Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Favorite Antiperspirant - A Review

Well now that I finally got the whole Paraben story out of the way and the overblown misguided information that peppered the internet about the connection between Parabens in antiperspirants, personal care products and breast cancer, I want to share with you about my favorite antiperspirant after trying many over the years.

Remembering When

I remember when I was young there were all these different neat choices offered to a teenage girl. As I began purchasing personal care products for myself, it made me feel so grown up and cool. All the neat bottles decorated my vanity and allowed me to have freedom of choice instead of what my mom thought I should use. Teenage independence can be such a rewarding time in ones life. It also was when I began my journey in trying everything in personal care products that came on the market.

I was a very athletic person for most of my name I did it. We lived on the water with a boat docked right out our backyard and had a swimming pool so I water skied, swam, sailed, snow skied, played softball, basketball and my favorite past time was riding and competing in three day eventing with my horse. Aside from being in the water, all of these other activities of course caused me to perspire something awful. Well that is putting it mildly...when you're a teenager, face it, we don't perspire, we flat out sweat and combined with horse sweat and the odor...OMG....I think you get the smelly drift!

My parents use to place a lot of distance between me and them when I would come in from being at the stables or out playing some kind of sport. Or people I would run into would have this funny look on their face, look at their watch and then head for the exit. I did the armpit check and the breath check thing by breathing into my cupped hand....then shrugged and went about my day figuring it isn't me. My friends on the other hand really didn't notice since....well they pretty much stunk too since we were all into the same activities. Plus...we didn't care much about that stuff....sports... that's the ticket, and we were driven by extreme competitive behavior, and for some unknown reason we could never seem to smell the odor on ourselves....go figure!

I then began to enjoy the same wafting aromas from my own teenage daughter and son when they would come home from a day of heavy activity. I don't know what it is, whether it is hormones combined with perspiration but there is nothing worse than a sweaty teenager, something I only learned of once I had a pair of them myself. My first words would be at the end of the day, "Love Ya....head for the shower, need a shower, take that shower". Pretty much life would come to a jarring stop in our household until my teenage children freshened up since it literally permeated the house. And you know what, they couldn't smell what we were smelling either.... weird how that works.

Both are grownups now and are into different things other than working up that daily sweat because they have jobs now! What I wouldn't give today to have my sweaty, stinky teenagers overwhelm me with their presence....but husband and I are the abandoned parents...empty nest syndrome...I literally had no idea how hard it would be and it still is on certain days. Missing my kids.

The Antiperspirant that works

Anyhoo...getting back to my review here. After trying every choice you could possibly find on the drugstore shelf...I mean from Soft and Dri...remember that one?....It was promoted to the teen what seems to be the original...Secret for women and all the different types in between. Then you had a choice of application....
  • Aerosol, the gag factor as you were enveloped in a rolling fog of chemicals.
  • Roll-on, the messy one that never seemed to dry and only created hard cracked fabric in the underarm area of your shirt.
  • Stick Solid, left the lovely white lines on the waist of your shirt as you pulled it on over your head then you spent the next 10 minutes trying to get it out.
  • Invisible Gel, remaining pretty much undetectable until the armpit area of your shirt turned yellow.
  • Invisible Push-up Cream, worked the best for not staining clothes but ultimately didn't do much for keeping away wetness.
Most worked for a while to a degree and one that I found to be particularly great at the time as a young adult was Mitchum for women. Now this brand had staying power for blocking odor and not bad at keeping me marginally dry, but I still had breakthrough wetness. Their slogan was "so powerful, you can even skip a day." And they weren't kidding! It really worked well for keeping you feeling fresh, but that was it.

Isn't there anything that really can stop the wetness???

Yep...I Present The Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Collection.

At first I thought after seeing the commercials for these prescription strength products "here's another gimmick and it won't really work like they claim."

I decided to visit my local drugstore and looked at Secret Clinical Strength. Then I saw the price tag and just about fell over from the cost....nearly $12.00....for an antiperspirant!? I mean this was a huge jump from my $2.00 price tag I would otherwise pay.

Then I noticed that Dove offered their version of the same thing sitting right next to it on the shelf. Still a big leap in price of $7.95 compared to it's basic version but it was just about a third less than Secret and I had used it before and liked the Original Clean formula. Since they had this same scent in the prescription strength I opted to give it a try and see if what I had been seeing on television was really going to stop wetness breakthrough.

