Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant: Which Is Better and How to Choose

Takeaway: Choosing between antiperspirant and deodorant basically comes down to one key point: do you want to get rid of underarm odor or do you want to mess with your body’s delicate and natural hormonal balance? Opting for deodorant means a safer alternative to nixing odor without putting your health at risk.

To many consumers, deodorant and antiperspirant are one and the same. However, there is a vital difference between the two. Do you know what it is? Find out what deodorant and antiperspirant really are, how they work, and how to choose the right product for you. Read on to find out which product is right for you and why.

When it comes to choosing between antiperspirant and deodorant, most consumers don’t actually know the difference. Unless you fully understand how each product works, what the benefits are, and what the risks are, you can’t really make the best decision for yourself.

In this piece, you’ll find out everything you need to know about both antiperspirant and deodorant. The most important takeaway will be to understand how antiperspirant works and what risks using one can present.

We will also explore how deodorant works and how it can be safer and more beneficial to your health. To do this, you will need a clearer understanding of which ingredients to be wary of and which ones you should look for in their place.

Did you know that antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride, a chemical linked to elevated levels of estrogen and breast cancer? Did you know that opting for a baking soda-based deodorant instead is a much safer alternative? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about antiperspirant versus deodorant.

What Is Deodorant?

Deodorant is a deodorizer, which means it blocks the odor emitted by your body. But, it does not actually block the sweat glands or use any medicinal ingredients to fight body odor.

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, may contain chemical ingredients like aluminum chloride that block the sweat glands entirely. This can be particularly concerning for individuals with sensitive skin as aluminum chloride can be an irritant. It may cause itching, irritation, or redness for sensitive individuals. In addition to being troublesome for sensitive skin, aluminum chloride is a chemical that has other side effects, as well.

While definitive studies are still ongoing, many medical experts believe aluminum chloride absorbed by the skin can increase a woman’s chances of breast cancer. This chemical does elevate estrogen levels in women, and increased estrogen has previously been linked to breast cancer.

Deodorant is usually a safer choice since it does not mix with your body’s balance in the release of hormones in any way. Instead, deodorant will mask the smell of the bacteria released near the armpits and help keep you dry and fresh all day long.

Some deodorants may contain aluminum chloride

Is There Aluminum in Deodorant?

Some deodorants may contain aluminum chloride as well, but many are now labeled as aluminum-free. Normally, deodorant alone – meaning a deodorant that is not also an antiperspirant – does not contain aluminum as this chemical is mainly used to suppress the release of sweat from the sweat glands.

The key is to look for a deodorant that is just a deodorant. That means looking for products that aim to minimize odor, but do not promise to suppress the natural release of sweat from the body’s sweat glands.

What Is Antiperspirant?

The role of an antiperspirant is entirely different. Rather than just mask the smell created by the bacteria, an antiperspirant aims to prevent the release of that sweat in the first place. Aluminum chloride is the go-to chemical agent to achieve this.

By blocking the body’s sweat glands, your body is unable to release the toxins it is holding in. According to WebMD, antiperspirants may also alter underarm bacteria altogether. Experts have found that antiperspirant can alter the body’s “microbiome,” which is the collection of trillions of cells inside and outside of the body.

Some of these cells work to teach the immune system how to respond in certain situations. For example, some cells may be showing the immune system to resist certain bugs that can be harmful to the skin’s tissue.

However, when we stop allowing the microbiome to serve its primary function on its own, we disrupt the way our body works and how our immune system develops and matures as we age. Tampering with the microbiome may present certain risks to our future health.

Is There Aluminum in Antiperspirant?

In short, yes, there is aluminum in antiperspirant. Aluminum chloride is the active ingredient in antiperspirants that work to fight back against the body’s natural way of doing things. Your body may naturally give off sweat to rid the body of it, but this can smell.

So, antiperspirant works by actually blocking this natural mechanism through the chemical compound, aluminum chloride. The main concern with aluminum chloride is the effect it has on estrogen levels. Altering the body’s hormones can have adverse effects on health, including the development of diseases like breast cancer.

Aluminum is sort of the star ingredient in antiperspirant. This is what allows the product to mess with your own hormonal balance and suppress a very natural experience. However, you don’t need to do this in order to achieve odor reduction. You can control odor without affecting your hormones at all.

There are aluminum free deodorant for men.

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

What really is the main difference between the two? Well, one acts to stop odor in its tracks, and the other aims to alter the body’s natural hormonal balance. When it comes to the debate about deodorant vs. antiperspirant, it is best to consider what means more to you.

