Do you use an antiperspirant or deodorant? Actually, most of the people I ask that question to really aren’t sure which one they’re using and they also don’t know the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. Actually, they work in two different ways and they do two different things so depending on what your problem is, that really is what should guide you as to which you’re using. But let me explain. Underarm odor is caused by the action of bacteria acting on chemicals in your sweat. The more you sweat, the more the water in the sweat makes the bacteria grow, there are more bacteria to act on more chemicals and the production of more and more odor is almost like a positive feedback cycle. Add to that the presence of any hair in the underarm area; the hair is a great place for the bacteria to hide and live so there’s even more bacteria there. Antiperspirants work by just decreasing the amount of sweat you’re making. They help seal or clog some of the sweat glands. Most of the antiperspirants in the United States are aluminum salts, and the aluminum salts, despite what you have heard, are safe and don’t cause cancer, but the antiperspirants just stop the sweat, it doesn’t stop the bacteria. On the other hand, deodorants kill bacteria, and if you don’t have any bacteria, you can’t have any odor, but the deodorants that stop the bacteria don’t have any effect on the way you’re sweating or the amount of sweat you make. So the bottom line is: if you have excess sweat and odor or just excess sweat, you need an antiperspirant and these are all labeled as antiperspirants. If your problem is not excess sweating but it’s just underarm odor, then you want to use something as a deodorant but the deodorant itself is not going to help you stop excess sweating. So, next time your shopping for your personal care product think about what your issue is your trying to solve and then take a look at the label on the packages.