This article addresses whether some plants contain sufficient bioactive phtyochemicals that could function as ‘natural’ antiperspirants when applied from a topical formulation.
The terms antiperspirant and deodorant are often used interchangeably in publications, but this is confusing, as there are true differences between them, especially with respect to regulatory classification, functionality, and the types of ingredients currently used. The first step, therefore, is to briefly understand the current state of the art.
Antiperspirants versus deodorants
In the US, antiperspirants are classified as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a drug as “an article intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and/or an article (other than food) intended to affect the structure or function of the human body and/or an article intended for use as