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What is Antiperspirant? How Does it Work?

February 28, 2020 3 min read

what is antiperspirant

Sweating is a natural function that regulates body temperature; but sometimes your body may produce too much sweat. With 2 million to 4 million sweat glands in your body, it’s no wonder that a little extra sweat can turn into a big embarrassing problem.

That’s where antiperspirant comes in. It is the first line of defense against excessive sweat because it is topical, easily attainable and one of the most cost effective treatments. It is available in drug stores, online and by prescription from your doctor.

Keep reading as we answer the question, “What is antiperspirant?” and explore how it works.

What is antiperspirant?

In the simplest terms, antiperspirant is a topical treatment designed to prevent or block sweat. It is sometimes confused with deodorant, which is only designed to prevent odor.

No one body is the same. And nobody sweats the same way. That’s why antiperspirant is available with or without odor protection, and comes in many forms like gel, roll-in, solid or spray.

How does antiperspirant work?

Antiperspirant blocks sweat by plugging the sweat glands using some form of aluminum. When the aluminum compounds come into contact with skin, a gel forms and coats the sweat glands. In turn, the gel plugs the glands and reduces the amount of sweat released.

Since antiperspirant is a topical treatment, some people apply it on other parts of the body affected by sweat: armpits, back, chest, feet and/or hands.

Since antiperspirant is a topical treatment, some people apply it on other parts of the body affected by sweat.

Do antiperspirants work?

As previously mentioned, antiperspirant is the first product recommended to stop sweat. That is why it formulated in varying strengths based on the percentage of aluminum it contains. The higher the percentage, the greater the coverage.

When deciding which antiperspirant is best for you, consider your sweat patterns. Do you need sweat protection only in the summer? During physical activities? Or do you need it every day because your armpits are non-stop faucets of sweat?

Experts recommend starting out with a gentle, over-the-counter formula and if needed, progressing to a clinical strength variety. If you still do not achieve satisfactory results, talk to your doctor about prescription-strength antiperspirant.

How do you apply antiperspirant?

Selecting an antiperspirant is only half of the equation. Learning how to apply antiperspirant is just as important. Follow these steps to ensure the best results from your antiperspirant:

  1. Apply antiperspirant at night to allow the product to take hold before you start sweating. Most antiperspirants remain active for at least 24 hours.
  2. Make sure armpits are completely dry. When skin is damp or wet, the antiperspirant has difficulty taking effect.
  3. Only apply a thin layer. There is no benefit to using more than the recommended amount. Plus, it will take longer to dry. You may also experience skin irritation if overused.
  4. Allow antiperspirant to dry completely before getting dressed.
  5. Consider shaving your armpits. This allows the product to make direct contact with your skin.

how to apply deodorant

Does antiperspirant stain clothes?

Unfortunately, using an antiperspirant can result in stains. A chemical reaction between the aluminum in antiperspirant and the urea found in sweat can cause yellow tinted armpit stains. Even though the stains are unsightly, there are plenty of ways to remove the stains from your clothes with ingredients you find at home or with stain-removal products.

For best results, pair up an effective antiperspirant with an Ejis sweat proof undershirt. (Buy from our shop or on Amazon.) Our sweat proof undershirts are designed to protect your shirts from sweat marks and stains. They are also infused with real silver to help fight odor-causing bacteria.

Published February 28, 2020; Updated April 4, 2020

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