Choosing a Deodorant for Sensitive Skin – What You Need to Know

Jenna Jolls

Sensitive skin requires special products to target skin problems without irritating the skin any further. It means no harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients, which may cause further flare-ups and nuisance. Deodorants are required to maintain good hygiene and keep bad body odors away. But looking for a deodorant for sensitive skin poses a problem when you do not even know what you are looking for.

Thousands of deodorants are sold in the market and all of them have varying ingredients. As a person with sensitive skin, which one will you choose? Obviously, you cannot get something off the shelf just because its packaging looks enticing or because the price is cheaper. However, you need to know the ingredients to avoid in your deodorant product of choice so that you can pick the best deodorant for sensitive skin.

What Causes Underarm Irritation?

Many things cause underarm irritation. You cannot just focus on one factor alone and say that it’s the culprit of your sensitive underarms. Here are some causes of underarm irritation that you need to take note of:

  1. Winter - Yes, the winter season brings about many underarm irritation complaints, especially for those with delicate skin. The weather generally affects our skin, especially when temperatures become extreme. Dryness occurs during temperature changes and this leads to underarm irritation. Use of natural products like shea butter or coconut oil can be applied to underarm skin in the winner to prevent dryness if you face this issue.
  2. Clothing - What you wear can also irritate your underarms. It can even lead to armpit rashes, according to Healthline.com. Tight clothing made from synthetic materials, for example, does not allow sweat to escape from your armpits. It will cause sweat to pool in your underarms and lead to skin sensitivity and body odor.
  3. Poor Hygiene - Poor hygiene can either be under cleaning or over-cleaning the underarms. When you do not clean it properly, odor causing bacteria can dwell on the skin, causing irritation and odor. Conversely, when you clean it too much, you remove even the good bacteria and natural oils, leading to skin dryness and irritation.
  4. Incorrect Shaving - Shaving plays an important role in maintaining your underarm’s health too. As a matter of fact, a study shows that shaving and waxing can significantly reduce underarm odors. However, you need to be careful when you shave your underarms. Dry shaving is strongly prohibited as it damages your underarm skin and may cause shaving cuts.
    Make sure to use a natural and gentle shaving cream or gel. This product will protect your skin from the razor. Also, shave or wax at night and do not apply any deodorant after waxing so that your skin can properly heal.
  5. Deodorant - Some people never thought that their deodorants are the culprits to their underarm irritation. A deodorant for sensitive skin needs to have gentle ingredients to keep a healthy skin microbiome and prevent irritation.

Ingredients to Avoid When Choosing a Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates deodorant as a cosmetic product. Being categorized as such, the ingredients used (except for some color additives) in making deodorants do not undergo FDA premarket approval. Cosmetic companies have the sole discretion in choosing the ingredients they want to include on their products as long as they take responsibility for the safety of their manufactured goods.

Checking the ingredients of your deodorant depends on you. But to help you with it, we provide a list of harsh ingredients that you need to avoid when choosing a deodorant for sensitive skin.

