What is Antiperspirant?
If you remember your prefixes from English class, “anti” means “opposed to” or “against.” An antiperspirant fights against perspiration – a fancier word for sweat. The purpose of antiperspirant is to stop or reduce sweating and wetness.
Antiperspirant works by temporarily blocking the pores on your skin’s outer layer, reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the surface. The US Food & Drug Administration considers antiperspirant to be an over-the-counter drug since it affects a process of the body, namely perspiration.
Antiperspirant helps control sweat and combat wetness by using aluminum salts that absorb into your skin and block pores. If you are bothered by wetness that feels sticky, slick or soaks into your clothes, an antiperspirant will help reduce sweat and decrease wetness.
You can also choose a combination antiperspirant and deodorant, which means the product contains ingredients to help reduce sweat as well as ingredients to help neutralize and mask odor.
What is Deodorant without Antiperspirant?
There are deodorants without antiperspirant, and these do not contain any aluminum salts to control sweat. Deodorants are considered a cosmetic by the FDA since they are a product that helps cleanse or beautify the body.
Deodorants work by using specific ingredients that make your skin less hospitable to bacteria – the source of underarm odor, not sweat itself. Deodorants also contain fragrances and ingredients to help mask odor and keep you feeling and smelling fresh. They may include moisturizers to help improve your skin or other ingredients like baking soda to help absorb wetness.
Since deodorants do not block pores, they do not reduce sweating. Some people may feel underarm wetness when using a deodorant, especially if you sweat heavily.
Basic Differences Between Antiperspirant and Deodorant
To sum up, here are the basic differences between antiperspirant and deodorant:
- Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts to block pores and control sweat and wetness.
- Deodorants do not control sweat but help with odor by reducing bacteria on the skin and using fragrance.
- A combination antiperspirant deodorant does both: controls sweat with aluminum salt and uses other ingredients to reduce bacteria and mask odor.