Antiperspirants are usually applied under the arms to prevent body odor and control sweating. They can be found in a variety of forms, such as a stick, tube, or spray.
Essentially, antiperspirants react with compounds found in sweat. They form a plug in the sweat gland, which prevents the production of liquid sweat. The chemicals and substances in antiperspirant further react to reduce and prevent unwanted body odor by killing certain bacteria that causes it.
Depending on the antiperspirant, a variety of ingredients can be found in these products. Some even contain alcohol which helps sweat dry faster.
1Aluminum salts, the active ingredient in antiperspirants, inhibit the human eccrine sweat glands, preventing you from sweating. An older study from 1981 published in the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists looked at the mechanism of action involve in aluminum salts and their impact on the sweat glands. With the presence of aluminum salts, the glands filled with an electron-dense amorphous material. This is believed by researchers to be the reason for the inhibition of the sweat glands from antiperspirant use (1).
2Many antiperspirants have antimicrobial effects, promoting better hygiene and cleanliness. Another older 1983 study also explored antiperspirants and their antimicrobial properties. The study was conducted in-vitro. In fact, researchers saw the inhibition of microbial growth last for over 3 days. In other words, the skin cells remained sterile for this length of time, demonstrating the powerful anti-bacterial and antimicrobial effects of antiperspirants and their ingredients (4).
A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science also looked at these substances used in antiperspirants and their impact on axillary bacteria. Researchers concluded by saying that these substances may further be used to control malorder (5).
3Interestingly, antiperspirants may aid in reducing foot blisters in hiking. A double blind 1998 study was conducted and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. One group was given antiperspirant and another group was given a placebo. Participants were told to apply these substances to their feet for 5 nights straight. On the 6th day, the participants completed a 21 kilometer hike.
Their feet were observed and recorded for blisters before and after their hike. Only 21% of the antiperspirant group had foot blisters, whereas the placebo group had a 48% incidence of blisters. Yet, researchers did not that some experienced skin irritations and discomfort with the application (6).
A similar study was conducted in 1995. It was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 33 men were the participants in this particular study. The study observed the participants walking on a treadmill in a warm environment after 4 days of being treated with antiperspirant on their feet.
The results differed in this study. Researchers concluded that they found little or no difference in foot sweat, blisters, or blister severity with or without the use of antiperspirant. More studies are needed to determine if this is a viable benefit of antiperspirant products (7).
4Antiperspirant containing methenamine may help reduce discomforts and pains associated with amputee stumps. A 2009 study explored the use of antiperspirant in helping reduce discomforts of 16 amputee participants. The study was done as a double blind study, with group A and group B. Solutions of antiperspirant containing methenamine were found to have a significant effect on preventing infections, discomfort, irritation, and pain (8).
5Crystal deodorant may be more effective and safer than regular antiperspirant. Crystal deodorant is a type of alternative deodorant made of natural mineral salt called potassium alum, which has been shown to have antimicrobial properties.
Part of the allure of crystal deodorant is that you’re able to eliminate the chemicals that are found in conventional deodorant. Wearing deodorant and antiperspirant may inhibit the secretion of toxins from your body. Preventing your body from sweating naturally is thought to lead to clogged pores and a buildup of toxins.
6Natural antiperspirants may be healthier than aluminum based ones. If you check the label of antiperspirants in your bathroom or on a retail shelf, you’ll find brands containing the ingredients aluminum chloride or aluminum zirconium. While aluminum-based deodorants are effective against sweat, it has been suggested that aluminum and other ingredients founds in antiperspirants (parabens and propylene glycol) have been linked to an increased risk of some medical problems. However more science is needed to confirm this.
Luckily there are some alternative options that seem to work as well. These include apple cider vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, coconut oil and arrowroot powder However, since natural deodorants don’t contain ingredients that stop perspiration, these products would only control your body odor, not sweating.
1Various articles state that antiperspirant may cause breast cancer. It is thought parabens founds in many antiperspirant may cause such effects. However, more evidence and studies are needed to solidify these claims (9).
2Some people may react to certain ingredients, and experiences rashes or irritation in the armpit area. If this happens, immediately stop the use of the selected antiperspirant.
3Some individuals may be sensitive to the fragrance or perfume found in some antiperspirants. Again, if this happens discontinue use. A fragrance-free antiperspirant may be a better option for some.
4Skin inflammation may also occur. However, this can be avoided by following the directions of product use and being aware of possible allergens in specific products.
5In some cases, the microbial effects of ingredients found in antiperspirants may contribute to an increased odor by modifying the microbial balance (10).
6You may find that you sweat more than usual once you make the switch from an antiperspirant to the crystal deodorant. The potential for increased body odor during this adjustment phase also exists. Usually your body will adjust after some time.
7Crystal deodorant may cause rashes, itchiness, or irritation, especially if your skin is broken or you’ve recently shaved or waxed. It can also cause an allergic reaction such as inflammation, dryness, or redness. Avoid use when your skin is sensitive and discontinue use if the crystal deodorant continually irritates your skin.
There is no standard dosage for the application of antiperspirant. It is typically advised to use as needed.
