Antiperspirants – composition and action

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1. Overview

4 million sweat glands in the human body pumping liters of sweat every day. This explains why for many people sweat is a problem.

Sweating can negatively affect self-esteem, career and social life of a person. Antiperspirants are the main means of defense against excessive sweating, but how well does a product works depend on many factors, including its ingredients, strength of the action of these ingredients, how much a person sweats and even the time of application.

If the area is wet when the antiperspirants are applied, they will mix with moisture and will slide on the skin, and their effectiveness will be diminished. Therefore, it is best to apply the antiperspirants to dry skin.


1. Overview
2. Antiperspirants – composition and action

2. Antiperspirants – composition and action

Key ingredients of antiperspirant composition, to combat excessive perspiration and for providing the sensation of freshness throughout the day are:

- Aluminum – aluminum-based compounds are the most widely used active ingredient because they clog sweat glands and temporarily stop the moisture in the skin caused by them. Most commercially available antiperspirants contain high concentrations of aluminum.

There were rumors that this concentration of aluminum in antiperspirants may increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, if these compounds are absorbed through the skin. However, there are no scientific evidences to confirm that these ingredients represent a risks to health.

- Parabens – these preservatives are designed to prevent bacteria drilling in the products that contain them. The latest research has found traces of parabens in breast cancer tumors, suggesting that parabens could have similar effects of estrogen if absorbed through the skin.

Not confirmed, however, that parabens in antiperspirants composition are responsible for breast cancer. The composition of the major brands of antiperspirants don not includes any parabens although these preservatives are found in many cosmetic preparations.

- Perfume – perfumes are often used in manufacturing antiperspirants and deodorants to mask body odors. Studies suggest that feeling of cleanliness is associated with pleasant aromas. However, people with sensitive skin should choose unscented antiperspirant.

- Emollient oil – without emollient oil such as castor oil, mineral oil, sunflower oil or other product will not slip on the skin. The emollient prevents product peeling when it will dry on the skin.

- Alcohol – aluminum compounds and other active ingredients in an antiperspirant are frequently dissolved in alcohol as this product dries quickly and provides feeling of freshness when applied to the skin.

- Polyethylene Glycol Distearate (PGD) – are emulsifying agents found in many cosmetic products, including antiperspirants. With this ingredient, deodorant can be easily washed.

- Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) – prevents or slows the deterioration of other ingredients in deodorant when they are exposed to oxygen.

- Talcum powder – it absorbs moisture and oil, protecting the skin by reducing friction and keeping it dry.



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