Top 56 Best Japanese Deodorants and Antiperspirants to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 56 Best Japanese Deodorants and Antiperspirants to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (Amazon, Rakuten, and kakaku.com) for the best deodorants and antiperspirants. We then chose the 56 most popular products and tested them for the following:

  1. Odor Resistance
  2. Sweat Blocking
  3. Longevity

Being a foreigner in Japan, you always hear about how the deodorant’s too weak. However, in the past few years, companies–big and small names alike–have been churning out products, and one of them is bound to work, right? Here’s everything we learned about the most effective deodorants available in Japan.

Table of Contents

Know the Technical Differences between Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Know the Technical Differences between Deodorants and Antiperspirants

We kind of call everything a deodorant, but technically speaking, antiperspirants and deodorants are two different things. Antiperspirants plug up your pores, which temporarily stems the flow of sweat.

On the other hand, deodorants keep odor-causing bacteria from proliferating. However, most deodorants are also designed to reduce sweat, and many antiperspirants fight smell; there’s a blurry line between the two.

So we purchased both kinds of products and tested them in the same article. We also checked for both odor- and sweat-fighting properties, regardless of whether the item was marketed as an deodorant or antiperspirant.

Top 36 Best Japanese Deodorants Marketed towards Men to Buy Online

We had a group of editors put on pale gray T-shirts (the bane of summer). They applied the deodorants to a single armpit and checked for odor, sweat stains, and longevity. We then ranked the top 56 best Japanese deodorants available online, based on how they performed on our tests.

These first 36 deodorants are marketed towards men. Generally speaking, men secrete more sweat than women; therefore, men’s and women’s deodorants contain deodorizing, pore-blocking, and antimicrobial ingredients in different concentrations. Men’s deodorants also tend to be unscented. Otherwise, they have neutral or spicy smells, like menthol.

※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.

1. Men’s Bioré Deodorant Z (Unscented)

Men's Bioré Deodorant Z (Unscented)Men's Bioré Deodorant Z (Unscented)

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Price: $6.43

Best for General Use: Neutralizes Odor and Holds Back Sweat–a Well-Balanced Deodorant

One spritz, and we felt cool throughout the day. It didn’t tingle like menthol; it was more gentle, as if a cold breeze had passed over our skin.

The formula smelled very faintly of herbs. However, it didn’t just try to mask the scent; it actually neutralized it.

All of our testers said the deodorant made a difference they could feel almost all day, though effects did fade by evening. Still, if you’re just looking for a general use deodorant, you’ll find none better balanced.

Japanese メンズビオレ|薬用デオドラントZ 全身用スプレー Type Spray
Scent Unscented Volume 130 ml
Odor 4.0 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 3.0 Overall Score 4.9

2. CLEANEO Deodorant Cream

CLEANEO Deordorant CreamCLEANEO Deodorant Cream

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Price: $57.09

Best for Keeping Away Sweat Stains: High-Class Cream that Comes in a Pump Dispenser

This is a cream deodorant that comes with a pump, which is incredibly rare. Makes dispensing a whole lot easier and keeps greasy fingers away from product to boot.

It got average scores for both smell and duration. However, it does block out smells upon application, so as long as you reapply, you can smell and look fresh all day long. And more than anything, it prevents pesky sweat stains. We admit it’s expensive, but it’s the best cream we tried.

Japanese クリアネオ|わきがクリーム Type Cream
Scent Unscented Volume 30 g
Odor 3.0 Sweat 4.0
Longevity 3.0 Overall Score 4.7

3. Ban Nano-ion Block Roll on Deodorant -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance, Men)

Ban Nano-ion Block Roll on Deodorant -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance)Ban Nano-ion Block Roll on Deodorant -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance)

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Price: $5.34

Best Roll on: Easy to Apply and Obliterates Odor

This wiped out some pretty bad body odor. It formed a water-resistant membrane that held up well against sweat and humidity.

It also set soon after application. However, some members complained of dryness and redness, so we can’t recommend this deodorant to folks with sensitive skin.

