Here’s To A Dry And Odor-Free Summer
Want a summer where you don’t have to deal with excess sweat and stickiness?
If you find that your deodorant and antiperspirant just don’t seem to be cutting it, this could be because you aren’t using them in quite the right way.
Here are some tips to help you on your way to a dry and odor-free summer:
Deodorant Vs Antiperspirant
Think deodorant and antiperspirant do the same thing?
That’s where you’re wrong…
Deodorant was designed to hide body odor. Yes, sweat doesn’t actually smell of anything on its own – it’s completely odorless. However, when your sweat mixes with the bacteria present on your skin, this is where the body odor comes in.
How about antiperspirant?
This was designed to target the sweat itself, reducing the amount a person sweats.
While a deodorant contains antibacterial ingredients to combat the bacteria on the skin, along with fragrances to help cover up body odor, an antiperspirant usually contains aluminum.
Wondering how aluminum stops a person from sweating?
When you apply an antiperspirant to your skin, it turns into a gel-like substance. This basically forms a plug over your sweat glands, preventing them from releasing much sweat.
Since sweating is a natural function, and antiperspirants go against this, the FDA have actually classed antiperspirants as a drug. This doesn’t apply to deodorants, since deodorants do not interfere with natural bodily functions in any way.
Where to Apply a Deodorant
Most people focus their deodorant under their arms, and for good reason too…
This part of the body is where you will find apocrine glands. These glands produce sweat that contains a higher amount of proteins and fats. When these proteins and fats mix with the sweat, a distinct odor is formed. This is why many people find that their underarms tend to sweat and smell more than other parts of their body.
Of course, sweat is produced in other places too. From behind the knees to the inner thighs, all of these areas can still end up causing body odor.
Wondering if you should be applying your deodorant to these areas too?
There is no reason why you can’t!
You may find it beneficial to spray some deodorant on the following parts of your body:
- Behind your knees
- Your inner thighs
- Your feet
- Your back and chest
- Your groin
Is your skin too sensitive to handle deodorant in all of those places?
Don’t worry, you have another option…
Try dusting some baby powder in those areas instead. This would actually be safer than deodorant, and will really help to keep your body dry and odor-free.
When to Apply a Deodorant
Now that you know where on your body your deodorant can go, you are probably wondering when the best time to apply it actually is…
Ideally, you should apply your deodorant soon after stepping out of the shower. However, make sure that your skin is fully dry before you do so.
What about if you have just shaved?
Many people still apply their deodorant immediately after shaving, but this will likely only lead to a burning sensation on your skin. This is because your skin will usually be quite delicate after it has been shaved. Give your skin some time to calm down after shaving before applying your deodorant.
Need a top-up midday?
There are plenty of travel-sized deodorants available that are perfect for keeping you smelling fresh and beautiful while you’re on-the-go.
Where to Apply an Antiperspirant
While deodorants are designed to primarily be used under the arms, antiperspirants are formulated to be used just about anywhere on the body.
You can safely apply an antiperspirant to all of the parts of the body listed earlier. However, make sure that you speak to your doctor first if you want to use an antiperspirant in any extra-sensitive areas, such as your groin.
When to Apply an Antiperspirant
Many people spritz on their antiperspirant in the mornings, and then are confused as to why the antiperspirant is not working in the way that it should.
This is because the active ingredients in an antiperspirant require several hours to kick in. They don’t work immediately, and need time to properly activate.
So, when is the best time to apply an antiperspirant?
Ideally, at night, before you go to bed. By the time you wake up, your antiperspirant will be ready to work.
How about re-applying an antiperspirant?
Unlike deodorants, which only really have an effect for a few hours, an antiperspirant will last for much longer. They usually offer between 12 and 48 hours of protection, meaning that you are unlikely to need to continuously re-apply it during the day.
Deciding Between a Deodorant and an Antiperspirant
Can’t decide whether you would benefit more from a deodorant or an antiperspirant?
It all depends on how heavily you sweat:
- Light sweaters with a mild body odor – a deodorant would work well for you
- Heavy sweaters that experience significant sweat stains – an antiperspirant would be much more beneficial than a deodorant for you
What about two-in-one deodorant-antiperspirants?
These are becoming quite popular, and you will likely find quite a few brands offering this formula.
While they do seem to bring together the best of both worlds, many find that they are not quite as effective as using juwst a single dedicated formula.
This could be to do with the fact that antiperspirants and deodorants need to be applied at such different times. If you use an antiperspirant-deodorant after showering in the morning, this isn’t enough time for the active ingredients in the antiperspirant to kick in. However, if you apply it before going to bed the night before, the effects of the deodorant will have worn off by morning.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t use both individual products. If you want double the amount of protection, try applying an antiperspirant at night and then a deodorant in the morning.
