In the "Beauty Fact Check" series, we decipher the world of beauty with you. The theme of the day: deodorants! We hear a lot of controversy, and we wanted to write an article to give you information on the ingredients of deodorants and antiperspirants found on the market.
To introduce this article, a little background on the mechanism of sweat: there are technical terms but don't worry it's simple!
How and why do we sweat and have bad smells?
First of all the sweat is secreted by two types of glands: we find the eccrine sweat glands everywhere on the body, which allow us to thermo regulate : in other words they allow when we are hot to cool our body!
Then, the apocrine sweat glands are found mainly in the armpits, breast and pubic areas. The secretion of this gland does not appear until puberty. It is stimulated by emotions such as fear or sexual arousal. Long live puberty!
Our small sweat glands both secrete sweat which is mainly composed of water , mineral salts and organic matter .
The smell comes from the decomposition of organic matter caused by the bacteria that we naturally have on the surface of the skin. And yes ! Our skin is protected by a bacterial flora which provides a barrier to pathogenic bacteria and prevents inflammation of the skin.
Apocrine sweat is richer in organic compounds, and this is what makes the odor more marked in the armpits, breasts and pubic areas.
Sweat is therefore linked to bad odors and humidity which can be very unpleasant for oneself and for others… The image of sweat is therefore directly associated with neglected hygiene. What is wrong, these are just natural mechanisms of our body! But to fight against its inconveniences, antiperspirants and deodorants exist.
How do they work?
Antiperspirants are intended to prevent the secretion of sweat, and thereby to avoid bad odors. They are composed of aluminum salts which allow this phenomenon!
Aluminum salts are most common in the form of aluminum chlorohydrate. They are very often found in antiperspirants on the cosmetics market. They have an astringent action and therefore make it possible to narrow the diameter of the pores , which reduces the flow of sweat. They also have a bactericidal capacity which eliminates bacteria from the skin flora, in order to avoid bad odors.
Despite their very high efficiency, they are controversial. Indeed, they are pointed out as being able to promote the appearance of breast cancer and cause undesirable effects such as eczema and irritation .
Unfortunately there is still no consensus between the various health organizations on the dangers of aluminum salts on the health of consumers...
However, certain precautions must be taken into consideration: in particular, it is strongly recommended not to use them on damaged or shaved skin because yes they can be more easily absorbed by the skin and end up in the blood.
It is also best not to use antiperspirant before a sports session or physical exertion. Indeed, the fact that it clogs the pores prevents perspiration from passing through and does not allow the body to regulate its temperature as it should!
Deodorants are just intended to prevent bad odors but do not prevent sweat from being secreted. They are made up of active antiseptics which allow the elimination of bacteria. The most commonly used antiseptic compounds are triclosan, ethylhexylglycerin and methylphenylbutanol.
They therefore do not in any way eliminate or reduce the production of sweat.
As a result, the feelings of discomfort due to humidity and traces on clothing remain the same. In addition, the use of antiseptic active can cause bacterial resistance which can make them less effective.
They can also be a source of irritation because they are less tolerated.
But then, what can be used without risking adverse effects?
I recommend alternative compounds such as absorbents .
They absorb odors and moisture while respecting our skin.
It is on this principle that ournatural deodorant recipeconsisting of:
Baking soda : regulates the pH and destroys bacteria
Corn starch : absorbs excess sweat
Sweet almond oil : nourishing, very suitable for dry and irritated skin.
Cocoa butter : has moisturizing properties and softens the skin.
Without preservatives because no aqueous phase, without perfume, without allergens, natural and effective!