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Deodorant

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 17 January 2008

It's important to use a good deodorant to keep you fresh and smelling sweet. Here's how to choose the right one for you from the huge range of deodorants and anti-perspirants out there.

Sweat

Sweating is normal and natural: it's what the body does to maintain its correct temperature of 37°C.

Sweat is increased by exercise, exposure to heat or emotion, and this type of sweat particularly affects the underarms and palms of the hands.

Body odour: sweat itself doesn't smell bad: bacteria that feed on sweat cause BO.

Deodorant or anti-perspirant?

Deodorant masks the smell of sweat and anti-perspirant limits the secretion of sweat and guards against unpleasant smells. Most deodorants we find in the shops contain a mixture of both.

Different types of deodorant

Sprays, sticks and gels: deodorants come in many different forms.

- Sprays prevent secretion of sweat in targeted areas. Sprays are easy to use and give an instant feeling of freshness. They either use alcohol or dry powder to add anti-perspirant, and also come in mini pocket-sized sprays.

- Roll-ons, sticks and creams are more practical, more scientific and more effective than spray-on deodorants because they contain a higher concentration of aluminium salts. They're better for people who sweat a lot.

Sticks: practical, safe and don't leave marks.

Roll-ons: quick-drying and fresh.

Creams: gentle, alcohol-free and ideal for sensitive skin.

Alcohol-free deodorants

Alcohol has antiseptic properties and is also an ingredient in perfume. Avoid using alcohol deodorants if you have sensitive skin, because they can irritate the skin.
Don't use deodorant containing alcohol just after removing hair or if your skin is irritated, as you could get a rather unpleasant burning sensation.

The debate on aluminium salts

It has been proven that aluminium salts cannot cause breast cancer, but they have been linked to Alzheimer's disease (high concentrations have been found in the parts of the brain affected by the disease). Aluminum can easily pass through the skin barrier and build up in our organs.

Anti-perspirant tips

- Keep clean: using soap and shower gel is far and away the best way of getting rid of bacteria and sweat!

- Avoid synthetic or thick fabrics. Wear natural fabric such as cotton, linen and wool, and remember that dark colours attract heat.

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