Deodorants or antiperspirants? What’s the difference?
Before I became a soap maker I never questioned the use of deodorant or how they differ from antiperspirants. Much like other beauty and hygiene products and habits, I took how I was raised to be the way of life. Surely we’re all supposed to wear deodorant to smell fresh and to avoid those embarrassing pit stains.
Now that I know the game commercial brands run on us for the sake of profit and at the risk of our healthy skin, I had to investigate the truth behind what we rub under our arms every day. What I found was pretty alarming.
The truth is deodorants and antiperspirants have different functions and both can be harmful to the body. Here’s what you need to know about both and the benefits of switching to natural alternatives.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
First, what’s the difference?
A deodorant is a product that masks the smell of underarm sweat. That isn’t just underarm sweat you smell. It’s sweat mixed with bacteria that occurs naturally.
An antiperspirant is a type of deodorant that also blocks the skin from sweating wherever it’s applied. Many of us started using deodorants with antiperspirants to stop those embarrassing pit stains.
Why antiperspirants are dangerous
Pit stains are embarrassing, but wearing an antiperspirant is asking your body to perform unnaturally. So much so that the active ingredients in antiperspirants are considered over-the-counter drugs. This is because to block sweat from happening, antiperspirants penetrate your sweat glands and block sweat from seven to 14 days.
Sweating is a natural body function and has a purpose that is important to your health. Not only does it regulate the body’s temperature, it also removes toxins from the body which is pretty important. While excessive sweating is unwanted, sweating is a sign of a healthy, functioning body and you should try to sweat every day.
Antiperspirants become dangerous when you think about how long they penetrate your sweat glands and how often we apply them to our underarms. Recent research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests the aluminum compounds found in antiperspirants can accumulate in the breast tissue with frequent use. Frequent use over decades of time could be dangerous as the aluminum compounds are absorbed through the skin.
Commercial vs. natural deodorants and antiperspirants
Though the American Cancer Society hasn’t solidly linked aluminum compounds to any cancer, allowing the body to perform as it’s intended is always healthier. Besides, you can get most of the same benefits from a natural deodorant, plus you’ll notice smoother, more even-toned skin under your arms.
Essential oils can also act as deodorants, too. The smell that you’re looking to mask is caused by natural proteins and bacteria that occur when you sweat. Essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, sage, and tea tree all have anti-bacterial properties to fight bacteria growth, and they have a light scent to keep you smelling fresh and feeling calm. Can you say that about your commercial deodorant?
You can also minimize sweat with natural herbs. Arrowroot is a starch (kinda like a potato) that absorbs wetness when ground into a powder, which makes it a good base for a natural deodorant. Cornstarch and baking soda work in the same way but can be irritating for sensitive skin.
Anything that you ingest or absorb that stops your body from behaving normally should be questioned, especially something as frequently used as a deodorant. There is always a holistic alternative for every commercial product we use. You never have to sacrifice good hygiene or grooming habits when you convert to natural products. Your body deserves replenishing nutrients from the Earth, not harsh chemical products made with profit in mind.
Herb’N Eden’s natural deodorants are made with simple ingredients to mask body odors. We don’t use baking soda or aluminum so our deodorant doesn’t clog your sweat glands or irritate your skin. Our deodorant is made with therapeutic-grade essential oils which antibacterial and antiseptic properties that will control the bacteria growth that causes odor. The natural ingredients in our deodorant can also soak up sweat to prevent or delay pit stains without blocking your sweat glands.
If you don’t want to switch to natural deodorants permanently, it’s a good idea to detox your underarms often to ensure the toxins trapped in that area from days of antiperspirant use are released. This is also good for skin discoloration. Our bentonite clay works well for this because it pulls any impurities from below the skin when used as a mask.
Feel the difference with our new line of natural deodorants.