  1. Alcohol - Most deodorants contain alcohol because it helps the product to dry out quickly when applied. But when you have sensitive skin, this ingredient should be avoided at all costs. It is common knowledge that alcohol is harsh and drying on the skin. It will further aggravate sensitive skin and can lead to burning sensation, redness, and itchiness. So the next time you grab that deodorant from the grocery shelf, check if it is alcohol-free or not.
  2. Aluminum - Technically, deodorants do not usually contain aluminum. However, you might be using an antiperspirant and these products do contain aluminum. Aluminum found in antiperspirant deodorant products is used to temporarily inhibit sweat by covering the sweat ducts, acting as a form of antiperspirant protection. While useful, it can cause skin irritation problems in your underarms, irritating your body's natural sweat glands.
  3. Fragrance - The fragrance is nice for those concerned about underarm odor, prioritizing odor protection in their deodorant products. Fragrance can work to hide body odor and gives you more confidence. Unfortunately, it can also lead to sensitivity reactions and irritations. Scents are protected under trade laws. Thus, we cannot dig deeper into the fragrances included in our cosmetics. But you may check the ingredient list for words like perfume, parfum, or fragrance. If fragrance is present, it is best to simply ditch the product and choose a fragrance-free, natural deodorant.
  4. Phthalates - Phthalates are common in many personal care products. It is usually present in products where fragrance is present. Phthalates help the fragrance to stick better to the skin so that the smell lingers for a longer time. Though it serves its purpose, phthalates pose a greater danger to humans than advantages. It has a negative effect on the function of testosterone in the body. This can lead to impaired reproductive ability in males. It can also affect fetal development in pregnant women.
  5. Preservatives - The most common preservative among deodorants is parabens. Parabens can irritate your underarm, especially when you just finished shaving or waxing. (Hence, it is best to shave at night and forego deodorant application to let the skin heal.) You can distinguish a paraben ingredient when you look at the ingredients list. Whenever you see an ingredient name ending with -paraben like propylparaben, stop using it.

Do’s and Don’ts for Underarm Sensitivity

What You Need to Do

  • Wear loose clothing with breathable fabric as much as possible. Cotton makes a good choice for fabric.
  • When washing your clothes, use a gentle and fragrance-free detergent.
  • Use essential oils rather than perfumes if you want some scent.
  • Shave or wax appropriately.
  • Check the ingredients label of the deodorant for sensitive skin.
  • Look for a deodorant created with mild formula and safe ingredients.

How to Choose a Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

A study published in 2016 found out that the armpit microbiome can be easily predicted and strongly influenced by the use of deodorants and antiperspirants. The underarm bacteria are composed of both good and bad. As a matter of fact, an infection among athletes called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) often attacks the underarms. Having said that, it is important to choose the correct deodorant formulation so that the armpit microbiome remains healthy.

Technically, using the same deodorant for a long time is not advisable. The bacteria in your armpits can develop immunity from your deodorant, especially when you’re using it for years. It is recommended to switch deodorant every 6 months to prevent deodorant intolerance. However, this is only necessary if you use deodorants with the wrong ingredients.

With recent technology in the field of cosmetics, choosing the best deodorant for sensitive skin has never been made easier.

Deodorant with Probiotics

Probiotics improve the skin’s microbiome. Since probiotics are made up of good bacteria that help maintain healthy skin, it becomes an integral part of an enhanced deodorant formulation. Our patented AO+ Restorative Mist is a multifunctional Mist that contains live and active bacteria and doubles as a deodorant and skin mist.

The patented ingredient in our AO+ Restorative Mist, live AOB, interacts with elements naturally found in your sweat to produce two powerful byproducts - Nitrite and Nitric Oxide - that are essential to a balanced skin microbiome

Free from Harsh Irritants and Ingredients

The primary focus when choosing a deodorant for sensitive skin is to stay away from irritants and harmful ingredients, looking for more natural ingredient inclusions. Skin products made from harsh chemicals strip away your skin’s healthy bacteria and natural oils and thus leads to irritation.

Suitable for Sensitive Skin

Choose a formula that suits your skin type. Some deodorants are great for dry skin, while others are not. Conversely, some deodorants are suitable for all skin types. Whether you're shopping for a deodorant stick, deodorant cream, or even crystal deodorant, it is best to choose a deodorant compatible with all skin types if you are unsure of your skin type.

Final Thoughts

Individuals with sensitive skin need a special deodorant that addresses body odor while ensuring the underarms do not become irritated. Checking the ingredients label proves to significantly improve overall underarm health because you can stay away from deodorants with harmful chemicals.

Also, make sure that you apply the do’s and don’ts we have suggested in this blog post. The proper underarm care routine, along with the best deodorant for sensitive skin, will ensure that your armpit microbiome restores its balance. It will further improve the dryness and other skin problems you might have.

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