Japanese Ban|汗ブロックロールオン プレミアムラベル 男性用 Type Roll on
Scent Unscented Volume 40 ml
Odor 4.3 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 3.4 Overall Score 4.5

4. Deonatulle Soft Stone Double W Deodorant

Deonatulle Soft Stone Double W DeodorantDeonatulle Soft Stone Double W Deodorant

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Price: $6.47

Most Convenient Deodorant: Easy to Apply and Lasts all Day

This smelled like mint toothpaste. It wasn’t cooling, but it dried quickly and left skin satiny. It didn’t really stain, even when we applied under clothing.

Effects lasted well over six hours. Not once did volunteers feel sticky. We also like that it’s readily available at Japanese drugstores.

Japanese デオナチュレ|男ソフトストーンW Type Stick
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 3.0 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 4.0 Overall Score 4.2

5. Mentholatum Rifurea Deodorant Cream

Mentholatum Rifurea Deodorant CreamMentholatum Rifurea Deodorant Cream

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Price: $6.45

Best Odor-Blocking Cream: Portable and Easy to Apply

This cream felt soft and mild; it probably won’t dry out your pits. There was no smell. It felt a bit tacky upon application, but it set after a few minutes.

It made a noticeable difference in body odor. However, a single application lasted only 3 – 4 hours. At least the tube is small enough to bring around for reapplications.

Japanese リフレア|デオドラントクリーム チューブ Type Cream
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 3.5 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 2.7 Overall Score 4.1

6. 8×4 MEN Deodorant Stick (Non Fragrance)

8x4 MEN Deodorant Stick (Non Fragrance)8x4 MEN Deodorant Stick (Non Fragrance)

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Price: $6.67

Most Balanced Stick Deodorant: Suppresses both Sweat and Odor

There was no tackiness or stickiness; skin felt satiny upon application. Some of our testers even worried that product hadn’t transferred onto their skin–that’s how light it felt.

The formula was well-balanced. Though nothing outright disappeared, there was a noticeable reduction in smell and sweat stains. It even stood up well to the midday sun.

Japanese 8×4メン|デオドラントスティック Type Stick
Scent Unscented Volume 60 ml
Odor 3.2 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 3.4 Overall Score 4.1

7. QB Medicated Deodorant Cream

QB Medicated Deodorant CreamQB Medicated Deodorant Cream

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Price: $19.24

Best-Balanced Cream Deodorant: Leaves Skin Dry and Silky

This also tamped down odor. Not only did it keep us from getting smelly, it also blocked out pre-existing funk.

The formula wasn’t tacky, and once we gave it a bit of time to set, it left skin cool, dry, and silky. However, you need to work it carefully into skin or it’ll leave behind white stains.

Japanese QB|薬用 デオドラントクリーム Type Cream
Scent Unscented Volume 30 g
Odor 3.3 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 3.0 Overall Score 4.1

8. MUJI Deodorant Mist

MUJI Deodorant MistMUJI Deodorant Mist

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Price: $5.43

Best for Eliminating Smell: Simple Spray that Fights Even the Worst Body Odor

Packaging was well-designed, as expected of MUJI. The container was slim, simple, and virtually silent.

Now, this was a spray and did almost nothing for sweat. However, it left us smelling fresh. Not only did it prevent stenches from forming but also, when we applied it over sweat, it obliterated pungent odors.

Japanese 無印良品|デオドラントミスト Type Spray
Scent Unscented Volume 30 ml
Odor 4.7 Sweat 1.5
Longevity 3.6 Overall Score 4.0

9. 8×4 MEN Deodorant Spray (Non Fragrance)

8x4 MEN Deodorant Spray (Non Fragrance)8x4 MEN Deodorant Spray (Non Fragrance)

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Price: $4.05

Best if You Just Want to Feel Good: Cools You Down and Keeps You Dry

This had a cooling effect. For about three hours after application, skin felt nice and chilly.

