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Deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants: what are the differences between them?

Deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants

What are deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants?

Deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants are personal hygiene products designed to solve the problem of bad smell of sweat, especially in the armpit region. Currently, deodorants are used in virtually all parts of the body and even in clothing, to aromatize environments and even in domestic animals. There are also creams, aerosols, sprays, roll-ons and even homemade substances for the same purpose.

What are the differences between deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants?

The terms “deodorants” and “antiperspirants” are generally used interchangeably, but, in fact, refer to different things. Deodorants are indicated to reduce the unpleasant odor of sweat, without diminishing its production. Not reducing the production of sweat can be very convenient because it has important physiological functions in the body, such as maintaining body temperature, moisturize the skin and eliminate metabolites . In addition, the sweat itself is not responsible for the bad smell, as it is practically water (99%). The odor that is usually attributed to sweat comes from the decomposition of some substances from it by bacteria that exist in the skinor in the air. Antiperspirants work by inhibiting the production of sweat and therefore keeping the body relatively dry. They are suitable for people who overeat. Not every deodorant is also antiperspirant, but almost every antiperspirant is also a deodorant because it contains a substance that eliminates odor. Antiperspirants are the same thing as antiperspirants. The two words are synonymous.

What is the mode of action of deodorants, antiperspirants and antiperspirants?

The sweat glands are of two types: eccrines, which remove only water, and apocrine , responsible for the excretion of salts, cellular debris and metabolism , substances that when degraded by bacteria or fungi exude a bad smell. As these glands are located mainly in the armpits, that’s when the bad odor is exhaled. Deodorants kill bacteria, reduce the concentration of these microorganisms, may or may not have their own fragrance to camouflage the odor and do not interfere with the production of sweat. As the name suggests, they aim only to put an end to the odor. In the case of antiperspirants, the main active component coagulates the proteins and thus closes thesweat glands , reducing the production of sweat. The antiperspirant, when applied to the surface of the skin , forms a gel that creates a “buffer”, reducing the amount of sweat that is secreted on the surface of the skin .

Which product should I use?

The choice of product to be used should be made based on the characteristics of each skin and the needs and tastes of each person. Creams are the products that most moisturize the skin ; the roll-ons are not very indicated because they have direct contact with the skin and can be contaminated by bacteria; sprays can cause skin burns and aerosols dry very quickly, and can cause skin irritation and blemishes on clothing. Common basic substances like milk of magnesia or talc with bicarbonate of sodium also cause the death of the bacteria that cause the sweat odor.

What are the possible complications of using deodorants, antiperspirants or antiperspirants?

Antiperspirants present the risk of clogging the pores and producing inflammation of the sweat gland , producing boils. Some people may experience irritation from components derived from aluminum contained in these products. Recently there has been information that the aluminum salts and derivatives are absorbed by the body and can cause cancer of breast in women, but this relationship has not been confirmed to date.

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