Deodorant: it's something we men simply cannot live without!
Men tend to be fairly ripe-smelling lot. We tend to sweat more than our female counterparts, and though the sweat… itself isn't smelly, it can lead to some pretty foul odors. Why is that?
One word: bacteria.
Your armpits are a breeding ground for bacteria, which need a moist, warm environment to flourish. When you sweat, you are basically feeding the bacteria. They grow out of control and break down your sweat into acids. Those acids are the sharp, tangy smell that is so unappealing.
Deodorant helps to mask the scent of your body odor, making you more attractive and appealing to those around you!
How Important is a Pleasant Smell?
The truth is that smell plays a HUGE role in human attraction and relationships:
Male pheromones attract women. Sweat produces two pheromones: androstenol and androstenone. Androstenol is the appealing one that is produced with fresh sweat. Androstenone, however, is produced when sweat is exposed to oxygen. When the female detects androstenone, her brain perceives it as a "negative" scent. The result: "No, thank you!"
Using pleasant-smelling cologne (and deodorant) can improve your mood. This is particularly true among middle-aged men. The pleasant smells can help to reduce tension, irritation, anger, confusion, and fatigue and boost confidence, a sense of well-being, and good humor.
According to an Oxygen Media poll, 87% of women said that body odor can completely turn them off while on a date!
The "Axe Effect" may be real! A professor at the University of Liverpool discovered that women found men who used Lynx, the UK's version of Axe, to be more attractive than men who wore deodorants with no fragrance.
As you can see, the right scent really can make or break your chances with the ladies! This means that it's vital that you choose the right deodorant (or antiperspirant). No pressure, right?
How to Choose the Right Product
Have you ever walked down the supermarket aisles and seen just how MANY types of deodorants there are? There are way too many to choose from, right?
It can be tough to find the "right" product, but we've got some tips to help you out…
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant: Which is Better?
The two are NOT the same:
Deodorant is a formulation of alcohol and scents to kill off the bacteria that cause smell. It can also mask body odor. The average deodorant lasts for up to 8 hours, but won't regulate perspiration.
Antiperspirant is a mix of chemicals (like aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrate) that reduces or blocks perspiration. The active ingredients block sweat glands, preventing them from secreting sweat. The effects can last anywhere from 24 to 72 hours, depending on the products.
Now we come to the hard question: which is better?
Deodorant is good for those who…
Want to smell pleasant
Do not sweat in excess
Need to mask body odor
Deodorant does NOT stop you from sweating, but it has a pleasant scent that can help to reduce body odor.
Antiperspirant is good for those who…
Want to prevent soaked underarms and pit stains
Sweat in excess
Need to stop the production of sweat
Antiperspirants aren't usually as pleasant-smelling as deodorants, and the risk of side effects (your pores are being blocked, remember?) is much higher. However, it can prevent sweating completely!
Type of Deodorant/Antiperspirant
Your average antiperspirant and deodorant comes in a number of formats:
Stick -- This is one of the easiest types to apply, but it can often leave white, chalky residue. If you're wearing dark clothing, it may not be your best choice! It's good for women who prefer to have dry underarms.
Cream -- Think moisturizing lotion, but applied to your underarms to prevent sweating. It's not as popular, but surprisingly effective.
Roll-on -- Similar to stick, but using a ball to apply liquid deodorant/antiperspirant instead of a dry, solid bar or stick. Another great option for those who prefer dry underarms. Roll-ons also tend to contain moisturizing ingredients, and are great for sensitive skin.
Gel -- This is clear when applied, but the gel is slightly wetter--ideal for those with dry skin. The gel works just as well as the other products, and can help to prevent white stains (like those caused by stick).
Spray -- Sprays are ideal for those with a lot of underarm hair, and they can leave you feeling fresh and smelling pleasant. However, they tend to carry a higher risk of heavy metal exposure. They're also more likely to contain alcohol, which can irritate sensitive and freshly-shaven skin.
What You Need to Know About Choosing Deodorants and Antiperspirants
Here are a few important facts to know before you choose your product:
Many deodorants contain aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer, bone disease, and kidney disorders. Buy aluminum-free deodorant and antiperspirant to reduce your exposure to heavy metals and toxins.
Antiperspirants plug your sweat glands, which stops your body from purging toxins via your sweat. There is some concern that antiperspirant can increase your risk of breast cancer, but there is insufficient evidence to support the claim.
Avoid alcohol-based sprays if you have sensitive skin. The alcohol can cause contact dermatitis of a negative allergic reaction.
Read the list of ingredients to search for chemicals like: Aluminum Chlorohydrate, Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Triclosan, TEA (triethanolamine), DEA (diethanolamine), FD&C colours, and Talc (hydrous magnesium silicate). All of these are chemicals you'd be better off avoiding!
Aerosol sprays are harmful to the environment. If you want to "go green", stick, gel, and roll-on products are the more eco-friendly choice.
The truth is that there's no "one size fits all" approach to find the best deodorant or best antiperspirant for men, especially in terms of choosing the smell. It's all about finding the one that matches your unique body scent and helps to mask your body odors.
To make it easy for you, we've compiled a list of some of the best deodorants for men. We've got the best natural deodorant, a few options for deodorant without aluminum, and a select few antiperspirants.
Topping our list of Faves is a product by MenScience, designed "scientifically" to help reduce your smell and keep you fresh all day long!