Our testers went out at midday with this on, but they stayed dry the entire time. It didn’t last until evening, so you’ll have to reapply–but at least it’s a spray and easy to use. And it’ll cool you down all over again.

Japanese 8×4メン|デオドラントスプレー Type Spray
Scent Unscented Volume 135 g
Odor 2.5 Sweat 4.0
Longevity 2.3 Overall Score 3.9

10. NULL Gel Cream Deodorant

NULL Gel Cream DeodorantNULL Gel Cream Deodorant

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Price: $18.41

Best Light Gel: Spreads Easily and Plugs the Floodgates

This was more a gel than a cream. It felt light and spread easily.

Like many of the products we tested, it didn’t completely eliminate smell or sweat, but it noticeably reduced them. However, we recommend reapplying before the six-hour mark.

Japanese NULL|デオドラント ジェル Type Cream
Scent Unscented Volume 30 ml
Odor 2.8 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 3.1 Overall Score 3.7

Products that Didn’t Make the Cut

And why they didn’t quite make it.

Poor Antiperspirants but Block out Smell for Some Time

Poor Antiperspirants but Block out Smell for Some Time

Dr.Deodorant’s Myouban Spray EX (11) and qdeo’s Gel cCeam (17) received scores of 3.4 for their deodorizing properties. However, both could not contain sweat. And while the Myouban Spray EX lasted a little over six hours, the gel cream barely held out for half a day.

OXY’s Deo Shower (Non Fragrance, 16) cut down on body odor and had a cooling effect to boot. However, it earned only a 2.0 for sweat and lasted at most half a day.

AgDEO 24 MEN’s Deodorant Stick (20) did next to nothing for sweat. It blocked out smell completely for 2 – 3 hours but weakened thereafter.

Works Reasonably Well but Requires Constant Reapplication

Works Reasonably Well but Requires Constant Reapplication

Rifurea’s Deodorant Cream Jar (12) and QB’s Medicated Deodorant Bar (14) earned average scores (around a 3.0) as both deodorants and antiperspirants. However, effects only lasted three hours. And while QB’s product is a stick deodorant and easy enough to apply, Rifurea’s deodorant, being cream in a jar, can get messy.

Reduces Sweat Stains but Leaves You Smelling Musty

Reduces Sweat Stains but Leaves You Smelling Musty

Benkyo Do’s Medicated Deodorant Cream (13) and exsiu’s Deodorant Cream (15) kept sweat at bay for over half a day. However, Benkyo Do’s product smelled vaguely of ointment and did not completely neutralize odor. exsiu’s product did even worse–it reduced smell, but the change was almost imperceptible.

Gatsby’s -Premium Type- Deodorant Roll On (Unscented, 18) stretched over skin and blocked out sweat. However, it didn’t do much for smell, and it felt too harsh for sensitive skin.

AgDEO 24 MEN’S Deodorant Spray (23) masked, rather than eliminated, odor–and it smelled vaguely medicinal. It did leave our armpits dry-ish for over half a day, however.

Lasts for a Few Hours and Kind of Works on Sweat and Odor…?

Lasts for a Few Hours and Kind of Works on Sweat and Odor...?

LÚCIDO’S Deodorant Stick (19) smelled like hair wax. It wasn’t long-lasting and earned scores of 2.6 and 2.0 as a deodorant and an antiperspirant, respectively.

Likewise, De Ou’s Deodorant Roll On (21) and EXTRA DEOMAX’s Medicated Deodorant Cream (25) earned 2.0s for sweat. De Ou’s product was slightly stronger as a deodorant, receiving a score of 2.2, while EXTRA DEOMAX only received a score of 2.0. Neither will last you through a whole day.

