Many different deodorants in the market are available in different forms. Such forms include; sticks, roll-ons, gels, aerosols and non-aerosol sprays.
It is important to understand how deodorants work.
In an attempt to answer the question how do deodorants work? It is important to understand the sweat production process and what it has that makes you smell thus need a deodorant.
Understanding how sweating occurs
Sweating is a process that helps our bodies to cool down especially when engaging in physical activities or when the ambient temperature and humidity are quite high for the body cells to cope with.
On average, we produce an average of one liter of sweat per day. This comes from the numerous sweat glands on the skin. Most of it, however, evaporates from the skin absorbing energy from the body thus making the body cool down.
The armpits have a rich network of sweat glands.
This amounts to between 25,000 and 50,000. Although they are not the most in the body, underarm sweat is more serious than the sweat from other body parts since it gets trapped in the armpits allowing bacteria to grow. These bacteria present in sweat feeds on sweat thus causing bad odor. Sweat alone does not smell.
Sweat glands on the human body are classified into two groups.
The two are; eccrine and apocrine.
The eccrine glands are present throughout the body. They mainly secrete water and electrolytes thus act as the main source of body cooling. The water and electrolytes carried by these sweat glands have few nutrients thus making it attract very few bacteria since there is a shortage of food to feed them in the water and electrolyte.
The apocrine glands on the other hand transport fats and proteins out of the body to the skin’s surface together with sweat. These, together with dead skin and hair cells give a rich feeding ground for bacteria thus making them produce smell after undertaking the metabolism processes. The smell produced translates to the sweat thus making you feel as if the smell comes from sweat.
The underarm bacteria thrive under moist and low pH conditions created by sweating. Shaving the underarm hair as it is the case with most ladies allows the bacteria to thrive since the underarm hair rids the moisture produced from sweat. Once shaved, the moisture settles in the armpits.
How does a deodorant work?
- Applying a deodorant on your underarm region does more than just masking your body odor with a fresh flowery fragrance.
- It does a more complicated job based on the chemistry of the armpit. Among the two antibody odor fragrances; deodorants and antiperspirants, each works differently.
- How antiperspirants work in preventing sweat and body odor.
Antiperspirants, unlike deodorants, work by clogging the sweat ducts in the skin thus inhibiting perspiration on the area of application. This helps to prevent body odor since no bacteria survive on the dry skin.
Antiperspirants do not block the sweat ducts entirely but only reduces sweating by up to 30%. Typical antiperspirants that give 24-hour protection from sweat are allowed to limit the sweating by 20% by the FDA while other antiperspirants that allow up to 48-hours dryness reduce sweating by 30%. Sweat reduction is achieved using aluminum chloride salts such as aluminum zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly that keep the skin dry.
How do deodorants work?
The best deodorant for men allows sweating works by killing bacteria that causes body odor. They achieve this by using chemicals such as triclosan that makes the armpit too salty for bacteria to survive.
The Negative effects of antiperspirants
Applying too much antiperspirant underarm has been found to cause more harm than the advantages it brings in. One of the key disadvantages that come with it is allergic reactions. Most people worldwide have been found to be allergic to aluminum. This results in effects such as skin rashes, skin becoming red, itchy and appearing to be inflamed. These symptoms usually appear after 5 to 30 minutes since the application of the antiperspirant.
Long-term exposure to aluminum compounds present in the antiperspirant to the body results in kidney shut down. For this reason, people with kidney problems are warned not to use antiperspirants before getting s doctor’s advice.
Negative effects of Deodorants
Since deodorants work on the external part of the skin, they have mild effects such as skin rashes and irritation due to low pH of salt contained in them. They do not have long term effects to the users.