What’s The Difference Between Antiperspirant And Deodorant?

Deodorants and Antiperspirants are two different products, each with a unique functionality. Though both the terms are often used interchangeably, they work in special ways. To avoid further confusions, here is a quick answer to the question – what’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant:

What’s The Difference Between Antiperspirant And Deodorant?

Antiperspirants block or close the pores that produce sweat. This is achieved through aluminum compounds present in them. Deodorants, on the other hand, neutralize the odor of the sweat and kill the bacteria that thrive in the underarms. This is achieved through a chemical compound called triclosan.

difference between antiperspirant and deodorant infographic

Here is a table to explain the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant better:

1It reduces the underarm sweat or wetness.It masks or reduces the underarm odor.
2It is named aptly for the way it functions. “Anti” means against & “perspirant” means sweat.It is named precisely for the way it functions. “De” means rid & “odor” means smell.
3It closes the pores that release sweat. It blocks the sweat glands and stops you from sweating.It fights against the bacteria that causes odor. It neutralizes the smell.
4It lasts a maximum of 24 hours.It lasts for about 20 – 24 hours.
5It contains aluminum & zirconium (harmful chemicals) that dissolve with the sweat and produce a gel that blocks the glands temporarily; thereby, slowing down the flow of sweat to the skin surface.It contains triclosan that makes our underarms salty or acidic for the bacteria to thrive. When there are no bacteria, there is no smell.


6It comes in four forms: roll on, stick, aerosol, and soft solid.It comes in four forms: roll on, stick, aerosol, powder, cream, liquid, and gel.
7It causes yellow stains on the clothing you wear. These pit stains occur when the colorless, odorless sweat reacts with the aluminum compounds present in antiperspirants.If your deodorant has antiperspirant in it, yellow stains can occur.
8The best time to apply an antiperspirant is at night or before going to bed (but make sure to clean the armpits). If you sweat in excess, then applying at nighttime is effective because you sweat a lot in the mornings than at nights, and an antiperspirant will wash right off.The best time to apply a deodorant is in the morning and after a shower. However, if you sweat excessively, and you are using a “deodorant antiperspirant,” then applying before bed would be effective.
9It does not have a smell unless it contains fragrance.It has a smell because of the fragrance used as one of the main ingredients. The main job of a deodorant is to mask the body odor. Though there are manufacturers selling “unscented deodorants” for hypoallergenic consumers, they are still known to contain some amount of fragrance in them.
10It can be applied 1 – 2 times a day. Excess is bad. Make sure not to apply right after shaving. Wait at least for 24 – 48 hours to avoid rash and irritation.It can be applied 1 – 2 times a day. Excess can eventually backfire. Never apply a deodorant right after you shave. Wait at least for a day to prevent skin irritation.

Also Read: Difference Between Roll-On & Stick Deodorants