Open Thread: What is the best antiperspirant or deodorant to wear with a suit?

Today’s reader mail is a good one, and in lieu of a poll we’re going to run this as our open thread today…

What is the best antiperspirant or deodorant to wear with a suit in these hot summer months???

Great question because, face it, on the days when it’s boiling outside everyone shows up at work all sweaty and nasty. Apparently, the difference between the two is that a deodorant stops odor, while an antiperspirant stops sweat. For our $.02, we wear Lady Mitchum gel — it goes on clear, it dries quickly, it doesn’t smell too funky, and it works for us (both to reduce sweat and odor). (Lady Mitchum Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deoderant, available at for $3.59.)

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Readers, any favorites? Any other tricks for staying dry and avoiding sweat?

Further reading:

The Best Antiperspirants [Real Simple]
Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers []

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  1. Second the vote for Certain Dri.

  2. Anyone have a suggestion for how to either prevent our get rid of those nasty yellow crusty stains that some deodorants leave in shirt armpits? I mean, I think the BEST way is probably to wash a shirt immediately after wearing, but that’s not always possible if I’m traveling or too busy to run dry cleaning for a week. Any suggestions would be great!

  3. I got these round pink sponges that wipe the white marks off clothing–I cannot recall what they were called–they were with the Hollywood fashion tape…..I love them.

  4. Kathryn, the sponges are called Gal Pal, and they are just for the deoderant marks on clothes, not an antiperspirant. I use them and they work great! Not sure if there is anything special about them besides being the right kind of sponge though.
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions – Is anyone else worried about using something you let soak into your pores over the long term? I want to use the Clinical, but I am just too worried about any unknown long term effects.

  5. I swear by Degree for women in the shower clean scent. The baby powder one is just too much scent for me.

    When you get white on your clothes, take some pantyhose, put it over your hand like a glove, and rub till its gone. Works like a charm.

  6. Elizabeth :

    Certain Dri is great, but PLEASE believe the directions when they say not to use immediately after shaving. It will burn. I find it does itch sometimes anyway, even if I’m careful not to apply after shaving. But it works great, and no white marks.

  7. GingerSnap — Sounds like a miracle product! I’m getting some next time I go to the store. If it works, I don’t think I’ll be able to deal with my happiness.

  8. Don’t waste your money on Gal Pal, chances are you have some hangers from the dry cleaner with the same material draped over the top. That spongy material which is supposed to keep your clothes from sliding is also an excellent stain remover, particularly deodorant stains. Just remove it from the hanger and rub on the offensive mark.

  9. Dove is all I can use anymore – I love it! And it does actually make the skin softer and easier to shave down the road. Goes on like a regular white bar, but is clear all day long, never stains the clothes. And all the scents (if you don’t go unscented) are as mild as they can be!

  10. Canada Legal :

    I just found the solution to yellowish stains on my white/light coloured tops! I soak with the powder OxiClean (it comes in a little blue tub). I just followed the directions and left the shirts in a tub for a few hours. Then put it through the regular wash and my fav white tops were like new!

  11. housecounsel :

    I think any topic related to grooming oneself for a professional presentation is fair game here, and I hope that we will continue to address a wide variety of related topics.

    I think any of the brands with “Clinical” in the name work beautifully. And don’t all skin products — body lotion, perfume, makeup — soak into our pores to some degree? I can’t worry about that.

  12. This is an interesting topic. I think it’s all what works best for your body. I have tried pretty much everything mentioned above, prescription, Clinical, etc. and nothing worked well. I either got stinky or still sweaty. So, I switched to baby powder on a whim and haven’t had a problem since. Sure you have to be a little more careful putting clothes on, but a wet washcloth takes the powder right off. I don’t sweat nor do I get stinky any more. And I don’t feel like I have that many chemicals being absorbed into my body!

  13. Delta Sierra :

    OxiClean is wonderful stuff. It got a (fresh) red wine stain out of an ivory sofa. No harm to the fabric at all. You can put a little in the washing machine with whatever.

  14. I use Dove Clinical Protection and I don’t have a problem with underarm yellow stains anymore. I do apply it at night (the recommended 2 clicks), but since I shower in the morning I do another 1-click application just to freshen up. That will generally last all day for me.

  15. Nevadamtnbear :

    I’m a huge fan of the clinical products. I can sweat through regular antiperspirant in a heartbeat, but the clinical products work very well, even when I forget to put it on the night before.

    I also keep a stick of Degree invisible solid in my desk (along with a toothbrush, tooth paste, and other necessary hygiene products). It works well for days (like today) where I’ve rushed out the door and forgot that step or for days where it’s just a sweaty day.

  16. I am also someone who worries about the long-term effects of deodorant / antiperspirant and fortunately am not a person who sweats too much and therefore when I heard Julia Roberts talking about not using deodorant as your body adjusts and gets used to it, I tried it and it does work (but not overnight, have to give your body a few months to adjust and better to start in winter). That being said I was never a heavy sweater and on the hotter days I will still use a natural version. I can’t recall the name, but the ingredient list includes salt, which is supposed to be a natural way to stop/limit the perspiration.

  17. This is a blog for professional women. Sweat stains and covering up bug bites are something you should have figured out in middle school, long before you got your MBA. If this is the direction this blog is taking, I’m done reading it. I can wait to read Judge Lefkow’s next article on whether she uses a Venus or Schick Quatro for Women.

  18. Casey – Wow! What I like about this blog (apart from the great fashion AND grooming tips) is the sense of “sisterhood.” Won’t miss you.

  19. Anonymous :

    For years I used “healthy” deodorant, but recently splurged on a bottle of Sugar deodorant from Fresh. I’m totally sold. I can’t believe how well it works.

  20. housecounsel :

    I appreciate being able to discuss these topics with women in similar career situations. Judge Lefkow might not address anti-perspirant in a formal setting, and I wouldn’t discuss Dove Clinical with my associates, but I’m so glad I can do it anonymously.

    In addition, there are, on occasion, topics that don’t interest me. When that happens, I don’t read them.