With the first application I was amazed...this stuff really worked. I mean literally, I stayed dry in 100 degree heat with zero sweat coming through my shirt. The product goes on smooth and clear even though it is a white push up cream and doesn't destroy my clothes after long term use. I have been using this antiperspirant / deodorant since last summer. The fresh scent is subtle but works fantastic for controlling odor and pretty much continues to work into the next day.

This product is so good at repelling and preventing wetness that when I shower the next day, it resists washing off even with soap. It usually takes several lathers to remove it completely. The odd thing about its use is it is recommended to put on before bed instead of the next day due to the glandular activity slowing down. Now personally this does not work for me since I shower every morning, but even with applying after my armpits were dry, it did a fine job. Just make sure your underarms are completely dry before applying. Also what I discovered, if you apply it after a workout it doesn't seem to do its job very well. It is almost as though you can't have done something that gets those sweat glands to flowing. So unless you shower right out of bed and then apply, it won't work as well. I guess there is something to this glandular thing.

Now if Secret is your bag and you don't mind the higher price tag then go for that one, however, label comparisons pretty much showed them to be the same product as far as ingredient lists go.

I also believe I saw another brand enter the prescription arena and it was Degree. There is also another one that Dermatologists are recommending as exceptional for those with axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating of the underarms) since they will not find these others to work for them. It is called CertainDri and suggested retail is $5.50. Also on their website are a couple of quirky commercials you can view for your entertainment, plus alot of great information for staying dry.

Comparisons: I have to say Dove Clinical Protection wins hands down for me in terms of the ingredient list. Though very similar I am not crazy about petrolatum, yet Microcrystalline Wax is a derivative of de-oiling petrolatum, but I think it justs sounds fancier so I like it better, if that makes sense. I also don't care for some of the unrecognizable ingredients including Butyl Ether which is used in fuels and butane and is explosive and highly flammable...I am pretty sure I don't want my underarms to blow up. Dove at least offers up an ingredient list I can understand for the most part and my armpits won't explode.

There are times when my brains seem to ooze from my ears as I try to comprehend why companies use ingredients that are tres bizarre like Butyl Ether....I just don't get it.....Where are my safer Parabens? ;~P

Secret Clinical Strength

Active Ingredients: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly (20%)
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Petrolatum, Cyclodextrin, C18 36 Acid Triglyceride, Fragrance, PPG 14 Butyl Ether

Dove Clinical Protection
Active Ingredients: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly (20%)
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentadecanolide, Dimethicone, Microcrystalline Wax, C18 36 Acid Triglyceride, Silica, Fragrance (Parfum), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, BHT

Active Ingredients: Aluminum Chloride 12%.
Inactive Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Water.

Very basic formula and talk about pure as far as chemicals...there really aren't any except for the Active Ingredient, yet guaranteed to stop perspiration cold. Here are the directions and you are advised to apply only at bedtime also and it won't wash off in the shower....very interesting!


Because of its therapeutic ingredient, CertainDri Anti-perspirant is used differently from all other anti-perspirants. Apply only at bedtime. It will not wash off the next day, even after bathing. Like other therapeutic products, CertainDri Anti-perspirant should be applied sparingly. You may apply a deodorant over it if you choose. Read package insert for detailed instructions.

I may just have to give CertainDri a try. Not sure if it will perform, but everything I am reading on the internet implies that it does a fantastic job for staving off wetness. It also seems to be unscented which may not be a good thing since I do love my Original Clean scent from Dove.

And did you notice no Parabens in any of these products?.....Tada! But in all these ingredients you may be wondering what keeps them from going bad? Dove uses is an antioxidant and prevents rancidity from happening.

Basically without the addition of some sort of aqueous solution, perservatives typically are unnecessary since liquid emulsions are how bacteria and mold begin. Another reason to make sure your underarms are completely dry when you apply to prevent the beginning of contamination of the product.

Also, the fact they are for the most part, in airtight containers and the product is delivered in single doses, preservatives aren't needed. Not really sure why Parabens were ever used in these products to begin with except to prolong shelf life and as a precaution for keeping products fresh for the consumer.

I do have a small concern about CertainDri since they have included water and it isn't even listed as sterile water. Sodium bicarbonate is a stabilizer but it is only known to prevent mold not kill bacteria. So this may require further info from the company in regard to safety from contamination.

Also, prices on these products have softened a bit since I began using these last year and Secret and Dove are pretty close in price now, fluctuating between $7 and $10 depending on where you buy them.

So that's my review and just another day in my life!

Have a great weekend and try to stay dry as a heat wave extends across the nation!
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