The world of deodorants vs antiperspirants can be a confusing one, let us explain the difference…
A few weeks ago our brand new ranges of natural deodorants arrived and we couldn’t wait to share them with you all. But these new products posed a question which has cropped up a few times in store: what is the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants?
In order to fully understand the difference it is necessary to know a little more about sweat. Sweat doesn’t smell, but bacteria does. The warm, moist conditions of your armpit are ideal for sweat-hungry bacteria and these bacteria produce an unpleasant smell as they break down the sweat into organic compounds. Sweat is wet. It is our body’s way of dealing with excessive heat, whether this be from exercise, anxiety, spicy food, fever or external heat and humidity.
Many products on the market will often contain deodorising ingredients as well as antiperspirants, to combat the sweat and the smell at the same time.
What is a Deodorant?
Deodorants work by making our armpits less bacteria-friendly. They contain antibacterial ingredients that help reduce the numbers of odour-causing bacteria, and often also contain perfumes to mask the smell.
What is an Antiperspirant?
Antiperspirants work by temporarily plugging up the sweat ducts, stemming the flow of sweat, yet they do not completely prevent sweating. They contain aluminium salts, the active ingredient that helps reduce sweating by constricting or shrinking the pores in your armpit.
Which should I use: deodorants vs antiperspirants
Antiperspirants can combine various ingredients including aluminium, talc and absorptive minerals in order to reduce sweating. Typically, the higher the aluminium levels, the more effective the antiperspirant is at preventing excessive sweating.
There has been much in the press during recent years regarding the fear that the aluminium within antiperspirants may have links to breast cancer and Alzheimer disease. The jury is still out on this, with various medical associations refuting the claim. There are also many out there who believe that the process of sweating is a natural one that shouldn’t be interfered with.
For these reasons, and many more, people are starting to turn away from the use of harsh antiperspirants, favouring deodorants instead.
Did you know? One easy way to avoid the need for deodorant at all is to practice good underarm hygiene: keep your armpits dry and clean, and you can get away without using it as often. In a pinch, pat your armpits with a damp washcloth sprinkled with baking soda. It neutralizes the odour!
Should I be using natural deodorants?
If you suffer from sensitive skin then it is certainly advisable to avoid the harsh ingredients that often crop up in many generic antiperspirants and deodorants.
For those who wish to avoid the unnecessary use of chemicals against the body’s skin, or are concerned about the health risks of ingredients such as aluminium and talc, it is also best to choose to use natural deodorants as an alternative to antiperspirant products.
And for those of us who are simply eco-minded in our approach to personal hygiene, natural deodorants offer an opportunity to support local businesses using sustainably sourced ingredients and packaging, whilst taking special care of our precious skin.
Do you use natural deodorants? Or can you not live without your fave antiperspirant?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!