One of the secrets to everyday confidence is smelling great. This can be a real challenge in a tropical country like the Philippines. A good way to add a layer of protection is to use an effective soap for underarm odor together with your preferred deodorant or antiperspirant. These usually have antibacterial properties that prevent odor caused by bacteria.
To help you choose from the wide array of bars, gels, and body washes in the market, check out our detailed buying guide with tips from dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz below. We also have a list of the best soaps for underarm odor that you can buy online now!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Table of Contents
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Body odor occurs when perspiration interacts with the bacteria on the skin, especially in areas like the underarms where there are more sweat glands. Since sweating is a normal bodily response to help us cool off, body odor should also be regarded as a normal thing. With proper hygiene, it can be easily prevented.
Using a deodorant soap can save you from stinky situations. These are specially formulated to get rid of bacteria and hamper their growth. Just make sure to thoroughly clean your underarms with the soap when you shower to remove sweat buildup and other impurities. If you’re having a packed day, you can also use a deodorant or antiperspirant for added protection.
Fun fact! What's the difference between a deodorant and an anti-perspirant? A deodorant simply masks the smell with fragrance. An anti-perspirant controls bad odor at the source by preventing sweating.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Consider having both components in your routine to keep underarm odor at bay!
As stated above, the best soap for underarm odor is one that has antibacterial agents. Depending on the product, these can come in both chemical and natural forms. Some deodorant soaps also contain other ingredients that can provide additional benefits to your underarms.
Triclosan and triclocarban are commonly used antibacterial ingredients for hygiene products, including bar soaps and body washes. While these have been proven safe for consumer use, there are still people who are wary of their supposed adverse effects. For that, there are other antibacterial ingredients such as sulfur and potassium alum to look for as alternatives.
Aside from its antifungal properties, sulfur also has long been recognized to be an antibacterial agent used to treat a variety of skin conditions and infections. Potassium alum (tawas), on the other hand, is effective in controlling body odor because it is considered to be bacteriostatic, which means it inhibits the growth of bacteria. Its astringent properties also help shrink sweat ducts that prevent excessive sweating,
Interestingly, a study conducted by Al-Talib, et al. showed that potassium alum is effective against axillary malodor-producing bacteria, making it a good option for direct application or for incorporation into underarm care products.
Some of the most popular essential oils added to soaps are tea tree, lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint oils. They have scientifically proven antibacterial abilities that can help eliminate odor. Aside from that, they provide a refreshing smell and extra benefits to the skin. Lemongrass oil, for example, is good for oily skin, while lavender oil has a soothing and calming effect.
Do note, however, that if you have very sensitive underarms, it may be best to avoid essential oils as this could cause irritation. It is best to keep in mind that since essential oils are tagged "natural," they're not necessarily gentle and fit for all skin types.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Patch test, patch test, patch test!
Our underarm skin is very sensitive, not to mention, prone to irritation, given its specific anatomy and tendency for moisture to accumulate. Although essential oils can help mask odor, it is best to patch test first before applying as you might develop irritation.
Soaps formulated with activated charcoal are in demand nowadays and for good reason. Generally, this ingredient can clear out pores and wash away impurities on the skin, making it appear brighter and healthier. When used on the underarms, activated charcoal can reduce odor and keep the skin in the area dry.
Fun fact! How does activated charcoal work? Basically, heating charcoal activates it. This allows it to be more porous, which brings about its ability to draw in chemicals, including odor.
Compared to the rest of the body, the skin on the underarms is thinner, more sensitive, and highly porous. The underarms also take a toll from shaving and hair removal treatments, as well as the friction from rubbing against skin or clothing. That’s why it’s important to carefully choose the products you use in this area to avoid irritation.
A soap with a mild formulation will not only help in preventing body odor but will also keep the underarm skin hydrated. Experts also recommend using fragrance-free or at least a mildly fragrant soap for the underarm area. Synthetic fragrances can cause skin irritation and other issues, especially for people with sensitive skin.