A Crowd of Deodorants that Earned 1.0s for Sweat (and Didn’t Particularly Excel at Anything, Either)

A Crowd of Deodorants that Earned 1.0s for Sweat (and Didn't Particularly Excel at Anything, Either)

Men’s Bioré’s Deodrant Z Roll on (Unscented, 22), Deonatulle’s Sara Sara Cream (24), N1us’s Я-m Mist (26), ALBA COSME’s Whole Body Deodorant Alum Spray (28), De Ou’s Protect Deo Jam (29), and Sea Breeze’s Deo & Water (Splash Marine, 31) were stuck with a score of 1.0 for sweat. All only somewhat masked smell, and effects could be felt for just half a day or less.

Similarly, wakigard’s Medicated Deodorant (27) did nothing for sweat. It did cover up odor upon application but wore off after a few hours.

Now the Deodorant that Earned a 1.0 for Odor (and Around 2.0s for Everything Else)

Now the Deodorant that Earned a 1.0 for Odor (and Around 2.0s for Everything Else)

Tesaran Clear’s Deodorant Cream (30) left us smelling like B.O. It lasted just a couple of hours, during which it very slightly reigned in sweat.

Not a Deodorant or a Antiperspirant–Just a Stick or Tube

Not a Deodorant or a Antiperspirant--Just a Stick or Tube

Both Odoremin’s Deodorant (32) and Odore Mist’s Deodorant (33)–similar names, different companies–scored a 1.0 for sweat. Odoremin got a 1.7 for odor, but Odore Mist couldn’t even do that much–it earned another flat 1.0. Both lasted a couple of hours, but what’s the point?

Gatsby’s -Premium Type- Deodorant Spray (Unscented, 34) and 8×4 MEN’s Roll on Deodorant (Non Fragrance, 35) earned scores of 1.0 or close to 1.0 as deodorants and antiperspirants; they also scored around a 2.0 for longevity.

AgDEO 24 Men’s Deodorant Roll On (36) somehow managed to earn scores of 1.0 across the board.

Top 20 Best Japanese Deodorants Marketed towards Women to Buy Online

Though a good deal of these are unscented, there are some lighter fragrances, like floral and soap, thrown in.

1. Rexena Women Dry Shield Powder Shield (Unscented)

Rexena Women Dry Shield Powder Shield (Unscented)Rexena Women Dry Shield Powder Shield (Unscented)

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Price: $4.24

The Best All-Around Spray: Keeps You from Smelling by Keeping You from Sweating

Rexena’s Dry Shield is first and foremost an anti-antiperspirant. According to Rexena’s site, human sweat feeds the bacteria living on your skin. The bacteria then proliferates and emits that funk known as B.O. So if you cut off the source of everything–sweat–you should also be able to get rid of smell.

Seems like they were right. Our volunteers were running about for over half a day, but they stayed dry and stench-free. It also had a cooling effect when applied. We liked that the mist didn’t get everywhere and the bottle was quiet, so we could apply indoors and in the presence of other humans.

Japanese レセナ|ドライシールドパウダースプレー 無香性 Type Spray
Scent Unscented Volume 135 g
Odor 4.2 Sweat 4.2
Longevity 4.5 Overall Score 4.8

2. Biore Deodorant Z Roll on (Unscented)

Biore Deodorant Z Roll on (Unscented)Biore Deodorant Z Roll on (Unscented)

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Price: $5.78

Most Convenient Deodorant: Compact Roll-on that Leaves You Smelling Fresh

This didn’t try to stop us from sweating. Instead, it coated skin in powder that soaked up moisture. It left skin feeling satiny but not dehydrated.

A single swipe dispensed plenty of product, so application was easy. Still, it set quickly enough to apply under clothing. It also was so effective that our testers immediately noticed the absence of smell.

Japanese ビオレ|デオドラントZ ロールオン Type Roll on
Scent Unscented Volume 40 ml
Odor 4.7 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 4.0 Overall Score 4.2

3. DEOCO. Medicated Deodorant Stick

DEOCO. Medicated Deodorant StickDEOCO. Medicated Deodorant Stick

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Price: $8.43

Best Smell Blocker: Long-Lasting, Effective Deodorant

The formula adhered closely to skin. It went on as cleanly and lasted as long–or even longer–than a typical roll on deodorant. It’ll serve you for at least half a hot summer’s day, longer in cool environments.

