How to Choose the Best Deodorant
Deodorant is a huge business, with consumers spending around billion per year on it. With all of the choices that this market offers, finding the right product for you can be overwhelming.You’ll need to think not only about the different kinds of products that are out there—deodorant and antiperspirant; solids, roll-ons, and sprays; natural and mainstream—but also about how your body works.
Deciding between Deodorant and Antiperspirant
Know the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant.Deodorant reduces odor by eliminating the bacteria in sweat, while antiperspirant reduce sweat by stopping up sweat glands and keeping it from reaching your skin.
Consider if deodorant is right for you.If sweat is not really an issue for you, and you are only looking to control odor, this is probably your best bet.
Consider if antiperspirant is right for you.Some people sweat excessively, although this is only a medical condition in about 2% of the population.Still, athletes and others who sweat profusely may feel that deodorant alone doesn’t do the job.
- Antiperspirant has its drawbacks, however. While researchers are not sure exactly how this happens, the aluminum in antiperspirant can lead to yellow stains on your clothes.
- You can often get these stains out with bleach, but if this is a big concern to you, stick with deodorant.
- It’s also possible that antiperspirant actually causes your body to start producing excess sweat to circumvent the blocked glands —the opposite of what you want!
- For all of these reasons, unless you really need antiperspirant, you might want to keep it simple and stick to deodorant.
Consider a combo.While the availability of combination antiperspirant/deodorant—the majority of mainstream choices falls into this category, actually—means you can get the benefits of both, you will also have to deal with the drawbacks of both.
Understand where the research stands on health risks.Over the years, there have been many rumors about health risks associated with antiperspirant and deodorant, including that they cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Many of these concerns have been connected to the presence of aluminum in antiperspirant. Research has not determined any clear linkage, however.
- Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the Food and Drug Administration have determined that there is not evidence to conclude that these products cause breast cancer.
- Scientists have also not found compelling evidence to associate antiperspirant or deodorant with Alzheimer’s disease.
- However, research in these areas is ongoing, so some consumers may still wish to be cautious.
Choosing Mainstream Deodorant
Understand labels.Antiperspirant and deodorant aren’t magic. The FDA regulates antiperspirant and deodorant, but it only requires that antiperspirant cut down on sweat by 20% to be considered “all day,” and 30% to be considered “extra strength.”
Look past “men’s” and “women’s” varieties.There are some differences in men’s and women’s sweat glands—women have more individual glands, but each gland on men’s bodies produces more sweat—but these differences do not affect how deodorant will work.
- Ingredients do not really change between men’s and women’s varieties, although they may look and smell different.
- Women will probably save money by switching to a men’s product, since there tends to be a price mark-up for items marketed to women.
Consider solids, roll-ons, and sprays.While Americans tend to prefer solids and roll-ons, sprays account for half of all deodorant sales worldwide. There are several factors to consider when deciding which is right for you.
- Many roll-ons go on clear, but they create a wet feeling that some may find uncomfortable.
- Solids feel drier, and they often contain soothing ingredients to counteract irritation. However, it is difficult to avoid getting solid deodorant on clothing.
- Sprays dry quickly and last longer than roll-ons and solids, but they are often more expensive than other products.
Think about fragrances and other possible irritants.Especially if you shave your armpits, this area of skin can be very sensitive. Certain ingredients in deodorant can exacerbate this problem. Read ingredient lists very carefully if you tend toward dryness or sensitivity.
- Just like laundry detergent, perfume, and other products, deodorant often contains fragrances, which can irritate your skin and cause reactions similar to seasonal allergies.
- Many products also contain alcohol as a propellant (sprays) and/or antimicrobial agent. This may also be a deterrent to those with dry or sensitive skin.
Be prepared to change it up.Your body can develop resistance to specific formulas, so experts recommend switching brands every six months.
- Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this happens, but it may be due to excess sweat breaking through.
- You can also avoid resistance by applying antiperspirant at night, when you sweat less, anyway.
