A Guide to Understand Anti-Odour Products


    Leaving a whiff of sweat stench wherever he goes is not what any sane man would want. Yet, rushing from home to work, working out, at open-air social events, or just while sitting in warm weather makes one sweat and consequently get malodorous. But, this could bring moments of embarrassment in both your personal and professional life. Anti-odour products such as deodorants, anti-perspirants, body sprays, roll-on etc. come handy to keep such instances away. Then, you have fragrances in the form of Eau De Toilette (EDT) and Eau De Parfum (EDP) which promise to keep you feeling fresh for long. Amidst so many choices, sometimes it may get overwhelming to choose the right anti-odour product. Here’s a mini-guide to understand the what’s what and who’s who from the world of aroma.

    Understand the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant

    As described on cosmeticsinfo.com, “deodorants are personal care products that are applied topically, most commonly on the underarms, to minimize the odour caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration.”The formulation of Deodorants is in a solid, liquid, or an aerosol base with an odour-masking fragrance. FDA has classified these as cosmetics.

    On the other hand, antiperspirants are used to minimize sweating. Perspiration gives way to bacterial growth and its accumulation, thus making your body rank. Antiperspirants prevent sweating, the main reason for bacterial growth, which in turn, helps keep body odour away. Since antiperspirants have fragrance as well, they function as Deodorants too. In terms of classification, FDA has put these under Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs as these inhibit sweat formation which is a biological function.

    Spray vs Roll-on

    Both antiperspirant and Deo for men come either in a bottle or as a roll-on stick. You may choose either, though there are a few things to keep in mind.

    A spray deodorant or an antiperspirant, when applied on skin, dries faster than a roll-on. So, if you are in a rush, choose the spray version. It is advised to use a spray in an open or at least a ventilated space. Sprays can be used anywhere on the body and at any time. Since deodorants do not contain aluminium compounds, some of the varieties can be used on clothes as well. This is favourable for men with sensitive skin. If your skin tends to get irritated because of coming in direct contact with deodorant, then you may spray it on clothes. But, do read the label before applying this trick as ingredients in some deodorants may stain your clothes.

    A roll-on, on the other hand, is a good option if you need something light to carry around. The small stick can even fit in your pocket. These are also ideal for a more targeted action and are suitable for men who want to reduce sweating and not just keep odour away. The best part about roll-ons, though, is that it is less likely to be borrowed by anyone else. Anyone who is even slightly hygienic will not use an already used roll-on on their body.

    Chemical composition

    In terms of chemical composition, Cyclomethicone and anti-bacterial agents like Triclosan are the main ingredients in deodorants. Antiperspirants have aluminium-based compounds as active ingredients. It blocks the sweat by forming a temporary blockade within the sweat duct and keeps the sweat from coming on to the skin’s surface.

    Further, while we look at the chemical composition of these sweat-and-odour-blocking solutions, it is important to understand the chemistry of fragrance too. Deodorants and sprays have less than 3% concentration of aromatic ingredients. Anything above this takes us to body perfumes, Eau De Toilette (EDT) and Eau De Parfum (EDP). EDT has 5%-15% (typically 10%) strength of aromatic ingredients, whereas EDP has 10% to 20% of it. So, what is a body perfume then? Well! It is a better version of a deo with more essential oils. But, do not confuse it with Parfum (extrait) which is the granddaddy in the world of formulated fragrances and has 15-40% concentration aromatic ingredients.

    Health and Environmental Concerns

    From time to time, questions about the adverse effects of Deo and antiperspirants on the environment and the human body have been raised. To counter this, choose Deos, antiperspirants or any other anti-odour products such as EDP, EDT, body perfume etc. which are formulated using natural ingredients. For example, it is a well-known fact that fragrance alone has around 100 chemicals. So, you may choose a Deo which has maximum amount and number of natural ingredients such as essential oils. To reduce environmental footprint, buying paraben and CFCs free anti-odour products is recommended.

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