This deodorant was our most effective funk-blocker. It is scented, but it didn’t try to mask body odor; it actually neutralized it. In fact, it worked so well that one of our testers sniffed her bare armpit and swore she could smell nothing.

Japanese デオコ|薬用デオドラントスティック Type Stick
Scent Floral Volume 30 ml
Odor 4.8 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 3.3 Overall Score 3.7

4. AgDEO 24 Deodorant Roll on EX (Unscented)

AgDEO 24 Deodorant Roll on EX (Unscented)AgDEO 24 Deodorant Roll on EX (Unscented)

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Price: $10.58

Another Convenient Roll-on: Dries Quickly and Erases Odor

If the Bioré product we introduced up above didn’t work, try AgDEO 24, which features a different formula. This roll on deodorant dried in about five seconds. Plenty of product came out with a single swipe, so application itself was fast as well.

This pretty much obliterated smell. It also left skin dry and silken for about half a day.

Japanese エージーデオ24|デオドラントロールオン EX 無香料 Type Roll on
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 4.0 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 2.7 Overall Score 3.3

5. DEOCO. Medicated Deodorant Roll on

DEOCO. Medicated Deodorant Roll onDEOCO. Medicated Deodorant Roll on

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Prices: $8.43

Best Scented Roll on: But Doesn’t Rely on Its Sweet Fragrance to Mask Odor

This deodorant derives much of its fragrance from lactones, esters often found in essential oils. It smelled slightly sweet and sour. However, the formula didn’t rely on its scent to mask body odor; it properly erased it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t effective against sweat. We were feeling a bit sticky and moist before the day was half over.

Japanese デオコ|薬用デオドラントロールオン Type Roll on
Scent Floral Volume 13 g
Odor 3.9 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 2.6 Overall Score 3.2

6. Rexena Dry Shield Powder Stick (Unscented)

Rexena Dry Shield Powder Stick (Unscented)Rexena Dry Shield Powder Stick (Unscented)

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Price: $5.98

Best Stick Deodorant for Sweat Stains: Keeps Stickiness at Bay from Morning til Night

This is the stick version of our first place product. Like the spray, it was effective against sweat.

We never felt sticky or outright wet from morning until evening, but we did sweat a bit. If you’re wearing a thin, light colored shirt and are worried about stains, we recommend reapplying every 3 – 4 hours.

Japanese レセナ|ドライシールド パウダースティック 無香性 Type Stick
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 3.0 Sweat 3.0
Longevity 2.4 Overall Score 3.2

7. 8×4 Roll on (Non-Fragrance)

8x4 Roll on (Non-Fragrance)8x4 Roll on (Non-Fragrance)

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Price: $3.85

Worth Checking out: Funk-Fighting Deodorant that Features Natural Antibacterials

8 x 4’s roll on features antibacterials derived from licorice and natural deodorants. (Its formula as a whole, however, is not 100% natural.) It was effective against smell. At the very least, at the end of the day, we didn’t reek of old sweat.

As an antiperspirant, it was just okay. We weren’t dripping with sweat, the way we would be if we hadn’t applied anything, but we were a bit sticky. It also took 1 – 2 minutes to set after application.

Japanese 8×4|ロールオン 無香料 Type Roll on
Scent Unscented Volume 150 g
Odor 3.8 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 2.7 Overall Score 3.2

8. Ban Nano-ion Block Stick -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance)

Ban Nano-ion Black Stick -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance) Ban Nano-ion Black Stick -Premium Label- (Non Fragrance)

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Price: $6.30

Worth Checking out: A Light Deodorant that Simply Works

Ban’s known for locking up the floodgates, but it did just okay during testing. We felt less musty and sticky with the deodorant on, but we still sweat a decent amount.

This quickly neutralized odors and kept testers completely smell-free for short periods of time. The formula was also light.

