What is the difference between antiperspirant and deodorants?

Lemongrass natural deodorant Ireland

We're going to be totally honest. For years we didn't really know what the differences between antiperspirants and deodorants were.  

It wasn't until we began doing research into antiperspirants and deodorants that we began to truly understand what makes them different. 

We wanted to write this blog post to help answer the question for anyone else who is curious! 

What is an antiperspirant? 

In short, antiperspirants block and reduce perspiration and sweat. 

Antiperspirants often use ingredients with aluminium-based compounds that temporarily block sweat glands. 

Blocking these sweat glands reduces sweat and wetness on your underarms. It also helps block and reduce odour. 

Sounds good right? Well.. maybe not so much. 

Sweating is your body's natural reaction to regulating temperature. As the moisture evaporates from your skin, it cools the body down. 

Antiperspirants in a way block 'block' this natural reaction.

In countries like America, antiperspirants are considered over the counter drugs because they use chemicals like aluminium, parabens and sulphates to block sweating (sweating is considered a natural bodily function). 

There is some controversy around these chemicals being used in antiperspirants, but that's a discussion for another day! 

What is deodorant? 

Deodorant does not block your sweat glands as such, rather it works to control the body odour that is associated with sweating. 

The bacteria on your skin breaking down sweat is what produces odour. 

Deodorants use ingredients that combat the bacteria that breaks down sweat and causes odour. 

Deodorants also help combat smell by masking odour with fragrances.  

For Vico Natural Deodorant we use sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) to combat odour. We use magnesium hydroxide which partners with baking soda to neutralise odour causing bacteria. 

We also use natural essential oil to help with smell. 

Deodorants keep you smelling fresh but don't block the wetness in the same way as antiperspirants do. 

We use ingredients like Tapioca Starch to help with wetness but the goal of Vico is to mask body odour and help you smell great. 


Man choosing antiperspirant deodorant

Which should you choose? 

We are obviously a bit biased, but the statistics show that there has been a massive rise in people making the switch to natural deodorants. 

Many people don't want to take the chance with antiperspirants anymore when there are alternative natural deodorant brands out there! 

Natural deodorants come in different forms like deodorant sticks, deodorant cream and deodorant sprays. 

Natural deodorants can be just effective as regular deodorants and antiperspirants for masking odour. 

The cool thing is that many natural deodorant brands are quite eco conscious, so choosing a natural deodorant over an antiperspirant is a potential win for your health and for the environment!  

At Vico we use compostable and recyclable deodorant tubes. When finished you can throw them into the compost heap or into the recycling bin! 

We also offset our carbon emissions by partnering with amazing organisations like Reforest Nation.