The chemical composition of deodorant products varies considerably. One compound found in some deodorants is glycerol, which has the chemical formula C3H8O3. Aluminium chlorohydrate, which is made of Cl-, or chloride ions, and Al3+, or aluminium ions, helps block pores to provide an antiperspirant effect in some deodorants.
Zinc oxide is another chemical compound found in many deodorant products. The chemical formula of this compound is ZnO, and it is also found in products such as sunscreen, bandages and ointments due to its astringent, topical protectant and antiseptic effects.
Many ingredients found in deodorants serve the purpose of controlling odor by combating bacterial growth. Depending on the product, these antibacterial ingredients can be anything from citronella oil to antibiotics. Benzyl benzoate is an antibacterial ingredient found in original Dove deodorant. It has the chemical formula C6H5CO2C6H5 and serves the dual purpose of keeping microbials from breeding in the underarms and keeping microbials out of the deodorant itself.
Other ingredients exist in deodorant to provide fragrance. Limonene, a hydrocarbon compound with the chemical formula C10H16, provides a citrus scent. It exists naturally in orange and lemon peels. Alpha-isomethyl ionone is an ingredient that can provide deodorant with a clean scent, while hexyl cinnamal has a chamomile fragrance.