Choosing a Deodorant
If you have decided that a deodorant is what would help you the best, then you need to make sure that you pick the best deodorant for your requirements.
First decide whether you want a stick or a spray…
A stick will glide on so smoothly, but a spray can be more convenient for when you are on-the-go. Sticks do also tend to be a little gentler on the skin, not causing the same burning sensation that sprays can.
You should also look into how much protection the deodorant actually provides. It would be worth testing a few different products to see which one lasts you the longest.
Choosing an Antiperspirant
Want to go for an antiperspirant instead of a deodorant?
The best antiperspirant for you will be one that can control the amount of sweating you do. If your sweating is quite light, an antiperspirant from a drugstore may be all you need. However, if you normally sweat quite heavily, you may need something stronger.
You will even find clinical and prescription-strength antiperspirants available. There are stronger options too, but you would need to speak to your doctor for these. Don’t be shy about doing so, especially if your sweating interferes with your daily life.
When choosing an antiperspirant…
Make sure that you check the label to see how long its protection lasts for. If it doesn’t say, take a look at the percentage of aluminum that has been used in the formula. It goes without saying that the more aluminum, the stronger the antiperspirant.
Of course, aluminum comes in different forms, so you may see it listed on the ingredients list as one of the following:
- Aluminum Chloride
- Aluminum Zirconium
- Aluminum Chlorohydrate
- Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate
There are 18 different aluminum-based active ingredients out there. The differences between each one are minute, but, as always, everyone’s skin is different, so you may find that some work better for you than others.
Do Natural Deodorants and Antiperspirants Work?
Let’s begin with natural deodorants…
Wondering whether or not natural deodorants actually work is a common question that many have. After all, isn’t it best to try to avoid harsh chemicals as much as possible?
In some cases, yes. However, most people find that natural deodorants just don’t seem to work as well as the non-natural versions. Some of the ingredients used in natural deodorants can actually be even more irritating to the skin.
That being said, it is still worth trying some out to see how they work for you personally.
When it comes to natural antiperspirants…
There isn’t really such a thing. In order to be legally defined as an antiperspirant, that product would need to contain aluminum.
What about those antiperspirants that are labeled as aluminum-free?
They may work when it comes to helping to prevent sweating, but they aren’t guaranteed to be able to do this in the same way that aluminum-containing antiperspirants are.
Worried about your regular antiperspirant causing cancer?
This is a fear that many have. It’s all down to the fact that antiperspirants are often applied near to the breast area, leading some scientists to question whether or not there is a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer.
Don’t worry, there isn’t! There is absolutely no scientific evidence at all to suggest that this may be true.
However, many antiperspirants and deodorants do contain parabens.
What are parabens?
They are preservatives that have a strong connection between cancer. This is why many companies are now cutting parabens out of their products as much as possible.
It would definitely be worthwhile checking the ingredients list of your antiperspirant or deodorant. If you find that they do contain parabens, consider switching to a different product.
What to Do About Deodorant and Antiperspirant Stains
One common problem that many have when it comes to wearing deodorant and antiperspirant is that these products can often leave white stains on clothing.
Why do these stains occur?
It’s all down to the ingredients used in various antiperspirants and deodorants. These tend to leave a chalky finish on the skin, which then transfers onto the clothes you are wearing.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to prevent this from happening:
- Give your skin some time to dry – rather than getting dressed immediately after applying your deodorant or antiperspirant, give your skin some time to dry. Once you can feel that the product has properly dried, go ahead and get dressed
- Go for a light layer – rather than spraying on layer upon layer of product, go for a single swipe or spray instead. This will help to prevent product build-up, which would have otherwise led to marks on your clothing
- Wash your clothes immediately after wearing them – it is important to ensure that the product doesn’t remain on your clothing for too long. Even if you don’t notice any stains, wash your clothes immediately after wearing them. If you don’t, product build-up could lead to color changes in your clothing, and could also cause the fabric to weaken
Already got deodorant or antiperspirant stains on your clothing?
Try giving the area a good scrub with some warm, soapy water, and then leaving your clothes to air dry. You could also mix some baking soda in with the water before scrubbing. A vinegar soak works well too, after which you should follow up with a round in the washing machine.
If you’re still not having any luck, try switching to a different brand. As mentioned earlier, there are so many different active ingredients that are used in antiperspirants and deodorants, so you may find that another one works better for you.
You should hopefully now find it pretty easy to have a dry and odor-free summer with all of these tips by your side! From knowing exactly which product to use to knowing when and where to apply it, those days of excess sweat and body odor can now be put far behind you.