Deodorants and Antiperspirants: What’s the Difference Between Them? Rules for Choosing and Using Them
Deodorants and antiperspirants were created to fix the problem of sweating. In order to avoid mistakes when choosing between these cosmetic products, you should recognize their features and differences.
Dermatologists like to use the term “deodorant” when talking about products whose main task is to mask the smell of sweat. They are solely responsible for covering the smell.
These cosmetic products only combat bacteria that multiply in our sweat-secreting glands. It’s those bacteria which cause such an awful smell. To eliminate these bacteria, deodorants contain the following ingredients in their composition:
- Triclosan. It acts strongly by destroying both unnecessary and useful microorganisms.
- Farnesola. It only works against harmful bacteria. It has no impact on the body’s own microflora.
Deodorants don’t stop the work of sweat glands. Therefore, you won’t stop sweating thanks to using such products. The process of sweating simply won’t be accompanied by an unpleasant smell.
The category of antiperspirants includes products that can affect the process of sweat secretion by narrowing the ducts of the sweat glands. The disappearance of an unpleasant odor in this case is only a consequence of such an impact.
Blocking the function of sweat glands becomes possible due to the presence of certain aluminum and zinc compounds in the composition of antiperspirants. They guarantee that even with extreme heat or stress, a person won’t sweat and their clothes will remain dry.
Apart from the above mentioned uses of action, antiperspirants and deodorants have other differences. They are as follows:
- Duration of action. The effect of using a deodorant is limited to a few hours. The effect of an antiperspirant lasts about 24 hours.
- Features of use. An antiperspirant is recommended for the treatment of armpits exclusively. Deodorants can be applied to various areas of the body where there is a presence of a strong release of sweat (such as the palms or feet).
Frequency of use is another criterion that determines the difference between cosmetics. Since the deodorant performs its function for only a few hours, it can be applied to the skin several times during the day. In the case of an antiperspirant, a one-time use during the day is recommended.
Choosing a cosmetic product
By knowing the differences between one cosmetic product and another, it becomes much easier to choose between an antiperspirant or deodorant.
The first option is recommended if you need to solve the problem of the unpleasant smell of sweat for a short period of time.
The second option suits only the cases in which it is necessary to get rid of increased sweating and associated discomfort for a long period of time.
In addition to separate deodorants and antiperspirants, there are combined options for sale. They have received the combined name of deodorants-antiperspirants. They combine the properties of the two types of cosmetics. They should be selected individually, taking into account the characteristics of the body.
When making a choice in favor of one or another means to combat the problem of sweating, but remember that antiperspirants, regardless of all of their effective attributes, can be harmful to your health.
The potential harm is explained by the fact that with strong physical exertion, which produces overheating or a stressful situation, the body needs effective thermoregulation. But the use of an antiperspirant fails to allow this for the following reasons:
- Aluminum compounds present in the composition of this product react with actively released sweat.
- A film with a gel-like structure forms on the skin.
- The ducts through which sweat is excreted become clogged.
- Heat exchange and fluid removal deteriorate.
There are opinions that such changes in the body, provoked by the application of antiperspirants to the skin, can turn into dangerous ailments:
- Malignant tumors in the mammary glands (in women)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Malfunction of the kidneys, cardiac system and central nervous system
100% full proof evidence of such a type of connection has yet to be provided. But it’s better to avoid overusing antiperspirants in general.
Recommendations for use
The effectiveness of fixing the problem of sweating depends not only on the correct choice of a cosmetic product but also on the features of its use. To get the maximum positive result and avoid harming your health, you should adhere to the following recommendations:
- Perform water treatments prior to using
- Allow the skin to dry naturally within 1.5 – 2 hours, otherwise, the product will not affect the water-filled pores
- An antiperspirant is best used in the evening to guarantee its effect during the next day
- Don’t treat the skin with deodorant more than 2 times within a single day (frequent use makes it useless in the fight against odor)
- Don’t use an antiperspirant right before sporty exercises, visiting the bath or going outside in the heat
It’s very important to monitor the amount of a particular product used. It’s unreasonable and even unsafe to apply deodorant or antiperspirant abundantly in the hope of a better result. Too much of the product won’t affect its effectiveness in any way. The clothes will only show ugly traces that you’ll have to remove.
Modern cosmetic products that solve the problem of sweat and the associated odor are released in different forms:
- Spray. It can’t penetrate deep into the pores and it’s quickly consumed. It’s easy to apply and it hardly stains clothes. It’s not recommended for use if you have problems with the respiratory system.
- Stick. This solid form is characteristic of antiperspirants. It’s distributed evenly, provides reliable protection and has little to no smell. It leaves subtle traces on things.
- Gel. It occurs less often than others. It effectively combats moderate or severe sweating and odor.
- Cream. It’s recommended as a therapeutic drug for severe hyperhidrosis.
The most widespread products belong to the roll-on or roller type. They are convenient to use, evenly cover the skin and are cheaper than alternatives. The only disadvantage of such products is obvious traces on clothes. To avoid them, it’s necessary to let the substance dry well.