What is better for you deodorant or antiperspirant? Deodorant is a cosmetic used to mask or neutralize body odor. Antiperspirant, on the other hand, is a “drug” because it temporarily blocks your sweat glands to reduce perspiration. Deodorant-antiperspirants combine the best of both worlds, but may not be as effective.
What does antiperspirant do to your body? Antiperspirants control both sweat and body odor. They prevent sweat with aluminum salts dissolving on the surface of the armpit, creating a plug near the top of the sweat glands.
Which is safer deodorant or antiperspirant? Deodorant is the safer choice as deodorant fights odor by killing bacteria with alcohol, while antiperspirant does that and stops up your sweat glands temporarily with an aluminum compound.
Does antiperspirant cause breast cancer? Using deodorants or antiperspirants does not increase your risk of breast cancer. Claims that deodorant or antiperspirant use increases the risk of breast cancerhave been circulating since 1999. More recently, there have been claims that aluminium in antiperspirants can cause breast cancer.
Does antiperspirant cause Alzheimer’s? Over the past few years, rumors have circulated linking aluminum in deodorant and antiperspirants to cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and dementia. While studies have shown there is no scientific evidence to support these rumors, aluminum-free deodorants have flooded the market.
Can antiperspirant cause lumps under the armpit? Yes, cysts or abscesses cause by deodorant under the skin may also produce large, painful lumps in the armpit.
Do Antiperspirants clog pores? Deodorants simply perfume your pits, but antiperspirants contain aluminum salts that temporarily clog the pores and keep sweat from escaping in the first place.
Are parabens really bad for you? Yes, parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.
Is it safe to use antiperspirant on groin? Antiperspirants are considered the first line of treatment for excessive sweating and can be used nearly anywhere on the body where sweating is a problem. That’s right, antiperspirants are not just for your underarms – you can use them on your hands, feet, face, back, chest, and even groin.
Is antiperspirant the same as deodorant? Aluminium salts – the active ingredient found in antiperspirants – dissolve into the moisture on the skin’s surface. An antiperspirant can also be a deodorant, because it can stop sweat and contain a fragrance at the same time. But deodorants only mask body odor; they don’t help to prevent sweating.
Is antiperspirant cancerous? Because estrogen can promote the growth of both cancer and non-cancer breast cells, some scientists have suggested that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer. But it isn’t clear that much aluminum is absorbed through the skin
Does antiperspirant cause acne? There is no scientific link to show that acne is caused by antiperspirant or the ingredients found in antiperspirant.
Why am I sweating so much under my armpits? Sweating is worst in the palms, soles, or underarms. When excessive sweating is limited to these areas, it’s called focal hyperhidrosis. Most people with focal hyperhidrosis are otherwise completely healthy.
Can aluminum be absorbed from antiperspirant? One study that looked at the absorption of aluminum from antiperspirants containing aluminum chlorohydrate applied to the underarms found that only a tiny fraction (0.012%) was absorbed.
How do you know if you have hyperhidrosis? Episodes of excessive sweating occur at least once a week for no clear reason and have an effect on social life or daily activities. Simple lifestyle changes can sometimes ease hyperhidrosis’ symptoms. Signs and symptoms of hyperhidrosis may include: Clammy or wet palms of the hands
Is there a cure for excessive sweating? Another treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A (Botox), the same medicine used for wrinkles. Botox is FDA-approved for treating excessive sweating of the underarms, but some doctors may also use it on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Does hyperhidrosis go away with age? The short answer is “yes” – hyperhidrosis does seem to get better with age.
Is it good to sweat? Sweating, or perspiring, is how the body regulates temperature—sweat keeps us cool and comfortable and prevents the body from overheating in hot environments or during exercise.
Is hyperhidrosis serious? Hyperhidrosis is not a serious or life-threatening condition, although it often interferes with normal, daily activities and affects a person’s quality of life. Severe, chronic sweating may make the affected skin white, wrinkled, and cracked, often causing the area to become red and inflamed.
Can hyperhidrosis be cured naturally? Sometimes, it can be cured naturally. Natural remedies to treat hyperhidrosis may include herbal substances such as sage tea or sage tablets, chamomile, valerian root, and St. John’s Wort.
What essential oil helps with sweating? Astringent properties in sage essential oil can help reduce the amount of sweating that you do.
Who sweats more males or females? Smaller people — both men and women — were more likely to depend on increased blood flow to the skin to cool down, while larger men and women were more likely to depend on sweating.
Antiperspirants have many positive effects. They help reduce potentially embarrassing sweating and odor caused by the glands in the underarms. They promote cleanliness and proper hygiene. They may further have the potential to reduce blisters on the feet and decrease discomforts or irritations associated with amputee stumps.
However, antiperspirants also come with a plausible array of side effects. Some types may cause skin irritations, rashes, itching, and more. There is also varying evidence and concern regarding antiperspirants and their link to breast cancer.
Before buying any new antiperspirant, it may be beneficial to try out the product on a small patch of skin on one arm. This can help you determine whether or not you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the product. If you find you do have an allergic reaction, consult with your doctor to determine which ingredients may be best to avoid.