the surface of the skin. For some consumers, excessive use of some
products, especially those containing no or little neutralization, cause
significant amounts of hydrochloric acid to be produced, which result in complaints of severe irritation in the axillae, with complaints of
itching, burning and severe redness. Most products sold at retail, tend
not to be so harsh because of the amount of neutralizing they do and
do not cause so much irritation. This means consumers can use them
on a regular basis throughout the day without any irritation worries.
Antiperspirant delivery has changed on a global scale over the
past 10 years. It is interesting to note that in the US, shelf space is
dominated by stick and roll on products with a few spray cans on the
very lower/bottom shelves. In Europe, however, the dominant product is still the aerosol, which takes up 90% of all AP/deo shelf space.
Of the 400 recently surveyed participants, 200 were based in the US
and 200 in the UK.
This is likely to change significantly during the next 12 months
following Unilever’s announcement that it will launch a new Dry
Spray AP product in the US. Unilever says it is out to revolutionize
the US AP/deodorant market with the launch of its new range, which
is rolling out across the company’s leading brands including Dove,
Axe and Degree.
Featuring a new formula with no water or alcohol, and a preci-sion-designed actuator that produces a unique soft spray, the new
Dry Spray goes on instantly dry without the sticky or wet sensation
often associated with other antiperspirants, but only time will tell if
consumers in the US are ready to give up their sticks and roll-ons.
Among the 200 participants surveyed in the UK, 187 used sprays
rather that roll-on or sticks. In the US, 43 used sprays, 11 used Botox
and the remaining 146 used stick/roll-on products—a huge difference in buying habits.
All participants who applied daily AP products claimed to use
their products first thing in the morning as part of their initial morning grooming process. And 62% said they reapply during the day at
some point at least once. In terms of sales this should be good news
for personal care companies that manufacture this type of product,
but 87% of all participants claimed they would rather pay more for a
product that actually lasted all day without the need to reapply, than a
cheaper product that they had to use several times a day.
Interestingly, in the UK, 65% of participants did not understand
the difference between an AP and a deodorant. Most thought both
did the same thing, controlling sweat production and eliminating
odor. On initial communication with these subjects, they were asked
which products they use now and what products they had used in
Many consumers complained that they had switched many times
from product to product, in the hope of finding one that actually did
stop them from having wet underarms. On closer inspection of the
data, which named the products responsible for not stopping the subjects from sweating, the subjects had clearly named products that are
known to be deodorant with no antiperspirant properties whatsoever.
In the US, a nation that has been more educated on the differ-
ences through TV and magazine press, only 7% of participants did not
know the difference.
Of course we know
that deodorants don’t
have any reinforcements
to keep you from sweat-
ing—once you apply
deodorant to your ax-
illa and go for your daily
gym session, you’re go-
ing to perspire. But deodorant does
work to counteract the smell that’s
produced after the fats and proteins emitted from cells migrate to the
surface of the skin. Deodorant targets the bacteria that hang around
Ingredients like triclosan in deodorants make the skin in your un-
derarm too salty or acidic to support the indigenous bacteria that are
meant to thrive there. 4 Without any bacteria to feast on, the proteins
and fats delivered through sweat are scentless.
Antiperspirants reduce body odor using the exact opposite prin-
ciple: They actually keep you from sweating. Without any sweat, the
bacteria found in abundance in your underarms don’t have anything
to eat. Most antiperspirants have some of the same ingredients found
in deodorants that kill bacteria as a failsafe. Their main function, how-
ever, is to keep you from perspiring.
Whether antiperspirant or deodorant, there is a huge market for
these products in Western Europe and the US. Deodorant sales in
Europe totaled 1.8 billion units worth $6.7 billion in 2012. The largest
market was Germany, valued at nearly $1.1 billion and growing 2%
a year. France and the UK have similar markets at $968.2 million and
$949.3 million, respectively, each growing in excess of 3% a year. Italy
and Spain are the smallest of the Big 5, weighing in at $598.3 million
and $518.7 million apiece. 5 In comparison, US sales of AP products
have reached $4.5 billion. 6 •
2. Multi-centered survey in 400 female subjects looking at personal grooming with
people suffering from severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Looking at Hair, Deo/AP,
tooth brushing, using SPQ’s.
About the Authors
Barrie Drewitt is head of AP/Deo testing, Princeton Consumer Research Inc. and Cheryl
Gizzi is site manager, Princeton Consumer Research Inc., Princeton, NJ,. 609-455-1112,
Consumers can choose from a
wide array of AP/deo brands.