Deodorant vs Antiperspirant:

Do you know the difference between deodorant and anti-perspirant? Many people think they are actually  the same.  After many years of marketing campaigns by major anti-perspirant companies, a large majority of the population has been left confused.

What’s the main difference?

Deodorant is used to prevent unpleasant and unwanted body odour whereas antiperspirants are designed to prevent the body from sweating or reduce it. 


To understand why we use deodorants, it’s important to look at the science behind body odour. Naturally we all produce a bacteria on our skin. As we know bacteria normally feeds in warm, moist environments and so this bacteria feeds on the sweat your body releases.

This sweat is rich with fat and proteins from your body. When you mix this sweat with the natural bacteria on the skin it causes an unpleasant odour.

The key to a good deodorant like Pitt Balm is to stop the bacteria from coming into contact with the sweat; either by eliminating the bacteria completely or greatly reducing it. It is important to note that the deodorant doesn’t prevent the sweat from being created but we’ll come back to that in a moment.


Antiperspirants work in a totally different way; by tackling the sweat not the bacteria. Generally antiperspirants use an ingredient called aluminium salts that dissolve into the moisture on the skin’s surface and form a gel that sits on top of the sweat gland.

With these glands essentially ‘blocked’, the bacteria and the sweat cannot mix or react with one another and thus prevent bad body odours.

So which should I use?

Deciding which to use is largely a case of personal preference but the team at PITT BALM have moved away from antiperspirants and will never look back.

The body knows best

The first and most important reason why we don’t recommend using antiperspirants is because generally the body knows best. Yes there are extreme circumstances but the body is an incredible machine and we’ve been designed to sweat. Sweating is the body’s natural way of cooling itself down so we don’t believe in blocking that mechanism.

Aluminium Salts

Not to be confused with the aluminium we use to pack Pitt Balm, Aluminium salts are the main ingredient in antiperspirant.

Types of aluminium commonly used in antiperspirants are aluminium chlorohydrate, aluminium zirconium trichlorohydrex glycine, aluminium hydroxybromid, aluminium sulfate and sodium aluminium chlorohydroxy lactate

In recent years there have been a number of issues surrounding the use of Aluminum salts in underarm cosmetics and there have been studies that may link the use of Aluminium salts to cancer, especially of the breast.

A recent in vitro study found long term exposure to aluminium chloride at environmentally relevant concentrations could cause mammary cells to become cancerous and capable of forming tumours

Please read more on the risks of Aluminium salts on the Breast Cancer UK website

Big brand marketing

We believe that over the years we have be conditioned to think that sweating is something to be embarrassed by. Many of the major antiperspirant brands have pushed the idea that sweaty arms are disgusting. Of course, if you’re in the business of selling a product that stops you from sweating, it would be a good business move to encourage the general population to do everything possible to stop sweating and sweat patches.

Sweating is natural. Sweating isn’t anything to be ashamed of and neither should sweat patches. When we sweat from our foreheads we don’t feel intense shame so why should it be any different with sweating elsewhere?

Let’s not let the big corporations and big brands (who lets face it, don’t have our best interests at heart) dictate to us what is normal or acceptable.

Tackle bacteria not sweat 

So now we’ve decided that sweating is natural and we are going to embrace it, we still need to manage our odour. After all, we have other people standing next to us on the trains in the morning to think about.

As we mentioned before, the key to a good natural organic deodorant like Pitt Balm is effectively tackling bacteria. We are firm believers in allowing the body to do what it want’s to do naturally, not to prevent it from doing so.

As crude as it may be to think about, we wouldn’t want to permanently stop our bowels from moving, so why would we want to stop our body from sweating?

As long as the bacteria is tackled you will not have to worry about body odour.  Pitt Balm natural organic deodorant also has a high concentration of an organic Arrowroot powder that helps to keep you dry so you do get the best of both worlds.

About the Author: Courtney Scott