Deodorant Powders can take some getting used to, but many people prefer them over traditional antiperspirants.
This may be due to their aluminum-free formulas or ease of application. Regardless, we’re here to test them out and see whether they are truly effective and safe for you to use daily.
What are Deodorant Powders
As the name suggests, deodorant powders are powdered formulas that help to absorb sweat and control or mask body odor.
Note that I said they absorb sweat and not that they stop sweat. This is correct. These powders do not stop you from sweating. Instead, they absorb sweat and moisture for as long as possible to keep your underarms dry. This helps to prevent the overgrowth of odor-causing bacteria.
Many of them also contain fragrance so they mask odor that is already there or they provide a new, long-lasting scent to your skin.
What Deodorant Powders Are Made Of
Different deodorant powders will have different formulas but the main ingredients (the ones that absorb sweat) are usually:
- Baking soda
- Arrowroot powder
- Activated charcoal (less common)
- Talc (sometimes, but this is quickly becoming phased out because of safety concerns)
These powdery ingredients are also usually mixed with fragrance (usually provided by essential oils which can also contribute antibacterial properties depending on which ones are used).
If you are making your deodorant powder at home, you can use whatever powdery starch (usually a starch because they are the most absorbent powders that are also skin-safe) you want depending on how your skin reacts. Some people are easily irritated by baking soda, so they skip it.
Others use more than one kind of powder for a stronger effect or to prevent irritation from using too much of one ingredient. Many people also choose to use the powders that are the most absorbent of the set because they sweat more. It all depends on what works for you.
Likewise, if you are buying pre-made deodorant powders, you should look at the ingredients list to see what ingredients best suit your skin and your needs.
How To Use Deodorant Powders
Deodorant powders are very easy to apply. Simply:
- Make sure that your skin is clean and dry.
- Sprinkle some of the powder on your palm or a powder brush or poof.
- Apply the powder to your underarms
- Let it sit for a minute or two and then get dressed.
- Do not put too much so that it falls all over your clothes and floor.
- You may need to reapply it during the day depending on how much you sweat.
Think of it like applying baby powder to a baby’s skin or applying your finishing powder over your makeup. Just brush some on to mattify and smoothen the skin.
How Effective Deodorant Powders Are
From my experience and my research, I have concluded that Deodorant powders are relatively good for mild to moderate sweating and odor, but they will not be as effective as antiperspirants or cream deodorants.
If you do not sweat a lot, then this is not a bad option for you. It will not stop you from sweating, but if you produce a small amount of sweat, then the powder will absorb it and keep you dry for most if not all of the day.
But, if you sweat more than mildly, you may need to reapply the powder during the day.
However, if you sweat excessively, this will not work for you. There is only so much absorbing some powder can do at a time. So, it will not be enough to keep you dry for as long as you need.
Related Article – Best Ball Deodorant & Sprays -Safe for Men’s Private Parts
I am not a big sweater. On the days when I am just in the office, I barely sweat at all! So, of course, I gave deodorant powders a try. It was comfortable enough to wear for most of the day and it did keep me dry all day.
What I did not like about it, though, was how dry it made my skin feel at the end of the day. Yes, I wanted it to be dry from sweat (and it was), but it was more than that. I could feel it absorb the moisture out of my actual skin and by the end of the day my underarms felt stiff and parched.
When I got home, I immediately took a shower and moisturized again. I kept using the powder for a week but I could no longer stand how dry my armpits started feeling so I stopped. Even though I moisturized before and after, my skin is more on the dry side so that was not enough for me. Keep in mind that this will not be everyone’s experience.
It was also a little messy to apply (and I kept thinking that there was no way a thin layer would even do anything, so I added more!) so I got powder on everything.
So, for me, if I had to choose between deodorant sticks or creams and deodorant powders, I would choose the creams. And this is purely because of the skincare system that is included with the cream formulas. They usually have hydrating ingredients that prevent your skin from becoming too dry.
Now for a great natural deodorant for men check out my article on Dr Squatch Deodorants Review: Are They Worth It
Best Deodorant Powders To Use
Here are a few great deodorant powders you can try:
1- Anti Monkey Butt, Lady’s Body Powder
This powder can be used on your underarms, under your boobs, between your thighs, on your butt, waistlines, and even on your bikini lines. It absorbs sweat, prevents friction, and soothes the skin.