In some cases, they can even exacerbate the underarm odor. However, note that “fragrance-free” doesn’t necessarily imply that the soap has no smell. It just means that no fragrance additives that may contain harsh chemicals are added to the ingredients. Organic soaps are a great example of this.
#AskYourDerma Tip: If you have particularly sensitive skin, then consider a fragrance-free option. Don't worry, instead of masking the odor with a fragrance, you can opt for one with antibacterial and antiperspirant properties instead.
Both bar soap and body wash do the job of cleansing sweat and dirt, but their formulations vary and can interact with the skin differently. Bar soaps contain fewer chemical preservatives, making them less irritating to the skin. However, they have the tendency to be dehydrating, so if you’re prone to dryness, make sure to look for a bar soap that does not contain harsh surfactants.
Body washes, on the other hand, have a more gentle and hydrating formulation that can leave your skin feeling moisturized. They typically contain emollients that make the skin appear and feel better. Just take note of the ingredients before using any product on your skin because some body washes may contain harsh chemicals like parabens.
#AskYourDerma Tip: Listen to your skin! The only one who can tell which is the best for you is you.
Try it out first and use the product that doesn't only help you achieve the goal you're aiming for (like controlling body odor) but also makes your skin feel good!
Click to purchase
Odour Control Body Wash
Specially Formulated to Treat Bromhidrosis
Enriched With Tawas and Coconut Oil to Control Sweat and Odor
Ultra Protect Antimicrobial Cleansing Bar
A Dermatologist-Tested Deodorizing Bar for Sensitive Skin
Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap
Provides Round-the-Clock Odor Protection and Fresh Scent
Organic Antibacterial Soap With Antifungal and Moisturizing Benefits
Dr. Kaufmann XPS
Total Body-Deodorant Sulfur Soap
Targets and Inhibits the Growth of Odor-Causing Bacteria
24-Hour Deodorant Body Wash
A Long-Lasting Body Wash for Men
Pink Aloe Body Wash
Slows Down Growth of Germs and Keeps Skin Hydrated
Charcoal with Aloe Vera Deo Soap
Formulated With Activated Charcoal to Soothe and Purify the Skin
Deodorizing Foaming Wash
Deodorizing Body Wash With Pure Ingredients
To effectively eliminate persistent body odor, it's not enough to just deodorize the underarms. You need a product like the Perspi-Guard Odor Control Body Wash that targets the root cause of the problem, which is odor-causing bacteria on the skin. Unlike other body washes, it's specially formulated with triclosan to do just that and give you reliable odor protection.
Since it's gentle on the skin, you can add this body wash to your shower routine to remove sweat and bacteria buildup and keep you feeling fresh every day. It is suitable for use by men and women with normal skin types. One customer review said using the product daily has helped them remain body odor-free even after doing high-intensity exercises.
This soap has racked up huge sales as well as numerous good reviews, and here's why! It combines the antibacterial properties of tawas (Potassium alum) and coconut oil to effectively fight odor-causing bacteria and excessive sweating. With this soap, you can say goodbye to sweaty and smelly situations and face your day with confidence!
Because of its natural active ingredients, you can be assured that this is safe for everyday use. Customer reviews online attest to the effectiveness of this product, as it can reduce body odor and perspiration with frequent use.
If your skin is prone to reactions like redness and irritation, this Cetaphil cleansing bar is an excellent pick. It is formulated to remove 99.9% of germs while providing intense hydration. Additionally, this product is pH-friendly and contains glycerin, panthenol, and niacinamide to soothe and nourish sensitive skin.
The titanium dioxide component in this cleansing bar has antimicrobial properties. This means that it also destroys fungi and viruses as well as bacteria. Customers attest to its gentle formula that doesn't dehydrate the skin, unlike other antibacterial soaps on the market. Try this product to remove any odor-causing microbes while protecting your skin's moisture barrier!
When you have an on-the-go lifestyle, it's important to make sure your freshness level stays the same day in and day out. Start by using a good deodorant soap whenever you take a bath. We recommend Dial Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap because of its long-lasting refreshing scent and hydrating formula.
