Shay is a beauty blogger with a mass of Iranian hair and endless patience for product testing. She specializes in acne skincare.
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 women.
Come with me, sweaty friends: Let's talk armpit.
Why Men's Deodorant Is Better
When I realized that my husband only uses Old Spice deodorant (the type he uses is aluminum-free) and he never stinks, I thought, "Hey! My dumb lady stick can't cover my stink. What gives?" So, being the revolutionary that I like to pretend I am, I made the switch to men's deodorant. Here's why I think it's better than the lady-pit products:
- Scent. 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. Some smell sweet, fruity, fresh, and generally gender-neutral. Many are musky, but if you take a cue from the perfume industry, a musky lady scent is actually quite a sophisticated, classic choice.
- Price. Brands like to jack up the price of women's products. They sell virtually the same products to men—minus some girly colors and some stuffy granny scents—for vastly lower prices. I was spending anywhere from $5 to $6 for my antiperspirant, and now that I use a man product, I spend $1 to $2 less per stick.
- More Product. Because they are "made for men," they tend to be bigger and contain more product per stick. For comparison, my lady deodorant was 2.25 oz, while my Old Spice stick is 3.0 oz. So women pay more even for 1/3 less product.
- Protection. Comparing men's and women's deodorant, the men's sticks block odor much more effectively. I figure if it's good enough for my husband's hairy armpit, it's good enough for mine.
- 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.
- Availability. Back when I was using Lady Mitchum, the only scents I could stomach were the papaya and rose scents, which I could only find at Bed, Bath and Beyond. After awhile, I couldn't find them at all. Now, I can find my Old Spice deodorant at literally any Target, Walmart, or drugstore, and they even make it in a tiny travel size. Freedom!
Old Spice for Women? How Common Is That?
If you smell like Old Spice, you're in good company. Many women have obviously loved Old Spice deodorant as much as I have and gave it a nearly perfect rating on a top makeup/cosmetic review site, Makeup Alley.
One of the most famous Old Spice converts is a model named Jessica Stam who swears by Classic Old Spice deodorant; she says that she's been using the original scent 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.
Which Deodorant Do I Use?
Questions & Answers
Question: What Old Spice deodorant can be considered unisex in scent?
Answer: I'd consider the Wild Collection" deodorants to be unisex, but if I remember correctly, they are all kind of sweet in smell. You might actually like the original Old Spice scent.
Question: I have overactive sweat glands due to my anxiety. I have tried every woman's deodorant, and some men's, and I have yet to find anything to help both keep me dry and smelling nice. Can you help me?
Answer: I've had luck with the brand Mitchum in the past, but it's been a long time since I used an antiperspirant (a product that prevents sweating) as opposed to a deodorant (a product that just takes care of the smell). If it's an option for you, consider asking your doctor about it. Overactive sweating could be considered a proper health condition, and there are treatments like Botox injections that can be prescribed to help.
Question: So awesome that I found this. I have been searching for a plain deodorant with no antiperspirant for women for weeks and I finally decided to try Old Spice after looking for one for my husband. They had a "Manly Lavender" scent called Wilderness that I decided smelled pretty darn good; way better than any girly lavender I've ever smelled..and so I'm trying it out now. I'm pretty excited especially after reading this. Is there any other brand you have tried in case this doesn't work out?
Answer: I haven't tried any other explicitly "men's" deodorant, but I have tried Tom's and Nature's Gate -- both have fairly unisex scents.
Question: Does Old Spice deodorant cause darkening of the underarms?
Answer: I have not experienced armpit darkening from Old Spice. However, like any cosmetic product, what works for one person may not work for another.
Question: Is Old Spice deodorant aluminum-free?
Answer: As long as it is deodorant -- and not anti-perspirant -- yes. All deodorant is aluminum free; it's anti-perspirant that contains aluminum.
