What’s the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants?

Do you know the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants? Most people believe they are the same thing and until recently so did I. After all, most antiperspirants are also marketed as deodorants and both type of products are supposed to cover stinky odors and make you smell nice. But as it turns out, they work in a very different way:

What are antiperspirants?

Antiperspirants are products designed to stop the body from sweating and reduce underarm wetness. They use ingredients like aluminium salts that close the body’s sweat ducts so no sweat is produced. And no sweat means no wetness and no body odor. Some may be concerned that this can be harmful to the body, but that’s not true. Sweat ducts are present all over the body while antiperspirants are applied only on underarms, which is a very small area, so the sweat will still find a way to get out. Antiperspirants though shouldn’t be applied on abraded skin or skin that’s just been shaved as it could irritate it.

What are deodorants?

Deodorants are products design to reduce or mask underarm odor. They use antiseptic ingredients like Triclosan that prevent the bacteria that cause body odor from growing or kills them. However, deodorants still allow the body to sweat so even if you won’t smell, your underarms will still get wet.

Should I use an antiperspirant or a deodorant?

While both antiperspirants and deodorants contain fragrance to mask body odor, antiperspirants stop perspiration while deodorants only eliminate body odor. If you’re one of those people that sweats a lot and this makes you feel very uncomfortable, consider using an antiperspirant. But if you only want to get rid of body odor, opt for a deodorant instead.

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  1. Mary says

    There are very few deodorants available for women. I usually end up buying one from the men’s section of the pharmacy.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Mary, that’s a shame. There are quite a few here, although most of them don’t work too well based on my experience. I don’t think men’s deodorants are all that different from women’s though. The main different is probably the more masculine packaging.

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