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History of Deodorants

Deodorant for Men and Women


Much before the present day cosmetics became an integral part of our daily routine, humankind always sought different ways to mask the odour that comes along with perspiration. Body odour has always been a source of embarrassment in workplaces and social gatherings. Body odour is released when bacteria interacts with sweat produced by the sweat glands present in the armpits, feet and other areas.




To address this global problem, cosmetologists have researched and developed two types of products; Regular Deodorants and Antiperspirants. Ordinary deodorants are equipped with ingredients that immediately kill the bacteria on contact, before the bacteria can interact with the sweat and produce body odour. These deodorants do not restrict the quantity of sweat – they only restrict the formation of bacteria. Antiperspirants interact with the sweat glands and actually prevent the creation of sweat by clogging the sweat glands with temporary salts that slowly melt away after some time.

The first antiperspirant made its debut as early as 1988. It was called ‘Mum’ and was waxy in nature, thus making it difficult to apply and remove. Everdy, an aluminum chloride based antiperspirant became extremely popular and started moving off the shelves rapidly. As the 19th century neared its end, deodorants took the shapes of powders, dabbers, creams and roll-ons.



During the 1950’s, manufacturers made a major innovation in antiperspirants by deploying aerosol technology by filling the fragrances in cans with sprays. By the 1970’s, over 80% of antiperspirants and deodorants incorporated this technology. However, around 1977, government agencies took a strict approach and banned the use of aluminum zirconium complexes, the key ingredient of the aerosols. Soon, aerosol deodorants became less popular, and stick deodorants started taking their place. Today, stick deodorants and antiperspirants are popular both in terms of sales and application convenience.