There has been a continuing discussion on my previous post about Secret Clinical Strength, and from that sampling it doesn’t appear that anybody is really impressed. I’ve been using it for about two weeks and I can say it’s made a difference, but I didn’t start seeing one until the second week. Secret Clinical Strength is a soft solid that is pushed out of the tube using a clicking wheel at the bottom. I applied two clicks at night (as the instructions recommend) and one click in the morning. I can say my underarms have stayed drier and nicer smelling and that I’m feeling pretty confident about it. However, the effectiveness isn’t miraculous, and that’s where I suspect Secret might have set themselves up for a little grumbling.
Secret Clinical Strength contains the same active ingredient found in most anti-perspirants, aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly, but at a slightly higher amount of 20% whereas most anti-perspirants are between 12 and 18%*. Other anti-perspirant options come in the for of the possibly but not necessarily stingy, over the counter Certain Dri which has the active ingedient Aluminum Chloride 12%. The prescription Drysol has aluminum chloride hexahydrate at 25%. Some commenters in the previous post mention that Certain Dri works better for them than Secret Clinical Strength.
Side note: I’ve heard from a few places that Mitchum works better than other anti-perspirants. I did a little researching an it appears that they changed the active ingredient to the common aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex a few years back. Interestingly, my tube of Lady Mitchum Gel contains 20% aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex, the same amount as Secret Clinical Strength, but I cannot get the Mitchum Gel to dry and I end up with sticky underarms all day. However, the other day I came across this Mitchum cream with the active ingredient Aluminum Dichlorohydrate 15%, which appears to be the Mitchum people who have been using it for 30 years know and love. I do not know if it is more effective.
Back to Secret Clinical Strength. In my opinion the special thing with Secret Clinical Strength is that they instruct you to apply it before you go to bed, which is how Certain Dri and Drysol are supposed to be applied. However, according to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, applying regular anti-perspirants in the evening is a proven technique:
“A recent study funded by Procter & Gamble Beauty, the makers of Secret Platinum, found that applying over-the-counter antiperspirants in the morning and evening, or just in the evening, was significantly more effective than applying them in the morning alone.
If youâ€™re not sure you want to, or canâ€™t find the time to apply your antiperspirant more than once a day, you can still improve its efficacy, say the researchers. Just change the time of day that you apply it. Studies show that applying an antiperspirant just in the evening, as opposed to just in the morning, gives better results.”
So there you go, in my opinion Secret Clinical Strength is simply a good normal anti-perspirant but the marketing and nighttime application technique make it seem special and mysterious. However, it is expensive, so when my tube runs out I’m going to buy a regular soft solid and apply it with the same schedule (before bed, and a little in the mornings) to see how it compares. I’ll report back.
update: In Episode 57 the girls at Lipgloss and Laptops give Secret Clinical Strength a thumbs up.
* I am not a doctor, nor a studied person in these things at all. I came across this number by pulling a bunch of anti-perspirants samples I’ve been gathering out of my bathroom closet and looking at the ingredients. My Dove Ulitmate Clear says 14.8%, Dove Invisible Solid 18.5%, Lady Speed Stick 16.1%, Mitchum for Women Gel 20%.