How do deodorants work

We have come to accept deodorants as a part of our daily morning routine without questioning it. We know that deodorant is supposed to combat the problem of sweaty armpits (and not only armpits because now we have deodorants for other parts of the body, like feet) but how exactly does it work and why is it so effective?

Body odor

First, you should know that sweat isn’t actually the thing that makes us smell. The distinctive body odor that can be smelled when you have sweaty armpits is the result of bacteria mingling with the sweat secreted in the armpits.

Sweat by itself is odorless and even necessary for the body to function properly. Sweat regulates the body temperature and without it, we would overheat. That’s why hot weather, exercise, and fevers cause people to sweat. Other factors that can trigger sweat are strong emotions, such as anger, anxiety, or fear. People who experience a lot of stress tend to produce excessive amounts of sweat.

Deodorant mechanism

Deodorant works by preventing bacteria from festering on the decomposing sweat. It contains chemicals whose purpose is to eliminate that bacteria. They often have a pleasant fragrance that is supposed to mask the bad smell in the case some of the bacteria survive.

Antiperspirant is a subtype of deodorant and it works by blocking the sweat glands altogether. This way no sweat is produced at all.

If you have a problem with excessive sweating (more than a regular person) you will probably find that most deodorants aren’t strong enough. Check out what is the best deodorant for sweat here.

Types of deodorant

There are three main different types of deodorant applicators:

  • Stick deodorants – to use a stick deodorant you need to turn the knob on the bottom until the deodorant stick is raised enough to allow for comfortable application. Then you just apply it directly to your armpits using the up and down motion. Do it until your whole armpits are covered with a thin layer of deodorant.
  • Roll-on deodorants – roll-on deodorants come in liquid form and are applied using a rolling ball that ensures just the right amount of product. The rolling movements help the deodorant get into all the crevices to easily cover the whole armpit area. After applying roll-on deodorant, you should hold your arms up for a while to let it dry before you put clothes on.
  • Spray deodorant – spray deodorant is perfect if you don’t have much time in the morning. The spray formula dries almost immediately. It is very easy to use as you just have to shake the can a little and then spray your armpits from a few inches distance. Some say they are not as strong other types because they don’t cover the whole area but on the other hand, they are easy to apply on the go during the day.

The many types of deodorants can be confusing but ultimately the choice is up to you and your preferences. If you aren’t sure which one is best, check out for reviews of the most well-known products.