Are you pregnant and finding your regular deodorant isn’t cutting it anymore? Or are you worried about whether it’s even safe to continue to use while you’re expecting?
Most women find themselves feeling overheated during pregnancy, thanks to hormones and weight gain, and discover deodorant is an absolute necessity. If you have questions about what’s safe to use or you find yourself needing to swap out your regular deodorant because it’s no longer effective, read on.
Quick ComparisonOur Top Pregnancy Deodorant Picks of 2019 Read Full Reviews
How Does Deodorant Work?
We tend to use the word deodorant to encompass a wide variety of personal care products on the market that are designed to keep us from smelling bad.
However, there are actually several different types of products available:
- Antiperspirants: These products plug up your sweat glands to keep you from sweating. They are the most common products we think of when we use the word deodorant. They are especially useful for people who sweat enough to have visible wet stains on their clothes.
- Deodorant: These are products you swipe under your arm that have a scent to them to help mask your natural odor. They are often, though not always, combined with antiperspirants to have a dual effect of reducing sweat and masking the odor.
- Body Sprays: Unless they are specifically labeled as an antiperspirant, these products are simply scented sprays that mask your natural odor. They function the same as perfumes or standalone deodorants.
Deodorants and antiperspirants commonly come in four different forms:
Different Deodorant When Pregnant
Antiperspirants and deodorants serve two main functions:
- To reduce the amount of sweat in your armpits.
- To mask any unpleasant body odor.
Your sweat itself does not smell bad, but it mixes with bacteria that live in the warm, moist environment under your arms and that’s what causes body odor (source).
Sweat is a tool that your body uses to cool itself down when it feels overheated, and there are several reasons you may feel extra hot when you’re pregnant, including:
- Carrying extra weight.
- Your baby producing heat.
So, increased sweating is yet another of the so-called joys of pregnancy you might not have expected. With this increased sweating, you may start to experience embarrassing pit stains in your armpits, or an increase in noticeable body odor.
If your regular deodorant is no longer doing the job, you may need to switch to a new type when pregnant.
Deodorant Safety When Pregnant
The quick answer to this question is, yes, it’s safe to use deodorant while pregnant.
Pregnant women are not generally advised by their doctors to stop using or switch their deodorant because it poses a risk to the baby. If pregnant women do opt to switch, it’s mainly because they have noticed an increase in sweating and need a new brand that will help them stay dry.
However, it’s important to note there is a lot of controversy around whether deodorants are safe for anyone — and not just pregnant women. The main controversy centers around the ingredient aluminum used in antiperspirants, which clogs the sweat ducts so they cannot release any sweat (source). There are theories that aluminum causes breast cancer, but at this time there is no medical evidence to support that.
Despite the medical evidence, some people choose to avoid aluminum-based antiperspirants and deodorants out of an abundance of caution. Unfortunately, aluminum is incredibly effective as an antiperspirant and for pregnant women suffering from excessive sweating, and there do not appear to be any super effective aluminum-free alternatives.
Be Wary of Parabens
Alternatives to Deodorant While Pregnant
After reviewing the medical evidence, we don’t find it necessary to avoid deodorants and antiperspirants while pregnant. However, we understand some pregnant women will choose to do so out of caution.
If it’s important to you to avoid aluminum and fragrances, or you opt for a more natural deodorant that doesn’t have the same level of effectiveness as your conventional brand, you can try the following to manage sweating and body odor while pregnant:
- Use underarm wipes throughout the day to clean bacteria that may mix with sweat and cause odor.
- Put baby powder, cornstarch, or baking soda under your arms to help absorb your sweat.
- Wear light clothing that will allow your body to breathe and prevents overheating.
- Use deodorant only on an “as-needed” basis, like when you have a big presentation at work or if you’re planning to be out in the sun all day.
- Frequently bathing or showering.
What To Look for in Deodorant
When buying deodorant while pregnant, look for the following:
- Antiperspirant and deodorant: Your need will depend on how much you’re sweating or your personal affliction, but if you want a deodorant that will protect you from embarrassing pit stains, you must find one specifically labeled as an antiperspirant. If you also want a scent to cover up body odor, it should be co-labeled as a deodorant.
- Paraben-free: Parabens can mimic estrogen in the body — avoid deodorants that contain parabens.
