I'd like to understand what common ingredients in deodorants contribute to the inhibiting growth of odour creating bacteria.

I'm only looking for a handful of the most obvious chemicals, but I'd like answers with good referenced sources.

I've searched through Google but just find a frustrating plethora of dubious information. Every man and his dog has an answer making money from adverts on their on "DIY deodorant recipes" , so hiding good material. I can't think what other references I might provide besides chemistry 101 and a beginner's guide to biology!

My only other approach would be to buy all modern deodorants and compile a list of chemicals and their likely functions. But even that varies from country to country. I hope someone can save me months of work! :)



1 Answer 1


Just as aluminium compounds such as:

are the antiperspirant active ingredient in deodourants, antibacterials are the active aspect of odour reduction.

Antibacterial ingredients work to eliminate the bacteria that cause bad odours from areas where sweat is common. Many types of deodourants use alcohol ingredients that kill bacteria, while others use artificial chemicals such as triclosan (Source: ChemService)

Triclosan is used in a number of personal care products including toothpaste. Many people have been critical of this chemical in over-the-counter products. However, the FDA explained that it is not known to cause harm to humans and has been proven to be beneficial in some circumstances, such as fighting gingivitis.

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