It provides the perfect balance of feeling clean and moisturized by washing away bacteria without drying the skin. Moreover, its trusted antibacterial deodorant protection technology eliminates odor-causing bacteria long after you've stepped out of the shower, guaranteeing round-the-clock protection from body odor.
Organic soaps are great to use, especially on the underarms, because they do not contain harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can be irritating to the skin. This organic antibacterial soap from Greenika, for example, keeps you smelling fresh, relieves itchiness, and moisturizes the skin.
It contains guava extract and virgin coconut oil that fight off bacteria that cause body odor and skin irritations. It also has vegetable glycerin to prevent dryness and restore the skin’s natural pH. With an all-natural formulation, this bar is safe for most, if not all, skin types and packs so many additional benefits for the skin.
Dr. Kaufmann is a well-loved and trusted brand when it comes to sulfur soaps in the Philippines. Aside from being a remedy for many skin conditions, sulfur is also an antibacterial agent that can help control body odor. Dr. Kaufmann’s Total Body-Deodorant Soap has active ingredients that eliminate and prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
It is particularly recommended to use in skin areas that have thicker skin folds and are prone to sweating, including the underarms. A satisfied buyer shared online that although the product contains sulfur, it has a mild smell and does not completely dry out the skin even if used daily.
A leader in men’s grooming, American Crew’s 24-Hour Deodorant Body Wash is specially formulated with ingredients that will keep you clean and smelling fresh all day long, no matter how intense your activities might be. These include silver citrate, which helps control the odor caused by microorganisms, tea tree oil which fights off bacteria, and peppermint oil, which soothes and refreshes the skin.
But who says only men can use this? Sporting American Crew’s signature citrus mint fragrance, this deodorant body wash can energize and invigorate your day. Satisfied users also say that it lathers up nicely and that they would absolutely recommend it to men who would like to step up their hygiene game.
Safeguard has been part of the lives of many Filipino families then and now because of its reliable antibacterial formula that kills 99.9% of germs on the skin. Its active ingredient, GermShield+, makes Safeguard bar soaps and body washes effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria. This protects users from common illnesses and prevents pesky body odor as well.
Aside from that, customer reviews on Lazada and Shopee rave about the refreshing and clean scent of the Pink Aloe Body Wash that combines fragrances of floral notes and aloe vera. It also comes in other classic scents such as Pure White, Lemon Fresh, and Arctic Fresh.
Activated charcoal is an ingredient known to deep cleanse and purify the skin. But do you know that it can also draw away odor-causing bacteria from your underarms and other problem areas? Skin Perfect’s purifying charcoal soap will leave your skin looking and smelling refreshed.
Aside from that, it is also infused with aloe vera extract that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This gives a soothing effect to the skin and moisturizes it with every use. This product has earned 5-star ratings from previous customers who also recommend it for people who have oily skin like them.
Add an extra layer of confidence throughout your day by using the Hyemi Deodorizing Foaming Wash in the shower or bath. It's a naturally formulated and coconut-based cleanser with pink grapefruit essential oil, plant-based skin softeners, Himalayan pink sea salt, and natural botanical extracts. This cleans the skin and leaves a refreshing scent without stripping off moisture.
It also doesn't contain sulfates, perfumes, and dyes, making it gentle enough for all skin types. And with this product, less is more. To use, apply a small amount directly to your skin or loofah and massage to a rich lather. Many satisfied buyers online attest to its effectiveness in eliminating body odor.
Addressing underarm odor is best achieved by identifying the underlying cause. Majority of the time, it's associated with our sweat mixing with the bacteria naturally found on our skin. However, other factors such as hormonal changes, medications, and diet can also contribute. Check in with your dermatologist when in doubt!
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
Be your best self every day! Check out the links below for more recommended products to help you feel and smell clean and fresh any time of the day!
Author: Teresa Gatmaitan
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1：Perspi-Guard｜Odour Control Body Wash
No. 2：DermAid｜Tawas Soap
No. 3：Cetaphil｜Ultra Protect Antimicrobial Cleansing Bar
No. 4：Dial｜Gold Antibacterial Deodorant Soap｜Pack of 8
No. 5：Greenika｜Antibacterial Soap
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