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Difference between Deodorant and Antiperspirant

When searching for a good natural deodorant it is important to know the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant. My first customer Chris wrote this review for me:

“The best antiperspirant and deodorant ever! I haven’t been able to find any natural deodorant that works and doesn’t make me glands swell up, this is so much better than antiperspirant. My wife keeps smelling my pits and saying ‘Yup, still working!’ Thank you!!!”

The truth is, my original deodorant isn’t an antiperspirant even though customers notice they sweat less. This was particularly important for Chris to understand since the ingredient in antiperspirant that stops sweating was being rejected by his body and causing him terrible rashes. He learned to avoid the word antiperspirant in a product.

Antiperspirant Exists to Decrease Sweating.

How-Antiperspirants-workAntiperspirant works by using a chemical that enters your pores under your arms.  When this chemical becomes wet by sweat, it expands, blocking the sweat inside your body.

The chemicals that work this way are limited and always include some form of aluminum. My friend had developed a sensitization towards the chemical in antiperspirants. To simplify, his body recognized that a foreign element was entering his pores and his body decided to fight back and keep fighting. It is a condition called Zirconium granuloma.

There is only a few other ways to deal with sweating that I know about.

  1. Constrict the pores with an astringent like witch hazel which I include in my deodorant.
  2. Increase evaporation on skin to cool faster with alcohol
  3. Use something that will absorb sweat like clay, tapioca, baking soda (I use all three) and
  4. Maybe use menthol to cool (I use peppermint essential oil) but I’m not sure this is not just a sensation or it really would stop one from perspiring a bit.

Deodorants Exist to Decrease Smell

There are many ways to decrease smell but two leap to mind. 1) Cover up the smell with other smells or 2) take away the cause of the odor. I prefer the second solution.

My first product, and still my favorite, was a deodorant in the form of a lotion using ingredients defeat bacteria and dampness.

It turns out that underarm odor is caused by an acid-loving bacteria. When you change the Ph, you can defeat the bacteria. My deodorants raise the alkalinity under your arms and make the environment uninhabitable for body odor causing bacteria.

I have two types of deodorant, the one mentioned above uses baking soda for people who smell a lot and are acidic and a roll-on which uses Magnesium to raise Ph made for people who are less acidic and therefore, don’t smell as much.

Most deodorant ingredients fight smell by:

  • Changing the Ph in some way with acids or alkalis .
  • Cleansing and cooling skin like rubbing alcohol and menthols.
  • Constricting sweat glands using astringents like witch hazel
  • Absorbing sweat with powders, starches and clays
  • Providing competing organisms like bioferments or yeasts.
  • Using other antibacterials – sometimes at dangerously high levels – for instance using sensitizing levels of essential oils.