Some people love stick deodorants, others prefer roll-ons. But when you look at the criteria for what makes a deodorant great, does one format stand out above the other as being truly better? Let’s compare sticks and roll-ons in six key categories.
1. Which is easier to apply?
Stick deodorants glide on smoothly in most situations. Where things get tricky (or sticky) is when a stick deodorant is exposed to more extreme temperatures. For example, if you or your child like to take your deodorant with you to freshen up after a workout or practice, know that stick deodorants can substantially soften or even melt if left in a hot car. Similarly, they can become too hard and difficult to apply when left in the cold.
Roll-on deodorants don’t suffer from this same temperature sensitivity, and remain easy to apply in all situations.
2. Which dries faster?
Stick deodorants apply a waxy solid to your skin, which is generally pretty dry as soon as it goes on. So the dry time required is very low.
Roll-on deodorants apply a liquid to your skin, which goes on wet and needs a bit of time to dry. Typical dry times are between 1 and 3 minutes. While it’s not essential for the deodorant to be 100% dry before getting dressed, some people likely prefer to wait.
3. Which is more effective?
The effectiveness of a deodorant is dependent on the overall product formulation, the active ingredient(s) used, the activity level of the wearer, as well as the wearer’s unique body chemistry. Some are designed for basic day-to-day odor protection, while others (such as Kobi Sport Deodorant) are designed to also withstand more intense activity levels. But both stick and roll-on deodorants are capable of delivering the same odor-neutralizing ingredients to the skin, so one format is not necessarily better than the other in terms of effectiveness. It all depends on the formulation of the particular product!
4. Which is less noticeable on the skin?
Many stick deodorants have a clear appearance when applied to the skin, especially those made as a solid gel. However, others can produce white or cream-colored residue under the arms, which is typically a build-up of the various waxes and/or powders in the product.
Roll-on deodorants are typically water-based, and therefore almost always go on clear. Residue build-up is rare due to the lack of wax or other solids in the product.
5. Which is easier to wash off?
Natural stick deodorants are made solid by two types of ingredients: waxes and oils. If you’ve ever experienced a stick deodorant not washing off too easily in the shower, it’s the sticky wax that’s keeping it stuck to your skin. The same goes for clothes — wax and oil do not wash out of fabric easily, and they cause the yellow armpit stains commonly found on your shirts!
Being water-based, roll-on deodorants easily wash off your skin at the end of the day, and do not stick to clothes.
6. Which is the best value?
Being a solid, stick deodorants tend not to spread much to other areas of the armpit after applying. So, it’s important to coat the entire armpit area when putting it on. Stick deodorants tend to last 1-2 months.
Being a liquid, roll-on deodorants will naturally spread around after you’ve swiped. This means that typically only a few swipes are needed, then the product will spread evenly throughout the armpit once you put your arm down. The advantage of this is that you can achieve the same level of coverage by using less product. Roll-on deodorants typically last 2-3 months.
The final score is 4 points to roll-ons, 1 point to sticks, and 1 tie. As you can see, roll-on deodorants are really the best overall format for you and your kids to use, especially if your family leads an active lifestyle and is always on-the-go!