Antiperspirant vs Iontophoresis

Antiperspirant vs Iontophoresis

We’ve all tried seemingly countless antiperspirants and deodorants to try and keep sweat and odor from ruining our day.

While antiperspirants, often referred to as deodorants as many are 2-in-1 formulations, may be enough if you sweat very little, chances are if you sweat quite a bit, maybe even excessively in comparison to your peers, you may need something stronger to ensure you’re dry and fresh all day. If you have hyperhidrosis, a medical condition characterized by excessive sweating, or suspect it, then there’s no doubt you’ve never found an antiperspirant that left you confidently dry.

One option that is just as simple to use, and even more affordable in the long run, is iontophoresis treatment. If you’re unfamiliar with iontophoresis, we promise it’s harder to pronounce than actually doing the treatments! Keep on reading to learn more about the difference between antiperspirants and iontophoresis machines like Dermadry.

What is antiperspirant?

All antiperspirants contain some form of aluminum. While they each have slightly different reactions, and different concentrations and formulations, they all work in essentially the same way. 

Antiperspirants decrease sweating by creating temporary plugs that reduce sweat production in the region the antiperspirant is applied to. These plugs are temporary (generally lasting up to 24 hours, but sometimes longer) and are washed away over time, at which point reapplication is necessary. Some antiperspirants require a prescription because of their high aluminum concentration. 

Different types of aluminum have different strengths (chloride being the strongest) and different permissible concentrations without a prescription, as allowed by the FDA and other health regulatory agencies. The strongest form of aluminum found in antiperspirants is aluminum chloride, which can be sold without a prescription in up to 15% concentrations. Some milder forms of aluminum can be sold in up to 25% concentrations without a prescription.

Antiperspirant or deodorant?

Antiperspirants and deodorants are terms often used interchangeably, as they’re often sold in 2-in-1 formulations, but both products serve different purposes, and understanding the difference is crucial to maximizing their effectiveness. 

There is no such thing as aluminum-free antiperspirant, as aluminum is the active ingredient that reduces sweating. Deodorants on their own do not contain aluminum and may be labeled “aluminum-free”, which can be a bit misleading as no deodorants contain aluminum, unless they are paired with an antiperspirant.

  • Antiperspirant.= prevent sweating (perspiration). These products contain aluminum, which is the active ingredient that reduces sweating.
  • Deodorant = deodorize = prevent body odor. These products help you deodorize and smell better. They’re frequently included in traditional antiperspirant formulations. 

Dermadry Iontophoresis vs Antiperspirant

Antiperspirants haven’t undergone many developments since their introduction in 1903, which has left many with underwhelming results and sweat-stained shirts. Truth is, if you have hyperhidrosis, i.e. you sweat excessively all the time, usually from your underarms, as well as your hands & feet, then antiperspirants will not be effective enough for you.

Thankfully, a modern solution called Dermadry exists to help you get and stay dry and ditch your old antiperspirants for good. Learn more about Dermadry, a home-use iontophoresis machine, below.

Type of Treatment
Tap water iontophoresis
Aluminum antiperspirant
Areas Treated
Designed for the treatment of underarms, hands, and feet.
Optimized for underarm usage only.
Longevity of Product
One-time buy under warranty for 5 years.
Must be repurchased every few weeks.
Up to 10x more effective than the leading antiperspirant for even the most severe levels of sweating.
Only effective for mild levels of sweating.
How Long do Results Last
Up to 6 continuous weeks of dryness before having to do a top-up treatment.
Results last on average several hours to a day before reapplication is needed.
Monthly Cost
Our device can last 5 years, so when you break that down it’s only $11.35/month. It also treats sweating of the hands and feet at no extra cost.
Costs may vary but can easily be $20-$40/month, especially when you’re a heavy sweater that needs clinical strength or prescription antiperspirants, which can be expensive.
How does it work?
Iontophoresis is like an off-switch for your overactive sweat glands. Using water, a mild current is conducted to your skin, where the treatment electrode is placed. The signal that your body sends to your sweat glands is then diminished, which leads to less sweating. This effect can last up to 6 weeks before it’s redone.
The aluminum in the antiperspirant mixes with your sweat and creates little plugs in your sweat glands that wash away over time. As they wash away, the antiperspirant gradually loses its effectiveness.
Side Effects
Redness and tingling are the most reported side effects.
Burning, redness, irritation, itching. The higher concentration aluminum chloride can especially cause discomfort and burning in sensitive skin.
Clothes Staining
No staining to clothing, which saves your clothing and also eliminates
Yellowing and discolouration of clothing is also common, as these are caused by a reaction of aluminum and sweat. White product buildup and stains are also common on clothing.

What is iontophoresis?

Iontophoresis is a non-invasive, drug-free, and needle-free way to treat excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). It utilizes tap water and electrical current to temporarily stop the production of sweat, making it one of the few instances where mixing water and electricity is recommended! 

Iontophoresis treatment is done with a medical device, referred to as a tap water iontophoresis machine. It can be done in a clinical setting under medical supervision, but it is more commonly done at home with a compact and user-friendly home-use device, such as Dermadry.

Visit our iontophoresis page to learn more and shop Dermadry’s iontophoresis machine range below. It’s time to swap your antiperspirant for a more effective treatment to keep you dry all summer long and beyond!

How to use Dermadry to treat sweaty armpits

Back to blog