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Mécanisme d'action d'un déodorant

Mechanism of action of a deodorant.

To prevent the onset of unpleasant odours, the application of a deodorant is an integral part of most hygiene routines. But how does this type of care work? Find here the essential information about perspiration, the formation of body odours, and the role of deodorant.

Sweating: What You Need to Know

Sweat is produced by the sweat glands. There are two types: eccrine sweat glands and apocrine sweat glands. Essential for the proper functioning of the body, perspiration plays several roles:

  • It has a thermoregulation function, meaning it helps to regulate body temperature. The production of sweat allows the expulsion of excess heat in cases of intense exertion.

  • It has a detoxifying function: perspiration allows for the elimination of toxins and organic waste.

  • It has a hydrating function: sweat contributes to the composition of the hydrolipidic film that protects and hydrates the skin. The hydrolipidic film forms a protective layer on the skin's surface to shield it from external aggressors (sun, pollution, etc.) and to prevent dehydration.

Sweat is odourless, it is the bacteria present on the skin's surface that are responsible for unpleasant smells. Indeed, these bacteria feed on sweat and produce the disagreeable odour we are familiar with.

How does deodorant work?

Unlike antiperspirant, deodorant does not block perspiration. It contains several compounds that act at different levels.

  • Antibacterial agents

    Whether it's essential oils like that of palmarosa or less natural compounds such as the triethyl citrate, these ingredients are crucial in deodorants as they act directly on the cause of bad odours: bacteria.

  • Absorbent Powders

    Thanks to their microporous structures, certain clays such as diatomaceous earth powder or white clay are drying agents that can absorb their weight in moisture. Their antibacterial action also acts on the bacteria present on the skin, thus limiting the appearance of bad odours. Among the absorbent powders, it is also possible to mention baking soda, common in natural deodorants as an alternative to aluminium salts.

  • Fragrance agents, incorporated into formulas to mask odours.

The use of deodorants is recommended for low to moderate sweat flow. Deodorants are now available in several forms: roll-on, solid stick, spray and cream.

What measures should be taken to limit unpleasant odours?

The use of a deodorant is necessary to limit the emergence of unpleasant odours. However, it will remain ineffective without good hygiene. There are a few practices to adopt in order to combat bad odours:

  • Take a shower daily to eliminate bacteria on the skin surface;

  • If you are truly bothered by odours, underarm hair removal may be a good option. Indeed, the presence of hair can intensify unpleasant smells. ;

  • Wear loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing;

  • Avoid synthetic fabrics and favour natural materials such as cotton, linen, wool, and silk ;

  • Limit the consumption of certain foods: spices, coffee, alcohol, processed meats;

  • Drink plenty of water;

  • Ensure your skin is thoroughly dried after showering, as moisture promotes the proliferation of bacteria;

  • Learn to manage your emotions, as stress promotes perspiration.

What is the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant?

Both deodorant and antiperspirant are used to combat unpleasant odours. However, they differ in their mode of operation.

Indeed, deodorant prevents unpleasant smells by eliminating bacteria on the skin's surface. It also masks odours through the use of fragrances. It can absorb moisture due to the presence of certain porous powders such as diatomaceous earth or white clay.

On the other hand, the antiperspirant combats sweat odours by blocking perspiration. It reduces sweating through ingredients such as aluminium salts. These tighten the pores and thus reduce perspiration. The antiperspirant also destroys bacteria found on the skin's surface.


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