black man applying deodorant Credit : gstockstudio / Vecteezy

When you go shopping for deodorant or antiperspirant, it is easy to pick the wrong one because there are so many different options, and they look so similar. The good news is that either way, both options work super well, but they each have their differences.

If you're wondering what the difference is between deodorant and antiperspirant and how to choose which one is right for your wants and needs, we're happy to offer our area of expertise. 

What is a deodorant? 

Deodorant helps protect against odor. It does not contain aluminum, unlike antiperspirants, so it does not help with sweat, but it can make you smell good. When it comes to benefits, deodorant can help deal with body odor and underarm friction. 

Ingredients in deodorants include things that can help your body neutralize odors instead of blocking them at the source. The downside to using this is some ingredients might cause your underarms to be irritated. 

What is an antiperspirant? 

Antiperspirants can help with both odor and sweat. Another main difference between the two is that antiperspirants commonly use aluminum compounds as their active ingredient. 

Secret said it uses aluminum because it is the only ingredient the FDA says is effective and safe for fighting sweat. It basically plugs your sweat glands, so your underarms are less wet because they are producing less sweat.

The downside, however, is that antiperspirants can sometimes leave a bit of yellow staining on your clothes, according to Salt of the Earth. They can also potentially irritate your underarms, according to WedMD

Which one should I choose? 

The choice is up to you. Both are effective; it just depends on your concerns. If you are someone who is concerned about sweating, antiperspirants will be your best friend. However, if odor is your only concern, go for a deodorant. 

It is also worth noting that a lot of products available on the market are both an odor blocker and sweat blocker. You're likely to see more deodorants at your local drugstore, but both are available. However, you do not need to pick up both. The choice is ultimately yours.