This Deodorant Won't Leave White Marks On Your LBD, No Matter How Hard You Try

I have a thing with deodorant, and it started at prom. I went to boarding school and had a hopeless crush on my platonic guy friend, who had a girlfriend from home. (That phrase, “girlfriend from home,” still holds a peculiar chill.) The GFH came into town for The Big Night, and I was saddled with taking a sweet, but uninterested underclassman from my math class.

But more memorable than the disappointment I felt and the Blu Cantrell I danced to were my sweat stains, which — I'm not exaggerating — came down nearly to the waist of my seafoam-green Laundry by Shelli Segal dress. Even after a trip to the dry-cleaner — the first of many to come — the stains remained, a sad, dusky reminder of Prom 2001.

All that is to say: I’m not one of those nymph-like women who never sweat (although my mother is). After ruining an exquisitely expensive The Row T-shirt I got for free (but treasured a lot) with yellow stains, I started using all-natural deodorants. They don’t stain, but they don't always work, either. The one I’ve recently settled on holds up well during the workday, fine at the gym, but not at all on a cross-country flight. So yeah, I’m open to options, and Dove presented me with one.

The brand has reformulated its antiperspirants in two notable ways that could very well be game-changing. First: the no-white-marks claim. Yeah, yeah, every deodorant and antiperspirant promises that, you say with an eye-roll, and I hear you — but Dove is serious this time around. At an event for the antiperspirant, beauty editors were led to a rack of clothes in every fabric and color, handed a can, and allowed to spray their hearts out. No marks — not on the purple merino sweater, or the green polyester dress, or the...you get the picture. You really can mist the formula on your underarms with abandon, not even wait for it to dry, and shimmy into your tightest black bodysuit without any extra acrobatics. (I don’t have a black bodysuit, but I do wear relatively tight black T-shirts to the gym. The claim held up — not a single powdery streak to be found.)

According to the company, it’s the opaque whiteness of the active antiperspirant — in this case, aluminum chlorohydrate — that causes visible marks, meaning it’s the most important ingredient that causes the most annoying problem. Hmph. But by combining a finer-milled version of aluminum chlorohydrate with a masking oil, Dove was able to maintain the formula’s integrity while taking on the issue of the marks.

It's really the second innovation that would have been a godsend for my 18-year-old self, though. According to Dove, the very same masking oil that minimizes the opacity of the antiperspirant also deactivates a reaction between sweat, oil, and antiperspirant that leaves behind indelible stains. You know how I mentioned I wore black T-shirts to the gym? It’s because I think they’re chic and I once saw Olivia Palermo do it, but it’s also because when I wear white ones, they turn grungy after a single circuit workout. I’ve been using the antiperspirant for two weeks, and so far, zero stains. Had it been around 15 years ago, I’d be the proud owner of a stain-free prom dress that, for the record, was so much cuter than the girlfriend-from-home’s.

Dove Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant, $5.49, available January 2017.
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