Antiperspirant vs Deodorant: What to use

When asked about what Filipinos use for their underarms, they would likely answer deodorant. Unknowingly, some use the word deodorant and anti-perspirant interchangeably but they are in fact different.

Perspiration (also known sweating or diaphoresis in medical term) is the production of fluids secreted by our sweat glands through our skin. Sweating is the mechanism to regulate our body temperature. The most common areas of sweating include the armpits, face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Factors such as lifestyle and other medical problems may contribute to the amount of sweat. Though it is an essential body process, excessive sweating (also known as hyperhidrosis) may lead to the formation of body odor specifically in the underarm area due to accumulation and proliferation of bacteria.

Difference of Antiperspirant and Deodorant

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Deodorant prevents unwanted odor but does not stop sweating. Antiperspirant, on the other hand, prevents sweat by blocking the ducts. Aluminum is one active ingredient found in antiperspirants. Rumors also have been circulating linking the presence of aluminum to having Alzheimer’s disease and Breast cancer. But fret not, as there is no adequate study and evidence to support the claim.

Underarm stains

Always wondered what’s causing that underarm stain on your clothes? Well, it’s not just perspiration to blame but also your antiperspirant. The aluminum content of this product is acidic and when it comes in contact with sweat, they’re prone to stain clothing. If this is a frequent problem, you may try to change the brand of your antiperspirant. Check the label and opt for clear antiperspirants that contain less aluminum content. It may not totally prevent form having stain clothes, but it will be lesser. If you’re wondering how to remove stains from your clothes, you can rinse the fabric with cold water after use and use a stain remover or a combination of baking soda, vinegar and water on the affected area before brushing it off.

Dark Underarms

A lot of us doubt how our underarms get dark. Is it the antiperspirant? Is it because of shaving? A medical problem? The answer is a resounding yes. Since antiperspirants contain aluminum, the bonding between aluminum, sweat and the bacteria causes discoloration of the skin. Shaving also can cause underarms to get dark. On the medical side, problems such as hypothyroidism may affect the color of the skin. There are a lot of natural remedies you can try at home to lighten the area. But it is best to change your deodorant to a milder one.

One good news though is that recent product upgrades now are a combination of both – deodorant and antiperspirant in one. Since everyone has a different body fauna, it is best to find out what suits your underarm need.

Sheryl Ann Datukon

Nurse. Breastfeeding mom. Writer. Loves to travel and do photography. One who simply lives life to the fullest.