Japanese Ban|汗ブロックスティック プレミアムラベル Type Stick
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 3.0 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 3.0 Overall Score 2.6

9. S-Carat Medicated Deodorant Powder Spray (Fragrance Free)

S-Carat Medicated Deodorant Powder Spray (Fragrance Free)S-Carat Medicated Deodorant Powder Spray (Fragrance Free)

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Price: $4.25

Worth Checking out: If You Care about Packaging (It Works as Well)

Well, the packaging was cute, and the bottle was silent.

Skin felt satiny right after application, but it moistened right up after 2 – 3 hours. There was nothing amazing about the product; it simply earned passing marks.

Japanese エスカラット|薬用デオドラント パウダースプレー Type Spray
Scent Unscented Volume 180 g
Odor 2.7 Sweat 2.5
Longevity 2.2 Overall Score 2.6

10. AgDEO24 Deodorant Stick EX (Unscented)

AgDEO24 Deodorant Stick EX (Unscented)AgDEO24 Deodorant Stick EX (Unscented)

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Price: $9.73

Worth Checking out: Anti-Bacterial, Odor-Fighting Roll on

AgDEO 24 features silver-infused apatite powder, which leaves skin silken and has antibacterial properties (thanks to the silver). It cut odor off at its source, staving off the smell of sweaty body.

It didn’t stave off the look of sweaty body, however. Over time, we perspired as usual and soaked through our clothing. The stick itself was creamy. On the one hand, that made for smooth application; on the other, it left white stains on our shirts.

Japanese エージーデオ24|デオドラントスティック EX 無香料 Type Stick
Scent Unscented Volume 20 g
Odor 3.8 Sweat 2.0
Longevity 2.7 Overall Score 2.5

Products that Didn’t Make the Cut

And why they didn’t quite make it.

Keeps Odors at Bay for Half a Day

Keeps Odors at Bay for Half a Day

Bioré’s Deodorant Z Full Body Spray (Unscented, 11) wasn’t horrible; it just wasn’t amazing. Odors faded–though they didn’t disappear) for about 6 hours. We still sweat the same though.

Likewise, Samourai woman’s Fragrance Deodorant Stick (13) didn’t work as an anti-antiperspirant, though it masked smells with floral and fruity notes. It lasted over half a day.

Ban’s Nano-Ion Block -Premium Label- Roll on Deodorant (Non-Fragrance, 14) and 8×4’s Powder Spray (Non-Fragrance, 15) earned scores of 2.9 and 2.3 for odor, respectively. We smelled relatively fresh for half a day; however, we sweat the entire time.

Somewhat Works on Smells and Sweat, but Doesn’t Last

Somewhat Works on Smells and Sweat, but Doesn't Last

S-Carat’s Deodorant Stick (Fragrance Free, 12) got odors to fade a bit. While we still sweat some with it on, we didn’t feel sticky. However, a single application only worked for 3 – 4 hours.

Barely Works on Odors, Doesn’t Work on Sweat, and Short-Lived to Boot

Barely Works on Odors, Doesn't Work on Sweat, and Short-Lived to Boot

Deonatulle’s Sara Sara Cream (16) and Deonatulle’s Soft Stone Double Deodorant (17) both earned a 2.5 for smell and 1.0 for sweat. The cream lasted just slightly longer–3 – 4 hours, compared to the 2 – 3 hours offered by the stick deodorant.

DHC’s Medicated Deodorant Stick (18) and DHC’s Medicated Deodorant Gel (19) managed to earn identical scores across the table–2.1 for smell, 1.0 for sweat, and 2.0 for longevity. The final product, AgDEO 24’s Deodorant Powder Spray XL (20), was stick with similar scores but lasted a grand total of 2 and a half hours.

How We Tested Our Products

Deodorants and antiperspirants should do two things: block out smell and eliminate sweat stains. And they need to last.

Test ①: Odor

Odor

We gathered a group of editors and had each apply one deodorant to one armpit. They then went about their lives as usual. Every three hours, they used a special instrument to analyze smell. Then, based on its deodorizing properties, we rated each product on a five-step scale.

