I go through deodorants pretty quickly, hence why there’s a trio on the blog today. I will start off with a TL;DR for each of them, followed by a more detailed paragraph and a few final thoughts on deodorants in Korea in general and these guys in particular.
From left to right:
Dove Go Fresh Cucumber and Green Tea Anti-Perspirant Spray
What it is – a deodorant spray
Price: ₩6,000 – 8,000 when on sale at Olive Young Korea (US$5.30-US$7.10) / ₩ 12,900 regular full price at my local Olive Young (US$11.50) <not currently available at my local shop>
Availability: Olive Young Korea
Opinion: Started out liking this, then grew sick of it.
At the point of purchase, I was looking for a replacement of my beloved Dove Silk deodorant, a scent that I genuinely liked but that had been discontinued. As a matter of fact, both Lalavla and Olive Young seem to have replaced Dove deodorants with other competitors such as Hidro Fugal and Byly.
This was the only choice left along with Dove Original, which is a scent that I am not particularly fond of. As I took a whiff of the aforementioned cucumber and green tea scent, I found myself liking it at first. As time went by, however, I grew increasingly sick of it. Hubby hated it too. It did work quite well though, so if you really adore the scent, give this one a try. I will not be repurchasing as I am more into either creamy, gourmand or clean fragrances these days.
Nivea Extra White Stick Deodorant
What it is – a deodorant stick
Price: ₩5,000 – 8,000 when on sale at Lalavla Korea (US$4.50-US$7.10) / ₩ 9,900 regular full price at my local Olive Young (US$8.80)
Availability: Olive Young, sometimes Lalavla too
Opinion: Drying and small; does the trick; clean smell.
I am not sure why, but for some reason I have been battling dry, red, itchy, flaky underarms this year, an issue that I have never encountered before. Each time I did, it occurred when I was using a deodorant stick or roll-on, never a spray, which is leading me to wonder whether there is something contained in sticks or roll-ons that make them particularly drying??
That being said, I really enjoyed using this one, as the scent was discreet but clean and clean, nice for any time of day. I will consider repurchasing as a spray.
Lady Speed Stick in Invisible Dry Powder Fresh
What it is – a deodorant stick
Price: ₩5,000 – 7,000 when on sale at Lalavla Korea (US$4.50-US$6.20) / ₩ 8,900 regular full price at my local Lalavla (US$7.90)
Availability: Lalavla Korea
Opinion: Very drying, lovely smell, nice bigger size compared to many other stick deodorants available in Korea.
This is almost double the size of the Nivea one, making it much better value for money. Great to pick up if you want your deodorant to last you a little longer, and an especially great deal when it is on sale.
This was another stick deodorant that gave me the aforementioned flakies. Red, dry, itchy underarms – no joke in winter, when you have to layer up and cannot really give your underarms air to breathe :(. I might repurchase this in summer though to keep stinky pits at bay, as this is genuinely great for those hot, humid Korean summer days when you just melt into the asphalt along with the rest of your soul. This one had a lovely scent that my husband enjoyed a lot, too, and it kept me dry like no other deodorant that I have tried in Korea.
Buying deodorant in Korea is an exercise in patience (so you can grab some for a good price whenever a sale comes on), as, in my experience, most of them cost double, triple or quadruple of what you would be paying in a Western country. This makes perfect sense considering the fact that Koreans do not smell. You can read more about why that is the case in this Wikipedia article. Hence, why deodorant is being sold in Korea at all is a mystery to me. Is it to cater to foreigners only? There is literally no need for Koreans to buy something that would mask body odour.
Either way, it would explain the low demand and hence higher prices a little. You’re still being ripped off, of course. Make no mistake. If you can afford to travel to some country where deodorant is cheaper while you’re in Korea, I would recommend that you pack your suitcase full of deodorants, because prices are ridiculous even when discounted.
I have yet to find a firm favourite, so if you have any recommendations for a deodorant, do let me know in the comments or in a message. I am currently testing one by Byly, a Spanish brand that no one seems to have looked into – review coming up soon!