Why I Switched From Women's to Men's Deodorant

Updated on March 13, 2018
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Shay is a digital marketer + beauty blogger with a knack for falling down Internet research holes and an addiction to before & after photos.

Men's Deodorant for Women
Men's Deodorant for Women | Source

Why Mens Deodorant Works for Women

I currently use mens deodorant and it has proven to be better in just about every way. In this article, I'll discuss why I stopped using women's deodorant and antiperspirants, why I find men's products to be the superior choice, and which specific scents/brands I've tried and recommend for ladies.

Come with me, sweaty friends. Let's talk armpit.

Armpit Poll!

Would you try men's deodorant or antiperspirant?

See results

My Experience

I used the same deodorant for at least a decade. Well, actually, it was an antiperspirant: Lady Mitchum Smart-Solid. I used it through high school, college, and most of my twenties. Aside from it's tendency to crumble towards the end of the stick and limited scent options, I had no complaints.

A few years ago, after a few instances of breast cancer in my family, I started to second guess my decision to use a powerful antiperspirant. Regardless of what the studies say, preventing my body from doing something that it does naturally made me a bit nervous.

After hearing a lot of good things from both men and women, I decided to go the most natural route I could with my armpit armor, the all-mighty salt-stick. Unfortunately, my little "experiment" directly coincided with my improv comedy training (much of which happened in front of a live audience), and I'm a nervous sweater. I was genuinely shocked that I too could create body odor, as for years (while using the Lady Mitchem), I was convinced that I just didn't have BO. It works that well. Call me narcissistic, but after about 6 months, I abandoned my salt stick and switched back to antiperspirant.

Lady Mitchum was the only antiperspirant I've found that offers ample protection and exactly ZERO white marks on my clothes. Lady Mitchum also only comes in a few scents, so when they stopped making the only ones that didn't cause my nosehairs to curl, I started looking for a new brand. It was at this point that I re-started my quest to find a natural product that actually prevents odor. Because of my previous experiences, I figured a non-aluminum containing deodorant would be good enough for me.

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick – Dermatologically Tested Paraben Free, Unscented Deodorant for Men, Women, Children. Personal Care
Crystal Body Deodorant Stick – Dermatologically Tested Paraben Free, Unscented Deodorant for Men, Women, Children. Personal Care

While the Crystal Salt Stick didn't work for me, I personally know men and women that swear by it. It is very cheap, and so long as you don't drop it, one stick will literally last for YEARS. I think it's worth a try because it's the most natural thing you can use, next to using nothing at all.

Why I Switched to Men's Deodorant (and why you should too!)
Why I Switched to Men's Deodorant (and why you should too!) | Source

Antiperspirant or Deodorant?

What's The Diff?

The terms "deodorant" and "antiperspirant" are often used interchangeably, but they really are completely different. Deodorant deodorizes or prevents odor by masking it or neutralizing it. Antiperspirant prevents odor because it actually prevents your armpits from sweating. Many antiperspirants contain a scent as well, but plain ole deodorants do not ever prevent perspiration.

Why Men's Deodorant is Better

The first time I considered using Men's Deodorant is when I realized that my husband only uses Old Spice Deodorant (which is aluminum free) and he does not ever stink. I thought, "Hey! My dumb lady stick makes me BO all over the place! What gives??" So, being the revolutionary that I like to pretend I am, I made the switch to Old Spice. Here's why I think it's better than the lady-pit products:

