Deodorant and antiperspirant are the main products to help us get rid of the sweat smell but they have a very different mechanisms of action. In prior articles, we discussed the sweating process and the importance of the sweating process as part of the metabolic and temperature control processes of the body. This article discusses the daily treatments of body odor prevention which often include the suppression and prevention of the normal sweating process.
This article does not discuss excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis), perspiration which causes real suffering to people and certainly does not intend to replace medical advice on issues of perspiration. In cases of real hyperhidrosis which is often a sign of other diseases, we recommend taking the appropriate tests and turning to a classic homeopath for treatment.
Let us go over the various products of deodorant and antiperspirant on the market for the prevention of sweat odor:
Most of the products on the market which we call deodorants are actually antiperspirants that contain substances that prevent or reduce the secretion of sweat from the body. Anti-perspirants.
Antiperspirants contain mostly Aluminum salts in two forms- commonly used: aluminum chlorohydrate and also aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrate, which are listed on the product’s ingredients label.
Those Aluminium substance helps clog the sweat gland tubes in the skin. So this substance prevents or reduces the secretion of sweat from the body while interfering with the normal perspiration process. Since these antiperspirants change the natural function of the body they are defined as a drug by the FDA.
The danger in clogging sweat gland tubes in the skin is understood from our article about the importance of the sweating process. Since the perspiration process is a natural biological process required for the proper function of the body, including the excretion of metals and other pollutants, it is clear that blocking this essential process can lead to various problems.
As was shown in the article about the importance of the sweating process the results of preventing sweat differ from person to person. Starting from a large population of people who suffer no immidiate problems and ending with people who are sensitive to damage to their perspiration process and so suffer from using antiperspirants. (further reading about the issue read hear Cosmetics, toxicity and individual response.
In a research conducted on Aluminum salts published in 2005 (2), it was found that Aluminum as Aluminum chlorohydrate is genomically toxic and has the ability to cause changes and mutations in DNA. This is consistent with this material‘s risk of raising the risk of breast cancer if it causes changes in these cells. The article indicates the need for further research on the absorption of these materials and the connection between them and between breast cancer that begins in most cases in the quadrant adjacent to the armpit.
Research published in 2007 finds a connection between aluminum in antiperspirants and breast cancer. Analyzing cancerous breast tissue, a higher concentration of aluminum was found in the outer tissue, closer to the armpit, compared to inner tissue. This indicates the need to research the connection between a higher concentration of aluminum and breast cancer frequency in outer breast tissue, closer to the armpit (3).
Another research published examined 400 women and found a correlation between armpit shaving and use of antiperspirants and between early development of breast cancer.
On the other hand, in an article published by the FDA all connection between antiperspirants and breast cancer is rejected (5).
Natural rock – deodorant or antiperspirant?
The mineral rock found in today‘s deodorant market, is considered a natural deodorant. These minerals include Aluminum and sulfur molecules:
Ammonium alum- ammonium aluminum sulfate dodecahydrate or Potassium Alum- potassium aluminum sulfate dodecaheyrate. These minerals are comparatively cheap and last for long periods of time and therefore are used as deodorants (6,7). These minerals are compounds of sulfuric acid with aluminum salts. In contact with water there is a reaction of the acid which makes these minerals skin irritants (8,9).
These minerals are natural and part of their ability to prevent sweat odor is their ability to contract the skin and kill armpit bacteria. These minerals contain aluminum which upon contact with water is released as aluminum salts which, similarly to aluminum chlorohydrate in antiperspirants, can interfere with the natural perspiration process of the body. Thus, despite the natural origin of this deodorant, it seems it is mostly effective in interfering with the natural sweating process.
Natural deodorants are made not to interfere with the sweating process and clog the glands but to treat the bacteria that eat the sweat and make the smell. Lavender‘s natural deodorants are made from all natural ingredients, based on baking soda or special minerals from the dead sea that are very effective in the treatment of the sweat smell without interfering with the sweating process. Those natural deodorants DOES NOT contain:
- Aluminum and aluminum salts
- Petroleum and petroleum derivatives
- Preservatives like Parabens
- Synthetic fragrance
From our experience, we can testify that many people were relieved of various problems by switching to Lavender‘s natural deodorant, such as:
- constant irritation to the armpit skin
- swelling of armpit area and lymph nodes
- clothes staining and white marks in the armpit
Summary about deodorant and antiperspirant difference
So to make the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant easier to explain – if you want to stop sweating and ready to live with the prices so antiperspirants are the right choice for you. if you believe that you should sweat and understand the importance of it give a try to natural deodorants which deal only with the bacteria that make the smell on the skin not disturbing the sweating process
All natural deodorants sticks, creams or gel
Written by Ido Mashal (BA biology, B.Sc. chemical engineering, M.Sc material engineering (Technion, Haifa, Israel))
1. Derm Beruf Umwelt. 1989 Mar-Apr;37(2):53-7
2. Darbre PD, Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer., J Inorg Biochem. 2005. Sep;99(9):1912-9
3. Exley C, Aluminium in human breast tissue., J Inorg Biochem. 2007 Sep;101(9):1344-6. Epub 2007 Jun 12
4. McGrath KG, An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving., Eur J Cancer Prev. 2003 Dec;12(6):479-85
5. Antiperspirant Awareness: It‘s Mostly No Sweatl
8. msds ammonium alum.pdf
9. msds potassium alum.pdf