It’s time to look at deodorant with fresh eyes (and a fresh nose). Once it was a simple choice between whatever you were given at Christmas and something with a scent called ‘Cool Blast’ (whatever one of those smells like). Now it’s an armpit onslaught comprising 48-hour Xtreme artic ice 7-in-1 invisible anti-marks technology, and fragrances locked into micro-cans so compressed they’d go off like an IED with enough of a kick.
To make matters harder, it’s not just a case of grabbing whatever canister catches your eye. Picking the right product for your pits comes down to your lifestyle and how you need it to work. Plus, it’s advised that you switch up your stick every six months to avoid your body becoming immune to the ingredients.
Luckily, we’ve scoured the aisles and aisles (and aisles) of options to bring you this curated list of the best sprays and roll-ons to tackle dreaded underarm funk. Yes, it took a while. And yes, they all come in on budget. Thanks, you say? Don’t sweat it.
Best For The Office
Vaseline Compressed Active Fresh
Much like your aftershave and your handshake, when it comes to office deodorant you want to avoid anything too strong and lingering. Vaseline’s Active Fresh spray delivers a clean finish on which to layer a light scent.
Even better, the 75ml deodorant is compressed into a can half the size of 150ml deos (but still delivers the same anti-perspirant power), making it just as easy to stash away in your desk drawer for after-work drinks as it is to slip it into your bag for use en route to meetings.
Available at Boots, priced £1.
Best For Sensitive Skin
Vichy Homme For Sensitive Skin
Let’s be honest, sometimes using a powerful antiperspirant can feel akin to lathering on wood glue and praying that the gross underarm feeling goes away before your date arrives. Worse still, certain ingredients can cause irritation such as dry skin, itchiness and even rashes. Any of these alone is enough to make you work up a sweat.
If that sounds all too familiar, try Vichy’s sensitive deodorant, which contains soothing ingredients such as oligo-zinc. On top of that, it’s artificial fragrance- and alcohol-free, making it tailored to delicate little flowers like you.
Available at Lookfantastic, priced £5.33.
Best For Natural Ingredients
Bulldog Original Deodorant
It’s not just what you put in your body you should be questioning, but what you put on it, too. If you’re already in the cult of clean eating and looking for a way to go au naturel in the bathroom, Bulldog should be your underarm weapon of choice.
One of the leading names in natural skincare, the British brand’s products are surprisingly affordable considering their quality. Loaded with eight essential oils and free from chemical nasties like parabens or sodium laureth sulfate and ingredients from animal sources, this is a solid all-rounder for natural-heads and regular dudes alike.
Available at Bulldog Skincare, priced £5.
Best For Sport
Right Guard Total Defence 5 Sport
Arguably, at no time is superior stink protection needed more than when in the gym. The requirements for a good sport fragrance are twofold: it can’t be too pungent, plus it has to keep functioning when the welcomed workout sweat kicks in.
You needn’t go for anything more complex than Right Guard Total Defence 5 Sport. It uses a heat-activated formula that adapts to your level of activity. In other words, the harder you hit it, the more fragrance molecules it releases.
Available at Chemist Direct, priced £1.99.
Best For The Bathroom Shelf
It’s a spray. It smells great. So far so deodorant. But unlike other offerings on this list, Aesop wouldn’t look out of place on a stylishly-adorned bathroom shelf. Even the most handsome of scented candles can’t hold a flame to this Australian brand’s apotherapy aesthetic.
So if you’re all about showing off as much as smelling good, this bottle is for you. The fact that you can skip the aftershave altogether thanks to its heady blend of thyme and vetiver root is just a palatable payoff.
Available at Mankind, priced £23.
Best For Excessive Sweating
For when you need to call in the big guns, there’s no shame in turning to a clinical strength solution. Excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis) affects around 367m people worldwide, but there are ways of turning off the leaky tap controlling the flow.
Driclor uses aluminium chloride to block the glands so sweat is reabsorbed back into the body, making supersoaker pit stains a thing of the past. Now, once again, raise your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
Available at Boots, priced £6.19.