Finding an antiperspirant that is both effective and safe for sensitive skin can be a challenge.
It’s important to remember that it’s best to get your doctor’s approval with any antiperspirant, even over-the-counter ones. And before trying a new product on sensitive skin, do a patch test to make sure you don’t experience irritation or an allergic reaction.
Learn more about what to look for in an antiperspirant, how they work, and whether they are safe.
5 things to look for in an antiperspirant for sensitive skin
1. Contains aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex and aluminum sesquichlorohydrate
Products with these ingredients not only provide more sweat protection but also cause less irritation.
- Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex:
- Blocks sweat ducts at a more superficial level compared with other products.
- Produces much less hydrochloric acid (HCl), which is a chemical that causes skin irritation.
- Aluminum sesquichlorohydrate:
- Used in some of the newest antiperspirants in the market, and also considered good for sensitive skin.
Aluminum salts in antiperspirants are sometimes dissolved in alcohol to make them dry quickly and feel cooling to the skin. However, alcohol can lead to excessive dryness and irritate sensitive skin.
Parabens can cause skin irritation, especially in the underarm area.
If you are sensitive to perfume or fragrance or have a history of eczema, it’s a good idea to try a fragrance-free antiperspirant.
5. Comes in cream form
Antiperspirant creams that come in jars or tubes are often packed with ingredients that hydrate the skin, which can minimize irritation.
How do antiperspirants work?
Antiperspirants help decrease sweat production. Active ingredients, such as aluminum salts, dissolve into the moisture on the skin’s surface. This forms a gel, which temporarily sits on top of the sweat gland, blocking the amount of sweat released.
Some antiperspirants also contain deodorant properties, such as antimicrobials that work to kill odor-causing bacteria. Slowing bacterial growth neutralizes bad smells, which means you smell fresh for longer.
Are antiperspirants safe?
Years ago, concerns were raised as to whether antiperspirants and deodorants may be linked to breast cancer. However, thorough testing and studies have shown that antiperspirants are not damaging to health and are both effective and safe for regular use.
Like any other ingredients used in cosmetics, aluminum salts are strictly regulated and subject to stringent safety controls and scientific testing. So, whether you prefer conventional antiperspirants or aluminum-free deodorants, you can be confident that they are safe for use on the body.
If you have sensitive skin, consider the following precautions when using antiperspirants:
- Avoid applying antiperspirants to mucus membranes (mouth, nose, eyelids, genitals, anus).
- Antiperspirants can cause irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, and skin around the underarm area is particularly prone to developing these reactions because it is thin, delicate, moist, and occluded. If you think you may be allergic to a certain ingredient, consider using less concentrated formulas.
- In rare cases where a hair follicle is blocked over a long period, a cyst may develop. Infected cysts can damage sweat ducts and form painful hard lumps that may need to be surgically removed.
- People at risk of developing a reaction to an antiperspirant include those with:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
International Hyperhidrosis Society. Antiperspirant Basics. https://www.sweathelp.org/hyperhidrosis-treatments/antiperspirants/antiperspirant-basics.html
Massick S. No, You Shouldn’t Worry About Aluminum in Your Antiperspirant. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/aluminum-deoderant
Top What Is the Best Antiperspirant for Sensitive Skin Related Articles
Fish Odor Syndrome (Trimethylaminuria)Fish odor syndrome (trimethylaminuria) is a genetic disorder in which the symptoms of the syndrome include offensive body odor and the smell of rotting fish due to the excessive excretion of trimethylaminuria in the urine, sweat, and breath. There is no cure for fish odor syndrome.
Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis)Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the underarms, palms, or soles of the feet. Treatment may involve over-the-counter antiperspirants, prescription antiperspirants, iontophoresis, medications, surgery, and Botox.
Sweating (Hidrosis) SlideshowWhat makes you sweat (hidrosis)? Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) has many potential causes, including spicy food, smoking, drinking, hot flashes, anger, stress, anxiety, falling in love, and exercise. Learn why we sweat, how the body perspires, tips to control sweating, and more.
Is There A Cure for Fish Odor Syndrome?Fish odor syndrome or trimethylaminuria is a condition characterized by a fishy body odor that is released in the sweat, urine, breath, and reproductive fluids due to excessive excretion of trimethylamine. People with this condition cannot break down trimethylamine, a chemical found in certain foods.
Night sweats are severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. The causes of night sweats in most people are not serious, like menopause in women, sleep apnea, medications, alcohol withdrawal, and thyroid problems. However, more serious diseases like cancer and HIV also can cause night sweats. Your doctor will treat your night sweats depending upon the cause.
You may experience other signs and symptoms that are associated with night sweats, which depend upon the cause, but may include, shaking, and chills with a fever caused by an infection like the flu or pneumonia; unexplained weight loss due to lymphoma; women in perimenopause or menopause may also have vaginal dryness, mood swings, and hot flashes during the day; and low blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Other causes of night sweats include medications like NSAIDs (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), antidepressants, sildenafil (Viagra), and abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and drug withdrawal; hormone disorders like pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome; idiopathic hyperhidrosis; infections like endocarditis, AIDs, and abscesses; alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal; drug abuse, addiction, and withdrawal; and stroke.
A doctor or other health care professional can treat your night sweats after the cause has been diagnosed.
Skin RashThe word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different skin conditions. The most common of these are scaly patches of skin and red, itchy bumps or patches all over the place.
Skin Picture QuizCould you identify a scabies infestation? Take the Skin Diseases Pictures Quiz and learn to identify common conditions that plague human skin.
Surprising Reasons You're ItchyFind out some unexpected causes of your itchiness, such as thyroid problems, cancer treatments, pregnancy, diabetes, and more.
Skin Problems and Treatments: Easy Everyday Tips for EczemaAlthough there’s no way to get rid of eczema for good, plenty of things you do each day can soothe and protect your skin. And that means less itching. Click through these tips and see which ones you can make part of your daily routine.
Sweating QuizWhat is the medical term for excessive sweating? Take the Sweating (Perspiration) Quiz to learn the benefits of sweating. Yes, there are benefits!
What Is the Best Product for Sweaty Feet?Having extremely sweaty feet is called plantar hyperhidrosis, and it can be very inconvenient. The feet may get soggy causing slippers to slip off. Other times, it may ruin the person’s shoes. People with sweaty feet may always experience cold feet because their feet are always wet. They also leave damp footprints while walking barefoot.
Skin & Your HealthSkin problems are often the first signs of serious underlying health problems. Diabetes, lupus, hepatitis C and lung cancer are all illnesses that can relate to various skin disorders.
When to Be Concerned About Night Sweats?An individual should be concerned about night sweats when they have been ongoing for two weeks or longer.