Monday, October 13, 2014

The Deodorant Struggle (a real thing)

A few years ago, I was going to the store and I asked my younger brother, Zac, if he needed me to pick up anything for him.

"Yes, I need some deodorant." He says.
"OK. Do you have a brand you like?" I reply.
"No, just whatever."
"OK. Do you like the white solid or the clear liquid?"
"Neither. Clear solid, please"
"That doesn't exist."
"Sure it does."

My head exploded on the spot.

You see, in lady deodorant land, these are your choices:

1. White solid - they say it's "invisible" and won't mark up your black shirts, but this is lies lies lies.
2. Clear liquid - you have to get out your hair dryer to dry your armpits or you'll get a wet stain on your shirt... and don't we wear deodorant to avoid this kind of thing?
3. Roll on - this only works for the best smelling people on the planet. Everyone else needs a bit more than the 1-2 drops you get from a stick of Ban.
4. Spray on - no thanks

That's it. Those are your options. You have to decide whether you want white marks on your shirt or wet squishy underarms. Pick the least objectionable option. 

After my brother told me that there was such a thing as a "clear solid" in the boy deodorants, I raced to Target to see if this was actually real. To my shock and horror, it was. A few different brands (Dove, Degree, Old Spice) all offered a clear solid.

I took a few steps to my right to check the lady deodorants and see if I had somehow missed an innovation where clear solids were made for women.

They were not.

Even brands that provide deodorant for both sexes (Degree, Dove) would provide a clear solid option for men, but a selection of white solids and clear liquids for women.

Is the biology of our armpits really different enough between sexes to justify completely different options for this bathroom staple? I just googled "Why aren't there clear solid deodorants for women?" but apparently no one is angry enough about this because there were zero relevant results. We must begin this ruckus ourselves.

Back in that Target aisle, I bought two Dove Men+Care deodorants. One for Zac, and one for me.

I have used boy deodorant since. I sample my options and select the one that smelled the least masculine (I recommend "Clean Comfort" from Dove), but I still feet a bit cheated. Admittedly, it was convenient when I got married, because Austin and I can share a deodorant stick. However, if one of us was traveling without the other, we have a deficit.

Recently I've discovered Arm & Hammer Natural Essentials, which is a unisex clear solid that doesn't smell like man. But even as I write this post, the big drug store deodorant brands (I'm looking at you, Secret, Degree, and Dove) don't provide clear solids for women.

Join me in my outrage. Better yet, make a billion dollars by taking a pink or purple label and putting it on a stick of clear solid deodorant. And make it smell like something other than icebergs and oppression.


  1. I am now turning my bathroom into a lab so as to fix this conundrum. Take note. We will make our millions!

  2. I too have noticed this! I get mitchum clear solid no scent for men, but it isn't at every store!

  3. I feel like this blog post makes it weird that I use Dove Clean Comfort roll-on deodorant.

    Maybe rethinking some life choices is in order.

  4. This is the best post. It's something I noticed (Andrew uses clear solid old spice), but since I'm happy with my Secret "Truth or Pear" I haven't really thought it through yet. It's pretty nuts, really.

  5. I too used to use boy-brand deos!!! but now that I am , Uh, hum........dare I say it?, older......I now find myself in the organic area.......with a solid white, drier than burnt toast option or a clear liquid that may or may not work when you REALLY need it option..............hmmmm........roll ons seem to be my best options these days!!!


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