Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant: What's the Deal?

by Mollie Jensen September 07, 2018

What’s the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant? Inquiring minds want to know…but seriously, if you’re confused about the subject you’re not alone. The good news is, we’re about to break it down for you.

Let’s first start with antiperspirant. They are designed to do exactly what their name implies: “anti” (as in reduce, stop, combat, etc.), “perspirant” (perspiration, sweat). For a product to be considered an antiperspirant in the US it needs to be classified as an OTC, or over-the-counter drug. What makes it an antiperspirant/OTC are aluminum salts, which work by blocking your sweat glands to keep you dry and theoretically odor free. Sweat in and of itself isn’t what causes odor. Rather, odor occurs when bacteria found naturally on your skin begins to breakdown the sweat. It’s the byproducts created from this process that produce that not-so-enticing aroma.

Now on to deodorant. Again, they’re designed to do just what their name says, they de-odorize you. This is accomplished by masking odor with scent and/or ingredients that reduce the odor causing bacteria. Deodorant aren’t necessarily designed to reduce sweat, so therefore don’t block pores or sweat glands. This is actually good thing, since our bodies naturally detoxify themselves through perspiration. And since are not considered OTC drug, are viewed as a cosmetic product.

Now let’s take the topic a step further and look at clean deodorants, chiefly our new Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant. As discussed in detail my previous blog, many deodorants in the clean or natural space include baking soda to help reduce bacteria through an alkaline pH, but this high pH is what can also cause irritation. Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant doesn’t contain any irritating baking soda, in fact, it is formulated with licorice root to help calm the delicate skin under the arms. It features fine bamboo powder to help absorb excess moisture on the surface of the skin—so works with your body, not against it—and has an odor neutralizing blend of essential oils that help keep you feeling fresh. Plus, the combination of bamboo powder and a citric-acid derivative are designed to inhibit odor-causing bacteria.

Check out how our deodorant measures up:

If you’re ready to make a clean, sweet smelling switch, check out our new Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant. Your pits will thank you for it.

Until next time,

Mollie Jensen

Mollie Jensen
Mollie Jensen


My lifelong obsession with the world of beauty started at an early age and kicked off right out of high school as a makeup artist. My dreams of being the next big thing in Hollywood took a detour as I discovered esthetics and became fascinated with how the skin functions. From there I worked post-operatively with patients in a burn trauma unit, helping them care for their skin and conceal their scars. This led to product formulation and the world of aromatherapy where I began my career in product development. As a consultant for several years working with many startups, I quickly became the go-to in helping launch and rebrand product lines, my specialties in product formulation, regulatory compliant copywriting and building cohesive brand personalities. My love of natural and sustainable beauty led me to Biossance, where I happily reside as Senior Marketing Manager for new product development.

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