  1. Scent - Did I mention most lady scents generally smell awful? I was sick of smelling like a pungent dryer sheet or a baby's butt. Men's deodorants don't all smell like a hormonal teenage boy. There are a number that smell sweet, fruity, fresh, and generally gender neutral. There are also A LOT that are musky, but if you take a cue from the perfume industry, a musky lady scent is actually a quite sophisticated, classic choice.
  2. Price - It seems that a lot of brands like to jack up the price of women's products when they sell virtually the same thing to men (minus some girly pink/pastel colors and some stuffy granny scents). I was spending anywhere from $5-$6 for my antiperspirant, and now that I use a man product, I spend $1-$2 less per stick.
  3. Amount of Product - Because they are made for men, they tend to be wider and contain more product per stick. For comparison, my lady deodorant is 2.25 oz, while my Old Spice stick is 3.0 oz. That's 1/3 or 30% more product, for less $$.
  4. Protection - When comparing men's and women's deodorant, the men's sticks blocked odor much more effectively. I figure if it's good enough for my husband's hairy armpit, it's good enough for mine.
  5. Appearance - It seems that for many lady sticks, you have to sacrifice appearance for protection. I was having a helluva time find a women's deodorant that didn't leave white marks all over the place. This isn't a problem with the men's stick I use. It is a gel solid that goes on perfectly clear. It's also not clumpy or greasy.
  6. Availability - Back when I was using Lady Mitchum, the only scents I could stomach were the "Papaya" and "Rose" scents. Unfortunately, I could only find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and after awhile, I couldn't find them at all. I can find my Old Spice Deodorant at literally any Target, Walmart, and Drugstore, and they even make it in a tiny travel size. Freedom!

Does Antiperspirant Give You Cancer?

The ingredient in antiperspirant that has a lot of people nervous is aluminium. There is the thought that there is correlation between antiperspirant use and Alzheimers as well as cancer (with an emphasis on breast cancer). While scientists and experts state that they have not found a clear, definitive link between antiperspirant/deodorants and cancer or Alzheimers, many (myself included) have decided to stay on the safer, natural side by opting for aluminum free deodorants like Old Spice.

Which Deodorant Do I Use?

(2 Pack) Old Spice Wild Collection - Wolfthorn Scent - Men's Deodorant - 3 Oz
(2 Pack) Old Spice Wild Collection - Wolfthorn Scent - Men's Deodorant - 3 Oz

Oye Vey, I love this stuff. It does not smell manly AT ALL. It actually has a quite sweet/fruity scent that works fantastically on women, and is a heck of a lot better than a lot of "women's" scents I've encountered. It's not over-powering, prevents odor all day, and does not leave any marks on your clothes. Also, the stick is HUGE, cheap, and easy to find!

Supermodels ♥ Old Spice
Supermodels ♥ Old Spice | Source

How Common Is it for Women to Use Old Spice?

You're in good company.

Before I made the switch to men's deodorant, I wanted to do a little research. As it turns out, there are a number of ladies out there that have blazed the trail before me. With a nearly perfect rating on a top makeup/cosmetic review site, Makeup Alley, these ladies have obviously loved Old Spice deodorant as much as I have. It's what gave me the final confidence boost to try it out myself.

One of the most famous Old Spice converts is a model named Jessica Stam (that's her in the photo above). Jessica swears by Classic Old Spice Deodorant; she states that she's been using the original scent it for years.

I figure it's just a matter of time before savvy marketers catch up with the trends and get their armpit product act together. In the meantime, let us enjoy the bounty of men's pit-sticks that we can choose from right now.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Shay Marie


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      • profile image

        Megan 7 weeks ago

        I absolutely LOVE old spice! I am currently using timber. I was looking at deodorant in Walgreens, and I was thinking, why do I have to use "women's" deodorant anyway? Isn't it the exact same thing anyway? It's just stuff to stop you from sweating everywhere. I absolutely love nature, hiking, and the outdoors, and men's deodorant is outdoors themed a lot anyways, with smells like campfires and pine trees. I was getting a bit bored with all the 99% the same flower scents in the women's section and decided to look around. I found a scent that I loved and checked it out. After that I realized how much more you got, and how much less it costed. I'm a bit annoyed how women's products that are exactly the same usually cost more. So now I usually use men's deodorant. I still buy women's deodorant though sometimes, I do like perfume a lot, but I usually buy men's because of the value.

