Home Beauty Ew…gross…Why do I Smell? Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

Ew…gross…Why do I Smell? Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

by Komal Patel
Natural Deodorant

Ok. You guys. I like, smell.

gross right? 

A few months ago I switched over to natural deodorant full time.

J was on my ass for a while because I was using deo with antiperspirant in it, and tbh, I really didn’t care until recently because I am trying to use more natural and organic products. 

Antiperspirants work by forming a gel with the moisture in your armpits that blocks sweat glands from releasing more sweat. The active ingredients are usually aluminum salts.”

Because it blocks your sweat glands there has been heavy debate on whether or not you should use a deodorant with antiperspirants in it.

SO….I have known this for a long time but really didn’t care. Like, is it really that bad?

Let’s break it down a little further.

Antiperspirant: How does it work?

A recap from above, “antiperspirants are designed to prevent our body from producing sweat by blocking sweat from reaching the skin. Aluminum is the active ingredient found in most antiperspirants. Aluminum blocks the pores so that sweat cannot pass through. There have been many claims that aluminum is linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. It appears that further research is required to totally validate these claims. Some types of antiperspirants contain forms of aluminum which have been found to interact with sweat to cause yellow staining on clothes. We have all seen this before on ourselves or a friend and wondered where the yellow came from. Well, mix an aluminum complex and sweat and there is the answer.” Let’s take a look at the ingredients for a typical antiperspirant: 

Aluminum Zirconium TrichlorohydrexGLY 19% (anhydrous) Cyclopentasiloxane




C18 36 Acid Triglyceride

ummmm….come again? 

Other than the aluminum, which I have mentioned above, I do not recognize any of the antiperspirant’s ingredients as being ‘natural’.

Deodorant: How does it work?

Deodorant basically does what is says it will do, that is, prevent unwanted odor (it does not prevent sweat). Our body odor is produced by the bacterial breakdown of sweat. Ingredients within deodorants are essentially designed to eliminate or mask the smell caused by the bacteria.I have been using Tom’s Original Care Deodorant Stick for the past few months. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Propylene glycol (vegetable derived)


Sodium stearate (coconut oils)

Aloe barbadensis leaf juice (Organic aloe)

Glyceryl laurate (vegetable oils)

Humulus lupulus (hops) [CO2] extract (hops cones for odor)

Helianthus annuus (sunflower seed oil)

Ascorbic acid (citrus fruits) 

Cymbopogon flexuosus oil (organic lemongrass) 

For the most part, all of these ingredients are recognizable. The Tom’s website  listed out all of the ingredients in their deodorants, as well as the purpose and source of each.

So, what to use? Deodorant or antiperspirant?

Although the jury is still out for me (even though I seem to smell more without antiperspirant….an adjustment period perhaps?), I think using a product that contains natural ingredients and avoiding aluminum is probably best.

I have uber sensitive skin and some dyes and fragrances found in antiperspirants and deodorants have can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations.  That is another reason to go ‘natural’ if you can. I am a fan of Tom’s but I am looking for something a little bit stronger if anyone has any suggestions.

Just to keep this argument interesting I found another point of view from the Business Insider.

There’s something that seems icky or potentially unhealthy about blocking sweat, like magic, and that might be why some people have wondered whether they could cause cancer. The worries are unfounded. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute wrote that they “are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. They also said that the US Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have any evidence supporting this fear, either. Early research on aluminum exposure in rabbits found that it might be connected to Alzheimer’s disease, but studies since then have not found this connection in animals or in humans. We probably get more aluminum from food than antiperspirants, anyways.”

So, now, what do you think?

Team deodorant or team antiperspirant?

Share your thoughts with me below.



Sweet and Masala

You may also like


Linda Tran December 13, 2017 - 6:56 pm

This is so informative! I never knew the difference!


Nathalie December 14, 2017 - 6:16 am

Thanks for sharing this. I actually switched to deodorant a few years back but I have to wash and re-apply it during the day when the weather is warm and/or when I wear synthetic fabrics. Didn’t know the link between breast cancer and anti-perspirants was not founded though… I might actually go back to anti-perspirants when it is a really hot day. We’ll see…

Komal Patel December 14, 2017 - 2:06 pm

I think I may go back too…aluminum is worry some…but, at the same time, so many things are bad for us. How much is this really hurting?

S December 14, 2017 - 2:33 pm

This was really useful, made me reconsider…

Komal Patel December 14, 2017 - 4:26 pm

Right!?!? I am TORN.

Christine Kong December 18, 2017 - 4:57 am

Wow I never knew these things! I just picked based on smell. I don’t sweat a lot just when I go to the gym or workout so I would prefer not to smell rather than block my sweat glands. I’ve heard many wonderful things about Tom’s and need to try this brand! Thanks for all the helpful info! xoxo, Christine

Belle December 18, 2017 - 7:41 pm

This is very informative! Such a great post!

Belle | One Awesome Momma


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.