See your doctor.If all else fails, your doctor can write you a prescription for a product stronger than those available over the counter.
Explore natural brands.Many people prefer to use natural deodorant. For some it is about avoiding artificial ingredients that they can’t pronounce; for others it is a desire not to interfere with the body’s natural sweating process. Whatever your reason, there are many natural choices on the market.
- As with all products, people find natural deodorant to be of varying levels of efficacy. You’ll have to experiment to find what works for you.
- However, many people find that roll-ons and sprays work better than sticks.
- You will not find natural antiperspirant.
Make your own.Plant oils and extracts have been proven to have antimicrobial effects.These oils can be combined with other readily accessible ingredients.
- Try combining solids like beeswax, cocoa butter, or shea butter with oils including thyme, rosemary, or lavender.
- Baking soda is also a common ingredient in homemade deodorant.
Experiment to see if you really need deodorant.While wanting to smell nice is not a new phenomenon, it was not easy to convince American consumers to buy deodorant. Keep in mind that companies’ business depends on convincing you that you stink!
- There is actually a single gene that controls whether or not you have the chemical that bacteria like to feed on, causing smelly sweat. If you don’t have this gene, you don’t need deodorant.
- Short of coding your DNA, you can get an idea of whether you have this gene or not by looking at your earwax, which is controlled by the same gene. If it’s dry and flaky, you likely do not produce stinky sweat.
- Of course, no one needs deodorant for health reasons. It’s not something you need to spend money on just because everyone else does.
QuestionI am ten, I started sweating excessively when I was sitting down the other day. I think I am going through puberty, but my mom says I am too young to use deodorant. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell your mom that you're concerned about smelling like sweat at school. There really is no such thing as "too young" to wear deodorant. There is no harm in a 10-year-old wearing it, especially if you're in the early stages of puberty.Thanks!
QuestionI have smelly and sweaty underarms. I haven't still haven't been able to find a deodorant that works for me, but I don't want to have to go to the doctor's office either. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry buying antibacterial deodorant. If you can´t find it, wash your armpits and then apply some rubbing alcohol with a piece of toilet paper.Thanks!
QuestionOld Spice is kind of making my skin red and itchy, it doesn't have a real bad rash/burns or anything. Should I stop using it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would try to stop using it and try a different brand/kind, and maybe switch back to it after a while and see if it still irritates your skin.Thanks!
QuestionWill shaving my armpits make them smell more?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it won't.Thanks!
QuestionWill going natural work for people with a medium amount of body odor?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, it won't usually work for people who have anything beyond mild body odor.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use a perfume with antiperspirant and deodorants?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can wear perfume as well, unless your antiperspirant/deodorant has an extremely strong scent. In that case, I would avoid perfume.Thanks!
QuestionI am a ten year old girl. My mom says I'm too young to wear deodorant. I am sweating badly whenever we go for walks together. I am scared to ask my mom for deodorant. What should I do?The A MisterCommunity AnswerIf you are sweating and it smells, then tell your mum and she should be able to smell it. If you don't have body odor, you may not need deodorant. You can also speak to your doctor about it when you go for your next checkup.Thanks!
QuestionWhat's the age to start wearing deodorant for girls?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGirls should start wearing deodorant when they develop a need for it.Thanks!
QuestionI have a problem in that I sweat a lot. But this doesn't mean that it smells bad. However, the smell of deodorant starts to be stronger and becomes a bit annoying. What can I do?Jaejae_shawntaeCommunity AnswerTry to use less of it. If you are not sure if you have too much or too little just take a whiff and if you can smell it you have too much, if you can't you're fine. Try using an antiperspirant instead of deodorant to help with the excess sweating. Or you could get a soapy towel and use that instead of deodorant.Thanks!
QuestionI am almost eleven, and I am starting to smell slightly under my arms. My mom says that I am too young for deodorant. How do I keep myself from smelling?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHere is a simple way to keep from smelling: Rub a thin layer of hand soap or shampoo (whichever you want) under your arms. This will get rid of the smell for a couple of hours.Thanks!
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