I tried some personal deodorants to avoid the smell of sweat, both in stick, no gas, gas sprays. Some can be washed away easily with body soap on the next day, some require either hair shampoo (because it is significantly harsher than body soap and washes much better) or to wait for two days for the effect to disappear by itself (whether the compounds break down or the compounds get transferred to the shirt is untested).

I don't like to have on me a product I cannot wash away, so I would like to know which compounds in the deo's I should check to avoid the sticky/unwashable effect.

The answer should list or indicate the compounds or rules in a way that people with little knowledge of chemistry can understand, like "the name comprises this string" or something like that. Generic classes which include compounds with a significantly different name is regarded as too complex.

Trying each product may work of course, but then quite some flacons would end up wasted or I would need to use products I don't like for a long time (one flacon lasts months, usually). Also, the composition may change.

  • $\begingroup$ Who voted this question down? It's a good question. $\endgroup$ – Bertram Dec 6 '19 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Especially without explaining the reason $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 7 '19 at 14:06

Regrettably, most deodorants work as antiperspirants, by clogging the pores of apocrine glands. These include salts of aluminum and zirconium, which hydrolyze (break up and combine with water). One example is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycosine complex, which works by forming a sticky, colloidal gel with water (and sweat). It's like the tale of the scorpion and the frog -- its their nature to act that way.

A bad alternative is deodorants with antibacterial compounds such as triclosan, which don't block sweating, but kill some odor-causing bacteria. Some of these antibacterials are endocrine disruptors, and all promote a population of antibacterial-resistant germs on the skin.

Traditionally, personal deodorants were just masking scents, and in 16th century Europe, flowers were worn to cover the stench... personal and environmental.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interestingly, the sticky effect is something I don't remember before about 5 years ago. Maybe the market has changed. I will test whether "48 hours" products present more or less of the effect. I will edit the answer in a couple of days to post a known "sticky" composition and a known "non-sticky" one. $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 9 '19 at 10:21
  • $\begingroup$ If those two solutions are the only solutions used in deodorants, I guess it's much better to stop using them. $\endgroup$ – FarO Dec 9 '19 at 10:22
  • $\begingroup$ @FarO, there are also masking scents, which are stronger than B.O. $\endgroup$ – DrMoishe Pippik Dec 10 '19 at 18:50

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