Degree vs. Secret Clinical-Strength Antiperspirants

Lately, I’ve noticed that my Dove antiperspirant-deodorant hasn’t been doing a great job. Maybe I’m working out more. Maybe it’s just given up. I don’t know.

So I’m giving two new deodorants a shot. Both are “clinical strength,” and both are that smooshy white stuff that comes up through holes. What do you call that exactly? Because Secret calls it a smooth solid, but that’s not really accurate. Degree doesn’t really call it anything.

They are comparable in price (with Degree being 20 cents less than Secret at Target). But are the comparable in strength?

Both have 20% Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly (anhydrous), which is the active ingredient meant to stop perspiration and absorb moisture, and other ingredients are also similar.

Today, I’m wearing both deodorants. Secret went under my right arm, and Degree went under my left.

So far, I can say that Secret smells better. It’s a light scent, and I can’t smell it when it’s on. I can’t stand smelling anything all day (which is part of the reason I rarely wear perfume). Degree smells a bit like … bathroom cleaner. Not my favorite, but I can’t smell this one when it’s on, either.

I spent a good amount of time outside this morning, on a very humid Florida day (though the temperature was a fairly low 78). The rest of me was a bit damp, but my armpits stayed dry. Bonus!

I’ll let you know how the full test goes. So far, they are both beating out the traditional Dove deodorant.

TEST NO. 1 (The Heat Test)
The specifics: It’s 84 degrees outside, about 70% humidity. Mostly sunny. I’m wearing a black T-shirt with a black tank under it, and jeans. I just walked about a mile in 26 minutes (a stroll around the lake).

The verdict: Both sides are a little damp. Not wet, like I would have experienced with other deodorants, but they are not 100% dry. I’d say they are 85% dry. As far as odor, both sides still smell like deodorant … and I had to stick my nose way in there to even get that smell.

Grade: B+

Test No. 2 (The Sniff Test)
Inspired by my friend Jennifer on Twitter, I took this test to a whole new level. I asked my fiance to smell my armpits.

You’re probably thinking there is just no way. Gross! Pit sniffing is too far out there!

But he did it! It took some coaxing and some “you owe me”s, but he eventually gave in.

The specifics: It had been a long day, full of adventures both outside and in. You could tell by the state of my hair that I’d been good and sweaty during part of the day.

The verdict: The Secret side smelled like … perfume. Zero B.O. Excellent! The Degree side smelled like … nothing. Chris couldn’t detect any kind of odor.

Grade: A+

Final results
Secret is easy to use. Two clicks and you get enough product for one application. If you like a pleasant-smelling deodorant, this is perfect for you.

Degree is also easy to use, but it takes more than two clicks to get enough product out to use it. They have a bit of work to do on that front. If you like the scent of your deodorant to fade so you just smell like you, this is perfect for you.

Both: They go on clear and don’t leave white marks on my clothing. I didn’t get 100% dryness with either, but it was really close. They both last through a full work day and through activity. I haven’t tested them at the gym yet, for an hourlong workout, but that will happen sometime in the future.

What I really want to know is if I can go to the gym at lunchtime and rely on my antiperspirant enough that I won’t have to take a shower to go back to work. If I can skip the shower, I can work out longer, but not if I’m going to smell bad.

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114 Responses to Degree vs. Secret Clinical-Strength Antiperspirants

  1. Toni says:

    Can we pass the winning product out in my office?

  2. Toni says:

    I actually use (and love) the Secret Clinical.

    I went from working 8 hour shifts to 10 hour shifts and
    my old Lady Speed Stick couldn’t handle the move!!

    I don’t know about the Degree one, but I think Secret will
    do well for you today.

  3. Karen says:

    I don’t sweat as much as the average person, but one thing I hate about most deodorants is that after I have worn them for an hour or so, they always seem to have a “sour” smell. I don’t know if it is just my body chemistry mixing with the deodorant or what. I have yet to find a deodorant that doesn’t do this. I know it is the deodorant and not BO because if I don’t wear any under one arm and wear some under the other, the un-deodorized side smells better! Does this happen to you or am I just weird?

  4. Toni says:

    Karen, did that happen with ‘clinical’ ones?

