Dry Spray vs. Stick Antiperspirants: Which One Will Make The Cut?

When going to your local grocery or drug store, you will often see nearly an endless sea of antiperspirants.

From solid sticks and gels to roll-ons and sprays it can get a bit confusing to say the least on which one you should pick up.

When deciding on an antiperspirant, many men will likely consider its sweat blocking capabilities, scent, application method, and if it leaves any white residue on their best undershirt.

To help break down two of the more popular products on the market – dry sprays and solid sticks, I will comparing two brand new Dove Men+Care’s Elements products.

Through this extensive challenge, I found some pretty astonishing differences.

How The Dry Spray vs. Stick Antiperspirant Challenge Was Made

To truly put these products to the test and compare them as fair as possible, I did the following:


About an hour before I hit the gym for a 30 minute jog, I made sure to take a thorough shower.  I scrubbed vigorously under each armpit to ensure that neither of the previous days antiperspirant was present underneath my arms.

Drank Lots of Water

No joke!

In about 30 minutes I pounded 5 full (16oz) cups of water.  This way I would sweat profusely so the evidence would be more telling on which product was better at blocking sweat.

Wore A 100% Cotton Tee

To ensure that this test would be as clear as possible, I went ahead and wore a grey 100% cotton t-shirt.  When even the smallest drops of water get on the fabric, it immediately shows up in a dark grey/nearly black appearance.

This will make things a bit easier to see for you following along at home!

Application of Product

In order to put both products head-to-head, I went ahead and applied the dry spray antiperspirant under my left arm (which indeed did go on dry) along with an even application of the stick antiperspirant under my right arm.

Both products smelled wonderful with application.  The scent that I was trying (Minerals+Sage) was from their new Elements lineup that evokes more of a natural scent profile.

The Minerals+Sage scent in particular has a nice light and invigorating scent that strikes a great balance of notes that doesn’t seem too overly powering or manly.

They do offer this same two antiperspirants in a Mineral Power + Sandalwood scent.

30 Minutes of Cardio

While I would like to go to the gym on a daily basis, my body would tell you otherwise!

In actuality, I go about once every couple of days.  30 minutes on the treadmill will provide some challenges, but usually nothing that I can’t handle.  For this challenge, I made sure that I pushed myself a bit harder.  Therefore I upped the incline and increased the speed in order to generate a bit more sweat that usual.

Here were the results from my run:

  • Duration: 30:00
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Calories Burned: 400

The Results!

Overall both the dry spray and antiperspirant performed really well in their own unique way.

Here’s the details:


Dry Spray Antiperspirant

The dry spray did go on incredibly well.  When sprayed under my arm, there was no wetness or residue on my skin.  I didn’t feel like I had to air out my arm pits due to them being wet.

In addition to the incredibly easy application, this antiperspirant leaves little residue on the fabric of my clothing.  Beyond this challenge, I have been using a dry spray antiperspirant daily and enjoy it way more than the stick antiperspirants of yesteryear.

Final Grade: A

Stick Antiperspirant

The stick seemed to just fall short when it comes to application.

While being solid white, there was some transferring of the product from the arm pits to the fabric of the shirt.  As you can see in this screencap below, there is a very light greasy residue before the workout even started.

This was approximately 10 minutes after application:

stick deodorant

If you plan on wearing this stick antiperspirant with an undershirt, it shouldn’t be a problem as the undershirt will likely absorb the product before it makes its way to your dress shirt.

The particular shirt I was wearing for this challenge is both incredibly old and thin.  Therefore, with a bit newer and thicker shirt, transfer of the product to your clothes likely won’t be a problem.

Final Grade: B

Sweat Grade

Dry Spray Antiperspirant

Overall the dry spray just simply couldn’t live up to the extreme conditions.  There was a pronounced ring of sweat that formed under my arms after 30 minutes of cardio:

dry spray post workout

If you are working outdoors on a daily basis or live in an incredibly humid climate where you find yourself sweating profusely, the dry spray may not yield the best results for you.

I would recommend that you either try applying a secondary coat of dry spray, or simply go with the stick antiperspirant.

Final Grade: B

Stick Antiperspirant

There was a material difference when it comes to the effectiveness of the stick antiperspirant when compared to the dry spray.  As you can see in this picture:

stick performance

The stick single handedly left very little in the way of sweat underneath my arms.  There was only a very slight dampness compared to the dry spray.

But there is a catch:

That darkness you see above is largely due to the greasiness that was from the application process that we covered above.  So, at the end of the day, if you don’t mind a bit of product transferring to your shirt, then this stick should serve you well in both humid and labor intensive conditions.

Final Grade: A-

Overall Thoughts On The Stick vs. Dry Spray Antiperspirant Challenge

Generally speaking, I think both products have their pros and cons.

The dry spray application is second to none.

Lack of coldness or dampness during application is the absolute best, especially if you are applying this stuff at 6 am in the morning.

If you work in an office environment throughout the course of the day and don’t find yourself doing anything to particularly demanding, I would fully recommend this dry spray for you.  It does work well, but as we saw, it just simply is not the best if you are in a swampy climate.

Secondly, the stick antiperspirant, while it just missed the mark for its messy application, the visual evidence is quite clear that this stuff works incredibly well.

Therefore, if you want a tried and true stick of antiperspirant that doesn’t leave you feeling wet during intense workouts, yard work, or even when the thermometer at the office is set a few degrees too high, then you really can’t go wrong with this stick by Dove Men+Care.

Disclosure: As stated in the video, I received these products complimentary from Dove Men+Care as part of their new product announcement.  I wasn’t compensated for this review.  

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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