© 2013 Shay Marie
Susan on September 14, 2019:
I struggled with women's deodorants for years. One would work for maybe 1 package and then stop working mid second. I was constantly switching. In my late 40's the women's just ceased working for me. I decided to try Old Spice as my husband and son both use it and always smell nice. I chose Old Spice Amber and found it to be far superior to any woman's deodorant. and not too manly. 4 years later I can't find that scent and have to find another. Thanks for your suggestions.
Marisa on May 08, 2019:
OMG!! I lost my deodorant somewhere on my room and i was in hurry. So i grabbrd my husbands deodorant and it was amazing. Did not smell strong. I came and i had no sweat and no smell. I sweat a lot and have BO. I am going to start buying the old spice brand! I always tell my husband why do u not smell!! It's so weird!!
Neisha on April 12, 2019:
I wished I had access to this platform a couple of months ago. I have been suffering with hyperhydrosis since being a teenager and tried every women deodarant known. So, I paid a few grand for the miradry procedure, which eliminated sweating; however, an odor existed. I will definitely give Old Spice and shot and see what happens!
divya on January 10, 2019:
It's so strange how gender is literally constructed everywhere. First, they give gender to humans. Then they give it to colours. Then they give 'gender' to SCENTS. No scent is a 'male' or 'female' scent. They are SCENTS in nature for God's sake. Society is actively creating gender and proof of that is literally every. where. and in every. domain.
For some reason, stores decided that 'females' only need antiperspirants, and only men need deodorants, so they remove all deodorants in the female section. Wow.
Patpat on October 01, 2018:
I use men’s Irish spring speed stick and I love the smell , it smells like the soap . I always use men’s
pjohnson on August 28, 2018:
You go girl! It's like discovering men's jeans can actually fit better, or using the men's rest room (single potty one's, of course) when there is a long line for the women's, and the men's is there, empty. Our cultural gender-specific practices are so ingrained in us! It would be fun to do more articles related to things for men that wold be great for us too!
Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on July 27, 2018:
@fracturedmind -- It could be that their clearing out stock? Sidenote: I looked it up and Timber's part of the "Fresher" Collection, whereas Wolfthorn is part of "Wild" Collection. I think there are scents in each collection that could work in a pinch.
Randy on July 27, 2018:
I've been using Old Spice deodorant for the past 10 years! It's the only stuff strong enough for my pits! :O
Megan on March 03, 2018:
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.
Katie on January 06, 2018:
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
Abby on November 20, 2017:
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.
Amanda on June 12, 2017:
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!!
Brionna on June 12, 2017:
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.
Emily on May 22, 2017:
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.
email@example.com on May 07, 2017:
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
Nikki on November 13, 2016:
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 :)
Jewels on August 02, 2016:
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
Sarah on October 07, 2015:
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
Sheena on September 28, 2015:
LOL when I saw the Old Spice Wolfthorn deodorant, I related
Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on July 30, 2015:
@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!
Amanda on July 30, 2015:
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.
Maggie on July 28, 2015:
Fuji ladies!! Fuji.
Sapphire on July 05, 2015:
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!
Salina on June 21, 2015:
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 (author) from Southern California on May 08, 2015:
@hart - Wolfthorn is my jam
hart on May 08, 2015:
So, what scents do you recommend?
Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on April 11, 2015:
@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.
BumbleBean on April 09, 2015:
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 on March 31, 2014:
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.
Sundaycoffee on October 05, 2013:
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. :)
Fay Favored from USA on October 02, 2013:
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 (author) from Southern California on September 14, 2013:
@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!
anonymous on September 14, 2013:
Tom's of Maine also sells deodorant without anti-persperants. They have lovely smells, but are more expensive.
Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on August 04, 2013:
@Rosetta Slone: Men's razors and shaving cream are also a heck of a lot cheaper!
Shay Marie (author) from Southern California on August 04, 2013:
@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 on August 03, 2013:
I had no idea Old Spice was aluminum-free. Sounds like a good reason to check it out!
Rosetta Slone from Under a coconut tree on July 28, 2013:
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.