Do you smell bad when you open the shoe cabinet or cabinet? If so, odor absorbers such as charcoal or cedar wood can be useful, but you have to eliminate the cause of the smell: your foot odor.
There are mainly three types of products that work as foot deodorants: 1) Antiperspirant 2) Anti-fungal or anti-bacterial 3) Natural (botanicals and oils). BTW, if you want to know more about why your foot smells and how you can prevent smelly foot, you can check this blog “how to get smell out of your shoes“
Sweat combined with bacteria that reside everywhere on the surface of the skin creates body odor. If you know that you sweat a lot, an antiperspirant may be the first choice.
Most Antiperspirants are aluminum-based products such as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium because Aluminum blocks sweat glands. Aluminum Chloride is one of the most effective antiperspirants but can cause skin irritation. Some who experienced skin irritation could use a lower concentration of Aluminum Chloride or Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate products, which tend to be gentle on the skin.
The concentrations of active ingredients vary among the products. According to the International Hyperhidrosis society, higher concentrations (20-30%) of Aluminum Chloride are recommended for sweaty foot (30% Aluminum Chloride is a prescription drug such as Xerac-AC).
For smelly feet, liquid or powder is a better choice than the roll-on type because you need to apply them between your toes.
There are concerns that aluminum may increase the risk of breast cancer, Alzheimer or kidney diseases, but there is no convincing evidence that the use of antiperspirant increases the risk of such diseases.
For maximum effect:
- Certain Dri Extra Strength: 12% Aluminum Chloride
- Odaban Antiperspirant Spray: 20% Aluminum Chloride in Alcohol Denat, PEG-12 dimethicone.
For people who like wipes or carry wipes:
- Sweat Block Towelette: Contains 14% Aluminium Chloride. As inactive ingredients, it contains botanical extracts, Vitamin E and Eugenol (which has antiseptic ).
For sensitive skins:
- Carpe Antiperspirant Foot Lotion: Contains Aluminium Sesquichlorohydrate 20%. The product contains Eucalyptus Oil too. The manufacturer says that “its non-greasy formula that allows users to apply the product with no irritation or residue”.
Antifungal or antibacterial
Antibacterial products help reduce the growth of bacteria. The growth of bacteria causes the smell with sweat. Also, Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus. The sweaty foot is the ideal environment for fungus infection. So,anti-fungal and antibacterial products are used to prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria.
The common ingredient is Tolnaftate and Undecylenic Acid. they prevent the growth of fungus. Zinc is used often to reduce skin irritation. Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda) keeps skin dry and it has antibacterial effects.
- Odor Eater’s Spray: Contains 1% Tolnaftate.
- Gran’s Remedy Powder: It is made in New Zealand and became popular in Japan. It has Potassium Aluminium Sulphate (antibacterial), Zinc Oxide, Zinc Undecylenate, Talc, Manuka Oil, Kawakawa Oil. Manuka and Kawakawa Oil are extracted from New Zealand native plants and they have an anti-bacterial effect.
- Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder: This product’s active ingredient is Menthol for anti-ich and also contains baking soda. You would feel fresh by using this powder.
Botanical and Essential Oils
If you don’t like chemicals or your odor problems are minor or you want to use it as preventative, Botanical and Essential oil products could be good. Tea Tree Oils, Eucalyptus are the popular ingredients. Essential oils are good to cover the smell but not effective much in preventing sweat and smell. There are a lot of essential oil-based products available on market. Each contains different oils, so I would suggest you try some and decide which fragrance you like most.
- Rocket Pure: Made in the USA and made of essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree and thyme.
- Sprayzee Natural Shoe Deodorizer: Contains Apple Cider Vinegar, Peppermint Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Thyme Oil, and Eucalyptus Oil and grapefruit oils.
- Elite Foot Deodorizer Spray for Athletes: In addition to 7 pure essential oils, it includes 11 helpful herbs and botanicals that fight the bacteria that cause foot odor.
- Poo-Pourri Shoe Odor Eliminator: This product is unique since it contains Cedarwood Oil.
If you are aware that you (or your feet) sweat a lot, try using antiperspirant products. You could try a product containing Aluminum Chloride 20%. Spray or powder is suitable for feet because you can easily apply it between toes.
Otherwise, you can either use antibacterial or/and antifungus products or natural essential oil products. Odor Eater’s spray is one of the common that includes anti-fungus. I like Gran’s remedy since it includes a good combination of antifungus, antibacterial and botanical oils.