Nobody wants to smell bad, but puberty can make that hard for some teenagers. That’s why for high-schoolers, deodorant is a very important product. There are stick types, spray-ons, powders, and roll-ons. Some need it more than others, but the majority of us have one anyway. Everytime I see these products being used, I ask myself. How do they work? Furthermore, I often hear from people that deodorants are dangerous for your health, and that they can cause cancers. But is this true? Let’s find out.
What Causes Body Odour?
To start things off, let’s talk about how body odour happens. There are two types of sweat gland on the human body. First, we have the eccrine glands, which are present all over the skin helping regulate our body temperature. These glands produce sweat, but no odour. For example, when it’s hot they produce the watery sweat on our forehead, but there is no odour that comes with it. Then, we have the apocrine glands, which are only under some parts of our skin (armpits and groin). These glands, produce a fatty sweat very high in protein, that is easily broken down by the bacteria on our skin. That’s where the smell comes from. Before puberty, apocrine sweat glands are inactive. When we become teens, hormonal changes in our body cause these glands to grow in size and begin functioning. There are some more factors that go into why some of us stink more than other, like our hygiene, our body shape, or simply our genes.
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
Then, how does a deodorant work? In the “Deodorant” section of a pharmacy, there are usually two different types of products. Deodorants, and antiperspirants. We tend to use them interchangeably, but they actually work in very different ways. Deodorants block odour by killing bacteria on the skin (which causes body odour), and antiperspirants prevent odour by clogging your pores and blocking sweat all-together. People sometimes pick antiperspirant thinking sweat is what is causing their body odour. However, sweat itself has no odour. It is the bacteria on our skin that can cause a smell. So, for people who sweat excessively, an antiperspirant is a good choice, but for people worried about their body odour, a deodorant may be a smarter alternative.
Are These Products Safe?
There are many well-known claims of different nasty side effects deodorant can have on us. For example, it is often said that the aluminum or the parabens found in antiperspirants can cause certain cancers. Other said that deodorant can cause kidney disease. The truth about these claims is that there is little to no proof in their favor. The doses of aluminum found in antiperspirants are way too small to cause any damage to us, and the kidney disease claim is nothing but an urban legend.
In conclusion, deodorants and antiperspirants work very effectively when the right one is used. Also, they aren’t as dangerous as you may think. As of now, there is no evidence to show any serious damage that they can cause. As long as you follow the instructions on the bottle, there should be no problem. Now that you know how deodorants and antiperspirants work, there is no excuse for that BO!