The Real Difference Between Gel And Solid Deodorant

Nowadays, there are a dizzying number of deodorants for sale in any given beauty product aisle. In addition to the multiple brands available, you can also choose from a variety of application types, including stick, aerosol, and roll-on.

Although it comes in different forms, deodorant is designed to serve the same purpose: to eliminate body odor (via Ban). The often putrid scent we emit when we sweat is not actually caused by the sweat itself, a clear and odorless fluid that keeps us cool when our body temperature heats up. The odor comes from the bacteria that is ever-present on our skin when it breaks down the chemical components of the sweat. This is where deodorant comes into play. Its goal is to prevent bacteria from thriving and breaking down your sweat. It is also chock-full of fragrances that mask any potential odors.

With so many options available for keeping your underarms fresh, you may be wondering what the difference is between some of these products. When it comes to gel versus solid deodorants, the difference lies more in the formula than in the delivery, according to EJIS. Both gel and solid deodorants are sold in a plastic container with a twisting knob at the bottom. However, gel deodorants are typically more potent and go on clear, while solid deodorants are white and firm.

Should I use gel or solid deodorant?

If gel and solid deodorants essentially serve the same purpose, is one better than the other? Dove dermatologist Dr. Alicia Barba has an answer to this question, according to Bustle. She says, "It's all about the difference in delivering the active ingredients, and oftentimes, that comes down to personal preference." Your preference might have to do with how long you're willing to wait to get dressed after applying your deodorant. With gel types, you will need to wait first for it to dry. However, if you don't mind waiting, you won't risk leaving white streaks on your shirt, as often happens with solid deodorants.

Rooftop Squad gives deodorant users a couple more things to consider when choosing between gel and solid deodorants. For starters, anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck may prefer solid deodorants since gel may not last as long. Additionally, gel deodorants aren't a great choice to carry around with you throughout the day as they melt in high temperatures. 

EJIS points out that one benefit to using a gel deodorant over a solid is that once it dries, you probably won't be able to tell that it's there. Solid deodorants may be more likely to leave a residue that's uncomfortable for some individuals. Ultimately, you may need to try out a few different types and brands until you find the deodorant that works best for you.