Sweating is a result of your body’s attempt to cool itself off when there is an internal or external increase in temperature. But it doesn’t mean that you should always have a steady underarm drip or a strong funk! There are a lot of products that can help you not to turn into the office boogeyman. If you go to a local supermarket, you’ll see dozens and dozens of sprays, sticks, and pastes. But how to decide which one do you need? What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant? Find it out to choose a product that would do its job.
What Is The Main Difference Between Deodorants And Antiperspirants?
The simplest explanation is that deodorant stops bad smell, and antiperspirant stops sweating. But there is more to it than that! If you don’t want to clear up the whole room by the simple act to walking into it, you should know how these products work.
What You Should Know About Deodorants
When your body cools off, your underarms start to smell. But sweat itself doesn’t stink, because it’s just water with different salts. Your body odor (B. O.) is a byproduct of bacteria that live on your skin and feed on sweat gland secretions (fats and proteins). As a result, your sweat transforms into a variety of compounds, including Propanoic, Butiric, and trans-3-Methyl-hexenoic acids. These substances provoke body odor, which is pretty annoying. So deodorants are used to cleanse and mask this stink, but they also target bacteria.
Their formulations usually contain Trichlosane that makes skin too salty or acidic. Alkaline-loving bacteria cannot live and grow in this environment, so you don’t stink. Also, deodorant formulas usually contain fragrance ingredients, which make people smell great.
What You Should Know About Antiperspirants
Your body has two major types of sweat glands: eccrine glands, which are found all over your skin, and apocrine glands, which are located in your armpits ( you can read about it here). The last-mentioned secrete the sweat that is full of fats and proteins which are good for odor-causing bacteria. So antiperspirants plug your glands to keep your armpits dry — bacteria have nothing to eat, and you stay fresh. Also, you don’t have to worry about awkward social situations like lifting arms and revealing wet spots on your T-shirt.
Almost all antiperspirants contain aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex. Both of them react with compounds of your sweat and transform into a gel that clogs sweat glands. At the same time, aluminum makes pores to contract, so you don’t have to think about wet circles forming under your arms and spreading.
Are Antiperspirants Dangerous
Many people think that difference between a regular deodorant and an antiperspirant is that the former is safer. Customers prefer natural and aluminum-free products, focusing their attention on the absence of harsh chemicals. But do antiperspirants poison people with toxic ingredients?
There have been different health scares about antiperspirants, and at some point, scientists had concerns about aluminum causing breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. So researchers investigated its influence and found no evidence that this ingredient can provoke any serious health conditions.
When you apply antiperspirant, it clogs pores, but it doesn’t penetrate further into your body. Aluminum can cause harm if its concentration is very high, but not in this case.
The main issue with antiperspirants is that they can provoke irritations and acne. Their ingredients cause sweat to stay suppressed under your skin and to pressurize pores within which it has been blocked. So if you have sensitive skin, you may switch to these aluminum-free deodorants or use home-made natural products.
Are All Products Safe
Whatever you prefer, there might be consequences of messing with bacteria that live on your skin. For example, many products contain parabens, which have estrogen-like properties. They can get into your bloodstream through razor nicks; it this case, they do provoke breast cancer. To stay healthy, you can use natural stuff that covers your funk with essential oils, but they work differently on different persons.
Also, regular over-the-counter products alter your microbiome — all useful bacteria that live on skin. A small group of people had been using deodorants or antiperspirants and then stopped. After that, the number of staphylococcal bacteria, which were living on their bodies, increased. What does it mean? Researchers haven’t found the answer! But they know now that daily hygiene can mess microbiome in different ways. Scientists have no idea is it beneficial or detrimental for health, so further research is needed.
Chemical Overload: Natural VS Non-Natural
Do you want to find a chemical-free option? Many brands have hopped on the natural body care bandwagon, so there is a wide range of products (you can take a look at this list). But before you ditch antiperspirants for good, consider all issues.
If you’re always dripping wet like a washcloth, think about why you want to throw your regular stick in the trash. Some manufacturers claim that traditional deodorants are terrible for health, but don’t worry. One myth is that chemicals clog pores, so toxins build up in the body and provoke terrible illnesses. That isn’t true, but rumors still circulate on the Internet.
People believe that women get tumors in the upper outer quadrant of breast because they apply deodorants close to this area. But it has nothing to do with your body care routine. This area has more breast tissue, so tumors occur here — underarm cosmetics aren’t a cause.
«Natural» Doesn’t Mean «Better»
So why people switch to natural sprays and roll-ons? Some of them have a family history of cancer, so they still prefer to be safe than sorry. But most consumers like more natural and chemical-free products; also, some of them develop an allergic reaction to ingredients which are found in regular stuff. If you have the same reason, don’t forget that «natural» doesn’t always means «better». You might still be allergic to baking soda, Beeswax, or essential oils, so don’t forget to do a patch test.
Why Antiperspirant Makes You Smell Worse And How It Differs from Deodorant
When you use your favorite product that keeps you dry as a bone and makes you smell amazing, you might not know that it leads to a stronger B. O. According to a study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research, you can smell better without over-the-counter stuff. Researchers from Belgium asked eight persons to stop using deodorant or antiperspirant for a month. Also, they found eight people who started to apply these products every day. At the end of this period, they noticed that antiperspirants cause an increase of Actinobacteria that are provoking strong B. O. So products that supposed to keep us fresh actually do the opposite.