  5. Grace says:

    Is there more to come?

    I say this while sitting at work and not very
    pleased that Ban is failing me.

  6. Grace says:

    Thanks. I did purchase the Secret version tonight.

    • seesmarees says:

      Excellent. I’m wearing the Degree today and I keep smelling it whenever I move. I don’t like that at all.

  7. Grace says:

    Lol, after two stressful meetings this morning I can
    already report my Ban is going in the trash.

  8. AlexFitGirl says:

    I switched up deodorants due to this report.

    Since then women in my kickboxing class have
    asked me what antiperspirant I’m using.

    Very funny! Thanks!!

  9. Alana says:

    Wanted you to know that I had a job presentation last week
    and happened to see your site and this report.

    I did not know they were filming the presentations.

    There are multiple time during my talk that I had to point at
    charts and graphs and fortunately there is nothing to see but
    my blouse (no sweat).

    Both the woman before me and the man after me were not so

    So, thank you for doing this test.


  10. Alana says:

    Oh, The Secret version.

    Did you settle on one being better than the other?

    • seesmarees says:

      I did. Secret seems to have won out over Degree. I’ll use both till they are gone, then stick with Secret after that.

  11. Alana says:

    Oh good! When they sent me the presentation in an email
    I was excited to watch. When I saw the woman before me had
    the ‘pit’ circles I was hoping I was ‘all good’ and I was.

    The poor guy had a much bigger issue.

  12. Gabrielle says:

    Because I had 3 meetings yesterday I decided to do your test as
    well, and my husband agreed to judge.

    I used my current product, women’s Mitchum against this Secret

    Thankfully I had no wetness under either side, so I figured
    Secret was keeping up with my powerful Mitchum.

    Now the husband comes into play.

    Mitchum: Hmmmmm, okay, but maybe some odor mixed in with
    the deodorant?

    Secret: Oh, that is very good. That’s the winner.

    I was shocked!!


    • seesmarees says:

      That is great news! I’m glad I was able to help. And kudos to your husband for being brave enough for the sniff test!

  13. Gabrielle says:

    Bad news is he is going to do 2 guys clinical products next week. I will smell him.

  14. Gabrielle says:

    Any clue what ones work for the guys?


    • seesmarees says:

      Sadly, no. I live with a man who thinks not sweating is unnatural and therefore will not touch antiperspirant. I completely disagree, but I still love him.

  15. Gabrielle says:

    We completed the guy brand sniff test yesterday. But there
    is a rematch with a blue dress shirt today.

    So far Gillette Clinical is defeating Right Guard Clinical

  16. Gabrielle says:

    Right guard did help. Maybe slight odor breakthrough
    late in the day. Gillette was like he just put it on.

    Both sides seemed dry, but blue dress shirts have always been
    his biggest test for wetness.

  17. Gabrielle says:

    I just called him at work.

    I asked him how the test is going. He said two different women
    at work have told him he smells nice today.

    I asked if they were standing to his left or right, lol.

  18. Gabrielle says:

    He is done at 3:00 today (went in at 7:00).

    Testing can be done in 15 minutes.

  19. Gabrielle says:

    Test Complete:

    Right Guard: Small wet circle. Not huge, but disappointing.
    Grade on wetness: C
    Sniff test: definitely some deodorant scent in play, and that is
    nice, but again maybe odor is just starting to fight through as
    Grade on smell test: B

    Gillette: No wet marks. Press shirt a little into the ‘pit’ area and
    nothing. Impressive.
    Grade on wetness: A+
    Sniff Test: Slightly strong, but nice. Clean smelling. No chance of
    B.O. getting through that.
    Grade on smell test: A

  20. Gabrielle says:

    Did you ever have an odor breakthrough with either test product?

    • seesmarees says:

      Yes, but it was at the end of the day, and I had been walking the dogs in the heat. I wouldn’t recommend putting on the antiperspirant in the morning and expecting it to last 13+ hours. Neither could hold up to that.

  21. AlexFitGirl says:

    Wanted to report back that I had a 10 hour work day yesterday followed
    by a ride on a crowded Metro!

    I decided to stand and had to grab the bar.

    Of course two cute guys end up near me.

