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The Anatomy of a Formula—Antiperspirants

By: Eric S. Abrutyn
Posted: August 11, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The fourth category of AP ingredients is comprised of miscellaneous additives—which represent a catch basin for functionally optional ingredients. Examples include: talc, cornstarch, silica, fragrances, antioxidants, chelating agents, colorants, botanicals (that are usually tied to a specific claim) and odor-controlling agents.

Trends in APs

Although limited AP innovation currently is taking place, there is room for it in the market, especially in relation to consumer-perceivable improvements. Consumers seek brands that offer extended protection against body odor and perspiration. Therefore, the AP industry is formulating products with “long-lasting” claims that involve the duration of the fragrance. With the emergence of niche markets, AP marketers have begun to target niche-market consumers globally—with, for example, organic lines in Europe, non-whitening formulas in Asia, eco-friendly lines in Latin America and clinical strength/prescription-like over-the-counter products. For years, the primary focus of AP products has been on minimizing wetness, with the secondary focus being on odor protection. More recently, the trend has been to focus first on odor protection and then on wetness protection. One possible reasons for this change are efforts by marketing to meet consumer demand for differentiation in the available product offerings and the successful consumer response to “deo-cologne” deodorant sprays.

Finally, with the natural movement, APs are going green. Since the AP product category is regulated in the U.S. and other countries as a drug, there is limited opportunity to develop natural AP actives. Therefore, the “natural” push has primarily focused on deodorant claims.


  1. K Laden and C Felger, “Antiperspirant and Deodorants,” vol 7 in Cosmetic Science and Technology, Marcel Dekker Inc.: New York (1988) pp 3–5
  2. K Laden, Antiperspirant and Deodorants, 2nd ed, Marcel Dekker Inc.: New York (1999)
  3. RJ Scott and ME Turney, Volatile Silicones in Suspensoid AP Sticks, J Soc Cosmet Chem, 30(3/4), 137–156 (1979)
  4. IB Chang and RA Smith, AP Sticks, Cosmet Toil, 104, 115–124 (1989)

Eric Abrutyn is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, an advisory board member for C&T magazine, and chairman of the Personal Care Products Council’s International Nomenclature (INCI) Committee. Recently retired from Kao Brands, Abrutyn founded TPC2 Advisors Ltd., Inc., a personal care consulting business. Abrutyn has more than 35 years of experience in the raw material supplier and skin and hair care manufacturer aspects of personal care.