The Science of Beauty: How Does Antiperspirant Work?

Amanda Montell
PHOTO:

Urban Outfitters

In our new series, The Science of Beauty, we're going to do a bit more research into the making of a great beauty product. While we've talked about the textures, scents, and efficacy of our favorite formulas in our Reviewed series, this one is meant to feed the other side of the brain—the side we perhaps haven't tapped into since chemistry class. We'll talk science, experiments, and the ingredients that make each product work with experts in each specific field. Then we'll check back in with our favorite hair and makeup artists to get a breakdown on how to best use the products once they're out of the lab and back in our bathrooms.

First, we dove deep into the technology behind volumizing hair products (which are more incredible than we thought, as it turns out). The next beauty marvel we're exploring? Antiperspirant.

Have you ever had a day when you show up to work perfectly on time only to realize, "Oh no, I forgot to put on deodorant?" It's not a good day when all you can think about is whether or not your pit stains are visible. Until these moments, we take the modern miracle that is antiperspirant for granted. When something does its job as well as antiperspirant does, we often fail to stop and think, Wait a second—how does this ish actually work?

To find out the history and chemistry behind this skincare staple, we spoke with two top experts in the field: Dr. Alicia Barba, dermatologist at Dove, and Doug Tomczak, senior R&D manager at Unilever Deodorants. 

Keep scrolling for your nerdy beauty lesson of the day!

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