Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant/Deodorant (Regular and Sensitive Skin) – Review

Secret Clinical Strength (From Left to Right: Freshwater Orchid, Light and Fresh and Sensitive Skin/Hypoallergenic)

Dear. World,

My Uncle notoriously does not require the use of deodorant and antiperspirant. He oft-invites non-believers to smell his pits, which never smell – not even in his body building days. Oh he sweats…in fact he sweats quite a bit…but…it’s invariably sweet smelling or without scent. Yes. I’ve smelled them. Yes. It was both horrifying and intriguing at the same time. My boyfriend too, uses an antiperspirant solely for the novelty and occasional sweat-reducing properties…never for the deodorizing properties.

I…I am not that lucky. Enter Secret Clinical Strength.

(Warning, this review discusses stinky pits on the female form. If this disgusts, frightens, or makes you shudder please do not read on.)

Background Info:

I’m sure that Americans will have heard of this line of deodorants already. They were famously pegged as an Allure Best of Beauty winner in 2008 and I believe have won the award in 2009 and 2010, as well as getting similar awards from American Cheerleader, Star Superstar, Shape Magazine, Woman’s Day and Product of the Year USA.

I got my first …taste? of this product back in December when I purchased a The Best in Beauty Allure Award-Winners Gift Set for the free Allure magazine subscription and the included CoverGirl Lash Blast. That set is still available at a BARGAIN $10 USD if you want to pick it up btw! I was skeptical. I’ve tried everything under the sun for what are…shall we say…armpits that give away my mixed Mexican and French heritage (where the Japanese lack of body hair and sweating restricted to face went beats me.)

The little sample included in the box was good for about a month and a half. I immediately purchased another, larger, version of the same Light and Fresh scent. Then my aunt picked up the Sensitive Skin/Hypoallergenic (unscented) version for me on days when my Dermographia/Dermatographia is acting up. And just a week ago I picked up the Freshwater Orchid scent. Surprisingly, Bucket (the boyfriend) has started using it too after getting rave recommendations from his trusty Dermatologist. My Aunt too has started using it (my youngest sister Harmony inherited the non-smelly genes, lucky her!)

If all of that isn’t a ringing endorsement then please keep on reading!

General Information:

As I mentioned above, I got my first Secret Clinical Strength as part of a $15 USD (at the time, now it’s $10 USD) Allure box from Wal-Mart. I next purchased a Value Sized version of the Light & Fresh Scent for about $11.50 USD. The purchases of the Hypoallergenic and Freshwater Orchid were both $7.50 USD. Yes, this was a slight departure from the $4 USD Dove Visibly Smooth that I used to use (for a whole nother ‘pit related reason that we’re not going to discus here.)

You get 2.6 oz of product in the Value Sized versions and 1.6oz on the regular sized versions. Dove Visibly Smooth (solid) came in 2.6oz so yes, you get a little less product than you normally would and it costs more. I’ve gone through one mini, one value pack and one regular-sized since December…so you do the math (because I can’t!)

The active ingredient in this is aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly 20% (anhydrous). It’s an antiperspirant. The inactive ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, tribehenin, petrolatum, cyvlodextrin, C18-36 acid triglyceride, Fragrance and PPg-14 Butyl Ether. I’m not sure what the difference is between the regular and hypoallergenic versions – both have the same ingredients but the hypoallergenic states that Fragrance is “Fragrance*  – Masking Fragrance.”


Now this is where Secret Clinical Strength differs from your traditional post-shower and shave routine. The box actually tells you to apply “two clicks” at bedtime. It doesn’t mention what happens after bedtime, like, if you shower the next morning. I tend to use this twice a day – in the morning after my shower and at night as directed. I’ve honestly found that it doesn’t work well for me if I just apply it at night time – my medications make me a sweaty sleeper. (Oh god my feminine appeal is practically running away from me as I write this review.)


Secret refers to the formula as an Advanced Solid. It’s not a gel, and it’s not a solid…i’d almost say it’s creamy in nature except for the way it fades after (prolonged) rubbing. Here’s some swatches of two “two clicks” looks like.

Two Clicks (Applied)

Two Clicks (Spread Out)

Two Clicks (Rubbed Vigorously)

Two Clicks (Rubbed Vigorously Several Times)

Two clicks is actually a lot of product, so I usually only use one click and rub it in well. It is NOT clothing safe until it’s been really rubbed in there so this is not a product to slap on in a rush – especially with black clothing or satin/chiffon. But, as you can see it does (eventually) settle into a nice matte finish.