Odor

We also wanted to see how the deodorants would work retroactively. We prepared several half-dried towels that smelled musty and were teeming with bacteria. We applied the deodorants over the towels, checking whether they could immediately block out odors that had already formed and set in.

Test ②: Sweat

Sweat

We had our group of editors put on the dreaded gray T-shirts. They applied the deodorants and, every three hours, checked for sweat stains. We took into account how much each volunteer usually sweat and how well the products were able to hold back the flood.

Sweat

We learned that antiperspirants that formed physical barriers over skin were most effective. Creams made up seven of the ten top-ranking items (that held back sweat); they were followed by roll ons.

Test ③: Longevity

Longevity

We had our editors look at how well the deodorants were working at the three and six hour marks. They paid attention to how much they had sweat, how much they smelled, and whether skin still felt dry and smooth.

Longevity

Stick deodorants performed well, likely because they were thick but absorbed easily into skin.

Tips on How to Choose Japanese Deodorants and Antiperspirants – Buying Guide

Here are two big points to look out for.

① Figure out What Type of Deodorant You Need

There are five main types.

Sprays: For Freshening up Quickly

Sprays: For Freshening up Quickly

Sprays are great if you want to freshen up while you’re out and about or after a workout. Many coat your skin with a powder–or something similar–so you feel smooth and dry. Some also contain cooling ingredients like menthol. And since the applicator doesn’t ever touch your skin, it’s the most hygienic option.

However, effects wear off relatively quickly. Some of the cans also get pretty loud, so if that’s going to bother you, try the applicator out beforehand.

Roll ons: For Smooth and Even Application

Roll ons: For Smooth and Even Application

Roll ons make for smooth application. They’re least likely to leave powder or white stains on clothing. Most contain a lot of ethanol, which makes for a cooling effect.

However, they take time to dry. And if you were to slip on a shirt before it died, then it would stain.

Sticks: For a Balance between Effectiveness and Convenience

Sticks: For a Balance between Effectiveness and Convenience

These are just like glue sticks. The formula is in one giant block; you twist it out of the tube and apply directly to your underarms. They’re as easy to use as roll ons but adhere closely to skin like creams. Stick deodorants are also small and light.

However, they show up white when dry and leave residue behind on clothing.

Creams: For Long Lasting Effects

Creams: For Long Lasting Effects

You work creams into your skin, so effects last a while. They’re worth a try if you struggle with sweat and/or body odor.

You can easily adjust for amount, using just a dab for days spent in an air-conditioned office and slathering on more when you’ll be out camping or hiking. Cream deodorant comes in a wide variety of textures, from thick pastes to watery gels.

Most come in jars or tubes, and you have to apply with your hands. They’re too messy to take on the go, so make sure you put on enough before you leave the house.

Sheets: For Wiping Away Sweat

Sheets: For Wiping Away Sweat

If you need to clean up after a work out or a sweaty night’s sleep, consider getting deodorant wipes. They’re portable, perfect for use in a locker room. Many are also scented, so if you wanted to perk up your mood, you could get one with a citrusy smell; if you wanted to relax, you could look for herbal fragrances.

However, body wipes are normally used to clean your body–at a campsite or the beach, for example–and are rarely used solely as deodorants, so we didn’t test any this time around.

② Consider Various Ingredients and Their Effects

Most ingredients used in deodorants either block sweat, fight bacteria, or eliminate odor. Depending on your specific body chemistry, some formulas will work better than others.

Ingredients for Prolific Sweaters and Those Worried about Sweat Stains

Ingredients for Prolific Sweaters and Those Worried about Sweat Stains

Sweat-blocking ingredients work by clogging sweat glands, essentially locking the floodgates. Below are examples of popular and effective ingredients. Alum, by the way, not only reduces sweat but has antimicrobial and odor-fighting properties.

