On

Crystal Mineral Body Deodorant Roll-On, Unscented
Courtesy of Amazon.
Pros
  • All-natural ingredients

  • Prevents odor

Cons
  • No sweat protection

  • Price

Sweat is completely natural, it’s your body’s way of cooling off. If you don’t want to do anything to disrupt your body’s flow, grab the Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On. 

“This deodorant is made of mineral salts that will neutralize odor from sweating, but keep in mind that this product will not prevent sweating, only odor,” Dr. Hayag highlighted. While you’ll likely still have wet pits, you won't smell. The item is also not sticky, non-staining, and is safe for the environment. 

Type: Deodorant | Active Ingredients: None

Proven natural ingredients that can effectively eliminate and neutralize odor include kaolin clay, eucalyptus, hops, and saccharomyces ferment. —Dermatology specialist Jennifer M Wong, RPA-C physician assistant at Advanced Dermatology PC

Final Verdict

Deodorants and antiperspirants were created to address two key concerns people have daily: body odor and sweat. When it comes to body odor, there are several things to look out for when selecting a product. First, you want to decide exactly what scent you want the product to produce, as it will act as a fragrance. There are options to get unscented or scented, both of which will block odors, or fragrance-free, which will not work to mask odors. Crystal Mineral Deodorant Roll-On (view at Amazon) is a great option if you're looking for a natural deodorant.

Sweat is specifically addressed in antiperspirants with the help of the ingredient aluminum chloride. Different antiperspirants on the market will have higher or lower grades of the ingredient. If you find your current antiperspirant is not temporarily blocking sweat to your liking, then consider purchasing a clinical-strength product with a higher amount of aluminum chloride included. Mitchum Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant (view at Amazon) is a great pick for combating underarm sweat. Still having trouble controlling moisture under the arms? It might be time to visit with a dermatologist about getting a prescription-strength antiperspirant.

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. The key ingredient to focus on is aluminium chloride if sweat is your problem. Some OTC antiperspirants have a higher grade of aluminium chloride 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 you find that you’re unable to find any product on the market to curb sweat, then you might suffer from hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating not necessarily tied to physical exercise or activities. Dermatologists can prescribe a prescription-strength antiperspirant with higher concentrations of aluminum chloride to address hyperhidrosis. Your dermatologist might also recommend additional treatments to help with your excess sweating. “Botox is a magic bullet for underarm sweating and is very helpful for patients with hyperhidrosis,” Patricia Farris, M.D., a dermatologist based in Louisiana, tells Verywell Health

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.” 

Deodorant 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. Dr. Kuchnir recommends washing the armpits with an antibacterial soap to remove any odors caused by bacteria.

Ingredients:

One key ingredient often found in antiperspirants is aluminum chloride. 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 aluminium 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 chloride to address those who suffer from sweaty armpits. 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?

    Experts recommend for deodorant and antiperspirant to be applied in the evening to receive the full benefits of the product. “Deodorant is most effective when applied at night to clean, dry skin. Before bed is typically when your body is less likely to sweat,” says dermatology specialist Jennifer M Wong, an RPA-C physician assistant at Advanced Dermatology PC.

  • How often should you reapply antiperspirant?

    Antiperspirants should only be applied to clean, dry skin for best results. “Do not cake additional product on an older product, as it's likely to be less effective and can trap old or debris that’s accumulated around the product,” Dr Parcells says. People can apply the product multiple times per day, but this would require cleaning and drying the area before reapplying for best use.

  • Does expired deodorant work?

    Once opened, underarm products like deodorants have a shelf life of about six to 12 months, Wong says. Experts do not recommend for the product to be used past its expiration date as it can cause adverse reactions and be less effective on the body.

Why Trust Verywell Health?

As a seasoned health writer, Isis Briones knows the importance of finding products that work best for you and your conditions. You can count on her to always provide a variety of recommendations from licensed medical professionals because she has tested and reviewed tons of products over the years to know everyone is different.

Additional reporting for this story by Danielle Zoellner

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.

Some deodorants have their own smell. Some have masking fragrance, which cancel other smells, —Louis Kuchnir, a dermatologist based in Boston, Massachusetts

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  1. Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/myths/antiperspirants-fact-sheet. Updated August 9, 2016.