    But, after all that, nothing. Not a drop! Blouse dry!
    Smelling okay! Totally due to this blog.

  22. Alexfitgirl says:

    I’ve honestly moved from the ‘before’ side of the commercial
    To the ‘after’ side thanks to you.

  23. Jessica R. says:

    JUST now got set up on a blind date tomorrow with
    a guy that is supposed to be ‘crazy handsome’.

    There will be a meal and there will be bowling!

    Which antiperspirant, if either, can handle this!?!

    • seesmarees says:

      Ooh. No pressure there. 🙂 I would go with Secret Clinical. It’s been working GREAT for me with little to no wetness. And I don’t smell like a flower garden has bloomed under my arms.

  24. Jessica R says:

    Okay, and no white marks?

    And even if I wear a light color I shouldn’t have
    wet marks?

    • seesmarees says:

      I haven’t had any problems with white marks. I have only had damp spots after a 1-mile brisk walk in 90-degree weather. I think Secret can do the job. 🙂

  25. Jessica R says:

    Okay, so results…

    Guy is really quite hot – they didn’t lie to me!

    Nice dinner
    Two games of bowling
    Good night hugs and one kiss

    Pits were dry – like nothing at all
    Smelled….like the deodorant


  26. Rebecca says:

    Stumbled onto this review while searching for a new deodorant.

    Based on what you wrote my husband and I were willing to do the
    sniff checks after work yesterday with our usual products.

    It went VERY badly – and we were both embarrassed.

    We drove to CVS and we both now have 2 different clinical products
    to tryout.

  27. Rebecca says:

    My husband has picked up this ball and run with it.

    He actually bought himself 4 clinical products!!!

    In round 1 Gillette defeated Axe
    In round 1 Mitchum defeated Right Guard

    The championship is Gillette vs Mitchum

    On my side I bought Secret Clinical and Dove Clinical

    Amazing happy to say neither has failed at all.

    He has ‘sniffed’ me every evening and really likes
    both scents on me, and I’ve been dry.

    I’ll let you know when I declare a winner.

    • seesmarees says:

      I LOVE this! I haven’t even tried the Dove Clinical yet, but I can’t wait to see how both the men’s and women’s challenges turn out.

  28. Rebecca says:

    We each had CRAZY Mondays at work, so it
    became a good day to declare winners.

    Husband: Gillette Clinical

    Me: Secret Clinical

    • seesmarees says:

      This is great to know! I just had to lead a meeting at work for the first time in ages, and I’m happy to say that Secret Clinical still held up. I’m so glad y’all tested the men’s products, too. Go, Gillette Clinical!

  29. Marisa says:

    Just want to report that because of this blog I
    used Secret Clinical as a bridesmaid on Saturday.

    2 hour ceremony and 5 hour reception.
    100+ pictures
    0 odor or wet spots.


  30. Tess says:

    Oh my gosh, just found out I have to make a job presentation
    today!!!!! Luckily I have the morning off.

    Okay, I need ANTIPERSPIRANT!!!! I’ll have time
    to shower and apply around 11:00am.

    Which one?!?!?

    • seesmarees says:

      I’m so sorry I missed this! I hope you found the right antiperspirant – Secret Clinical is now my go-to, and I’ve bought several different versions of it. I like the solid the best, even if it does smell a little peachy. 🙂

  31. Wendy says:

    So glad I found this site.

    I have a job interview on Wednesday morning.

    I have to dress up AND it might be with multiple people.

    Could you say exactly which one (form and scent) I should buy?


  32. Wendy says:

    Thank you. I am so gosh darn nervous.

  33. Wendy says:

    Well, the interview was first thing this morning. They wanted me to come in at 7:00 to avoid alarming people.

    Looking your best at 7:00am is hard. I showered at about 4:45am.

    Almost 2 hours of interviewing. Multiple people.

    They never said anything so I left the suit jacket on.

    I never felt like I was wet or sweaty, and I didn’t smell anything. But I just got home.

    Jacket off and I’m examining the blouse I wore underneath.

    There is no sweat!!!!

    But, if you can do it I can do it. Sniff test…

    Smells terrific. Light, but clean and no odor. Thanks!!

