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.)

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. newassociate :

    i don’t know about you casey, but i wasn’t wearing expensive wool suits in middle school and trying to avoid another trip to the dry cleaners. there have also been some slight hormonal changes since 7th grade. i’ll pass on the teen spirit.

    i appreciate the wide variety of topics on corporette. no other women in my family have graduate degrees or the corresponding office jobs, so they often can’t offer advice or experience on a lot of these topics. how can i look functional after an all nighter? what can i wear to work besides a dark suit? how else can i quickly and securely put my hair back without resorting to a pony tail? these aren’t things i can ask one of the few female partners in my office about, but i can ask corporette and (most of) her readers.

    one thing i did figure out in middle school, however, is that some people will try to make you feel inferior for asking questions and sharing ideas. it’s about as charming now as it was then.

  17. housecounsel :

    Well said, new associate.

  18. Anonymous :

    I use Dove. It works well, is both an anti-perspirant and deodorant and doesn’t stain.

    My favorite “trick” is to put deodorant on my thighs and under my breasts to prevent rubbing and sweating on hot days (I walk to and from work).

  19. I use Dove. It works well, is both an anti-perspirant and deodorant and doesn’t stain.

    My favorite “trick” is to put deodorant on my thighs and under my breasts to prevent rubbing and sweating on hot days (I walk to and from work).

  20. Casey, I am in my forties and still find that I like the advice I find here. Think I’ll try the Dove.

  21. I got something called HyperCare from my PCP. It’s a liquid perscription strength antipersperant (and I didn’t have to do anymore than tell her that I was sweating too much and recommend the product.) You put it on every night after a shower (but NOT after shaving) and then after about a week you ease up to every other day. Since I’ve started using it the most I’ve had to do is spray some body mist under my arms.

  22. For an anti-persperant, try Therme. I take it on holidays where I can’t afford to take lots of clothing with me or wash it, because it keeps my shirts smelling fresh for like 3-4 days. Normally I can wear them one day, tops.

    Beware though that there is some talk about breast cancer in relation to anti-persperants. I wouldn’t use them every day, just to be on the safe side.

    Deodorant wise, try adidas or rexona if you’re prone to sweat, like me.

  23. what happens if you put it on in the morning does it make a difference?
    I dont want to go to school sweating already

    • My understanding is that is sinks into your pours and prevents the sweating. You put it on at night so it can absorb in and because it can stain clothes. I’ve used Certain Dri before and it really works. Put it on at night and it works all day, even after a tough workout. After using it for awhile you can actually cut back to every other night. I was shocked how well it worked. The only problem I have is that it makes my underarms itch so incredibly much I’ve had to stop using it.

  24. I switched to Dove Clinical not too long ago – no white marks and no wet marks! But even though the instructions are to put it on at night, I’ve been applying it in the morning because I always shower in the morning. Does anyone apply it at night and then shower in the morning, without re-applying?

  25. A good deodorant is one without leaving residues and odours behind. I’ve been using UARMSOL deodorant for many years now and I have no more armpit odours. I applied 1 pinch and it’s all to it for the whole day without worries about any smell afterwards. There’s no chemicals, oil or fragrances added. No staining clothes too. There’s no after sport smell or odour masking. And the best thing is I don’t have to shave !

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