The Purple Ocean of Beauty Supply Exploring Deodorants

Recent statistics available on Statista show that up to 90 percent of Americans use deodorant or antiperspirant. (Based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey in Feb 2024) But how many beauty supply retailers across the U.S. carry deodorants? Deodorant, an everyday American staple, is already a red ocean with tons of brands competing, but it’s a blue ocean for beauty supply businesses. If you can bring about a main seller in this product sector with an established consumer pool, you might even make a big leap with your revenue from men’s products. We’ve taken a look at the latest trends in the deodorant market, and hand-picked a list of products that should grab your customer’s attention.

*What’s a Purple Ocean? While it’s not a whole new market as in a blue ocean, you can create a purple ocean by thinking outside the box in a red ocean.


Why deodorant?

The beauty supply retailers pride themselves on having “everything related to hair and beauty”. Still, hidden gems are continuously discovered, and there are always new items that are jumping on the bandwagon. One of them is deodorant, which Americans rank as the second most important everyday item after a toothbrush.

The growth of the deodorant market can be seen at the big box stores. If you go to Walmart, Target, or other retailers, you’ll find multiple shelves packed with various deodorants, separated into men’s and women’s varieties, and in the past few years, the number of brands and types of deodorants has exploded.


Walmart’s deodorant section

At Target, the deodorant section is separated into men’s and women’s.

Deodorant products on the shelves of CVS and Dollar Tree


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) classifies deodorant as a cosmetic. Nonetheless, beauty supplies have been reluctant to get on board, perhaps because deodorant is still perceived as a grocery or pharmacy product. However, the market for deodorants is rapidly expanding while premium products are increasing in number, and the need-based demand for them continues to grow, providing a great potential in beauty supplies.



This graph shows the use of deodorants and antiperspirants (products that prevent sweat) by Americans from 2011 to 2023 and a forecast for 2024. Last year, more than 303 million people used deodorant or antiperspirant in the U.S., and that number is expected to grow to 306 million this year. The men’s deodorant market plays a big role in this trend. With more people playing sports and showing interest in men’s body care, cosmetics brands have been creating witty ads that emphasize masculinity while pushing deodorant as a man’s essential. Adding deodorant to your beauty supply store could be a great way to attract more male customers.



The latest market share analysis on the deodorant industry in North America by Industry Trends & Statistics (Growth Forecasts 2019-2029) also predicts that the market will grow from $8.29 billion in 2024 to $11.48 billion in 2029. It would translate to an average annual growth rate of 6.73%. Rising consumer awareness about personal hygiene seems to be driving the market expansion as more people use deodorants daily.



Along with the global health and wellness trend, the demand for natural and organic deodorant products is also growing significantly. The number of brands and price points are increasing as consumers look for safer, more functional deodorants that do more than just suppress sweat and odor. It’s about time we stop thinking about “why deodorant” and start thinking about “which deodorant”.



Before you start selling deodorant

1. What brands to carry?

You can’t just jump into a new market without any research. It’s already a red ocean in other retail sectors. You need to know which products are selling now and which will in the future. First, let’s take a look at the brand ranking data for 2022 and 2023, ranked by revenue and awareness. You’ll be surprised at the variety of brands.



Dove is the number one brand by far in both terms of sales and recognition. With $847 million in sales in 2022, nine out of ten consumers say they recognize Dove as a deodorant brand. Dove (tied for first) and Degree (tied for fourth) are both brands of multinational consumer goods company Unilever, which means that Unilever is the top supplier in the U.S. deodorant market. P&G’s men’s cosmetics brand Old Spice and Gillette, known for its razors, are driving the men’s deodorant market. Arm & Hammer, famous for its baking soda products, also entered the deodorant market early, advocating the deodorizing power of baking soda. You can also choose by price from Suave and Speed Stick, which emphasize affordability, to Crystal and Native, the high-end brands and by feature.

The above data is a combined analysis of online and offline sales, so it may not accurately represent offline sales. This is because as opposed to online stores, brick-and-mortar stores have to be more selective due to limited space for display. In fact, beauty supplies should learn best from nearby brick-and-mortar stores. We did some research on what brands major retail chains have chosen and how many products from each brand they were carrying.



