best deodorant for sensitive skin

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Fact: If your deodorant is giving you rashes, itchy pits, or burning sensations after you swipe it on, you need to try a deodorant for sensitive skin. Like, unless you just shaved five minutes ago (in which case all deodorants can cause irritation), then there’s a good chance your skin is reacting negatively to some of the ingredients in your deodorant. But before you immediately throw out your regular deo and swap it for a natural deodorant—which, fun fact, can also be potentially irritating (see: baking soda and essential oils)—you need to understand what you’re actually putting on your skin.

“Oftentimes, it takes trial and error to figure out what deodorant is right for you,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, associate professor of dermatology and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital. So while some people may find that their skin is highly sensitive to, say, essential oils or added fragrance (i.e., two well-known irritants for many people), you may find that your skin has zero problems with them. “Many of the antiperspirants and deodorants have been allergy tested and are proven to be safe and effective—even if they contain a fragrance,” says Dr. Zeichner. And in those cases? Alcohol or baking soda—common ingredients in natural or gel deodorants—might be the real irritants.

Basically, knowing which deodorants will keep you fresh without the unpleasant rash or bumps requires some ingredient sleuthing, some trial-and-error (keep notes, ppl! Keep a skincare spreadsheet to crosscheck ingredients in each deodorant you try), and, ahem, me, who kindly found the 16 best deodorants for sensitive, including everything from the fragrance-free deodorants to the alcohol-free antiperspirants. You may need to try (and return) a few until you find one that works for your armpits—trust, I’ve been there—but eventually, one will work for you.

So check out a preview of the best sensitive skin deos, then keep scrolling for the full list.

Best deodorants for sensitive skin:


If you don’t mind aluminum (or like me, heavily rely on it for dry pits), this antiperspirant lasts up to 48 hours (!), meaning two full days of sweat-free bliss. And even better: It’s ultra-moisturizing, thanks to added coconut oil, castor oil, and sunflower seed oil in the formula.2BEST NATURAL SENSITIVE SKIN DEODORANTNative Sensitive DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$13 AT AMAZON

If you’ve determined that aluminum is the irritant in your underarm life, this natural deodorant from Native as a great swap. With magnesium hydroxide to neutralize odor-causing bacteria and jojoba oil and castor oil to keep your skin soft, it’s a great gentle combo for your pits.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW3BEST SENSITIVE SKIN DEODORANT ON AMAZONLume Natural DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$26 AT AMAZON

The mandelic acid (which targets and neutralizes the bacteria that causes underarm odor) and tapioca starch (which absorbs sweat) in this deodorant will keep your dampness to a minimum and eliminate funky smells. It’s free of baking soda, too, so that’s your main irritant, then this is a good pick.4BEST ACID-BASED DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINKosas Chemistry AHA Serum DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$15 AT SEPHORA$15 AT JCPENNEY

This fragrance-free deodorant paste will become fast besties with your pits. Mandelic acid (like all acid-based deos) makes the pH level of your armpits too acidic so that the odor-causing bacteria can’t thrive as easily. And for an added bonus, it’s also made with soothing aloe vera.5BEST DRUGSTORE DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINVichy 24-Hour Dry-Touch Roll-On DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$17 AT AMAZON

One of the common ingredients in natural deodorants is zinc ricinoleate, a fatty acid-derived odor absorber. It’s a great alternative if the natural deodorants you’ve been trying are simply masking odors—i.e., formulas that just use a lot of fragrance to cover up smells—and not ideal for sensitive skin.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW6BEST SOOTHING DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINBravo Sierra Unscented DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$9 AT ULTA BEAUTY

Aloe vera and jojoba oil are the two MVPs of this sensitive skin deodorant. Aloe will soothe your pits after you swipe it on, and jojoba oil will keep you moisturized. Plus, there’s a dose of tapioca starch in the formula to absorb sweat. 7BEST MOISTURIZING DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINSchmidt’s Baking Soda-Free Sensitive Skin Natural DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGENOW 17% OFF$10 AT AMAZON

Unlike some drier, chalkier natural deodorants, this one goes on really smooth (ty, coconut oil), and won’t tug on or drag your sensitive skin. And instead of relying on aluminum, this gentle deodorant is formulated with magnesium hydroxide (which counteracts bacteria) and moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. 8BEST FRAGRANCE-FREE DEODORANTPiper Wai Scentless Natural Deodorant StickCOURTESY IMAGE$15 AT PIPERWAI.COM

The MVP ingredient of this sensitive skin deodorant? Witch hazel, which, in addition to being in your favorite face toner, is also a pretty great ingredient for your pits, considering it’s fragrance-free, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial. The only con? It’s not great for reducing wetness, so if you’re dealing with a lot of sweat (hi, me), you’re better off with an antiperspirant or sweat-absorbing deo.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN ON SEPHORANécessaire The DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$20 AT SEPHORA

Not in this deodorant? Aluminum, fragrance, or baking soda. Instead, this deodorant for sensitive skin is formulated with a couple different acids (hi, mandelic acid and lactic acid) which gently exfoliate and brighten skin while also making your pits an unstable environment for odor-causing bacteria.10BEST DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN ON ULTADrunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant CreamCOURTESY IMAGE$16 AT ULTA BEAUTY

Thanks to a cocktail of mandelic acid (which helps kill odor-causing bacteria, as well as brightens and exfoliates), shea butter, and cetearyl olivate (a moisturizing olive-oil derivative), your pits will stay odor-free, without any irritating perfumes or essential oils. 11BEST ABSORBENT DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINAlaffia EveryDay Shea Dry Finish DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$12 AT WALMART

While antiperspirants are the typical stars for preventing sweat, if you want a gentler alternative, this charcoal-packed deodorant for sensitive skin will help absorb wetness. As Dr. Zeichner has told Cosmo, “Think of charcoal as a magnet—it helps absorb excess moisture to minimize wetness and prevent your sweat from mixing with bacteria on the skin and causing unwanted odor.”ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW12BEST SPLURGE-WORTHY DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKINBoscia Prebiotic Probiotic Freshening Allover Body DeodorantCOURTESY IMAGE$25 AT DERMSTORE

Okay, I know that $25 feels like a bit much for a deodorant, but hear me out: Not only is this deodorant paste spiked with allantoin, a super-soothing and wound-healing ingredient (which is helpful for nicks and broken skin if you shave), but it can also be used all over your body, like your thighs and feet (IYKYK). 

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