Deodorant or Antiperspirant, which works better?


I’m always afraid of wearing a white dress to work; it’s so embarrassing when I sweat all I see are patches like map of Africa’ my friend Biodun lamented.

‘I have tried several perfumes and deodorants to conceal this reoccurring body odour, it seems like the more efforts I make the worse it gets. I’m just frustrated’ says Jimmy, a marketer.

‘Do you know most times, I wish I never have to sweat! It’s so annoying that I can barely lift my hands in public’, says a university undergraduate.

Most times we wonder if we smell nice especially when we are at work or around our friends. Sweat is naturally odourless and we can’t escape its secretion. As humans, you can’t escape the natural experience of sweating but when you begin to notice a foul or stinking smell oozing out of your body. Then there is need to be embarrassed.  Just like Jimmy, many have tried using lots of cosmetics to get rid of the awful smell with no result.

It’s good if one tries hard to smell nice but there is need to get the right cosmetics from the right places to make that happen. There are lots of body sprays and odour fighting cosmetics but it’s very important to know which one is right for you.

As important as it maybe to use control sweat and body odour, getting the right cosmetics for that annoying smell is most important be it antiperspirant or deodorants. Although both of them seem to fight body odour and control sweat, most people confuse deodorants for antiperspirants. Most people think they are two different fragrances doing different work.

How does antiperspirants work?

When antiperspirant is applied under the armpit, they form a gel, that blocks or clogs the pores (tiny holes on the skin for sweat to pass through) with the help of strong astringent ingredients called aluminum salts and zirconium compounds on the surface of the armpit. After this clog is formed, it prevents the sweat gland from secreting any form of fluid, thereby making the armpit dry and comfortable. Although this is very good, it has an adverse effect as the pores can only be blocked temporarily, so people will have to keep reapplying the antiperspirant to keep dry.

How does deodorants work?

On the other way round, when deodorant is applied, what it does is to dissolve or neutralize the smell of sweat by killing or disabling the bacteria living in the armpit with the help of some salty and acidic ingredients.  Most deodorants contain fragrance and perfume that help conceal the bad smell from the armpit.

Causes of body odour

You can you imagine being in a crowded public bus and all of a sudden someone is standing right before you and this stench smell oozing out of God knows where! I can imagine you gasping for air and praying the smell stops. I would say majority of us must have had such experience in one way or the other.

Well, for most people body odour is a normal thing and amazingly, they are unable to perceive it because they have lived with all their lives. People sweat when they are when they are in the sun, nervous or under some kind of pressure.

The human body has two major types of sweat glands: Eccrine and Apocrine gland and they produce two different kinds of sweat.

Eccrine gland is responsible for producing sweat all over the body except places covered by hair follicles. This gland contains water and salt, the fluid secreted by this gland is colourless and odourless. It secretes fluid continuously and during an increase in the body temperature, it secretes more fluid to the surface of the body, the

Apocrine gland on the other hand produces sweat in the areas of abundant hair like the armpits, eyelids, nipples of the breast, ear canal, wings of the nostril and the groins. It is located at the dermis junction. The liquid produced by this gland is have odour and are oily but when combined with bacteria, it produces a bad odour. This sweat gland is involved in emotional sweating caused by anxiety, stress, fear, sexual stimulation, and pain.


Naturally, some individuals’ sweat more than the others and so requires more sweat controlling fragrance to stay comfortable. Although aluminum is contained in the food we eat and the water we drink, they tend to pose a threat to the human body over time as researches has shown that one of the possible causes of breast cancer is aluminum.

Since there is the need to smell nice and stay fresh always, be careful not to use antiperspirant more often, alternate between deodorant and antiperspirant, to avoid the side effects of using one too often.

To avoid smelly armpit and body odour, ensure you take a shower at least twice a day, apply deodorant before going to bed and don’t wear your cloth more than once.


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