Walmart carries a wide variety of brands, but a large percentage of its products are relatively low-priced items, ranging from $4 to $6, by Arm & Hammer, Axe, Degree, Gillette, Harry’s, Speed Stick, and Suave. Target is similar in the brands they carried, but it carries more expensive products ranging from $12 to $14 from Dove Vitamin Care, Dr. Pepper, and Dr. Pepper. Squatch, LUME, Mando, Native, and Secret Clinical, priced between $12 and $14. Dollar Tree has a limited selection because they only carry smaller sizes that can be sold for the same $1.25 price regardless of brand. CVS doesn’t have a larger deodorant section compared to big-box stores, but it stocked a wider variety of products in smaller quantities compared to other stores.

From the table above, you should be able to pick out a few brands that you should be carrying. Of course, you should also take the preference of your own customers into consideration. Consumers in your region may be more into value for money, while others will be looking for special features or natural ingredients that are safe for the body.



2. Know the differences in types

There are three main types of deodorant: spray, roll-on, and stick. Stick and spray deodorants account for 85% of all deodorant sales, but there are regional variations. European consumers tend to prefer liquid forms such as sprays, creams, and roll-ons, while the consumers in the US and Canada like solid or gel types better.Recently, spray products have become more popular due to their convenience, but even for the same brand, spray types tend to be more expensive.


Known for quick and easy use. It’s easy to spray on, and it’s hygienic because the product doesn’t come into direct contact with your skin. The microscopic particles interact with air to dry up on the skin immediately for a refreshing sensation.





A liquid type that you can roll on to the desired area to apply. It takes a little longer to dry, but it’s long-lasting and highly moisturizing. The formula doesn’t flake off easily and is effective at preventing sweating.





A matte, lightweight form. It spreads thin on skin leaving a dewy finish, but can form clumps as you apply. They take less time to dry than roll-ons, and are smaller and lighter to carry around.




There are many types of deodorants, including patches for the underarms, deodorant wipes, creams that can be applied all over the body, gels, and powders.



3. Deodorant sales keywords you need to know

Deodorant trends are changing. While the focus used to be on eliminating body odor, there is now a growing interest in more high-end products featuring natural, organic, and antiperspirant ingredients, and sustainability- and eco-conscious consumers are looking for ingredients that are harmless to the body.

For instance, Walmart, with a slogan, “Save Money. Live Better,” is promoting Lume, a high-end deodorant brand, by displaying it on end caps. Lume is a “doctor-developed, safe ingredient, 72-hour, full-body deodorant” that has seen a recent surge in sales, even though it costs two to three times the price of a regular deodorant at around $15.

So it’s a good idea to have at least one or two high-end lines in addition to the affordable ones. There are also other trends you need to keep an eye on in the current deodorant market.


Antiperspirant vs Deodorant

Antiperspirants are classified as medicines, and deodorants as cosmetics. Antiperspirants use metal salts to temporarily block the pores, which can be very effective at deodorizing but can be irritating to the skin. Deodorants work by either covering odors with fragrance or absorbing the sweat that causes them. If you find the word “antiperspirant” on your deodorant, it works to reduce sweating from the origin.

Natural Deodorant

Traditional deodorants contain parabens, which are primarily used as preservatives, and while they boast a long shelf life (around three years), they can have harmful effects on the body. As a result, there is a growing demand for natural deodorants, which typically contain nourishing oils and butters that are less irritating, but have a shorter shelf life.



Aluminum salts are used to bind to the skin surface around the sweat glands and block sweating, but the problem is that it prevents toxins and waste from exiting the body through the sweat pores. Manufacturers are promoting natural products that are made of substitute ingredients, such as baking soda and arrowroot powder, instead of aluminum.




Parabens are another ingredient to watch out for. It acts as a preservative to inhibit bacterial growth, but it can interfere with your hormone balance, which can lead to breast cancer and reproductive problems. Many deodorants are now claiming to be “aluminum/paraben free,” so you should be ready to explain to your customers why they are better.


Deodorant brand Native conducted a survey to rank the most popular deodorant scents. Nearly 50% chose coconut & vanilla, followed by eucalyptus & mint, lavender & rose, citrus & herbs, and unscented. Unscented products do not contain fragrances or masking aromas that neutralize the smell of other ingredients, and people with skin allergies or scent sensitivities can benefit from them.

