How Does Deodorant Work?

How Does Deodorant Work?

How Does Deodorant Work?

Deodorants are personal care products that prevent body odor.

They are often confused with antiperspirants but work differently. Deodorants combat odor by targeting bacteria, while antiperspirants, containing aluminum-based compounds, reduce sweat production.

Deodorants come in different formulas, like roll-ons, sticks, and sprays. Regardless of application type, neither deodorant or antiperspirants contribute to breast cancer.

Use aluminum-free natural deodorants to combat body odor effectively. 

Continue reading to learn how deodorants work, from basics to major takeaways.

What is Deodorant?

Deodorants target bacteria causing body odor and are often alcohol-based, with varying formulations like sticks, roll-ons, sprays, and wet wipes.

When we sweat, bacteria on the skin break down the proteins and fats in the sweat. This causes the unpleasant smell we recognize as body odor.

Deodorants work by either killing odor-causing bacteria with antimicrobial agents or making your armpits too acidic to sustain bacterial life.

Many deodorants also contain fragrances, emollients, and moisturizers. Natural ones swap potential irritants and chemicals for gentler ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil.

Plus, they use baking soda and tapioca starch to achieve that refreshing feeling without the risk of skin damage.

How Does Deodorant Work?

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Deodorants work by fighting the bacteria on our skin that causes bad smells. 

In our body, two main types of sweat glands cause sweating.

  • Apocrine glands: Found in areas with hair follicles like the armpits and groin. They release sweat into the sweat follicles before reaching the surface of the skin.
  • Eccrine glands: Located all over the skin—on palms, soles, and head. These glands release sweat directly onto the skin surface or through sweat pores.

Sweating is a natural body process to regulate temperature. While sweat itself does not smell, it can lead to unpleasant smells when combined with bacteria. 

A deodorant masks this smell with fragrances or natural ingredients. Conversely, antiperspirants block sweat from escaping the pores.

Deodorant can be used every day after showering without issue. The American Cancer Society has not found links connecting deodorant to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Some ingredients, like parabens in deodorant and antiperspirants, can cause allergic reactions.

What is the Difference Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant?

Deodorants and antiperspirants are two types of personal care products that prevent or disguise body odor. However, they work in distinct ways. 

Deodorants are classified as cosmetic products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meant to kill bacteria and reduce body smell.

Rather than preventing sweat like antiperspirants, deodorants stop odor by targeting the bacteria on the skin.

Antiperspirants are classified as pharmaceutical products that contain active ingredients like aluminum salts. These ingredients are used to block sweat glands and avoid sticky or sweaty armpits.

Although concerns have been raised about the potential link between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer risk, recent research from the American Cancer Society has found otherwise.

They found that exposure to more aluminum does not lead to breast cancer.

Both products help your kids stay fresh and confident, but note that deodorants and antiperspirants work differently to achieve that goal.

Types of Deodorant Formats

Fresh Monster Natural Deodorant for Kids

Deodorants are available in the following formats.

  • Roll-on
  • Stick
  • Spray

We will discuss deodorant sticks first.

  1. Stick

Stick deodorants are preferred by many for their precise application. They also offer a mess-free solution that requires no drying time.

A deodorant stick is super easy to use—your kid can even apply it independently!

  1. Spray

Spray deodorants have become popular due to their convenience.

This type of deodorant is also popular for people with limited time for their morning routine. Spray deodorant also dries quickly.

  1. Roll-On

Roll-ons are also a great option for those seeking a convenient, effective, and gentle way to control their sweat odor.

This type of deodorant contains a gel-like substance more suitable for individuals with dry armpits.

However, choosing between roll-ons, sprays, and sticks is a personal preference.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Deodorant

Scented deodorants can combat odor and enhance your fragrance, but choose natural ingredients like coconut oils over synthetic ones to avoid irritation and enjoy a subtle, complementary scent.

Natural deodorant is better than its synthetic counterparts because it contains fewer potentially harmful ingredients.

Follow these tips to get the most out of your deodorant.

  • Proper Application: Apply deodorant when your skin is clean and dry after showering or exercising.
  • Drying Time: To avoid staining your clothes, let your deodorant dry completely before getting dressed.
  • Regular Reapplication: Adjust deodorant application based on how much you sweat and the weather conditions to keep smelling fresh.

REMEMBER: Deodorant does not prevent sweating, so it is not a substitute for antiperspirant. 

How to Get Rid of Body Odor

Young Boy with a Fresh Monster Deodorant

Children who have started to experience body odor can eliminate it with natural deodorant for kids.

Note that certain chemicals and other ingredients like propylene glycol, essential oils, or parabens can cause reactions in children with sensitive skin. Fortunately, it will not cause cancer.

A great option for kids and teens is the Fresh Monster Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant. It comes in two scents (Gummy Burst and Beach Breeze). It is non-irritating, has no overpowering fragrance, and does not leave wet patches.

Remember that as teenagers grow armpit hair, they can trap moisture and odor-causing bacteria. Practicing shaving can help an antiperspirant and deodorant work better.

Key Takeaways on How Deodorant Works

Unlike antiperspirant, a deodorant targets skin bacteria, not sweat, to stop odors.

Similar to antiperspirant use, a natural deodorant helps against body smell—minus the use of certain compounds that can be harmful. It also does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

Underarm odor can affect confidence, particularly among teens. This is why knowing "How does deodorant work?" and choosing a natural product work hand in hand.