The Difference Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant
When it comes to tackling excess sweat and body odor, deodorant and antiperspirant are two terms that are often used interchangeably. But did you know that they’re not one in the same? There’s a difference between their benefits, and it is time to break down exactly what those are. To do so, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. Keep reading to find out the difference between deodorant vs. antiperspirant—plus, if one is truly better to use to beat the stink!
Deodorant Vs. Antiperspirant
When you think of sweat, what comes to mind is probably a mix of t-shirt stains and funky odors. But did you know that sweat itself doesn’t have an odor? Dr. Bhanusali explains, “Sweat itself doesn’t have an odor. The smell is caused by bacteria metabolizing the dead skin cells and salts in sweat.”
So, how do deodorant and antiperspirant come to play in the battle against the stench? It’s simple: Deodorant controls odor, antiperspirant controls sweating. Most people want the best of both, which is why they’ll reach for a product that is both a deodorant and antiperspirant. “Deodorants work to mask odors associated with sweating,” Dr. Bhanusali explains. “Whereas antiperspirants work to decrease the amount of sweat produced.” When there’s less sweat being produced, there’s less of a chance for bacteria to metabolize and create an odor. So, to recap: Antiperspirants work to address excess sweating, while deodorants work to mask the odor that can occur when bacteria mixes with sweat.
Which Is Better: Deodorant or Antiperspirant?
Now that you know what deodorant and antiperspirant can do, it’s time to decide which one is better for your lifestyle and body. “Antiperspirants tend to be more effective,” says Dr. Bhanusali. “However, all effects are temporary.” While your antiperspirant can help reduce the amount of sweating, it’s not foolproof. Neither is deodorant. Oftentimes you may notice that even with applying one or the other, or both, you can still experience sweat and odor.
If that’s the case, consider these tips from the National Health Service:
Tip #1: Wash Your Armpits
Use an antibacterial soap and wash your armpits every single day. This can help kill the bacteria on your skin that is responsible for causing an odor.
Tip #2: Shave Your Armpits
When your armpits are hairless, sweat can evaporate more quickly, giving bacteria less time to break it down. If you don’t want to shave, consider trimming the hairs down instead.
Tip #3: Wear Natural Fibers
Your clothing choice matters. Wool, silk, and cotton can allow your skin to breathe and can help sweat evaporate more quickly.
Tip #4: Wear Clean Clothes
This seems self-explanatory, but don’t wear dirty, sweaty clothes. Give your clothes a wash regularly.
Tip #5: Use a Deodorant or Antiperspirant
If you’re dealing with pit stains on a regular basis, make sure you’re using the right deodorant, antiperspirant or combo of both to keep the situation under control. If you need a rec, check out some of our top picks from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands below!
Vichy Dry Touch Deodorant
This 24-hour deodorant offers odor protection and is dry to the touch. The clear mineral formula will leave you feeling fresh all day long! What’s more, it can be worn by both men and women, as well as those with sensitive skin.
Vichy Dry Touch Deodorant, $17 MSRP
Baxter of California Deodorant
This men’s deodorant, ideal for sensitive skin, not only masks odor. It’s formulated with tea tree and witch hazel extracts, along with comfrey, yarrow, and chamomile extracts, and is both alcohol and aluminum-free.
Baxter of California Deodorant, $19 MSRP
Kiehl’s Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant
This gentle antiperspirant and deodorant cream leaves skin feeling soft while also offering 24-hour protection against sweat and odor. It’s designed to reduce perspiration while using micro-sized drying molecules to absorb moisture and leaving you underarm drier
Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Giò Men Deodorant Stick
Mask odor, all while providing protection with this deodorant stick. If you’re a fan of the brand’s Acqua Di Giò cologne, you’ll love the way it comes off in this deodorant stick as well.