What Is the Difference: Clinical vs Regular Deodorant?

On your search for a new deodorant, you may have come across the term ‘clinical deodorant. On the surface, both look the same, but, in fact, both do have a different task to fulfill for you. Furthermore, both have different properties as well as ingredients.
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Check out our head-to-head comparison to find out which one’s best for you.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – what they’re there for

Both deodorant types have different tasks to take on for you. But before we look at those, let’s have a look at the cause of all evil – sweat – at first.

Sweating is a normal body function as it removes toxins from our body while it keeps us cool during physical activity or in hot weather. Even when we run a fever, sweat lowers the body temperature. Naturally, sweat doesn’t smell at all, albeit your armpits may speak a different language. That area may cause unwelcome body odor as your sweat contains fats and proteins.
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That’s only one part of the story. The other part is that there are bacteria naturally occurring on your skin and as such, they also live under your armpits. Since your armpits are usually in a warm place, bacteria like to grow a bit there. Let’s get back to body odor: once you produce sweat, its fats and proteins react with the bacteria living in your armpit. That’s what creates funny and entirely unwelcome body odors.

Due to physical conditions, such as hyperhidrosis, some people tend to sweat excessively more than others. Usually, people sweat for a reason as mentioned above. However, people suffering from hyperhidrosis sweat for no external reason. They may sit comfortably in a chair in cool temperatures and sweat as if they sat in the middle of a desert.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – how do they work?

A clinical deodorant isn’t going to do anything until you do sweat. But when you sweat it does react with your sweat to form a gel. This gel, in turn, will temporarily create a blockage on your hair follicles. The hair follicles are where sweat comes to the surface. Of course, it can’t come out if the exit is closed. Thus, you don’t sweat.

Regular deodorants contain antibacterial compounds to tackle the bacteria growth under your armpit. If there are fewer bacteria, you won’t have any funky body odor. Any remaining body odors are masked with fragrances.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – their ingredients

A clinical deodorant typically contain aluminum compounds. Some regular deodorants may also contain some of these aluminum compounds, but is their percentage not high enough to keep you from sweating. A regular deodorant may contain 5 % of aluminum compounds whereas a clinical deodorant use four times as much. Although their sole task is to keep you from sweating, they may also contain some fragrances to provide you with that fresh feeling. You can get both unscented and scented a clinical deodorant.

Regular deodorants often contain either alcohol or triclosan which are very effective at keeping bacteria growth at a manageable level. However, alcohol can make you sweat more while it can also irritate your skin. Triclosan has been found to cause bacteria to become resistant to it. Thus, both compounds are not the best choice. But there are other regular deodorants based on magnesium oil or salt to prevent bacteria growth. Since they’re supposed to mask body odors, they contain chemical fragrances or essential oils. Of course, there are also unscented deodorants.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – the best time to use

Deodorants are best used before you go to bed instead of in the morning. The reason simply is that you usually don’t sweat as much throughout the night. Hence, a clinical deodorant has got some time to develop its full effectiveness. It’s also important to note that they are best applied on dry skin. Clinical deodorant applied on wet skin won’t be nearly as effective as they should be.

You can use regular deodorants as often and at any time you please. But those also work best if applied on dry skin. They’re perfect to freshen up on hot summer days or after that workout.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – how long do they work?

Typically, clinical deodorants can work for as long as 48 hours. That’s quite a time frame and it may save you quite a few bucks compared to using regular deodorant.

24 hours are the time frame for regular deodorants to work. Imagine how many times you may have to use a regular deodorant in comparison to the clinical version.

Clinical vs regular deodorant – which one is best for me?

Whether a clinical or a regular deodorant is best for you depends entirely on yourself. If you live in a hot or even humid climate you may want to skip that regular deodorant and go for a clinical one instead. Those are also perfect to use when you’re an extremely active person or tend to be out and about for long hours. You’d not have to carry around some clothes to change in case of sweat stains.

For less active people that don’t sweat much in moderate climates, a regular deodorant will do the job just fine. Of course, this may not apply if you sweat excessively during menopause.

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