6 Invisible Deodorants and Antiperspirants That Pass the Black T-Shirt Test

These products actually work as advertised, with no white stripes or sticky residue in sight.

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A friend of mine Tweeted, "It's 2016, how is it possible that 'invisible' deodorant STILL STAINS YOUR CLOTHES"—and instantly I thought, she's totally right. I constantly switch up the deodorant-antiperspirants that I wear and can truly say that I had never found one that didn't leave white stripes on my torso when I yanked on a shirt in a hurry or sticky residue on the armpits that wouldn't come off in the wash.

On a quest to determine the best deodorants that won't ruin your clothes, I tested more than 15 so-called "invisible" deodorant and antiperspirant products in order to solve the white armpit mystery for good. For each test, I wore the product under a black shirt all day (in the disgusting New York City summer heat, too). Every evening, I assessed my smell and whether the product left any residue on my clothes.

To be totally honest, the majority of the products I tested failed. The products I found helpful were considered to be antiperspirants, either in complete form or in combination with deodorants. Also, antiperspirants must include aluminum compounds, per the FDA, as the aluminum compounds help reduce sweat. Thus, they all included an aluminum compound (i.e., aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly or aluminum chlorohydrate) as their main ingredient.

Overall, the six products below not only left me smelling fresh all day but also stayed put in my armpits—and not on my clothes.

Mitchum Clinical Gel

deoderant
Amazon

Main ingredient: aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly

Mitchum is a fantastic drugstore buy. The smart solid, which is both an antiperspirant and deodorant, feels a little bit wet and slippery when you first put it on, but it dries extremely quickly and kept me protected all day without leaving white residue. When I suggested it to a girlfriend, she complained the powder scent smelled too much like a bug spray, but I actually found it quite nice.

Dove Advanced Care Nourished Beauty Antiperspirant

deodorant
Amazon

Main ingredient: aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly

I've tried a lot of Dove deodorants but found most too chalky. The Advanced Care line exceeded my expectations, although I can only attest to the type labeled "clear tone" (the pink rosa smells lovely). This antiperspirant/deodorant goes on smooth and non-sticky, almost more like a body butter. And most importantly, it's completely invisible and leaves no marks.

Estée Lauder Youth-Dew Roll-On Antiperspirant Deodorant

deodorant
Estée Lauder

Main ingredient: aluminum chlorohydrate

My first thought was, "Who would ever in their right mind spend $20 on deodorant?" My second thought? "This smells gooooooood." That's because the roll-on is scented with Estée Lauder's Youth-Dew perfume, so it sort of kills two beauty birds with one stone if you're a perfume wearer. The roll-on antiperspirant deodorant goes on totally clear and stays that way. You will also get compliments all day about how great you smell. (Bottom line: I am willing to name this the best deodorant on the planet.)

Kiehl's Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant

deodorant
Kiehl's

Main ingredient: aluminum chlorohydrate

When it comes to not leaving any stains on your shirt, this antiperspirant and deodorant product is "superbly efficient." However, there are two downsides to this product: First, it's actually a cream, which I find awkward when I put it on my underarms using my fingers; second, it really doesn't have a scent, and I like to smell a little something nice when I start to get sweaty. But if you prefer natural brands and odorless armpit products, I definitely recommend this one.

DERMAdoctor Total Nonscents Ultra-Gentle Brightening Antiperspirant

deodorant
Dermstore

Main ingredient: aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly

I love this antiperspirant, although it's pricey. I used it at a time when I had slightly itchy razor burn and it had a soothing effect. It also kept me sweat-free and protected all day and left behind no streaks or powder.

Given that it's a roll-on, you definitely want to let it dry for a few minutes before getting dressed (despite the "dries quick" claim). If you have sensitive skin, I'd say this one's for you.

Jack Black Pit Boss

deodorant
Amazon

Main ingredient: aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly

I keep Old Spice deodorant in my gym bag, so I thought, why not try a few male-marketed options? I stumbled upon Jack Black Pit Boss after reading a beauty blogger's rave about it. I love the shower-fresh smell. It's an antiperspirant and deodorant combination that's not too intense but enough to detect that I'm wearing something under there. It keeps me odor-free all day and even through super sweaty workouts—all without any white marks.

The trick I found is to only swipe on one thin coat, rather than applying it in layers (which does leave some white residue, I learned). I reapplied in the afternoon at work to make sure putting on very little wouldn't be an issue. All in all, this one is replacing my Old Spice.

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