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        Katie 3 months ago

        I have used old spice wolfthorn for years now and love it. It have a fruity scent and smell better than most womens, i also notice that i sweat less when wearing and have several friends that use it as well

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        Abby 5 months ago

        Women's deodorant has never worked for me since I always end up sweating in my pits at the end of the day. I recently started using men's deodorant (Degree or whatever the brand name is) and it has worked wonders. I didn't sweat at all. However I need to make the switch to that Old Spice Wolfthorn scent. My deodorant makes me smell strongly like everyone's dad. I'm a tiny Asian girl who's still in her teens. I don't need to smell like a dad. Also, my girl friends who use men's deodorant recommended Old Spice Wolfthorn.

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        Amanda 10 months ago

        My whole life I've used literally every kind of anti-persperant/deodorant or combo of the two and nothing stops my pits from being wet! So might as well sweat away with plain deodorant, if my hubby can do it so can I!!

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        Brionna 10 months ago

        I'm so happy to find other women who have to use men's deodorant. To my mother's suggestion and advice, I recently started using Men's Degree because Dove was not doing it's job. I sweat more with it, and I even smelled like sweat and not deodorant. I hated feeling like I couldn't lift my arms because of sweat stains and BO. And it was like my body sweat even more when I wore a tank top. With Men's Degree in 95 degree weather and a full work day, I still smell the refreshing scent of the deodorant and I barely sweat! I'm never going back to women's deodorant.

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        Emily 11 months ago

        I made the switch years ago because the lady sticks were too hard and they pulled my and irritated skin. I love the gel-ishness of Old Spice.

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        littenator101@gmail.com 11 months ago

        i am trans bi (in the future i wanna be lesbian)and im originally male and i dont know if i should smell more feminine or like old spice

      • profile image

        Nikki 17 months ago

        This article was probably the most relatable article to myself that I've read in a long time! I'm 15, and I've used a lot of different deodorants, but a lot of them did not work for me. About a year ago, I started using Old Spice (Aquareef) and it smelled so good and worked really well. Just recently I've switched over to Mitchum for Men because I personally like the smell better than the women's one. It goes on invisible and has 48 hour protection- I strongly suggest it :)

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        Jewels 20 months ago

        I switched to men deodorant because the frilly women ones weren't getting the job done I would have to re-apply 2-3 times throughout the day, it would leave a chalky look when I wear tank tops and are sometimes impossible to take off in the shower. I use Men's Degree and I'm happier than ever. lol

      • profile image

        Sarah 2 years ago

        I only ever got deodorant burns from baking soda based natural deodorants, Lord were those horrible. Itchy, burning, dry, and you have to go without anything so it can heal.

        I'm sick of women's deodorant not working, plus the aluminum was why I tried out natural stuff to begin with. My boyfriend uses old spice antiperspirant and I love the scent. He doesn't like the wolf thorn scent so I'm going to steal it instead of using his favorite scent: after hours, which I have been using since I ran out of my Dove stick at his place.

        I plan on switching to the gel sticks after the wolf thorn is gone, I'm just glad that other women agree that men's deodorant works better lol

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        Sheena 2 years ago

        LOL when I saw the Old Spice Wolfthorn deodorant, I related

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 2 years ago from Southern California

        @Amanda - Ugh that sounds awful. I'm reading about deodorant burns now as it's not something I've ever heard of before. I'm sorry you had to experience that!

      • profile image

        Amanda 2 years ago

        I made the switch myself to old spice and found out it gives me really bad chemical burns. It is great if your skin can take the harshness. Mine cannot. Apparently this is really common and there are a lot of others like me. The burns are painful and there is not really anything that gives relief. Be careful ladies if you make the switch.

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        Maggie 2 years ago

        Fuji ladies!! Fuji.

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        Sapphire 2 years ago

        The Old Spice Aqua Reef is really good, too! Nice switch over from the Truth or Pear Secret and the Powder Fresh Gel Secret deodorants I was previously using. Longer lasting, nice smelling, and no streaks!

