Deodorant or Antiperspirant: Which Is Better and How to Choose

Deodorant or Antiperspirant: Which is Better and How to Choose

Every person, at least once in their life, has pondered over whether deodorant or antiperspirant is better… or perhaps deodorant-antiperspirant. And in general, what are they, how do they differ, and so on. To understand which one suits you best — deodorant or antiperspirant, or maybe deodorant-antiperspirant — let’s delve into it: what’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant, when and what to choose, how to use both correctly. After all, successful combat against sweat odor — choosing a reliable product — is no easy task. Especially when faced with a vast array of options labeled “aluminum-free,” “baking soda-free,” “safe,” and so on, which raise more questions than answers.

Difference Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Antiperspirant is a product that blocks perspiration. Typically, its action is based on the properties of aluminum salts, which form gel-like “plugs” in the sweat glands. This keeps the underarms and body (if applied) dry.

Deodorant is a product that masks the smell of sweat without affecting perspiration. Deodorant neutralizes the unpleasant odor, which is essentially a result of bacteria proliferation, thanks to antibacterial components. However, it doesn’t stop you from sweating.

It’s precisely the mechanism of action — masking sweat and blocking perspiration — that constitutes the main difference between deodorant and antiperspirant.

If deodorants and antiperspirants don’t meet your needs, and you can’t choose between temporarily masking odor and long-lasting freshness with blocked sweat glands, a deodorant-antiperspirant comes to the rescue. It combines the properties of both deodorant and antiperspirant, helping achieve a dual effect — simultaneously reducing perspiration and imparting a pleasant scent to the skin.

Which is Better: Deodorant or Antiperspirant: Practical Advice

Everyone who has tried to understand the differences between deodorant and antiperspirant is familiar with Hamlet’s dilemma — deodorant or antiperspirant? Answering the question — antiperspirant or deodorant — is quite simple, though: the choice depends on your goals, physical activity, and level of perspiration. Deodorants are suitable for people with moderate perspiration, while antiperspirants are for those who sweat heavily.

And by the way, it’s worth dispelling the myth that using antiperspirants containing aluminum salts leads to their accumulation in the body. This is untrue: they work superficially for 24, 48, 72, or 96 hours.

However, safety should still be a consideration, so all attention should be focused not on the brightness of the packaging, but on the composition of the product. It shouldn’t contain:

  • Harmful elements that disrupt the microflora (including Citric Acid),
  • Comedogenic components.

If you have sensitive skin, pay attention to products with hypoallergenic, moisturizing, and caring formulas. In this case, it’s better to use products without aluminum salts. Although aluminum salts are safe — they don’t cause cancer, eczema, or severe allergies — under certain conditions (for example, if applied to freshly shaved skin), they can cause burning, redness, and itching. Additionally, it’s not advisable to experiment with deodorant-antiperspirants and antiperspirants if you have an intolerance to aluminum salts.

How to Properly Use Deodorants and Antiperspirants

Deodorant and antiperspirant should be applied correctly. Only then will they be effective and not cause skin irritations or stains on clothing.

Here are several important nuances of using sweat-reducing products:

  • Apply only to clean and dry skin.
  • Avoid applying to freshly shaved skin — wait at least 30 minutes for the regeneration process to begin.
  • Roll-on and stick products are best applied to the skin several times. As for sprays, they should be sprayed for 2-3 seconds from a distance of at least 15 cm after shaking the bottle; the “more is better” rule doesn’t apply here.
  • After application, do not immediately put on clothing; allow the product to absorb. The time required for absorption varies depending on the form of the product.
  • Do not use antiperspirants during workouts.

Q&A Is it true that antiperspirants are harmful to health? As of today, there is no scientific study confirming that antiperspirants are harmful to health. On the contrary, the opposite was published in March 2020 by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety of the European Commission. According to their research, aluminum salts in certain concentrations do not affect health.

Deodorants and antiperspirants often contain ethanol derivatives; are they harmful to the skin? Deodorant and antiperspirant may contain alcohol, which is a universally approved preservative. Typically, this includes Phenoxyethanol and Ethylhexylglycerin. They are added to sweat-reducing products (more commonly to antiperspirants) to prevent the proliferation of microorganisms on the skin’s surface and in the bottle. In most cases, they do not dry out the skin or cause irritation, but there is always a risk of an individual negative reaction.

There are many recipes for natural deodorants available online that can be made at home; can they really help? Homemade deodorant can help with perspiration, but it can also lead to a host of unwanted problems (including severe irritation). It’s quite challenging to predict the skin’s reaction to such products. In general, if you decide to experiment, be prepared for itching, burning, inflammation, changes in skin color in the armpits, yellow or brown stains on clothing

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