Sweating is the body’s natural cooling system, but body odours (BO) and large stains on clothing are an unfortunate by product. Luckily there are plenty of deodorants and antiperspirants to help reduce and eliminate these effects.
Body odour occurs from the bacterial breakdown of sweat. Deodorants work by eliminating or masking this smell, but will not affect how much you perspire. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, work by preventing sweat from reaching the skin, reducing the sweat rate, but not eliminating sweat entirely.
The main perks of using a deodorant are a fresher smell. For those wanting to avoid chemicals, there are also plenty of natural options that work to minimise odour, with ingredients such as vanilla, and citrus oils.
To reduce the amount you sweat, you need an antiperspirant. However there are a few drawbacks. All have an aluminium compound as their main ingredient, and when mixed with sweat may leave yellow stains on clothes. There have also been studies linking aluminium compounds to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, however, more research is needed before definite conclusions can be drawn.
This is really a matter of personal preference as both will be just as effective if applied properly. Spray products are quick drying, but can cause breathing difficulties in some people due to the perfumes and aerosol chemicals. Roll-on products can cause streaks on clothing if you get dressed too quickly, as they take longer to dry.
Finding the product that works best for you comes through trial and error as each brand varies their specific formula. Using a product that has both antiperspirant and deodorant ingredients will be the most effective if you tend to sweat a lot. However, if you only perspire a small amount, a deodorant may be all you require. To avoid damaging your clothes look for products that are colour safe or advertise ‘no white marks’. Additionally if you want to keep things natural, check out your local health store for a variety of chemical and aluminium-free options.