Deodorants Vs Antiperspirants. What's the Difference?

First let’s start with describing what a deodorant and an antiperspirant is.

A deodorant is a substance applied to the body to prevent or mask body odor due to bacterial breakdown of perspiration while an antiperspirant is a product designed to reduce sweat or perspiration on the skin.

Basically deodorants and antiperspirants work in different ways to reduce body odor.

Deodorants cover up the smell of body odor usually with fragrances while antiperspirants dry up sweat.

They do this by temporary blocking the pores where sweat comes from. Both products work wherever they applied to your body, mostly on the underarms.

Preventing sweat with deodorants & antiperspirants

Well, you may have experienced sweating on your underarms during exercise or long walks all rather have your shirt stained on the underarm due to sweat.

How embarrassing was it? Worse of all, you may have been in a social gathering and someone smelling sweat bypasses you, how disgusting was that?

Boost your confidence by applying either deodorant or antiperspirant to avoid these embarrassing moments. It’s never too late mate.

This article reviews the similarities and differences between deodorants and antiperspirants.

Deodorant is generally classified as a cosmetic. This means it’s used to cleanse and beautify. Many deodorants contain perfume to help mask the odor.

Antiperspirants come in different forms such as: -

  • Creams
  • Sprays
  • Powders
  • Roll-ons

Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts that react with cells on the skin and in the sweat ducts. This damages the skin surface and block the sweat glands

What’s the difference between them?

Deodorants and antiperspirants have different functions, although a person often applies them to the same areas, such as the underarms.

Deodorants help prevent or mask body odor. They have no active ingredients and do not prevent sweating while antiperspirant help prevent sweating.

They typically contain aluminum as an active ingredient.


Wearing antiperspirant or deodorants can have the following benefits


Deodorant purpose is to cover or mask the body’s natural odor. They may contain perfumes, alcohol that does the job.


The active ingredient in antiperspirants prevents sweating. This reduces moisture on the underarms that can result from activities like walking, exercising, or other stressful situations like panic or public speaking.


Deodorant and antiperspirants can carry the following risks: -

  • Skin reactions

Products applied on the skin may cause irritation or contact dermatitis. This is more likely if you apply them on your underarms as they are the thinner areas of your skin. If you have sensitive skin makes it worse.

A person should contact consult a doctor if they experience an allergic reaction when using a deodorant or an antiperspirant.

They may be recommend products that are more suitable.

Long term use of antiperspirants can increase the risk of cysts due to the continual blockage of sweat glands.

To help reduce the formation of cysts, people are advised to wash and exfoliate the area of skin regularly.

  • Kidney disease

Antiperspirants often contain aluminum salts that prevent sweating. Using them may not be safe for people with kidney issues.

A person with kidney issues should consult their doctor about safe options to help prevent sweating

  • Breast cancer

People may be concerned that antiperspirant can cause breast cancer because the products contain aluminum and other potentially harmful compounds.

The theory revolves around the idea that the skin near the breast absorbs all the harmful ingredients.

Research however states no connection exists between aluminum salts and breast cancer.

Breast cancer cells don’t contain more aluminum than regular breast cells.

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