- Stick or roll on: Avoid spray deodorants as you may inhale some of the particles into your lungs. Try to choose stick or roll-on deodorants.
The Best Pregnancy Deodorants of 2019
Here are 5 products we think are safe and effective for you to use during your pregnancy.
1. Almay Sensitive Skin Clear Gel
Best for Sensitive Skin
When you’re pregnant, you may notice your skin is extra sensitive to irritants, so you may find yourself breaking out in a rash underneath your arms. This deodorant has been tested by dermatologists and is hypoallergenic, meaning it is not likely to cause a reaction on even the most sensitive skin.
It contains no parabens which can minic estrogen, and the fragrance-free formula means it will not bother you if you are sensitive to smells during pregnancy.
It is a gel formula so it will go on smooth, but dries quickly to protect from sweat all day long. As a strong formula, it contains the maximum amount of aluminum allowed, which will help keep excessive sweating at bay.
2. Pacifica Beauty Underarm Deodorant Wipes
Best Underarm Wipes
When you’re pregnant and struggling with sweat, sometimes you need a little touch-up throughout the day to stay fresh. You can keep these wipes in your purse and use them throughout the day to remove odor-causing bacteria and wipe off excess sweat.
The formula helps to neutralize odors, but is not an antiperspirant so it will not keep you from sweating throughout the day. However, they don’t contain aluminum or other harsh chemicals you may be trying to avoid. They come in four different varieties so you can choose the scent and formula that will work best for you.
These wipes are made with natural ingredients like coconut milk, witch hazel, and shea butter, and contain no parabens, phthalates, or other ingredients that could potentially irritate your extra-sensitive skin. They are also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
3. Secret Clinical Strength
Best Long Lasting Pregnancy Deodorant
If you’re dealing with excessive sweat while pregnant, you just might have to up the ante on your deodorant. Not only can sweat cause body odor when it mixes with the bacteria that live under your arms, but it can result in embarrassing social or professional encounters if you tend to get wet spots under your arms.
Despite natural options on the market, the most effective ingredient to keep you from sweating is aluminum, which is considered safe for daily use even while pregnant. This clinical formula has a higher percentage of aluminum than traditional deodorants, and boasts effectiveness for up to 48 hours.
It does have a light fragrance with it, but contains no parabens or any of the top allergens that may irritate your sensitive skin. It is sold in a bar form which is easy to apply quickly and won’t require extra time to dry before you can put your clothes on.
4. Soapwalla Deodorant Cream
Best Deodorant Cream for Pregnancy
This deodorant might take some getting used to since it’s a cream you apply with your fingers to your armpits, but if you prefer to avoid aluminum and other chemicals, it might be worth the extra effort.
This product uses fine vegetable powders, clays, and oils to help prevent bacteria growth under your arms and inhibit sweating.
It has a citrus scent which is usually tolerable for pregnant women struggling with pregnancy nausea or morning sickness, and it is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free.
It has no parabens or aluminum so while it works effectively as a deodorant and helps to limit the amount you sweat, it is not technically an antiperspirant as it does not fully clog your sweat glands.
The main drawback to this product is that it is considerably more expensive than most other deodorant options on the market.
5. Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
Best Deodorant Stick for Pregnancy
This option is one of the most natural products you can choose. This crystal deodorant stick is made of minerals which form a natural barrier against your skin, preventing bacteria from mixing with your sweat.
It has no fragrances so, if you’re sensitive to smells during pregnancy, it will not exacerbate your pregnancy nausea. It contains no aluminum, parabens, or other harmful chemicals. It is also hypoallergenic if your skin is extra sensitive during pregnancy, and has been tested as safe to use on those people whose skin is subject to breakouts.
This deodorant stick is formed from mineral salts and you need to wet it before application. But it’s an economical option as one stick will last up to a year before you need to purchase a new one.
The Bottom Line
Our top pick is the Almay Sensitive Skin Clear Gel. It contains the maximum level of aluminum to battle stubborn pregnancy sweat but does not contain added scents that may be bothersome to the sensitive pregnancy nose.
Plus, it’s hypoallergenic so it will not irritate your skin while pregnant, contains no parabens which can interfere with your estrogen, and has been tested by dermatologists so you know it’s safe.
Did you find your regular deodorant lacking once you found out you were pregnant? What brand did you switch to? Let us know in the comments below.