Why does it happen? When you’re applying your antiperspirant, aluminum kills all useful bacteria, so the smelly ones start to dominate. If you use deodorant, it stops Actinobacteria from growing and eliminates your B. O.
The difference between a regular deodorant and an antiperspirant is quite important, but does it mean that we all should throw our aluminum-containing products away? Well, there is no universal answer. In the long run, using deodorants might be better, but they don’t help if your armpits are always damp.
Deodorants VS Antiperspirant: Is It Safe To Stop Sweating
Sweating is a natural process that has its advantages:
- it detoxifies your body and flushes impurities and toxins even faster that kidneys do;
- if you don’t sweat, bacteria built up in your pores, resulting in breakouts;
- it’s the way to keep your body from overheating.
So some people prefer to sweat freely because this is healthy, and others have an allergic reaction to some compounds that are in traditional antiperspirants. But no one wants to smell bad, and that’s when deodorant comes into play. It helps to eliminate the stink without messing with your body cooling system, which is considered more healthy.
What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant, and which is better? While you already know that the former keeps you stink-free and the latter reduces wetness, there is no single answer what is best in all situations. Consider your needs before making a choice, and you’ll find the best option.
Choosing Deodorants: What Makes A Difference
When you’re looking for the best product, you should consider the following:
- is it doing its job;
- is it safe;
- does it leave white marks.
You can use your usual stuff or look for innovations in the market because it’s exciting to discover new technologies. Also, if you are an extremely stinky person, you might need to need durable protection, which is provided by new formulas.
There are a lot of antiperspirant deodorant combinations that are more effective in keeping its wearers fresh. They kill bad bacteria and stop wetness at the same time in order to keep you odor-free. But if you don’t want to put chemicals on the skin, choose natural products. They are built with essential oils, which you can find here, Coconut Oil, baking soda that work together to make people smell great. But if you’re suffering from excessive sweating, you might need an antiperspirant.
Choosing Antiperspirant: Points To Consider
If your shirt is always soaked, you should use the right sweat stopper. Typically, manufacturers offer regular and clinical strength options: they are built with different compounds or contain the same ingredient but in different proportions. There is also the question of price, because people who sweat a lot should use more effective and more expensive types.
A clinical strength antiperspirant is a good option, so look for a stick that contains a lot of aluminum. It rarely provokes irritation or redness because of soothing components, so the only downside is a price.
Still not sure which type is right for you? In fact, you can use antiperspirant and deodorant. Dermatologists say that there is no need to restrict your choice! When it’s hot, most deodorants just don’t work. So use them in cold winter and switch to an antiperspirant in summer.
How To Use Antiperspirant
Even the best product won’t do its job if applied in the wrong way. Most people wake up, take a shower, use their stick or spray, and think that they would stay protected for 24 hours or more. But in fact, you should put on antiperspirant before going to sleep.
The reason is that aluminum needs time to get to pores and clog them. If you apply a product in the morning and go to work, you start to sweat too soon: aluminum can’t block the pores, because it doesn’t get inside them.
When you put on your antiperspirant at night, the active ingredient has enough time to prevent sweat. People do sweat in their sleep, but not so profusely, and their pores are fully clogged by the morning. If you want to have dry armpits, apply your product correctly.
You can use antiperspirant on your back, face or groin, but don’t forget to consult your doctor. Chemicals might build up in pores, and different kinds of issues may ensue from pimples to cysts.
How To Apply Deodorant
If you prefer products that only block odor, application time is not important. Use deodorant on clean and dry armpits: guys with a lot of underarm hair might shave or trimming it. But don’t overapply, because two swipes are enough to keep you fresh. And don’t forget to let your product to dry fully, because this way it won’t leave any stains on black clothes.
Why do some deodorants say «Apply to underarms only»? These products only block odor, so some people try to use it everywhere. But deodorant can cause irritation or redness. You might not notice a couple of red spots under your arm, but you definitely don’t want to see them on your face.
How to Find the Right Type Of Product
If you go to a local store, you’ll see sticks, roll-ons, sprays and pastes. To find the best solution, consider the following:
- Sprays are useful if sweat is not a serious issue — they keep odor at bay. But many consumers find their fragrances cheap and juvenile, so choose wisely. It’s important not to wear spray and regular cologne at the same time, because they’ll smell different. You can make an exception for unscented products and use them with your perfume.
- Roll-ons are effective, but they make your underarm hair sticky and leave more residue than sprays. However, you can find some natural and aluminum-free deodorants that eliminate B. O. They’re easy to apply and eco-friendly because manufacturers often use recyclable package.
- If you use a stick, it’s probably antiperspirant that stops the stink happening in the first place. Some natural deodorants also come in this form, but they can be a little bit messy because of the nature of its formula. They usually contain Coconut Oil, which becomes liquid in the summer, so you might keep it in your fridge on hot days.
- Natural deodorants can come in the form of paste, which you put on with your fingers or with a little wooden or plastic spatula. This product might be oily, so it leaves stains on clothes, and it isn’t easy to use if you need to reapply deodorant during your day. But this type is chemical-free, which is important for people with sensitive skin or nature lovers.
You might try different antiperspirants or deodorants before you find out which one it the best, but in the end, you’ll succeed.
What is the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant? Now you know the answer, so choose the best option and share your experience in the comments below.