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- It decreases smell.
- It masks and fights odour-causing bacteria (it works to mask odour and reduces the skin’s pH making it underisable for bacteria, with deodorant you will feel the wetness, but there wont be any bad smell).
- It works best when applied during active hours.
- It decreases sweat.
- It plugs eccrine glands from secreting sweat (it reduces how much you sweat by forming little plugs in the eccrine glands and thus reduce wetness).
- It works best when applied at night.
- If you flip your antiperspirant around and check the active ingredients, you will see an aluminium based salt (aluminium chloride, aluminium tetrachloride, aluminium zirconium, etc).
Most of the products at the drugstore will contain a combination of both!
Fun fact: sweat is odourless and colourless. The combination of your sweat reacting with the bacteria on your skin is what produces body odour.
Breast cancer and Aluminium in antiperspirant:
The internet often links aluminium chloride as a cause of breast cancer. The theory is that aluminium compounds impact the estrogen receptors of breast cells and that breast cancer most commonly occurs in the upper outer quadrants of the breast. This area also contains the greatest density of breast tissue, perhaps the reason why we see breast cancer here more commonly.
The American Cancer Society continues to state that there is no link between breast cancer and aluminium present in antiperspirants.
What about natural deodorants?
These deodorants use ingredients like tea tree oil with antibacterial properties, essential oil for fragrance making, and ingredients like baking soda to absorb excess moisture. They do work, but not as good as antiperspirants.