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Is Your Deodorant Not Working? Here's Why

We all know how to apply deodorant and  antiperspirant (or at least we think we do). But did you know that there's a right way to apply antiperspirant correctly for maximum effectiveness? 

Most of us don't give a second thought about applying antiperspirant or deodorant in the A.M. before we head out the door. But if you’re applying antiperspirant in the morning, you’re not getting the full sweat-blocking effects.

Why Your Deodorant or Antiperspirant Isn't Working

If your current antiperspirant or deodorant routine isn't cutting it, there could be a few reasons.

1. You're not using the right product

Guess what? Deodorants and antiperspirants are not the same products.

Deodorants merely mask the smell by killing bacteria that causes body odor. Antiperspirants, on the other hand, attack sweat at the source. Aluminum, the active ingredient in antiperspirants, clogs your sweat ducts and stop your glands from producing sweat.

If you're only applying deodorant, you're just treating the odor, not the sweat itself. 

2. Your antiperspirant doesn't have the right ingredients for your needs

If you're using antiperspirant, check the ingredients. The concentration of aluminum chloride (the main sweat-stopping ingredient) may be too low for your needs.

If you're extra sweaty, you'll need a clinical-strength product.

But don’t take the words “extra-strength,” “clinical-strength,” or “prescription-strength” at face value. Flip the bottle over and determine the exact percentage of aluminum chloride in your clinical antiperspirant.

Most antiperspirants have aluminum chloride concentrations between 12 and 25 percent. If yours has a lower concentration (under 20 percent), you may want to up the ante.

Don’t be duped by deceptive marketing. Some brands offer “clinical antiperspirant” that contains only one percent more aluminum chloride than regular-strength antiperspirant.

3. You're applying deodorant or antiperspirant in the morning

The product needs time to penetrate your pores and work effectively. If you're applying deodorant or antiperspirant in the morning right before you get dressed and head out the door, you're not doing yourself any favors. 

Deodorant and antiperspirant will work better when you apply it at night. Read on to learn more about the science of this technique.

4. You're applying deodorant or antiperspirant on wet skin

If you're putting on deodorant or antiperspirant in the morning or right after you shower, your application is less effective. 

Aluminum, the active ingredient in antiperspirant, can't penetrate wet skin. Also, when you wake up, your body immediately starts sweating (whether you realize it or not). 

That means putting on antiperspirant while you’re already sweating or right out of the shower won’t do much to stop your sweat. And constant trips to the bathroom to slather on more deodorant won’t help, either. The aluminum can’t pass through sweat or water to clog your sweat ducts, rendering antiperspirant essentially useless.

Learn more: Why Antiperspirants and Deodorants Can Make You Smell Worse

How to Apply Antiperspirant Correctly

Now that you know which product is more appropriate for your needs, you can learn the correct application techniques. 

Here’s how to apply antiperspirant and deodorant properly to reap the full benefits and stop armpit sweat and odor from ruining your day. 

1. Apply antiperspirant or deodorant at night

Yes, there is a right time to apply antiperspirant and deodorant.

Although you might not be concerned about sweat marks or odor in your sleep, swiping on antiperspirant and deodorant before bedtime is more effective than applying it in the morning.

When you apply antiperspirant at night, your sweat glands have more time to absorb the compounds. And because your body temperature cools down at night, you sweat less, giving your antiperspirant a fighting chance to absorb into your skin and block your sweat glands.

Here’s the kicker. Once the antiperspirant has infiltrated your armpit pores, you don't have to reapply in the morning – even if you shower. Because the aluminum has already entered your pores and isn’t sitting on the surface of your skin, water won’t wash it off.

However, showering after putting on antiperspirant at night reduces its effectiveness, so make sure you allow some time for the antiperspirant or deodorant to work its magic.

2. Make sure your pits are clean and dry before applying

Antiperspirant is stronger than standard deodorant and can irritate sensitive skin. Don’t use the product immediately after shaving or on broken or irritated skin.

If you shower at night, make sure your pits are completely dry before applying antiperspirant or deodorant.

3. A few swipes is all you need

There's no need to over-apply your deodorant or antiperspirant — a few swipes will do the job. Over-application can mess with your underarm bacteria and also leave an annoying residue on your clothing. No need to re-apply in the middle of the day, either. 

Make Your Deodorant or Antiperspirant Work Even Better

Want to get the most mileage out of your antiperspirant or deodorant? Pair your favorite product with a Thompson Tee sweat proof undershirt for  men or women. These undershirts are 100% guaranteed to block sweat marks and odor and prevent yellow armpit stains. A patented underarm barrier blocks wetness and odor and protects your outerwear, keeping you fresh and confident all day. 

Try a Thompson Tee risk-free today!