What is Antiperspirant Lotion?

Antiperspirant is a type of over-the-counter topical treatment for hyperhidrosis that dermatologists consider to be a first-line treatment, meaning it is the first thing they recommend trying once a patient decides to seek treatment for hyperhidrosis.[1] There are prescription strength antiperspirants available, but most people find that over-the-counter versions provide enough relief, especially when combined with other methods of managing excessive sweat. Antiperspirant is considered to be a drug according to the FDA, so its active ingredients are regulated by the government. It can be difficult to choose the right type of over-the-counter antiperspirant, but understanding the active ingredients in each product and how a product is supposed to be used can help people determine which antiperspirant is right for them. One important factor in determining which antiperspirant is right for you is deciding how you want to apply it. There are several ways that antiperspirant can be applied, among the most common are roll-on antiperspirants, stick antiperspirants, spray antiperspirants, wipes, and lotions.

While each type of antiperspirant application has its own advantages, antiperspirant lotion has several. First of all, hyperhidrosis doesn’t only affect a person’s underarms, it often causes excessive sweating on hands, feet, the face, and other areas of the body.[1] This is why lotion antiperspirants can be helpful - they are easier to apply to unconventional areas of the body that experience excessive sweating. Antiperspirant lotions also give the user more control when it comes to how much of a product they want to apply. Finally, depending on which formulation is used, antiperspirant lotions tend to leave less residue on clothing because it can be more thoroughly rubbed in and controlled. Several companies have come out with antiperspirant lotions, most notably, Carpe and SweatBlock. Each company uses a different active ingredient and is advantageous for different reasons. Here is a breakdown of each brand’s antiperspirant lotion and the pros and cons of each product.

Carpe Antiperspirant Lotion

Carpe antiperspirant lotion is marketed specifically for people who experience excessive sweating on multiple parts of the body, which is especially helpful for those with hyperhidrosis. Their lotions currently come in specific formulations for the hands, feet, and underarms, although their products can be safely used on other parts of the body. They use 15% aluminum sesquichlorohydrate as an active ingredient. Aluminum sesquichlorohydrate is a type of aluminum salt that is used to form a plug within sweat glands that prevents a person from producing sweat. It is a type of newer generation aluminum salt and it has been shown to be an effective antiperspirant ingredient. One study conducted independently by Carpe found that at least 50% of the people using Carpe lotion as a hand antiperspirant would receive at least a 20% reduction in sweat production. This was the minimum amount of benefit that participants received. The same study concluded that Carpe lotion was an effective antiperspirant, as participants experienced a median sweat reduction of 23.45% after three applications of Carpe lotion to their hands.[2] This is significant because it is generally more difficult to treat hand perspiration with antiperspirants than it is to treat underarm sweating. When Carpe lotion was tested for underarm sweating it was found that participants had a median sweat reduction of 60.35% when used twice a day consistently.[3] Carpe antiperspirant lotion is currently not approved for facial use, but a facial formulation of the product is currently in the works.

Carpe lotion does need to be applied multiple times a day for it to be most effective. For example, for underarm use it is advised that the product be applied twice daily for at least a month. One tube of Carpe lotion costs $14.95 and is expected to last for about two months, this applies to each type of the formulation whether it be for hands, feet, or underarms. One of the biggest benefits of Carpe Lotion is that it does not cause much, if any, irritation, especially when compared to other products on the market. This is what allows users to apply it all over the body.[3]

SweatBlock Antiperspirant Lotion

SweatBlock has several types of antiperspirant products on the market, including an antiperspirant lotion. Their antiperspirant lotion is intended for use on the hands and feet, although it can most likely be used on other parts of the body. Similar to Carpe, they use 20% aluminum sesquichlorohydrate as their active ingredient.[4] While their active ingredient is the same, they do use it in a higher concentration. This may make the sweat reduction properties of SweatBlock stronger, but it would also most likely increase the potential for skin irritation. Each tube of SweatBlock antiperspirant lotion has 50 mL of product in it and sells for $14.99. It needs to be applied at least two times per day for the first two to four weeks. The website claims that the lotion becomes more effective as it is used over time, so users may be able to apply it less frequently as time goes on.[5]

The Breakdown

Finding the right treatments for sweaty hands and sweaty feet can be tricky as researchers are still trying to find the most effective ways to reduce sweating on these parts of the body. Antiperspirant lotions offer a good over-the-counter option for those looking for relief, but they are not perfect. Both brands, Carpe and SweatBlock, use the same active ingredient meaning they will both most likely have fairly similar results. SweatBlock has a higher percentage of aluminum sesquichlorohydrate which means it may be a stronger product, but it will probably also lead to more irritation. If one does not work well for you, the other will most likely not be a good solution. It may be best to first try the less irritating product, in this case Carpe, and then move on to the stronger brand, SweatBlock, if more relief is needed. No matter which brand a person chooses to go with they will need to apply the lotion consistently several times a day to achieve results.

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  2. Evaluation of Hand Antiperspirant Efficacy. (2016). Consumer Product Testing Company, Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://www.mycarpe.com/carpetestresults.pdf.
  3. Carpe Antiperspirant. (2016). An OTC Antiperspirant Lotion to Help Manage Excessive Sweat [PowerPoint Slides]. Retrieved from
  4. SweatBlock Antiperspirant Lotion for Hands & Feet. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BM9LHV1?aaxitk=WZxJKwt9Un8LAdpVnumHDQ&pd_rd_i=B07BM9LHV1&pf_rd_p=e037c154-e093-48a4-b127-477e5e294e3f&hsa_cr_id=9246714300901&sb-ci-n=productDescription&sb-ci-v=SweatBlock Antiperspirant Lotion for Hands & Feet, Proven to Reduce Excessive Sweating, Reduce Hand & Foot Sweat & Smelly Feet, Safe Effective, FDA Compliant Anti Sweat Lotion for Women & Men, 50mL&sb-ci-a=B07BM9LHV1
  5. Antiperspirant Lotion for Hands and Feet. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2019, from https://shop.sweatblock.com/products/antiperspirant-lotion-hands-feet