Whole Body Deodorant

Consumers often use deodorant not just on their underarms, but also on other parts of their body, such as their chest, groin, and feet, which has led to the creation of a new category called whole body deodorant. Google Trends shows that search interest for “whole body deodorant” has increased more than 1,000% in the past year, and a Dove survey found that while only 2% of consumers currently use a full-body deodorant, 76% would like to try one in the future.

Lasts 72 hours

Typically, deodorants last 24-48 hours, so you don’t need to use them multiple times throughout a day. In recent years, there have been a number of products that claim to last 72 hours backed by clinical tests. When choosing an extra-long-lasting product, it’s a good idea to carefully read the ingredients.

Deodorant tips to share with your customers
  1. Apply deodorant to dry skin to reduce irritation and maximize effect.
  2. Wait 24 hours after hair removal as your skin is sensitive.
  3. Use a body wash to cleanse thoroughly after returning home to remove any residues.
  4. Frequent use in excessive amounts can irritate the skin, so once or twice a day is ideal.



Deodorant recommendations by brand

*We’ve selected 10 brands in the order of availability in brick-and-mortar stores and picked our favorites. For products without offline price information, we’ve added Amazon pricing.


One of the most iconic deodorant brands. Its product lines include Advanced Care for extra moisturizing, fragrance-free Sensitive, 0% Aluminum for sensitive skin, Clinical Protection for athletes and people with active lifestyle, Dove Men’s for men, Dove Teens for teens, and Ultimate and Vitamin Care for enhanced skin care benefits.




This men’s brand is known for its fresh, strong scents. It inhibits growth of odor-causing bacteria.

The brand leads the men’s deodorant market with a range of products including Swagger, a strongly scented red collection; GentleMan’s Blend, an aluminum-free deodorant that is gentle on the skin; and GentleMan’s Total Body, designed for use on all areas of the body.



It has long held a sizable share of the deodorant market with its low prices. In 2022, Suave 24-Hour Protection was discontinued due to high benzene levels, but the rest of the product is still in normal production. The brand is slowly moving away from its budget-friendly image by introducing Clinical Protection with enhanced odor reduction and 48-hour lasting aluminum-free products.



As the tagline, “shop fragrance for less,” goes, it markets deodorants with premium fragrances for men. It combines dual-action technology that eliminates odor and enhances fragrance to keep you feeling fresher for a long time. The brand is especially popular among young adults.



The first deodorant brand exclusively made for women identifies and effectively covers the three causes of sweat for women: stress, heat, and active lifestyle. It comes in a clear gel form that absorbs quickly with a rich, relaxing scent. The Clinical Strength line is especially popular despite its high price tag because it’s as powerful as prescription antiperspirants while gentler on the skin.



Body Heat Activated technology creates a stronger barrier against odor and sweat as your body temperature rises, and MotionSense technology triggers fragrances to release as you move your body. There are plenty of choices based on features, from Advanced Sexy Intrigue for women to Ultraclear, which is highly stain-resistant, and the Unlimited line, which offers up to 96 hours of protection.



This men’s brand of deodorant by P&G uses Dri-Tech technology to provide 72 hours of “invisible” sweat protection. It’s lightly scented and fast-acting to eliminate odors at the source, and it also reduces white cast. The Soft Solid line contains moisturizing ingredients.



Instead of aluminum, parabens, and artificial dyes or colorants, it uses baking soda and natural plant extracts to absorb and prevent odors and provide 24-hour protection. Among aluminum-free products, it tends to be low cost, and unscented and fresh-scented options are popular.



Paraben-free, aluminum-free, and free of additives that dry out the skin’s surface, it uses magnesium hydroxide and baking soda to keep underarms dry. It offers a line of natural deodorants that use plant roots (arrowroot) to reduce moisture and are suitable for sensitive skin. Its lightweight, full-body deodorant spray boasts 72 hours of odor protection.



All products can be used on whole bodies and are free of aluminum, baking soda, and parabens to provide natural odor control. It lasts up to 72 hours and goes on dry and clear, leaving no white residue. If you don’t like stick types, you can try cream in tubes or cream stick types.



BNB 매거진 2024년 6월호 ©