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Deodorant and antiperspirant are they the same-same or different?
There's a lot of confusion out there about whether deodorant and antiperspirants are one and the same. Some think of the two as completely separate, while others refer to antiperspirants as a subgroup of deodorants.
Whatever you choose to call them, it's important to recognise the big difference between the two:
🌸 Deodorants neutralise odour.
🌸 Antiperspirants reduce sweat, which in turn can control odour.
To be classified as an antiperspirant, a product must reduce sweating by at least 20%.
In contrast, natural deodorants don’t try to interfere with your body’s natural function, instead they have ingredients that absorb sweat and neutralise odour to keep you feeling and smelling fresh all-day.
How do antiperspirants stop sweating?
Sweat ducts are the body's natural way of releasing sweat, and antiperspirants work by using aluminium to block them. When you apply antiperspirant, that aluminium is taken up by the cells in the sweat ducts. As you begin to sweat, the aluminium blocks the sweat ducks. Your body continues to sweat, but less sweat makes it to the surface of the skin. The higher the product's concentration of aluminium, the higher the product's effectiveness against sweat.
Why do they recommend applying antiperspirant before you go to bed?
Most antiperspirant brands tend to recommend applying their products at night because you generally don't sweat as much at night time. This comparative down-time gives your cells a chance to absorb the aluminium and block the sweat duct, before you start getting active during the day. If you apply antiperspirant in the morning, your sweat can flush the aluminium out before it gets a chance to start blocking your sweat glands.
Is aluminium safe for armpits?
While there is no conclusive evidence that antiperspirants are unsafe, ever since the first antiperspirant hit the market, women have worries that blocking their sweat ducts could be bad for their health.
These women are not alone. Many scientists have also raised concerns.
A 2016 Swiss study examined whether concentrations of aluminium found in breast cells had the potential to form tumours, and they found that it did.
When interviewed about their study one author said, "I think we should avoid all deodorants containing aluminium salts."
The Professor compared aluminium to asbestos and said,
"Asbestos is cheap, has very attractive industrial potential, and it took 50 years to ban it. We hope it doesn't take so long to ban aluminium salts."
In 2017, scientists investigated the risk for breast cancer in relation to self-reported underarm cosmetic product application (UCP). They measured the aluminium content in breast tissue from 418 women - 209 that had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 209 that hadn't. All these women completed a questionnaire on underarm hygiene habits.
The scientists concluded:
"Our findings suggest that frequent use of UCPs may lead to an accumulation of aluminium in breast tissue. We could show that women who reported to use UCPs several times a day starting at an age under 30 years may even have an increased risk for breast cancer. Until definitive answers about the involvement of aluminium in carcinogenesis of breast cancer, we recommend that particularly women at their younger ages should be careful with the use of UCPs and avoid its excessive use.”
In 2018, scientists considered the potential interference of aluminium chlorohydrate with estrogen receptor signalling in breast cancer cells. They concluded,
"Our findings do not provide conclusive evidence that aluminium is a breast carcinogen. However, the daily exposure to aluminium in connection with its possible role as an endocrine disruptor raises concerns about the safety of its use."
These studies aren’t conclusive, so ultimately it's up to all of us to decide what we're comfortable putting on our bodies.
Are there alternatives to aluminium to stop sweat?
At this stage, the only alternative to aluminium antipirspirants is Botox or antiperspirants with an extract derived from dormant summer snowflake bulbs. Botox works by blocking the neurotransmitters that cause the sweat gland muscles to contract. When they don't function properly the body can't eliminate the sweat.
The snowflake extract works in a similar way to block nerve signals, which blocks muscle contraction, and without muscle movement sweat excretion is reduced.
Again, it comes down to a personal choice on how you want to manage your sweat and odour.
What about for heavy sweaters?
There is no right or wrong answer here, but when it comes to managing heavy sweating, we recommend:
✅ Picking a natural deodorant with marine magnesium and tapioca starch to naturally absorb as much sweat as possible.
✅ Wearing clothes that wick away sweat unnoticed. Merino can absorb 30% of its weight in sweat and then evaporate it, or
✅ Wearing a underlayer tee-shirt with discreet sweat pads. They're a gamechanger.
You can work with your body and have complete peace-of-mind.
How do you make the switch to natural?
Making the switch to natural deodorant is now as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Pick the active ingredient that best suits your body. Be guided by how your underarms have responded before.
Step 2: Select your favourite scent, or choose the best essential oil blends for your odour needs.
Step 3: Choose the application methode you love most (eg. jar or stick)
If you need a helping hand working out the best natural deodorant for you, take the Everkind Deo Quiz. And we'll give you our personal recommendation.
Let me know how you go! We're here to help.
Here at Everkind, we think you shouldn’t have to choose between your wellbeing and what works. We’ve carefully made our range of all-natural bodycare to work as well as – if not better than – their synthetic counterparts, without compromising on using quality certified organic ingredients. To find out more, shop the Everkind range, or get in touch with the team.
In her pre-mum life Amanda-Jane was an environmental lawyer. When her children were little she and her family moved to the country in a market gardening area, where they experienced first-hand the toxic impact of conventional horticulture on groundwater, land and personal health. This experience launched her on a journey to restore her family's health and find practical, truly natural solutions for everyday needs. Amanda-Jane became the founder and creator of Everkind - a body care brand strongly committed to providing body kind, people kind, planet kind essentials that work.
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