Mixed review here…why? Because the Hypoallergenic version did almost nothing in this department. No, that’s too kind. It did nothing in this department. Nothing at all. Absolutely squat diddly.

The regular versions? Are GLORIOUS. They smell really nice, come in a wide variety of scents and the scent stays with you for a long time. Even after the product was “gone” I felt that the scent remained…somehow. It was even there come shower-time.


All versions of the deodorant did a great job here, but the regular formula did edge out the hypoallergenic version as I noticed some increased wetness with the sensitive skin version. The creamy formula felt as if it made all the difference compared to a thinner gel or more powdery solid. I was pit-stain free for the below wear-time regardless of the article of clothing, level of activity, etc.


On low activity days, the morning bit was good enough for all day (12+ hours for me.) On high activity days, I found I needed a “touch up” at the 10 hour mark. But still – these were incredibly long lasting. When bathing, I could still feel the remainder of the product in the armpit area – it had to be scrubbed off or probably would have stayed there (which makes for yucky build-up thoughts if you don’t strenuously scrub.)


I’d skip the Sensitive Skin / Hypoallergenic version if you’re looking for above-average results; they simply aren’t there. But the regularly formulated ones are a great boon to those that suffer from excess pit-stink, sweat or have very high levels of activity. There are even waterproof versions (though…I wonder why an antiperspirant, which is supposed to reduce moisture and therefore imaginably stands up against it would need to be waterproofed?) Yes they are double the price and half the quantity of regular deodorant fare, but these aren’t for people that can rely on regular deodorant anyway! These have made a total world of difference in all the factors above…but mostly in my confidence!

Regular Formula



Less product, higher price.

Formula: 4/5

Thick, creamy formula. But takes a long time to work in.

Deodorizing: 5/5

Non-smelly male figures in my life? Eat your heart out. Even you don’t smell like flowers! Hahaha!

Antiperspirant: 5/5

Kept me dry even on high activity for at least 10 hours!

Duration: 5/5

Zero reapplication needed on slow days. 12 Hour reapplication needed for active days.

Overall: 88% (B+) A bit pricy but worth it for those who need the clinical strength protection.

Hypoallergenic Formula



Less product, higher price.

Formula: 4/5

Thick, creamy formula. But takes a long time to work in.

Deodorizing: 1/5

I hate to give it a 0 because who knows how bad it would have been without it? But it really didn’t do anything here.

Antiperspirant: 4/5

Did not perform as well as the regular formula overall and didn’t last as long either.

Duration: 3/5

Lessened performance overall and needed more reapplications.

Overall: 60% (D-) Waste of cash. Doesn’t outperform even regular “sensitive skin” deodorants.


Now the real question is. How much did I gross you out on a scale of 1-10?

<3 EA


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5 Responses to Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant/Deodorant (Regular and Sensitive Skin) – Review

  1. Holy crap, all that vigorous rubbing!
    Red Lips, Black Hair recently posted..Easter FOTD

  2. Pfffft: you grossed me out at about a -5 outta’ 10. That is, you didn’t. At all. If anything, this post appeals to me as I happen to use this very same product for- eh ehm– the very same reasons. >.>

    I’m fondest of the ‘Powder Protection’ scent, but might have to try the Freshwater Orchid the next time I restock. o: It sounds lovely~.

    And oh man– my mum (and dad, really) are the same as your uncle: virtually scent-free. Or inoffensive, at least. *pouts* (Maybe we’ll age into it?…)

    You’d think the being Jamaican thing would mean I’d never get ripe, but c’est la vie, I s’pose, with all the mixed ancestry. Haha
    ♥ Noxin ♥ recently posted..About Image Editing/"Photoshopping"

  3. OMG!!! I don’t use deodorant either, I just don’t smell… I swear, it’s really strange and my boyfriend always tells people to smell me lolololol… I inherited this trait from my Central Asian side of the family (deeeefinitely not my Russian side lol), they don’t own any deodorants in the mountains, haven’t heard of them and don’t need a use for them… it’s remarkable really!!!
    Maryam Maquillage recently posted..IMATS NYC 2012!

  4. Stacey says:

    Lol at you giving your uncle’s underarm a sniff! I wish I was one of those people too, but I can’t walk out of the house without deodorant!
    Stacey recently posted..FOTD: Autumn Shades

  5. Joanne says:

    Huh, that’s so strange. I’ve used both the regular and the hypoallergenic and the hypoallergenic forumula worked 150% better than the regular one. It lasted longer, was a better deodorant and antiperspirant. (Seriously, it smelled REALLY good.) I use it all the time now.

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