Do you want to alter your body’s “microbiome” through chemical compounds, or do you simply wish to cover up the smell bacteria can leave behind? If you prefer to play it safe, you may want to consider choosing a deodorant product that does not contain harmful ingredients that can increase your cancer risk or force your body’s immune system into an entirely different direction.

What Is the Best Aluminum-Free Deodorant?

When searching for the best aluminum-free deodorant, look for products that contain natural ingredients and are also free of other harmful chemicals. Make sure the product you are choosing is solely categorized as a deodorant and not also as an antiperspirant.

To be qualified as an antiperspirant, it means there are certainly chemical ingredients within the product that will act in the same way as aluminum chloride – meaning they will suppress your body’s natural release of sweat through the sweat glands.

The best natural deodorant is a product that contains natural ingredients. For example, a baking soda deodorant is a safe alternative. Its active ingredient is a natural ingredient that masks odor and has no side effects on health. It’s a product safe enough to be consumed, so it is not a concern when it comes to using it in a deodorant.

Crystal deodorant is another excellent option to consider if you want to steer clear of toxic chemicals. Crystal deodorants contain a natural salt called potassium. This is the key element that works to mask odor without compromising your health. Medical experts continue to recommend crystal deodorants in place of aluminum antiperspirants and consider them to be a much safer alternative.

Can You Find Antiperspirant Without Aluminum?

In general, antiperspirant always contains aluminum, as that is the active component that suppresses the sweat glands and blocks them. In some cases, you may find antiperspirants without aluminum chloride, but be careful. This doesn’t automatically mean you are getting a chemical-free, natural product.

If a product is considered an antiperspirant, it means it works by blocking your sweat glands. In order to suppress the body’s natural reaction to sweat release, a chemical ingredient is usually in place to alter your underarm bacteria and control the sweat issue from the inside.

To be sure you are ridding yourself of chemicals like aluminum chloride, opt for a deodorant product instead. This means getting a product that will mask odor and not prevent it from occurring in the first place.

What Are the Benefits of Hypoallergenic Deodorants?

Looking for deodorants that are hypoallergenic mean you are much less likely to suffer irritation or other uncomfortable reactions to your deodorant product. Products that contain chemicals can cause redness, itching, irritation, or even a severe burning sensation on the skin.

Hypoallergenic products are free of irritating chemicals and much more likely to work effectively without causing any adverse side effects. Of course, hypoallergenic deodorants are usually hypoallergenic for most people. Individuals with uncommon allergies should always consult with their physician before trying any new products or medications.

How Do I Know What Choice Is Best for Me?

The best deodorant or antiperspirant for men and women is based on preference.

If you are still uncertain about whether or not you prefer antiperspirant or deodorant, speak to your physician about aluminum chloride. Ask a medical professional to explain the risks to you.

If there is one thing you don’t want to do, it is to gamble with your health. The best way to may a safe decision is to make an informed one. Watch our video, access the reference links we have provided, and speak with your own healthcare professional as well.

You can never be too careful when it comes to safeguarding your life against cancer and other harmful side effects of chemical products.

Is Natural Deodorant Effective?

Many consumers find themselves unwilling to trade in their antiperspirants for deodorants merely because they are worried a natural deodorant is much less effective. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Take baking soda-based deodorants for example. Baking soda is used to clean stubborn stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria and odor in the fridge and around the house. It’s a product people have used for years, and it is proven effective and safe.

If you suffer from extreme sweating, you may be concerned this product will not be strong enough for you. However, you can choose from deodorants with more or less baking soda in them. No matter how severe your underarm sweating is, there is a natural product solution for you.

Are Natural Deodorants More Expensive?

This is the really great part. No, natural deodorants are not more expensive. In fact, many are even more affordable than antiperspirants. You can find deodorants with natural ingredients for as little as $5 at your local drugstore.

Look for products that contain crystallized potassium or baking soda for an effective and budget-friendly option.

Choose Your Health First

Regardless of the price or benefits, the only thing that should matter to all consumers is how safe a product is for your health. We know that chemicals like aluminum can have harmful effects on our health. Although more studies are being done to determine just how detrimental this chemical can be, we know that natural is always better.

When you are shopping for food, you want to choose the freshest, best products the store has to offer. You certainly wouldn’t line up to purchase any products that could contain chemical ingredients.

If you wouldn’t ingest chemical ingredients, why would you expose them to your body in another way every single day? When it comes to choosing between deodorant and antiperspirant, the choice is clear. Always select the product that will fulfill its function without putting your health on the line.


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