Deodorant vs Antiperspirant – what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant?

Deodorant’s primary focus is to mask sweat so you smell fresher, whereas antiperspirants contain aluminium salt to actively prevent sweating.

Can antiperspirants cause blocked pores?

Antiperspirants that are aluminium based temporarily plug pores to stop sweating. That’s why they work better at night when sweat production is low and the active ingredient has time to be absorbed.

Is this dangerous?

Nothing has been proven, but some experts continue to explore the risks, such as University of Reading’s Professor Phillipa Darbre, who says, ‘If sweat can’t get out, there’s a build up of toxins that can’t escape so the body retains chemicals.’

Is there truth in the myth linking antiperspirants to cancer?

Despite studies into possible links between aluminium exposure and breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the myths have been largely debunked, and cancer charities aren’t concerned.

Should we continue using antiperspirants?

Our exposure to aluminium via antiperspirants is minimal so there’s no need to avoid them, though some, like Professor Darbre, who stopped using underarm products in 1995, prefer to reduce their exposure to parabans. This may explain the trend for organic roll-on deodorants.


Marie Claire July 2017


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