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Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant: What You Need to Know

Body Odor, aka B.O., are words we dread. As humans, we have been trying to combat it for millennia with various perfumes distilled from plants and flowers. In fact, did you know that the first recorded perfumer was a woman named Tapputi who lived in ancient Mesopotamia (Egypt) in the 2nd millennium BC? But we digress, perfumery has come a long way since Tapputi’s time and science has progressed to give us deodorants and antiperspirants to help us mask B.O. 

Although the terms are often used interchangeably (you’ll never hear someone say “hey, pass me that bottle of antiperspirant”, deodorants and antiperspirants work quite differently. In order to understand how they work, it’s important to understand what causes B.O.

What causes B.O.?

Sweat is an important part of our body’s temperature regulation system. When our body overheats, when we exercise for example, our body releases water through our sweat glands which cools our body down as it evaporates. 

Contrary to what you may think, sweat doesn’t actually smell. The not-so-pleasant smell occurs when sweat is broken down by bacteria present on the skin. The constitution of sweat can also make a difference to how strong B.O. can be. Sweat from the armpits and groin is higher in proteins which are easily broken down by bacteria resulting in stronger odors. 

What’s the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants?

The biggest difference between how deodorants and antiperspirants work is suggested by their names. Deodorants work by reducing odor. They typically increase the acidity of your skin making it less attractive to the bacteria that breakdown sweat and cause B.O. In a nutshell, you still sweat as much but don’t smell. 

Antiperspirants on the other hand actually reduce the amount you sweat. While this may sound great, they usually do this by using aluminium-based compounds that block your sweat pores. 

Why are deodorants better than antiperspirants?

There are a people who sweat excessively from a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis who can benefit from prescription antiperspirants and medication. However, most of us typically want to feel fresh and limit body odor which is where deodorants shine.

Long story short, use an antiperspirant only if you tend to sweat heavily or are going to workout without access to a shower right after. For everyday use, stick to a deodorant.

Benefits of natural deodorants over chemical deodorants and antiperspirants:

There are plenty of deodorants available on the market. However, many supermarket and drugstore brands contain chemicals that can irritate the skin and are bad for the environment to boot. When it comes to general everyday use, natural deodorants offer multiple benefits when compared to chemically based deodorants and antiperspirants:

  • Natural deodorants are made from non-toxic skin friendly products.
  • They allow your skin to breathe which can help prevent a number of skin issues.
  • They do not block your pores allowing your body to regulate its temperature naturally.
  • They keep you feeling fresh all day.
  • They usually contain essential oils that are actually good for your skin.
  • You can reapply them as often as you like without fear.

Sugar & Spice brings you affordable, healthy, non-toxic, natural personal care products like all-natural body lotions, natural deodorants, bubble baths, and more, to take care of you and your family. As a sustainability-oriented business, Sugar & Spice uses finest quality food grade ingredients available and purchased locally, mainly within a 65 km radius of Maple Ridge, Canada. Our natural deodorants offer a range of scents to suit all tastes including fragrance-free deodorants for those with fragrance sensitivities. 

Shop for our products or get in touch with us to know more. 


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