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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’ve found that the average store-bought deodorant just isn’t doing the job, though, you may need to consider a clinical strength one.

There are several ingredients these deodorants use for their antiperspirant properties. Still, none is more powerful than aluminum chloride, which is what Maxim Clinical Strength Antiperspirant Roll-On Deodorant uses. It’s 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 a clinical strength deodorant 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. Deodorants have varying amounts of active antiperspirant ingredients; clinical strength options have the highest levels allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration without requiring a prescription. 

Who should use a clinical strength deodorant

While anyone unsatisfied with the performance of standard deodorants can use one with clinical strength, 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 a clinical strength deodorant

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. 

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. Not only does this not make a significant difference in how effective deodorant is, it increases the chances of skin 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 deodorant isn’t providing the sweat and odor protection level you were hoping for, 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 a small molecule size that lets it penetrate deeply into the sweat gland. However, it is also the most likely to irritate.

If you have sensitive skin or aren’t dealing with extreme hyperhidrosis, it may be better to choose a deodorant that uses aluminum zirconium or aluminum sesquichlorohydrate. Aluminum zirconium is more common, but both are gentle on the skin, though they offer less protection against sweating than aluminum chloride. 


Clinical strength deodorants come in roll-on, gel and solid forms.

  • Roll-on deodorants are liquid formulas that go on wet but dry quickly. They are easy to apply and usually invisible during and after application.
  • Gel deodorants have a thick consistency that takes longer to dry than roll-on options but are also easy to use and dry clear. Some, though, may find they leave behind an unpleasant tackiness.
  • Solid deodorants can have 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. 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 have raised concerns that the ingredients used in deodorants can contribute to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, no studies have produced evidence to back up this claim. This goes for both regular and clinical strength deodorants. If you have kidney disease, however, speak with your doctor before using a clinical strength deodorant 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.

What you’ll love: A single application offers up to seven 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 it’s still very effective.

What you’ll love: It’s 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

Worth checking out

Gillette Ultimate Fresh Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant for Men

Gillette Clinical Protection Ultimate Fresh Soft Solid Men’s Deodorant

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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