The formula is simple and contains fragrance, cornstarch, and tricalcium phosphate to absorb sweat and moisture, and calamine to soothe the skin.
2- Megababe Sweat Absorbing Body Powder
This formula contains lavender to inhibit bacterial growth, chamomile, and aloe to soothe the skin, and cornstarch to absorb sweat and moisture.
It can be used on your armpits, groin, waistlines, back, skin-folds, and anywhere on your body except your face.
1- Gold Bond Men’s Essentials Talc-Free Body Powder
This powder was designed for men who sweat more. It contains cornstarch, baking soda, tricalcium phosphate and zinc oxide, all of which help to absorb sweat and keep you dry.
It also contains aloe vera and vitamin E to help soothe and nourish the skin. You guys can apply this anywhere on your body where you sweat (except your face).
2- Chassis Premium Natural Body Powder for Men
This powder was specifically formulated to be used down there on the guys to help with chaffing, sweating and odor protection. To absorb sweat and keep you dry, it contains cornstarch, baking soda and rice powder.
What I liked about Chassis is that is contains ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, aloe and glycerin to soothe and nourish the skin.
Now for odor protection, it contains fragrance (in the scented option), witch hazel, and alcohol to keep bacteria under control. Even though it was made for the boy bells, it can be applied anywhere on the skin (except your face).
1- Certain Dri Body Powder for Men and Women
This unisex formula was designed to absorb sweat, reduce friction, and prevent odor. It contains cornstarch, kaolin, tricalcium phosphate, and baking soda (all of which absorb sweat), along with calamine to soothe the skin.
It is scented but has a universal smell that is great. And, it also does well for people who are moderate sweaters.
Related Article – Certain Dri Review- How to Use, Risks & What to Expect
How To DIY Your Own Deodorant Powder
If you prefer to make your own deodorant powder, here is a great and simple recipe that works:
- Baking Soda (can be substituted with arrowroot powder, tapioca starch, kaolin powder, or even rice powder)
- Essential oils (scents of your choice)
- Mix equal parts cornstarch and baking soda (or your chosen alternative) in a bowl until well combined.
- Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil (not too many or the powder will clump up)
- Mix everything until the mixture is loose and well combined.
- Store in an air-tight jar and use as needed.
Are Deodorant Powders Safe To Use
Deodorant powders are safe to use unless you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients.
Many people are concerned about talcum in powders and powdered products, but as long as you are not dusting the powder wildly enough to breathe it in, you should be fine. The particles are much too big to be absorbed into your body through the skin.
The danger of talc powder mainly comes from inhaling the particles over a long time. Researchers believe that this puts people at risk for or may even cause them to develop lung cancer.
To read more about using talc (most commonly used in baby powder) on your underarms, check this article out:
Side Effects Of Using Deodorant Powders
The most common side effect associated with using deodorant powders is irritation, but some people can also experience allergic reactions (rare), and some dryness.
Baking soda is the most common culprit when it comes to irritation, especially for people who have very sensitive skin. However, other ingredients like the essential oils can also cause some irritation.
Also, because the ingredients are somewhat more natural than antiperspirants, not many people experience allergic reactions. However, because of this as well, it is harder for people to be sure whether they are allergic to one or more of the ingredients until they try it.
This is why I recommend that you always do a patch test on your skin before using the formula fully.
And finally, as mentioned above in my experience, some people can also experience some dryness (especially if they already have dry skin). Deodorant powders absorb moisture, so not only will they absorb sweat, but they will absorb some of the oil and moisture from your skin itself as well.
This may cause some irritation and dryness if you already have dry skin. However, for many people, if you moisturize well and let it absorb into your skin properly before using the powder, you should be just fine.
Your experience will depend on your skin itself.
Do deodorant powders cause breakouts?
Deodorant powders are usually made of finely milled powders that do not clog your pores so they are not expected to cause breakouts.
However, if they irritate your skin or you have an allergic reaction, the eruptions can look like breakouts.
Related Article – Sweat & Odor Under Your Breasts- Causes & How to Handle