Do you know what doesn’t help your self-esteem? The underlying shame and self-consciousness you (probably) feel when you know you smell bad.
Thankfully, and after decades of trial and error, I managed to find both natural and less natural deodorants that are real game-changers when it comes to dealing with strong body odor.
I will not get into how I managed to get rid of my excessive sweating/underarm odor issues here. BUT I will talk about the best and most effective deodorants for smelly armpits I found along the way.
I highly suggest you read these other posts (coming soon!) on how I finally managed to keep my body odor in check because these deodorants are not MAGICAL either. I mean, they work, but only to a certain point.
It wasn’t until I finally made some radical lifestyle changes that I was able to free myself from strong BO and smelly armpits for good.
This is a short list. I only selected the true Kings and Queens of deodorants for smelly pits. The ones that really worked.
* BTW. I’m NOT even an affiliate for these products. I just love these so much!
Best Natural Deodorants
Let’s start with the best natural deodorant for stinky pits.
FYI. By “natural” I mean, deodorants that contain:
- Mostly ingredients you can read and recognize. E.g.: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil).
- And do not contain Aluminum*.
* Although, technically, deodorants don’t contain aluminum; antiperspirants do. I will not get into health debates here but feel free to read this article by Healthline on Aluminum in antiperspirants and deodorants if you’re curious.
This brand of natural deodorant was launched by an Australian couple in 2015. I tried No Pong that same year it came out. And I was pleasantly surprised. I had just found the first, effective (to a certain point), natural deodorant.
Back then, they had only 2 options: Original or Bicarbonate-Free. But now (at the time of writing this) they have 8 different options available on their website.
I love the little tin, I love that you don’t have to put a ton of product, and I love how effective it is. The smell is divine, light, fresh, and slightly citrusy. Just perfect.
I eventually stopped using that deodorant. That’s because:
- It burns, especially when applied after shaving. I think it’s due to the bicarbonate and/or cornstarch. There is a version without bicarbonate but it didn’t do it for me.
- It leaves white marks on my skin. You, know, that weird white trace of dried sweat you get around your armpits? Not ideal when wearing a tank top.
Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream
Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream is a pretty good natural deodorant and it actually worked on me. God knows that’s not an easy task, especially for a natural deodorant.
Surprisingly, it does not contain any baking soda (but is still effective), which is why I tried it after No Pong’s.
It smells nice, is gentle on the skin, and does not burn or leave any white marks.
It’s not as long-lasting as I would have wanted.
Also, we have to address the elephant in the room (pun intended).
There is something funny about this deodorant: everyone seems to smell something different when they try it. (Read the comments on Amazon, or Sephora, or ask your friends… you’ll see).
Even I smell two (!) different things. At first, it smells nice, like a light, slightly sweet, cherry/almondy scent.
But then, after a while, it smells like… curry?
But my boyfriend and my friends say they don’t smell that at all and that it smells fine. Maybe it’s just me?
In any case, I rarely use it anymore. But, since everyone seems to have a different reaction to it, I decided to include it here anyway because it’s still a pretty effective natural deodorant.
Saje Natural Wellness Deodorants
These are, hands-down, the best (and most effective) natural deodorants for smelly armpits. All 3 of them: Exotic, Peaceful Warrior, and Goddess.
Saje’s deodorants are mineral salt-based spray deodorants. They do not irritate the skin, they don’t have an overpowering smell, and they are SUPER effective. I’m also pretty sure they are unisex. My boyfriend keeps stealing my bottles.
AND, they are a Canadian brand, so, that’s a plus (for me anyway ;))
There are none. Absolutely none. Well… maybe I’m not crazy with the Peaceful Warrior smell? It’s a tiny bit more “masculine”, but I don’t dislike it either. I’m just nitpicking.
Best Deodorants That Contain Aluminum
When it comes to deodorants*, I don’t know why it took me so long to explore beyond the cheaper, drugstore, everyday brands. You know? Beyond Secret, Dove, Degree, etc.
But I finally did. And I discovered these gems.
* These are technically antiperspirants because they contain aluminum.
** I have not used antiperspirants daily in over a decade. But I still use them from time to time, when I need extra protection. Like, if I’m going on a full-day hike in July, for example. You know, “special” occasions.
Biotherm’s Le Deodorant by Lait Corporel
Biotherm is a French brand and their deodorant Le Déodorant by Lait Corporel is super effective on smelly armpits.
I’ve only ever used the white/citrus one. It does not leave any residue under your arms (white marks) and does not stain your clothes, burn, or irritate the skin.
And OMG, it lasts FOREVER.
Honestly, I love this deodorant. I would use it daily if it didn’t contain aluminum. But the aluminum could be one of the reasons why it’s so effective anyway.
I just reach for it when I need some extra protection and I always bring it with me when travelling.
Clarins’ Gentle Care Roll-On Deodorant
Also by a French brand, Clarins’ Gentle Care Roll-on Deodorant is one of my favorite deodorants, ever. I would also wear it daily if it didn’t contain aluminum.
This deodorant lasts all day and more, it KILLS bad armpit odors, and the smell is absolutely divine. Light, but still… present. And just like Biotherm’s Le Deodorant, the perfume changes a little on your skin. It still smells like in the bottle, but 10 times better.
You know, the type of deodorant that feels like you are wearing perfume, but a super faint, barely perceptible scent?
Nothing like its drugstore counterparts. More subtle. Just… better.
I just love it!
And don’t worry, the smell won’t clash with your real perfume or body lotion.
Why I no longer use or recommend Dove’s Cucumber Antiperspirant stick
Or even the aluminum-free version which also works pretty well.
I’ve used this deodorant for YEARS, throughout my adolescence and early adult years. When it came to managing my strong body odor, it worked well enough. At first.
However, the creamy consistency mixed with my excessive sweating was not ideal. The result was that all my clothes were stained in the armpit area.
Not only was I forced to wear white (or black) because I was sweating so much (all other colors made my sweat too apparent and embarrassing for me). But now, all my white clothes had yellow armpits!
I did try to handwash my shirts’ armpits regularly. But in the end, it became waaay too:
- Time-consuming. But mostly,
- Armpit sweat + stained armpit shirt/stale deodorant = more stink.
In the long run, it smelled even more. This is why I did not include this in this list.
Ok, Let’s Recap.
If you are desperate and feel like you’ve tried everything and still stink, maybe try one of these.
The absolute best natural deodorants for smelly armpits:
- Saje’s mineral salt-based deodorants.