Antiperspirant vs Deodorant: What's the Difference?

Posted By Raw Sugar on September 26, 2022

Worries about body odor can get in the way of anyone's day. Fortunately, there are underarm odor protection products available to help you feel fresher through your daily activities. When searching for the right solutions for your needs, you have two main options to choose from: deodorant and antiperspirant. You've likely heard of both before, but what may not be as clear is how these products differ from one another. In this post, we explore the topic by comparing deodorant vs antiperspirant.

What Is an Antiperspirant?

An antiperspirant is a product that reduces how much you sweat under your arms. It comes in a variety of forms, including roll-ons, towelettes, sprays, powders, creams and solids.

How Does Antiperspirant Work?

Generally, an antiperspirant works by keeping you drier under your arms. Antiperspirants can deliver these benefits with one of two key ingredients: metallic salts or anticholinergic substances.

  • Metallic salt antiperspirants react with long chains of sugars on the skin, causing changes to the skin's outermost surface. The cells block the openings to the sweat glands, reducing your ability to perspire.
  • Anticholinergic substance antiperspirants use ingredients like glycopyrrolate or diphemanil methylsulfate to act directly on receptors within the sweat glands. By doing so, they cause the glands to produce less perspiration.

What Is a Deodorant?

A deodorant is a product that fights body odor. It doesn't reduce how much you sweat or keep you dry. Like antiperspirant, deodorant comes in many forms, including sprays, solids, roll-ons and gels.

How Does a Deodorant Work?

To understand how deodorant works, you first need to know what actually causes body odor. Perspiration has no smell on its own. The problem with sweating is that it creates a moist environment in the underarms. Armpits are already dark and warm. Once they become moist, they become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Microbes that grow under the arms feed on enzymes in perspiration and give off compounds called thioalcohols, which have a pungent smell.

Deodorants contain ingredients that inhibit the growth of bacteria, so that body odor doesn't develop. In addition, deodorant usually contains fragrances that improve the scent of the skin. If any bacteria evade the deodorant's ingredients, the fragrance may mask minor body odors that arise.

Is Antiperspirant Bad for You?

Many people worry about the safety of antiperspirant vs. deodorant. The concern comes from older research studies that suggested there may be a link between using antiperspirant and breast cancer. However, further study failed to reproduce these findings. The most recent look at the issue was a 2016 systematic review that found no connection between antiperspirant and increased breast cancer risk, and the American Cancer Society has gone on record stating that there isn't enough evidence to advise people not to use antiperspirant.

Although there is no evidence that antiperspirant is bad for you, some people may not be able to use it due to skin sensitivity issues. Most antiperspirants contain aluminum, and people with allergies or hypersensitive skin may experience reactions to it. This doesn't necessarily mean that deodorant is a better option, as these products may also contain allergens.

When shopping for deodorant for sensitive skin, compare ingredient listings, looking for options that are free of potential irritants. Taking the time to read the labels can help you find underarm odor protection that fits your needs and is suitable for your skin.

RAW Sugar Deodorant for Fighting Body Odor

RAW Sugar Deodorant combats body odor with a formula that is made with naturally-derived ingredients. Cold-press technology retains the nutrients and beneficial compounds in the botanicals to boost the effectiveness of the ingredients that we blend into the formulas. You can choose from many pleasing scents, all of which are free of aluminum, talc, baking soda, parabens and propylene glycol. Plus, RAW Sugar deodorants come in 100% biodegradable, plastic-free packaging and are cruelty-free and vegan, so you can feel good about using them.

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