Roll-on Vs. Stick Deodorant

When it comes to the roll-on versus solid debate, use what's best for you.

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How you smell is just as much a part of your signature as the way you cut your hair or dress. In fact, it might even be more important, because poor smell can detract from even the best fashions. To make sure their personal scent is pleasant, most ladies opt for a roll-on or stick deodorant. Both types are available scented or unscented.

The Basics

The basic difference between a roll-on and stick deodorant is that roll-on deodorants are in liquid form, while stick deodorants are in solid form. A roll-on deodorant container has a ball on the end. As you rub the ball against your skin under your arm, the ball rotates and applies the liquid. With a stick deodorant, you rub the solid deodorant directly on your skin and friction scrapes some of it off, where it stays on your armpit. Roll-on deodorants usually are clear. Stick deodorants are normally white compressed powders.


One major advantage of using roll-on deodorants is that they apply clear to the skin. That's good news for ladies who want to sport short-sleeve tops and dresses. However, stick deodorants, because they are solid, won't ever spill. They are probably the quickest of all deodorant options to apply, and you make a mess only if you happen to turn the stick too high and break it, which rarely happens.


It's pretty much a given that ladies use deodorant to smell better. Still, another big goal is to feel clean and dry. With a roll-on deodorant, because the product is liquid, you might feel wet or sticky. Roll-on applicator balls also aren't as large as the width of a stick deodorant, so it takes slightly longer to apply the product. If you want more product, you have to keep moving the deodorant so the ball keeps applying the liquid. On the other hand, stick deodorants can crumble if they dry out. It's hard to get more product on because the deodorant just ends up clumping together or back to the stick. Both products can leave horrible residue on clothes, even though roll-ons are clear on the skin. You have to be careful how soon you get dressed after applying deodorant, no matter what option you pick.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, when it comes down to picking a roll-on or a stick deodorant, it really is a matter of personal preference. There are so many different formulations of deodorant that you shouldn't assume that all roll-ons or all sticks give the same results. You just have to shop around and see what works best for your particular body chemistry and hygiene routine.

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