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        Salina 2 years ago

        I totally agree with you! It's actually really ironic that I just came across your article because I recently just switched from ladies deodorant men's deodorant. And not just any men's deodorant, but Old Spice too! My boyfriend uses it and he always smells amazing, so I wanted to give it a try. I convinced my friend to try it too, and we both bought Old Spice Bearglove which is the deodorant I convinced my boyfriend to buy a few months ago because it smelled so good.

        It is nice that the price is so much cheaper per stick and you get more product than you would in a ladies' stick as well, which is one of the reasons I decided to switch. I also like the smell of Old Spice Bearglove more than any deodorant I have used in my life and it stays with me all day. I work in a salon and it can get super hot in there, and my pits still don't smell at the end of the day like they would when I wore my ladies deodorant. I love Old Spoce and I don't think I'll ever leave it.

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 2 years ago from Southern California

        @hart - Wolfthorn is my jam

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        hart 2 years ago

        So, what scents do you recommend?

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 3 years ago from Southern California

        @BumbleBean - I have noticed that! Most men's brands sell antiperspirant with an identical deodorant counterpart (well, at least old spice does). It's infuriating! I wonder when marketers will figure out that women fart too.

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        BumbleBean 3 years ago

        Thank you so much for this article! I have been going through a time in the last year trying to find the perfect deodorant. I cannot STAND the scents available in ladies' deodorant/antiperspirant. They're usually fine for the first few days, but all of the sudden, it seems like my natural BO mixed with the fragrance just makes me sick. I tried some natural deodorants (which were very expensive), but they just don't last very long and/or have a strange, sticky texture. I tried using just coconut oil, which actually worked pretty well, but it was leaving grease stains on my clothes. I tried dabbing apple cider vinegar under my arms, which works okay, but I can't carry around vinegar when I need a touch-up. I decided one day to try my husband's Old Spice (he has the Bearglove scent) and WOW, it worked great and I actually liked how it and I smelled!

        To add to your thoughts about how women get ripped off compared to men -- have you noticed that they are very few *just* deodorant options for women? It seems like 99% of what is in the store is antiperspirant/deodorant, but when I look on the men's side, it's easily half and half, if not more of their selection being just deodorant without the antiperspirant. I guess that's because women *shouldn't* sweat (in the eyes of society), even though it's a natural function. Now I'm even more of a men's deodorant convert just for that reason alone! ;)

      • TerriCarr profile image

        TerriCarr 4 years ago

        I often use a crystal deodorant and they do in fact last a really long time. Eventually I do drop them and they get a little jagged :-) Try rubbing a jagged rock on your underarms sometime.

      • profile image

        Sundaycoffee 4 years ago

        Wow, what a coincidence! I was having the same problem for quite some time now, until I finally bought myself an Old Spice (the Hawkridge) deo, and I love it - both the scent and the protection it offers.

        Nice to know that others think alike. :)

      • favored profile image

        Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

        I don't have a problem with a product as long as it works. Most of the ladies deodorants don't work anyway. Haven't used antiperspirants or sprays for years; only deodorant.

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

        @anonymous: I tried Tom's right before I switched - it was the last lady deodorant I used! The scents were pretty good, but they don't offer the same protection as Old Spice, plus Tom's almost always got kind of chalky after I applied it. Regardless of price, I was not impressed!

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        anonymous 4 years ago

        Tom's of Maine also sells deodorant without anti-persperants. They have lovely smells, but are more expensive.

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

        @Rosetta Slone: Men's razors and shaving cream are also a heck of a lot cheaper!

      • shay-marie profile image

        Shay Marie 4 years ago from Southern California

        @LisaDH: Be sure that it's the deodorant and not the antiperspirant. Most big name antiperspirants will contain aluminum. Thanks for checking this article out!

      • LisaDH profile image

        LisaDH 4 years ago

        I had no idea Old Spice was aluminum-free. Sounds like a good reason to check it out!

      • Rosetta Slone profile image

        Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

        I actually make my own deodorant because I don't feel safe using any commercial one...BUT I admit that I have used and loved men's perfumes, dress shirts and other products for years. They always seem to be better made and better priced. Great topic.