How Do Deodorants Work?

How Do Deodorants Work?

Anti-perspirants and deodorants are often used interchangeably, but they differ in how they work to manage body odor. To understand how these products work, we need to go back to Science 101.

What Causes Body Odor?

We think of sweat as being smelly, but sweat itself is odorless until it combines with the bacteria that live on the skin, especially in moist areas like our armpits and groin. There are two different types of sweat glands:

  • Eccrine sweat glands, which are located all over the body. The sweat that comes out of these glands are mostly water and salt, typically when you exercise or when you overheat due to hot weather. As the sweat evaporates, it helps to cool your body down.
  • Apocrine glands are found in areas of the body with higher clusters of hair follicles. This sweat is heavier, richer in proteins and a magnet for the bacteria on the skin. When the bacteria break down certain proteins in your sweat, an acid is produced. This acidic by-product is what results in body odor. It’s the reason why body odor tends to occur more frequently under the armpits and groin.

Anti-Perspirants vs Natural Deodorants

Anti-perspirants work by blocking sweat ducts, thereby reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the skin’s surface. No sweat, means nothing for the bacteria to break down so the odor-causing by-products are not produced. Anti-antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which are effective because they stop the sweating that ultimately leads to odor. While there has been speculation that aluminum is linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, the data to support this is weak at best. Aluminum, however, does come with other side effects including skin irritation and that yellow staining on white shirts.

A natural deodorant doesn’t reduce sweat but prevents odor with ingredients that reduce the bacteria and/or by masking odor with scent. Natural deodorants often rely on baking soda to help reduce bacteria by increasing the skin’s pH to between 8 and 9; a range that sits much higher than our skin’s ideal pH and which can cause irritation. For this reason, Apothekari’s deodorants are free from baking soda.

How Apothekari Natural Deodorants Work

Apothekari Natural Deodorants work in two ways:

  1. Our formulation contains odor neutralizing enzymes along with lactic acid. This combination helps to prevent body odor, while also conditioning skin and respecting and maintaining the healthy physiological pH of your skin.
  2. The pH level in our deodorants also discourages the growth of bacteria, making those areas an inhospitable environment for offending microbes.

Apothekari Natural Deodorants are also formulated without irritating baking soda or aluminum salts. This helps to reduce the potential for skin irritation and also means no yellow stains on the underarms of your white shirts! We also offer 3 different essential oil scent blends, to help keep you feeling fresh all day.

If you’re new to natural deodorants, you’ll want to read the FAQ’s in our recent blog.

Like all our products, our natural deodorant is also paraben free and cruelty free. It’s taken us years to perfect this formula and we hope you love it as much as we do!