These deodorants actually work as advertised, with no white stripes or sticky residue in sight.
A friend of mine recently 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 have never found one that doesn't leave white stripes on my torso when I yank on a shirt in a hurry, or sticky residue on the armpits that won't come off in the wash.
That is, until now. On a quest to determine the best deodorants for women that won't ruin your clothes, I tested more than 15 so-called "invisible" deodorants and 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 deodorants I tested failed. But I did discover six pleasant surprises that not only left me smelling fresh all day, but also stayed put my underarms (not my clothes):
Mitchum Clinical Gel
Mitchum is a fantastic drugstore buy. The smart solid feels a little bit wet and slippery when you first put it on, but it dries extremely quickly and keeps 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. To each her own.
Dove Advanced Care Nourished Beauty Antiperspirant
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). It 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
My first thought was, "Who would ever in her 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. It goes on totally clear and stays that way. You will also get compliments all day about great you smell. Bottom line: I am willing to name this the best deodorant on the planet.
Kiehl's Superbly Efficient Antiperspirant and Deodorant
When it comes to not leaving any stains on your shirt, this deodorant 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 pit products, I definitely recommend this one.
DERMAdoctor Total Nonscents Ultra-Gentle Brightening Antiperspirant
I love this deodorant, although it's pricey (like nearly 30 bucks pricey). I used it at a time 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. Tip: 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
I keep Old Spice deodorant in my gym bag, so I thought, why not try a few men's 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 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.