The difference between antiperspirants and deodorants — and how each one works

Got B.O.? Don’t reach for the antiperspirant. That’s not going to do much good. Deodorant is what you need. But why? The simple explanation is deodorant stops the smell, and antiperspirant stops the sweat. But there’s more to it than that. Your armpits stink because of apocrine sweat glands. These glands are all over your skin but they’re highly concentrated in your underarm. Apocrine glands excrete fats and proteins which feed bacteria and create a stinky odour. Deodorants work by targeting that bacteria. Many deodorants contain a chemical called triclosan. It makes your skin too salty or acidic to support bacteria. It won’t keep you dry, but by keeping the bacteria under control, you won’t stink. Antiperspirants stop you from sweating in the first place. Ingredients like aluminium and zirconium plug sweat glands. Any bacteria in your armpit won’t have anything to eat. You can also avoid smelling bad by changing your diet. Certain foods, like broccoli or cabbage, can make B.O. worse. Showering helps too!

Business Insider, 3 December 2017 ;