Antiperspirant vs Deodorant: The Key Differences

Antiperspirant vs Deodorant: The Key Differences

To sweat or not to sweat? ūüí¶¬† That is the question behind the great armpit war of deodorants versus antiperspirants. They are the same thing, right? Nope!¬†¬†

Let’s get into the difference between these two types of products, how you can find the right option that suits you and your lifestyle best and all about our plastic-free Ethique deodorants. 

Let's start with the basics: what causes armpits to smell? 

Sweat itself is virtually odourless to humans. Odours are caused by sweat being broken down by bacteria. The rate at which this occurs and your microbial ecosystem varies significantly from person to person (which is why some people may smell more than others). Sweating is completely natural, with its main purpose being to cool us down - not to excrete waste products or to clear toxic substances from the body (keep on reading to learn more about this common myth). 

What is the difference between a deodorant and antiperspirant and how do they help with sweat/smell? 

As its name would suggest, a deodorant is formulated to deodorise - keeping you smelling fresh while still allowing your body to naturally sweat.  

Antiperspirants, on the other hand, are formulated to block your sweat glands to stop any sweat from being secreted. It's pretty common to see deodorant antiperspirants that do both. The ingredients they use to do this are called aluminum salts, like aluminium chloride, or aluminium chlorohydrate. And many of those compounds are actually 100% natural). Although most of what is used commercially is actually now synthesised in a lab ‚Äď but yeah, these are naturally occurring compounds. But these aluminium compounds are thought to work in a couple of different ways. So they either bond to water molecules, making the sweat exceptionally viscous, so that it has a much tougher job reaching the surface of your skin. Or they cause a precipitation of the metal ion forming a sort of temporary plug, essentially preventing the sweat from coming out.

Looking for a plastic-free deodorant? We have you covered! 

You can stay fresh and confident all day long. Our plastic-free deodorants are packed with wonder ingredients to help reduce the feeling of sweat and keep smells away: magnesium hydroxide, zinc oxide and bamboo extract (which absorbs 200% its own weight in sweat and oil). You’ll also spot jojoba and sweet almond oil for a gentle application and to keep your underarms silky smooth. 

96% of people found our deodorants effective at minimising odours and reducing the feeling of sweat! 

We've created a range of three: Botanica for a light, slightly sweet floral scent with hints of lavender and vanilla, and Rustic for a fresh, earthy and citrusy scent with lime and eucalyptus.  For those with sensitive skin or you just prefer an unscented option, we have our Minimalist deodorant which does not contain any essential oils or fragrance 

Prefer a sample before jumping to anything full size? We have that covered too with our deodorant minis. 

Our deodorants are packed in plastic-free home compostable tubes for easy application. Once you’re done with them, simply pop the box and tube in your compost or garden to break down and nourish the soil. 

Keep in mind that as this is a solid deodorant, which helps keep your underarms smelling fresh rather than stop sweat, it is not an antiperspirant and this bar will not block your sweat glands.   

We hope this helps you understand the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. As always if you have any questions, send our team of Miracle Workers an email at or get in touch with us on social.