People use cosmetic products to freshen up, cleanse, beautify, and alter attractiveness. Deodorants and antiperspirants are two everyday products people use for these purposes. Sometimes, they employ the terms interchangeably, but they differ. To help you maximize the efficiency of these products, understanding what they are and their differences is important.
The Definition of a Deodorant
A deodorant is designed to take away the odor that the body generates over time, with its typical placement on the armpits. Deodorants have two methods of defending the body against odor. First, they mask foul smells with a fragrance or perfume. Second, they reduce the effect of odor-producing bacteria with their antimicrobial properties.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers deodorant cosmetics because of their properties to beautify or cleanse. Deodorant cleanses the body from unpleasant odors. Like perfumes, deodorants do not need FDA approval before reaching the market. However, businesses are legally responsible for ensuring their final products and ingredients are safe for the general public.
The Definition of an Antiperspirant
An antiperspirant offers an additional line of defense to that of deodorant: it protects against and controls sweat. Aluminum is the key ingredient to help diminish sweat by blocking eccrine glands, which are responsible for sweat generation. Therefore, these products lessen the moisture content that results from ventures. This list includes walking, working, and strenuous circumstances. Note that an antiperspirant’s primary purpose is to prevent sweating and not mask sweat odor.
The FDA must approve antiperspirants before a company can release them on the market. Rather than classifying an antiperspirant as a cosmetic product, it classifies it as a drug because it affects the body’s normal function. An antiperspirant prevents eccrine or sweat glands from properly producing sweat to help the body cool off.
Antiperspirants are available in nonprescription and prescription forms, such as sprays, powders, roll-ons, towels, and creams. Nonprescription antiperspirants contain low concentrations of aluminum, whereas prescription ones contain high concentrations. The aluminum salts in nonprescription products vary from aluminum zirconium to aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum chloride. For prescription antiperspirants, the active ingredient can be either concentrated aluminum chloride or its strong derivative, aluminum hexahydrate. Prescription antiperspirants are recommended for those with hyperhidrosis or intemperate sweating.
Differentiating Between Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Although people may frequently apply deodorants or antiperspirants to their armpits or other common body areas, the two products operate differently.
The primary purpose of a deodorant is to help hide body odor with a fragrance or an aromatic scent. Deodorants do not contain any active ingredients and do not protect against sweating. They do not need to be pre-approved by the FDA before being available for purchase because the FDA classifies them as a cosmetic product.
The primary role of an antiperspirant is to protect against sweating. Antiperspirants usually have aluminum as a key ingredient. They reduce moisture content and can keep the skin dry and, subsequently, clothing free from wet spots. They are FDA-regulated because the FDA considers them a drug rather than a cosmetic product.
It is your choice to use a deodorant or an antiperspirant. If you want to feel fresh and confident, apply deodorant with your chosen scent. If you want to reduce the effects of perspiration on your clothes and keep your skin dry, use an antiperspirant.