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Key Concepts related to Deodorants and Antiperspirants

a) Sweat glands found in the human skin are classified into two different types;

  1. Eccrine Glands and
  2. Apocrine Glands

b) Sweat by itself is odorless. A characteristic order develops by the activity of bacterial flora on the skin surface. Bacteria break down various chemicals in sweat, resulting in volatile by-products, which have an unpleasant odor.

c) Deodorants are topically applied products designed to reduce or mask unpleasant body odors by reodorization and/or antibacterial action.

d) Antierspirabts are topically applied products designed to reduce underarm wetness by limiting body transpiration.

e) There are numerous ways of masking or reducing body odor as well as reducing the production rate of perspiration.

f) Deodorants and antiperspirants are available in various dosage forms; the most common delivery systems include roll-ons, solid sticks, extrudable clear gels, extrudable soft solids, and aerosols.

g) The typical quality-related issues of deodorants and antiperspirants, which include shrinkage of extrudable gels, caking of aerosols, valve clogging, staining and fabric damage, poor pay-off, separation of emulsions, microbiological contamination, clumping, and rancidification.

h) Parameters frequently tested by cosmetic companies to evaluate the quality of their deodorant and antiperspirant products include;

  • pay-off glide testing for sticks
  • drying time
  • spreadability
  • firmness, and texture of gels and creams
  •  the hardness of sticks
  • actuation force for aerosols
  • aerosol can leakage
  • pressure test for aerosols
  • spray characteristics for aerosols
  • preservative efficacy
  • pH, and
  • viscosity

i) The most commonly performed performance tests include in vitro microbiological testing, sniff test, and sweat reduction test for antiperspirants.

j) Ingredients that caused safety concerns regarding the use of deodorants and antiperspirants include aluminum salts, zirconium used to complex the aluminum salts, as well as VOCs used as propellants in aerosols.