  34. Wendy says:

    Oh, and they threw as many stressful questions at me as they could.

    I promise you my other deodorants would have failed.

  35. Wendy says:

    I think I just found out if it works or not…

    They want me to interview with upper management next week.

  36. Wendy says:

    Just wanted to inform you that my 2nd interview was earlier today and was amazingly sweat and odor free.

    Very cool. And thanks again.

  37. Wendy says:

    Want to keep you updated.

    I have survived a cut from 29 to 8 people and yesterday
    I survived a cut from 8 to 4. There might be a third round
    of interviews soon.


  38. Wendy says:

    Today your deodorant tackles the CEO interview.

  39. Wendy says:

    Sorry to be slow in reporting.

    Word is I made the final two.

    I did meet with CEO and was B.O. and sweat free (thank gosh)

    I’ll let you know.

    • seesmarees says:

      Fantastic! I’m glad Secret is working so well for you! I can’t say it’s the reason it’s gotten you this far, but I’m certainly happy it’s helping!

  40. Taylor says:

    I’m a bridesmaid in a very large wedding this weekend.

    Are either of these good enough to survive 200 hugs?


    • seesmarees says:

      Absolutely! I can’t recommend the Secret Clinical Waterproof enough. I’ve even tried other versions of Secret Clinical, but none of them so far have eliminated the wetness except the Waterproof version. Have fun, and good luck!

  41. Taylor says:

    Is there a certain scent you like?

    And you stay odor free as well?

    • seesmarees says:

      I think the Waterproof only comes in one scent (some kind of fresh scent?), and that worked well. The one I’m using now (still Secret Clinical, but it’s the solid, and it smells like peaches) prevents odor, but not wetness. And yes – absolutely odor free! I honestly though all deodorants left you with that sour smell after you got sweaty, but the clinical antiperspirants – not at all! You’ll just smell fresh and clean. I would suggest putting it to the test before the wedding, though, since everyone’s body chemistry is different.

  42. Taylor says:

    Thank you. I got that ‘sour’ smell a lot with Dove spray.

    I went to Lady Speed Stick and still ‘sour’ after 4-6 hours of a workday.

    So frustrating.

  43. Taylor says:

    I will be shopping later today.

    Just for the heck of it I tried a sample of Ban I had
    never used before today.

    It is now 11:42 and it just turned sour. Ugh!!

  44. Taylor says:

    I bought what you suggested and I’m trying it out today.

    I hope there will be no sour moments.

  45. Taylor says:

    Test drive went VERY well yesterday.

    Never turned sour. Impressive.

    Thanks, lets hope it works like this at the wedding.

  46. Taylor says:

    Wow that wedding had a lot of hugs, and dancing.

    Must admit, much to my surprise, both the deodorant and
    antiperspirant aspects of the Secret Clinical Waterproof worked

    Million times over I would like to say THANK YOU!!

  47. Taylor says:

    Want to update that I just saw pictures from the wedding and the antiperspirant was definitely working on me.

    AND, not all women and not many men appear dry!

    • seesmarees says:

      Even better! No one wants to have sweat stains immortalized in photos. Gross. And speaking of, I just ordered the waterproof Secret on Amazon this week to have it in time for a work photo shoot today. I hate being in front of a camera, but at least I’ll be sweat-free! (BTW, I’d been using a different Secret Clinical, but none of them work as well at the Waterproof version.)

  48. Taylor says:

    Well?? Did the phot shoot go okay?

    • seesmarees says:

      The shoot went great! No smell, no sweaty armpits – and I was stuck outside in the sun! Seriously the best deodorant I’ve ever used. The sour smell has been banished for good. Even when it’s 100 degrees and I’m outside for a couple hours, and the deodorant just gives up at that point, I don’t smell sour.

  49. Lauren says:

    Are you still using either of these? Have you tested others?

    This was great by the way?

    I have a work event next week and don’t want to stink, literally!!


    • seesmarees says:

      Hi! I am still using the Secret Clinical that I first tested – I’ve since bought it two more times (or was it three?). I’ve tried other versions of the Secret Clinical, but the Waterproof version is far superior. I haven’t tried Dove Clinical yet, but I’m so impressed with Secret that I just can’t bear to switch right now. I do have one shower recommendation for those using Secret – lather up the area with soap first, rinse, THEN apply the shaving cream/gel to shave. Otherwise it REALLY gums up your razor. I hope this helps, and good luck at your work event!

