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Solid and Stick

 –  To help control underarm wetness and fight the bacteria that cause body odor, there are many antiperspirants and deodorants to choose from. Aerosols and roll-ons have been in use since the 1950s, but when solid and stick brands were placed on the market in the late 1970s, they instantly became the most popular. Today, they represent the majority of the brands, styles and scents on the market.
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Why Solid and Stick?

There are good reasons that solid and stick antiperspirants and deodorants have come to be the most widely used: Their convenience, effectiveness in controlling wetness and odor, control of application and their economy of use make them an easy choice for a man's personal care regimen. Unlike other styles of application, solids and sticks do not create an aerosol cloud of particles. They also go on dry – no more flapping your arms to avoid causing stains on your clothing. Their shape allows them to be used on precisely the right area, so they can deliver their effective ingredients right where they can do their job.

The Problem with Perspiration

Sweat is good. It helps cool down skin when the weather gets hot or during strenuous activity. There are actually two different kinds of perspiration, produced by different types of sweat glands. The eccrine glands emit a sweat that is primarily water, with some electrolytes, including salt and potassium. The apocrine glands produce a thicker, milky perspiration that contains proteins, fatty acids and pheromones – what makes men smell like men. The apocrine perspiration, combined with natural oils and dead, shed skin cells, makes a rich environment for bacteria, particularly in the warm and moist arm pits. It is the waste products from these bacteria colonies that causes body odor.

How Stick Deodorants and Antiperspirants Work

Before modern deodorants, body odor was simply hidden with strong scents. Now, the approach is more direct: Stop the causes of body odor at their source by attacking bacteria and reducing the amount of perspiration that helps them thrive. The formula of active antibacterial ingredients in deodorants varies, depending upon each brand, but alcohol is used in some solid gels and aluminum salts in other stick brands. Some natural formulas use salt crystals or botanical extracts, such as witch hazel, with antibacterial effects. To reduce the amount of perspiration being produced, antiperspirants often use an aluminum zirconium compound to create a gel plug in the sweat gland ducts themselves. Easily reversed with a warm, soapy wash, these plugs help prevent wetness as well.

Take Your Pick

Although all antiperspirants and deodorants are formulated to perform the same tasks, each brand offers its own variation of active ingredients, carriers, scents and even colors. For men who find alcohol-based antibiotic formulas irritating or who are sensitive to the aluminum zirconium compounds, there are other formulas, just as effective, to choose from. Decide if you need extra sports-strength protection or a natural, lightly scented product to wear at work. Whatever you want for your personal care, there is an antiperspirant and deodorant that meets your needs.

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