Antiperspirant VS Deodorant: What’s Better For Sweaty Pits?

antiperspirant vs deodorant

Antiperspirants and deodorants serve similar functions with different approaches. How do you know which is the right one to use, and when?

What’s the Difference?

If you want to figure out whether you should be using deodorant or antiperspirant, you’ll want to start with how they differ.


The goal of antiperspirant is to protect armpits from both sweat and odor. Sweat reduction is the primary target, and reducing the volume of sweat, has a secondary effect of reducing the resulting odor.

Antiperspirants work by blocking pores on the outer layer of the skin. When you roll, spray, or rub on the antiperspirant, the active materials clog sweat-producing pores. As a result, less sweat can force its way through the area of application.

Aluminum salts are one of the most common ingredients, as they are able to reduce the sweat flow even further. Aluminum-free antiperspirants exist but are often less effective for this reason.


When it’s time to tackle smelly armpits, deodorant gets its chance to shine. Deodorant works by killing odor-causing bacteria on the skin. When sweat breaks out, this bacteria acts upon it, releasing the telltale body odor. Deodorants have ingredients including ethanol or antimicrobial agents that specifically target these bacteria. As a result, you can sweat without making a stink about it.


Many deodorants also have some sweat-reducing properties, but that is still better accomplished by antiperspirants.

Which is Right for Me?

Deciding which approach is right for you depends on your specific challenges. If your main concern is odor, deodorant may be sufficient. If you find that even with deodorant, you’re still experiencing smelly pits, take a look at how often you reapply.

“Long-lasting” and “24-hour protection” are common claims on deodorant sticks. And while those claims may be true for some, the biology of our bodies differ from one person to the next. Even if your stick claims all-day protection, you may need to reapply several times a day. Experiment with more frequent applications before upgrading to medical-grade.

If your main goal is sweat reduction, antiperspirant is your best bet for sweaty armpits. As the name suggests, it’s made specifically to fight perspiration. As with deodorant, some people may find they need to apply multiple times per day, whereas others can get by with a single use.

Keep in mind: You may have different needs from one day to the next. You don’t have to categorize yourself as either a deodorant person or an antiperspirant person.

antiperspirant vs deodorant

Depending on your needs and circumstances, you may find yourself on “team deodorant” one day, and “team antiperspirant” the next. For instance, many people use deodorant on less active days and switch over when they’re exercising or under more stress.

Enhance the Effectiveness of Antiperspirants & Deodorants

moisture wicking t shirt

Regardless of which team you’re on, you can always use a little more backup. If you want to make them more effective, consider moisture-wicking t-shirts and undershirts. These shirts use advanced fabric technology to help keep your pits dry and odor-free.

Breathable materials allow for more airflow, keeping armpits cool and reducing sweat production. It also makes the armpit environment less hospitable to odor-causing bacteria. 

Then they strike a double-blow with sweat-wicking capabilities. This moisture-wicking material discreetly removes sweat before armpit stains and odor can occur. 

At Neat Apparel, we use only the most advanced moisture-wicking fabrics to provide results without sacrificing comfort. Shop the best sweatproof shirts and undershirts!