Traditional aluminum-based antiperspirants work by blocking sweat from exiting the body and reaching the skin in an attempt to prevent any unfavorable smell. Antiperspirants plug up the glands, allowing active ingredients to dissolve into your body. Because they react within your body and not topically, antiperspirants are considered, by FDA standards, a drug.
Natural deodorants work differently because they allow sweat to reach the skin, which is the way our bodies are designed to function. In order to prevent body odor, natural deodorants counteract through a potent combination of plant and mineral ingredients. By not including ingredients such as aluminum, natural deodorants allow the underarms to naturally breathe.
Although similar, deodorants and antiperspirants are not synonymous and have many various differences:
Plug your pores.
Allow active ingredients to dissolve into your body.
Work by blocking off the flow of sweat.
Form superficial plugs when reached a high enough pH level.
Made to slow or prevent flow of sweat by using compounds such as aluminum chloride, aluminum zirconium tricholorohydrex glycine, aluminum chlorohydrate, or aluminum hydroxybromide. These elements work by reducing or completely closing the sweat ducts, which decreases or eliminates sweat altogether.
The FDA has "acknowledge[d] that small amounts of aluminum can be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and through the skin," leading to a warning "that people with renal dysfunction may not be aware that the daily use of antiperspirant drug products containing aluminum may put them at a higher risk because of exposure to aluminum in the product." (source) "The agency warns people with renal dysfunction to consult a doctor before using antiperspirants containing aluminum." (source)
Work by eliminating the bacteria that cause body odor in the typical areas that sweat, mostly the underarms.
By not plugging up the sweat ducts, deodorants allow for sweat to reach the top layer of the skin so the body’s glands can breathe and underarms perspire.
Neutralize odors instead of masking them.
Work with your body, allowing it to secrete what it naturally needs while simultaneously eliminating odor.
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