Difference Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant (With Table)

A major thing we need during scorching heat and summers is to avoid the sweaty smell. A great way to curb this sweaty feel and smell is using either deodorant or antiperspirant. Their function might as well be similar or even the same, but there exist some differences between them.

Deodorant vs Antiperspirant

The main difference between Deodorant and Antiperspirant is that Deodorant is a product which is used to cover or mask the smell or odour which comes from perspiration, especially in body parts such as arm pits, groin, feet and in few cases vaginal secretions as well.

Antiperspirant, on the other hand, is a product which reduces the production of sweat in the first place, using aluminium salts forming a gel, reducing the amount of sweat released from the sweat glands.

Both of them are skin care products with almost same functions but different purposes to an extent. Deodorant aims to cover tha smell of sweat whereas Antiperspirant aims to reduce the production of sweat.


Comparison Table Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




Deodorant is a skincare product which masks the odour of sweat.

Antiperspirant is a skincare product which reduces the production of sweat.


Deodorant aims to just cover the smell of sweat and not reduce the creation of sweat.

Antiperspirant aims to reduce the production of sweat and some of them also cover the residual smell, if any.

Bacterial Growth

A majority of deodorants just cover the smell caused by the bacteria and not exactly affect their growth except some which do both.

Antiperspirants inhibit the bacterial growth and this happens as it reduces the PH level and moisture in the concerned body part.


Deodorants are generally considered safer because they only cover the smell and don’t hamper the natural processes of the body.

Antiperspirants are considered less healthy than deodorants because they stop and hamper the natural cooling down process of the body, which happens when sweat is released.

Working Mechanism

Deodorants perform their function by neutralising the smell of the sweat and by portraying an antiseptic action against the bacteria present.

Antiperspirants mainly work through closing, clogging or blocking the pores of the sweat glands by making use of powerful astringents such as aluminium salts to avoid them from producing sweat.


What is Deodorant?

A deodorant is a skincare product which is widely popular to cover or mask the smell of sweat and comes in several fragrances. Their primary task is to cover the odour of sweat or other secretions, especially in areas like the arm pits, groin, feet and in some cases, vaginal secretions too.

They are considered to be a part of the category of cosmetics and are largely available at all the cosmetic and pharmaceutical stores.

They come in different ranges with respect to the time period till which it works. For instance, some deodorants may provide freshness and fragrance till 24 hours, other 12 hours and so on.

Deodorants contain ingredients which help in controlling bacterial growth and covering the smell that they produce. However, there are such deodorants also which can reduce the number of bacteria in the concerned body parts.

It is a general perception that the chemicals that deodorants contain may be harmful for the skin and cause several diseases like Breast Cancer, allergies or kidney problems.

Even though certain sources say that these are actually true, but famous and credible organizations like the American Cancer Society etc. have maintained that these allegations do not have established scientific grounds.


What is Antiperspirant?

An antiperspirant is similar to a deodorant in the sense that they both are skincare products and that both their purposes are associated with sweat and controlling or covering it.

However, in literal sense and unlike a deodorant, an antiperspirant’s purpose is not to cover the smell of sweat but to prevent its production at all. In other words, antiperspirants aim to cover the sweat glands and stop the production of sweat entirely.

This takes place because of the aluminium salts present in the antiperspirant which create a gel like substance on the skin where it is applied.

The gel covers and blocks the pores of the skin through which sweat is released. This way, they prevent the production of sweat.

Apart from that, it is believed that both deodorants and antiperspirants are not exactly dangerous to use in terms of the diseases they might cause. This is because such claims have been found to be without a scientific base.

Even then, it is also believed that antiperspirants do hamper one of the natural processes of the body. Since it prevents sweat from getting produced, it hinders the natural cooling down process of the body.

Main Differences Between Deodorant and Antiperspirant

Like previously mentioned, both of them seem to have similar purposes but there exists an established distinction in their use and aims.

  1. The first and the foremost difference is their purpose. Deodorants’ purpose is to cover the smell of sweat in the concerned part of the body. Antiperspirants have the aim of clogging the pores for prevention of sweat production entirely.
  2. While all the antiperspirants control the bacterial growth by clogging the pores, most of the deodorants do not do so. Their primary aim is to just mask the odour of sweat.
  3. Like previously mentioned, it has been generally established that deodorants and antiperspirants are not specifically the cause of harmful diseases, but even then, deodorants are considered safer as compared to antiperspirants because they do not hamper the natural processes of the body, i.e., sweat production.
  4. They have distinct working mechanisms. Deodorants perform their functions by neutralising the smell of sweat while antiperspirants work by blocking the pores through which sweat is released.
  5. For the record, antiperspirants can be used on a larger range of body parts, for instance, where sweat would be inconvenient. Deodorants cannot be sprayed or applied everywhere.



Deodorants and Antiperspirants have become a staple product of the lives of most of the urban people. The busy schedules of the people and the growing importance of on-field work has also increased the chances of sweating more profusely.

This is why deodorants and antiperspirants are greatly put to use to eliminate the odour of sweat and at times prevent its production as a whole too. One should just keep in mind that they don’t put them to excess use because excess of everything is always bad.



  1. https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/3608580
  2. https://drarmpit.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Callewaert-2014-Deodorants-and-antiperspirants-affect-the-axillary-bacterial-community.pdf