“‘Deodorant’ and ‘antiperspirant’ are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a key difference between the two,” says Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “While both protect against body odor, antiperspirants traditionally use the ingredient aluminum, which keeps you dry by controlling the flow of sweat to avoid the feeling of wetness under your arms. Deodorants do not use aluminum and rely instead on other ingredients to reduce odor and to help you feel fresh throughout the day.”
Antiperspirants actually stop sweat from the source. “Antiperspirants contain aluminum-based salts that form a plug within the sweat gland, preventing wetness from reaching the surface of the skin,” says Josh Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist. “Antiperspirants do not actually decrease the amount of sweat that you make.”
You’ve likely heard the term “natural deodorant” thrown around. Natural deodorants are aluminum-free options that utilize natural ingredients like cornstarch, coconut oil, and other naturally-derived ingredients to help eliminate odors and curb wetness. Keep reading to find our favorite antiperspirants and deodorants.