How to Choose an Antiperspirant

how to choose an antiperspirant

Going through the antiperspirant aisle is overwhelming. There seem to be a million different brands, types, purposes. It’s enough to make you sweat!

This handy guide helps to make your choice easy. We simplify the options and what they mean to you. So all you have to figure out is the scents and prices that you like most.

Antiperspirant vs Deodorant

One of the first choices you need to make is whether to look for antiperspirant or deodorant. If you’re looking to reduce sweat, antiperspirant is the choice for you. It blocks sweat-producing pores, reducing sweat production.

For odor prevention, deodorant is the ideal option. Deodorant can reduce sweat somewhat but is not as effective as antiperspirants. Whereas the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has found both to be effective at controlling underarm odor.

Generally, we find using one of the other is the most effective option. But if that doesn’t work for you, combination antiperspirant deodorants are effective for some people. What doesn’t work is combining separate deodorants and antiperspirants. They can stop each other from functioning effectively, and the competing fragrances can be unpleasant.

For more information, read Antiperspirant VS Deodorant: What’s Better for Sweaty Pits?

Types of Antiperspirant


Stick applicators are the classic. A solid bar of antiperspirant is inside the device. Remove the cap and twist the bottom to expose it. You apply directly to the target area. 

This is a great option for most people. It allows you to ensure thorough coverage, that way you effectively block pores to stop sweat at its source. Some stick applicators use a gel formula, this can also be effective, but it can be messy if overapplied.


Roll-on antiperspirant functions similarly to stick. It’s a common type for medicated antiperspirants, but over-the-counter roll-ons are available. As with sticks, you apply it directly to the target area.

These applicators have a “ball” at the top which applies the liquid or gel antiperspirant to your skin. One of the benefits of this applicator is that your skin absorbs it quickly. 

Choosing between stick and roll-on antiperspirant really comes down to tactile preference. Both are effective, but you may prefer how a solid stick feels to a liquid ball or vice versa.


Spray antiperspirants have plagued locker rooms for decades. Although their application is less direct, they can cover the underarms effectively if applied correctly. They are more commonly used for deodorants as they don’t block pores as well.

Another drawback of spray applicators is that it is easy to apply too much, resulting in unpleasant and overpowering odors. As well, they tend to use aerosol which is harmful to the environment. 

Natural vs Non-Natural

Another common debate is whether or not to use natural antiperspirants. One of the main drivers for nature is the myth that aluminum causes breast cancer. According to Snopes, the American Cancer Society has not found any evidence to corroborate this claim.

Despite the aluminum concerns appearing to be false, there are still good reasons for and against natural options.

The main argument against nature is that they aren’t as good. They lack the chemicals and substances that make most antiperspirants so effective. However, some believe that this results in changing the natural bacterial flora of your armpits. It’s like the survival of the fittest version of body odor. As you use more advanced chemicals to fight it, the bacteria remaining gets more powerful.

Using natural antiperspirants can help people perform an “armpit detox” to reset their bacterial flora. As you rebalance, you reduce armpit sweat and body odor. Of course, the transition period means you’ll have to put up with smellier, wetter armpits for a few days. 

Overall, non-natural antiperspirants are the most effective option. But natural options are a good choice if you want to perform an armpit detox or simply prefer them for personal reasons.

Antiperspirant Clothing

If you want to make sure your antiperspirant is most effective, you have to give it the right opportunity for success. One of the best compliments to antiperspirant is sweatproof undershirts.

These double down on the sweat resistance. They use a breathable, comfortable material that allows airflow. This cools down the armpits, reducing sweat production as well as making the environment less hospitable to odor-causing bacteria.

Where sweat does occur, the shirt simply wicks it away preventing moisture from building up. This prevents visible stains on your clothing and keeps body odor at bay.

Shop the best antiperspirant clothing with Neat’s advanced sweatproof technology.