  • クロルヒドロキシアルミニウム: Chlorhydroxy Aluminum
  • パラフェノールスルホン酸亜鉛: Zinc Para Phenol Sulfonic Acid
  • ミョウバン: Alum
  • 酸化亜鉛: Zinc Oxide

Now, there have been and still are rumors circulating the internet, linking aluminum in deodorants to Alzheimer’s and breast cancer. However, members from the American Cancer Society and Alzhemier’s Association have made clear that there is no definitive evidence behind these claims yet.

Ingredients that Fight Odor-Causing Bacteria

Ingredients that Fight Odor-Causing Bacteria

Antimicrobials eliminate odor by addressing the root of the problem–bacteria. Even if you were to sweat buckets, as long as bacteria growth is contained, you won’t smell like B.O.

Look for the following ingredients:

  • 銀イオン (Ag+): Silver ion (Ag+)
  • イソプロピルメチルフェノール: Isopropyl Methylphenol
  • ミョウバン: Alum
  • 塩化ベンザルコニウム: Benzalkonium Chloride
  • β-グリチルレチン酸: β-Glycyrrhetinic Acid
  • メントール: Menthol

Ingredients that Eliminate Pre-Existing Odors

Ingredients that Eliminate Pre-Existing Odors

Deodorants aren’t only preventive; they can also block smells that have already formed. These contain compounds that react with and neutralize odors. The following are representative examples:

  • 亜鉛華(酸化亜鉛): Zinc Oxide
  • 炭 (活性炭/木炭/竹炭): Charcoal (Activated Carbon/Wood Charcoal/Bamboo Charcoal)
  • 柿渋タンニン: Astringent Tannin
  • 緑茶抽出物 (カテキン): Green Tea Extract (Catechins)
  • 焼ミョウバン: Baking Alum
  • メントール: Menthol
  • 植物抽出エキス: Botanical Extracts

Some deodorants seek to cover up smells rather than neutralize them. If one works for you, then great; however, more often than not, they simply mix with your body odor–and now you smell both naturally and chemically gross. We recommend sampling any deodorant-perfumes before committing.

Is It Safe to Use Deodorant?

Is It Safe to Use Deodorant?

Before all the rumors circulating the internet have you swearing off on antiperspirants altogether, let’s talk more about what these do to your body.

Strictly speaking, it’s not sweat that smells. B.O. is caused by bacteria. However, that bacteria proliferates when you sweat because it feeds off of the nutrients in your sweat and oils and dirt on your skin. That’s why deodorant works best when you apply it over clean skin, where it works to stem the flow of sweat.

Keep in mind that your body sweats to cool down. That’s why you should only ever apply deodorant to your armpits and maybe legs, as they have little to do with overall body temperature. If you use deodorant on other areas, you deprive your body of its ability to regulate temperature, which can lead to heat stroke.

How Do I Tell if I Smell Bad?

How Do I Tell if I Smell Bad?

There’s a few ways. It’s often said that people with stronger body odor have wet earwax. If you’ve ever seen your earwax and it’s sticky and caramel-colored, then you might be prone to smelling rather strongly. If it’s a a bit damp, then you have average body odor. If it’s dry, you don’t really need to worry.

Your clothes are also a good way to check. Yellow stains are a sign of possible body odor.

And while you can’t smell yourself, you can smell your clothing. Next time you shower, don’t throw your clothes in the hamper just yet. Leave them out, cleanse yourself, then come back to sniff your clothing. By the time you step out of the shower, your nose will have been reset, so you can objectively smell yourself.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 56 most popular Japanese deodorants, and tested them all.

To be honest, we thought there wouldn’t be much to deodorant–it either works or it doesn’t. But we learned that a lot comes down to personal preference. Do you want something that eliminates sweat stains? Or would you rather focus on odor and let your body regulate temperature as usual? Do you want a spray that cools you down or a stick you can use discreetly in the restroom?

Like it or not, smell’s a huge factor in determining first impressions and personal image. So find yourself a deodorant that a) you’re comfortable using and b) will leave you confident.

Original by Haruka Toda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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