  50. Lauren says:

    The work event was this morning.

    I was BONE DRY in a light pink blouse in front of about 30 people.

    My competition was this tall, good looking guy from another company.

    He had sweat circles the size of paper plates!!

    I don’t know how the company will vote, but I didn’t lose due to deodorant.

    Thank you.

  51. Lexi says:

    I can’t be the only woman who recently found this.

    Great idea.

    What is the latest in terms of results?

    You have to do another round with other challengers!!

    • seesmarees says:

      Hi there! The latest: I have been buying the same Secret Clinical Waterproof I started using in this post ever since. And today, I ran out and had to use the Degree Clinical. I hate being able to smell my deodorant all day! “You smell great.” “Why thanks, it’s just my armpits.” Eww. I’m buying more of the Secret today. But you’re right. I should test it against others. Looks like I’ll be testing others this weekend. 🙂

  52. Lexi says:

    Just a note…

    I’m using one called Arrid XX today for the first time.

    At 3:30 sharp I broke through in terms of wet and stink.

    Don’t make that a tryout.

  53. Lexi says:


    Any news!?’

    I’m sweating through a different one (soft n dri) and it isn’t even 1:00pm.

    • seesmarees says:

      I bought Suave Clinical and Dove Clinical, and I gotta say, I’m not impressed by either. The scent is SO STRONG! Dove smells like the strongest baby powder ever, and Suave is very floral, which I guess isn’t as bad, because it doesn’t exactly smell like deodorant, but I also don’t want my antiperspirant to be mistaken for perfume, either. I’m still 100% sold on Secret Clinical Waterproof. But I don’t care what any of them say – 24-hour protection, 48-hour protection … I don’t think so. I’ll give them all 8 hours at work, 4 hours outside in 90F+ heat, tops.

      • Lexi says:

        How was the protection on these latest two in terms of wetness?

        • seesmarees says:

          I do NOT recommend Suave. Two hours after application, it still felt sticky. So gross. Dove seemed fine against wetness, but I also didn’t do a stress test. I do have to say, though, I love the fact that when my clean clothes come out of the laundry, they do not have any weird sour smell in the armpits anymore. My shirts just smell like clean clothes.

  54. Lexi says:


    Doing my own arm vs arm today. Secret Clinical Waterproof vs Mitchum Clinical for Women.

    • seesmarees says:

      Cool. Let me know how it goes! I’m back at work today and using the tried-and-true Secret Clinical Waterproof. It’s my everyday deodorant now, and since I’m not planning on sweating, it wasn’t a good test for Dove or Suave.

  55. Lexi says:

    So basically, on Thursday, I’ll be inside, but I NEED 4 hours of no sweat and no stink.

    And, it is under stress.

  56. Lexi says:


    The Mitchum side is now getting wet. Argh!

    The Secret side is fine.

  57. Lexi says:

    So the Secret did well yesterday and the Mithum didn’t.

    Do you have time to do Secret vs Dove tomorrow. I’ll go with the winner Thursday.

  58. Lexi says:

    I’m so waiting for results.

    • seesmarees says:

      Well, Dove didn’t make it through a tough pottery class (uh, wedging a huge chunk of clay is WORK). Wetness broke through, but no smell. Secret is still the winner.

  59. Lexi says:


    I’ll use Secret tomorrow!!

  60. Lexi says:

    Against all odds…..IT WORKED!!!

    Made it through the entire conference without issue and without reapplying.

    Thank you so much.

  61. Deedra says:

    Just want to say this is very helpfully thank you.

  62. Cassie says:

    You should totally update this. I think there are some new products on the market now, and another test would be awesome.

  63. Lindsay says:

    Obviously this is a little old. But did you ever update or try others?


    • seesmarees says:

      I’ve tried others, and I think I commented on which ones, but I can’t remember. I keep going back to Secret, though, and I stick with the Waterproof kind. I even buy it in the three-pack online. It’s been a lifesaver.

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