When to Use Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant

By Angela Tague in Natural Products

As I green my routine, I'm taking a longer look at my personal care products. I'm stocking my bathroom with brands whose products and values best align with my needs. That said, when it comes to underarm products, there are still an array of options with unique functions.

I decided to take a closer look at exactly what I was putting under my arms each day, and in the process, I discovered when to use antiperspirant vs. deodorant to feel fresh. I had no idea these products offer different benefits, but they do!

yoga at home

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant: Know the Difference

Choosing a deodorant or antiperspirant that will work for you begins with a bit of research, followed by a period of trial and error. When I first started experimenting with underarm products, I quickly learned that deodorants and antiperspirants have different purposes.

As the Mayo Clinic outlines, deodorants work to reduce odors; antiperspirants limit perspiration. Antiperspirant sits on top of your skin after application. When you begin to sweat, the antiperspirant gets pulled into your sweat glands. This process tells your body to ease up on sweat production, helping to keep you dry, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

To achieve this, antiperspirants contain aluminum-based compounds. Aluminum is a naturally occurring element found in the Earth's crust, and it is used to produce ingredients such as aluminum chlorohydrate. The naturally sourced aluminum chlorohydrate used in Tom's of Maine antiperspirant products is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and comes from recycled aluminum, instead of the energy-intensive process of mining traditional aluminum.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant

Finding a Product that Works for You

If you notice excess wetness while using a new underarm product, look at the label. Is it a deodorant or an antiperspirant? Don't be afraid to try different varieties to determine what works best for your body.

In general, I reach for an antiperspirant on hot summer days when I know I'll sweat more often. Or, when I'm exercising! If I'm indoors, a deodorant works well to ward off any odor that might emerge from light perspiration. It's important to consider your personal circumstances when deciding when to use antiperspirant vs. deodorant.

running the steps, sweating

Here's What I Noticed When Trying a New Underarm Product

If you're like me, you want personal care products to perform flawlessly the first time you try them. But, that's usually not the case. Remember wishing you could touch your toes during your first forward fold in yoga class? It's the same for natural products. Don't be discouraged if your expectations for a new antiperspirant or deodorant don't align with reality when you start using it for the first week or so—especially if your body is more accustomed to one over the other. Like yoga, your body needs time to warm up and sync with a new product.

When I switched my underarm product to antiperspirant, I experienced a mild itchiness, and a light rash in my armpits emerged after each application. Skin irritation is a common side effect of antiperspirant use, according to the AAD. Thankfully, my irritated skin calmed down a few hours after application, but the annoyance did continue for the first week while I was adjusting to the product.

Using an underarm product that works well for my body helps me feel both fresh and confident. Some days it's deodorant; other times, I reach for antiperspirant.

That said, if you have a skin reaction that becomes inflamed or bothersome, or if you notice broken skin, you should immediately discontinue use of the new product and call your doctor or dermatologist for guidance.

When exploring the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant products, experiment with when and how often you apply the product to get the best result for you. It might be different from your old routine, so be open to change.

Are you looking to switch up your underarm product? Check out the Naturally Good Products board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest.

Image Sources: Pexels | Angela Tague | Angela Tague

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

As you begin to experiment with underarm products, discover which works best for you and give your skin time to adjust. It may be that an antiperspirant that reduces perspiration suits you, or that deodorants that mitigate body odor achieve the protection you're looking for.