Human perspiration is largely odorless until it is fermented by bacteria. Bacteria thrive in hot, humid environments. The human underarm is among the most consistently warm areas on the surface of the human body, and sweat glands provide moisture, which when excreted, has a vital cooling effect. When adult armpits are washed with alkaline pH soaps, the skin loses its acid mantel (pH 4.5 - 6), raising the skin pH and disrupting the skin barrier. Bacteria thrive in high pH or base environments. Creating such an environment in the armpit makes it more susceptible to bacterial colonization. The bacteria feed on the sweat from the apocrine glands and on dead skin and hair cells, releasing 3-methyl-2-hexenoic acid in their waste, which is the primary cause of body odor. Underarm hair wicks the moisture away from the skin and aids in keeping the skin dry enough to prevent or diminish bacterial colonization. The hair is less susceptible to bacterial growth and therefore is ideal for preventing the bacterial odor.
Deodorants are substances applied to the body to eliminate body odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration. A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, prevent odor and reduce sweat produced by parts of the body. Antiperspirants are typically applied to the underarms, while deodorants may also be used on feet and other areas in the form of body sprays. Deodorants are classified and regulated as cosmetics by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Deodorants that act as antiperspirants are classified as drugs by the FDA.
The first commercial deodorant, Mum, was introduced and patented in the late nineteenth century by an inventor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, whose name has been lost to history. The product was briefly withdrawn from the market in the U.S. It is once again available at retailers in the U.S. under the brand Ban. The modern formulation of the antiperspirant was patented by Jules Montenier on January 28, 1941. This formulation was first found in "Stopette" deodorant spray, which Time Magazine called "the best-selling deodorant of the early 1950s". Stopette was later eclipsed by many other brands as the 1941 patent expired.
Deodorants and adverse toxicity
A small percentage of people are allergic to aluminium and may experience contact dermatitis when exposed to aluminium containing deodorants. A 1998 study stated the use of aluminium-containing antiperspirants has been linked with the systemic accumulation of aluminium which increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. A 2007 study stated personal care products are a potential contributor to the body burden of aluminium and newer evidence has linked breast cancer with aluminium-based antiperspirants. A 2008 study stated that no scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that deodorants and/or antiperspirants increase the incidence of breast cancer.
Types of deodorants
Kinds of Deodorants include the following:
- Roll-on deodorants are applied by rolling a ball-tipped bottle over the skin.
- Most brands are chiefly antiperspirants and meant for underarm application.
They are usually in a thick liquid form and are strongly scented.
- Deodorant sticks are soft solids or gels, usually hardened with sodium stearate.
- They may also contain propylene glycol, which enhances its ability to penetrate the skin.
- They are easier to apply because they do not drip and are easily absorbed.
- Deodorant sprays are applied on the underarms, chest, and other common odor sources.
- They are usually in thin liquid form and are sprayed in a fine mist.
- Not all brands contain antiperspirants, but most are strongly scented to neutralize body odor.
Global markets of deodorants
1. The global deodorants market grew by 3.6% in 2008 to reach a value of $11.5 billion.
2. In 2013, the global deodorants market is forecast to have a value of $13.5 billion, an increase of 17.7% since 2008.
3. The global deodorants market grew by 2.1% in 2008 to reach a volume of 3.4 billion units.
4. In 2013, the global deodorants market is forecast to have a volume of 3.8 billion units, an increase of 11.4% since 2008.