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Which clinical strength deodorant is best?

No one wants to walk around with body odor or sweat stains on their clothes. That’s why nearly everyone uses deodorant daily. If you have found that the average store-bought deodorant just isn’t doing the job, though, you may need to consider a clinical strength option.

There are several ingredients these deodorants use for their antiperspirant properties. Still, none are more powerful than aluminum chloride, which is precisely what Maxim Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Roll-on Deodorant uses. This one is so effective that a single application can stop sweating for up to seven days, even for those with hyperhidrosis.

What to know before you buy a clinical strength deodorant

What it is

Deodorants solve two problems, excess sweating and body odor from the armpits. They do this by using a combination of fragrant and antiperspirant ingredients. Different deodorants on the market will have varying amounts of active antiperspirant ingredients, and clinical strength options have the highest levels allowed by the FDA without requiring a prescription. 

Who should use 

While anyone unsatisfied with the performance of standard deodorants can use a clinical strength option, they are for people with hyperhidrosis. This is a condition in which a person sweats excessively, no matter the weather or activity level. 

How to use

Though it may seem like the way to use deodorant is self-explanatory, people make many mistakes that can limit their effectiveness. Perhaps none is more common than applying your deodorant in the morning before heading out for the day. 

According to most experts, you’ll get the maximum benefit from a deodorant if you apply it to clean skin at night. This is because sweating before a deodorant has had time to penetrate and clog the pores limits its effectiveness. Since most people sweat less at night, this is the best time to apply it for maximum results. 

Clinical strength deodorants work for 48 hours or longer. Also, once absorbed into the pores, showering won’t reduce their effectiveness. So you don’t have to worry that if you apply your deodorant at night, it won’t prevent sweat and odors the following day. 

Another mistake some people make is to apply more clinical strength deodorant than is recommended to make it more effective. In actuality, not only does this not make a significant difference in how effective deodorant is, it increases the chances of irritation.

One last thing to consider is that deodorants only work if they are applied directly to the skin. If you find that a clinical strength isn’t providing the sweat and odor protection level you were hoping for, you may want to consider shaving or trimming your armpit hair. It is not uncommon for armpit hair to prevent proper application of deodorant. 

Features to look for in a quality clinical strength deodorant

Active ingredient

Clinical strength deodorants rely on one of three ingredients for their antiperspirant properties. These are aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium and aluminum sesquichlorohydrate. Of the three, aluminum chloride is the strongest due to the small molecule size that allows it to penetrate deeply into the sweat gland. However, it is also the most likely to irritate.

Suppose you have sensitive skin or aren’t dealing with extreme hyperhidrosis. In that case, it may be better to opt for a deodorant that uses aluminum zirconium or aluminum sesquichlorohydrate as its active antiperspirant ingredient. The former is the more common ingredient, but both are gentle on the skin, though they offer less protection against sweating than aluminum chloride. 


Clinical strength deodorants are available in roll-on, gel and solid options. Roll-on deodorants are liquid formulas that go on wet but dry quickly. They are easy to apply and usually completely invisible during and after application. Gels have a thick consistency that takes longer to dry than roll-on options but are also easy to use and dry clear. That said, some may find they leave behind an unpleasant tackiness. Solid deodorants can leave behind a white residue that leaves marks on dark clothes, but they don’t require any drying time.


Clinical deodorants are available in scented or fragrance-free options. If opting for a scented deodorant, it should have a fragrance you find pleasant. Men’s deodorants often have fresh, spicy or musky scents, while women’s tend to be floral.

How much can you expect to spend on clinical strength deodorant

Clinical strength deodorants are more expensive than standard deodorants and tend to have a per-ounce cost $3-$20.

Clinical strength deodorant FAQ

Is clinical strength deodorant safe?

A. Though some people have raised concerns that the ingredients used in deodorants can contribute to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, there have been no studies that produced evidence that back up this claim. This goes for both regular and clinical strength deodorants. That said, if you have kidney disease, it is recommended to speak with your doctor before using a clinical strength deodorant just to be on the safe side.

What can I do if clinical strength deodorant isn’t working for me?

A. If you have used a clinical strength deodorant correctly and have still found it isn’t effective enough for your needs, it may be time to speak with a doctor. They can recommend a prescription-strength deodorant.

What is the best clinical strength deodorant to buy?

Top clinical strength deodorant

Maxim Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Roll-on Deodorant

Maxim Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Roll-on Deodorant

What you need to know: This fragrance-free deodorant is one of the strongest non-prescription options available.

What you’ll love: A single application offers up to 7 days of protection, even in those with extreme hyperhidrosis.

What you should consider: It’s more expensive than most others.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top clinical strength deodorant for the money

Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant

Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant

What you need to know: This deodorant is specially formulated to be gentle on the skin yet is still very effective.

What you’ll love: It is alcohol-free and contains moisturizers to help skin recover from shaving irritation.

What you should consider: Some feel it leaves behind a sticky texture that can be unpleasant.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Worth checking out

Gillette Ultimate Fresh Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant for Men

Gillette Ultimate Fresh Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant for Men

What you need to know: A dermatologist-tested deodorant from a trusted brand, you can rely on this one for long-lasting defense against sweating.

What you’ll love: It is made with non-irritating ingredients and has a strong scent that effectively covers odors.

What you should consider: It can leave behind a white residue if applied too heavily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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