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How Much Do You Know About Deodorants and Antiperspirants?

I'm sure you have experienced being in an uncompromising situation like having to stand beside a stranger who has his hands up while commuting in a crowded train at least once. That isn't so bad until you get a whiff of the familiar yet inescapable underarm odour. And now you're either holding your breath, breathing through your mouth or silently screaming for help for the entire train ride.

Sweaty pits.

That is definitely a deal-breaker for anyone, isn't it?

In such a humid climate like Singapore where it is blazing summer all year round, it is perfectly normal to perspire, and for some, their armpits tend to sweat more because of the sweat glands located at the underarms. This is nothing to be ashamed of, after all, haven't we all gone through the humiliation of having wet patches in the underarms of our clothes at least a dozen times in our lives?

Activities such as exercising, grocery shopping, queueing for your favourite street food, and even dates at the amusement parks can bring forth perspiration and sweaty armpits, but that doesn't mean that it is unavoidable!

Keeping Fresh with Deodorants and Antiperspirants

You can hardly miss the rows of deodorants and antiperspirants that are shelved when you step into a personal care store or a pharmacy. Even some international beauty and cosmetics brands have added deodorants to their line of retail products.

And while deodorants and antiperspirants are so common in stores, there is a significant number of people who are ditching them for perfumes and fragrances instead.

According to a poll by international research data and analytics group, YouGov, in America, there is nearly 40% of young adults who do not wear deodorant in the past month.

Nearly 4 in 10 young adults are not wearing deodorant

One of the reasons why people forgo deodorants and antiperspirants is because they cannot smell their own body odour as it is constant to them. This leads them to think that deodorants are not needed. But in such an environment like Singapore, it is easy to perspire once you step out in the sun, and there are also plenty of people who work outdoors or doing manual labour. Even a simple lunchtime errand at noon can also cause one to return with sweat all over.

Deodorant or Antiperspirant?

Those two have very similar purposes in keeping you fresh throughout the day. But did you know that there is actually a difference between the both of them?

Deodorants prevent odour and keep you feeling fresh, but unlike antiperspirants, they don't keep you dry. That said, you will still sweat as usual, but just without the odour. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, contain an ingredient called aluminium. This key ingredient has the ability to temporarily stop the sweat glands from producing sweat, thus controlling both sweat and odour.

While antiperspirant sounds like a better choice, its ingredients are not. In order to have a product that controls sweat, you will need aluminium. What aluminium does is that it forms a temporary "plug" within the sweat ducts that stops the flow of sweat to the surface of the skin. Although effective, when used too frequently especially near the breast, it can be absorbed into the body and have estrogen-like side effects. One of the effects is the growth of breast cancer cells.

Since deodorants need to be applied daily, it is recommended to switch to a natural, aluminium-free deodorant for a safer choice. 

Ways to Keep Dry Without Using Antiperspirant 

Although deodorants can't keep you dry like how an antiperspirant does, there are several ways you can keep the sweating to a minimum.

1. Eat a healthy diet

Diet plays a part in your overall body health. Poor or unbalanced diet can cause weight gain, and increase in body fats. When that happens, you tend to sweat more easily because of the friction between your limbs. Having a healthy diet and lean body will easily cut down on the unnecessary sweating.

2. Exfoliate your armpits

Keeping your underarms clean and germ-free is key. When there is less bacterial activity in the underarms, you remain odourless even if you sweat. Of course, there's no harm bringing a small towel with you if you want to keep dry and fresh in the day.

3. Stay in a cool place

The primary function of sweating is to regulate the body temperature, so when you're in a hot, cramped environment, it is normal for sweating to occur. This is to allow heat loss through evaporation. Staying in airconditioned areas will greatly help with the prevention of sweating. Otherwise, somewhere where that is ventilation is sufficient enough.

4. Wear loose, breathable clothing

Tight-fitting clothes can make you sweat, even if you are in a ventilated place. If you are going outdoors, you should gear up with a UV umbrella to shield yourself from the sun, and wear clothes with cotton fabrics with loose openings. Fabrics such as wool, leather and suede are prone to trap heat inside, so it's best to save them for the colder seasons.

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