10 Things You Should Actually Never Do With Deodorant

Deodorant is a beauty product that most people use every single day (or at least every day they’re being social). While there’s nothing wrong with embracing your body and being natural, body odor is something that the majority of us don’t enjoy – and so we’ll go out of our way to make sure it doesn’t happen. I personally hate to feel sweaty and smelly, and so I swipe on deodorant every day before I walk out the door, and I’m sure many of you do the same! But even with all of the perks of deodorant, there are some negative aspects to it as well, and many people are probably doing things with their deodorant that they shouldn’t be doing.

In a perfect world, deodorant would be free of complications and controversy, but alas, here we are. I’m sure you’ve heard the many rumors that deodorant made with aluminum and other chemicals puts women at a high risk of breast cancer. While these claims have been denied many times, they also haven’t been 100 percent denied. There isn’t really any researcher out there saying, “This is so false it’s absurd.” There are just researchers saying they haven’t really found that connection, which is… not super soothing.

It’s easy to think you can just switch over to the natural, chemical-free deodorant world, but the reality is a little tougher: natural deodorants just aren’t as strong as deodorants full of chemicals, and at the end of the day, most people choose smelling nice and being sweat-stain free. That said, there are some things you shouldn’t do with deodorant because they can legitimately put your health at risk – and a lot of you are probably doing them without a second thought. Here are 10 things you should never do with deodorant:

Applying It Only In The Morning

For most people, deodorant is a regular part of their morning beauty routine. This is pretty accepted, but did you know that you should actually be using deodorant at night before you go to bed? When you use deodorant at night, there's no sweat to block it, so it's able to do its job more easily - and it also has more time to get the job done. Of course, this doesn't mean you should only apply at night - you can feel free to reapply in the morning before you leave the house.

Source: iStock

Using The Same One Forever

Who else is guilty of finding one deodorant that works like a charm and sticking to it forever? I swear by my Secret Clinical Strength Hypoallergenic Deodorant (it's the only one that doesn't have a scent that makes me want to gag and it actually works), and I'm sure you have your favorite option as well. But the sad truth is this: your body can actually become immune to deodorant if you use it too often, so it becomes less effective over time. Try switching things up every few weeks or months, or keep two different deodorants you like in your bathroom and rotate between them every few days.

Source: iStock

Using It To Get Rid Of Sweat

The time to put on deodorant isn't when you're already sweating like crazy - it won't immediately dry everything up and leave you feeling and looking good. You have to use deodorant as a preventative measure rather than something that gets rid of existent sweat. On top of that, the FDA only requires that a deodorant cut back on 20 percent of your sweat to go by the "all-day protection" label. This means that most deodorants don't even work for as long as they say they will. Get into the habit of putting it on before you sweat and reapplying if necessary - but never put it on sweaty skin.

Source: iStock

Making A Big Deal About The Difference Between Men's and Women's Deodorants

As with so many other things out there, society makes deodorant a gender issue. Acting like one deodorant is better for a man and one is better for a woman is a complete marketing ploy and scam. Sure, a deodorant brand might like their pretty, flowery deodorant stick is better for females, but that's not true - the active ingredient is the same in deodorant made for men or women. So, don't be afraid to grab for whatever is cheaper or whatever works for you.

Source: iStock

Using Scented Deodorant On Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, then you already know that it can be hard to find beauty products that don't cause some sort of irritated reaction. Deodorant is no different. Opt for an unscented version over a scented one if your skin is very sensitive - the chemicals used to create the scent can irritate skin or leave it with a rash. You might not even think you have sensitive skin, but you could under your arms - that's the case for me!

Sharing With Friends

Say you're at your best friend's house and you guys are getting ready to go out for the night, when you suddenly realize you forgot to put on deodorant, and oh my God your crush is going to be there. You probably think nothing of grabbing your BFF's deodorant stick and swiping some on. Don't do this! Sharing deodorant with anyone - a friend, your significant other, a family member - is a bad idea. Infections can easily occur when you mix bacteria like that, especially if you have shaving nicks (even tiny ones) or ingrown hairs. And if you're using a natural deodorant that doesn't kill bacteria, germs can even grow on the stick without your knowledge. Gross!

Source: iStock

Putting It All Over Your Body

Boob sweat and butt sweat suck. Maybe you've had a moment where you've thought, "Let me just put some deodorant under my bra. Can't hurt to try!" While this may not be the end of the world, it probably isn't the best idea. There aren't many studies out there warning against putting deodorant on other parts of your body besides your underarms, but it should be noted that many deodorant companies advise against doing so in the small print of things. I once wrote an article about a deodorant I liked and said it was great to use for boob sweat - when the company saw I wrote that, they immediately emailed me and asked me to remove that line, saying it's not a good idea. Lesson learned! If you're sweating in weird spots, try using baby powder or chafing gel instead.

Source: iStock

Using Deodorant Down There

It's worth mentioning this separately - don't put deodorant down there! Your vag area is so incredibly sensitive, and anything can mess up the pH balance. So, while vag sweat sucks, swiping deodorant down there isn't the answer to your problems. For one thing, it can transfer gross bacteria and germs from your underarms down there, leaving you prone to infections or irritation. For another thing, the scented deodorants can quickly cause an infection. It's just not a smart move.

Source: iStock

Putting It On Your Face

This one is worth mentioning on its own as well. If you've ever dealt with annoying face sweat on super hot days, I'm sure you've decided to just bite the bullet and try putting some deodorant on your face to prevent it. This could cause you to break out or cause some sort of rash - deodorant doesn't let your skin breathe, and that's what the skin on your face needs to do. On top of that, why would you want to put something that's been hanging in your underarms near your mouth or eyes?

Source: iStock

Spraying Deodorant In A Confined Space

Spray deodorant can be great, but you should never apply it in a confined space. It can be suffocating and breathing in too much of it can be harmful to your health. It's okay to do a few sprays in your bedroom, but don't do it in a small space with no ventilation, and always be careful about how you're breathing in.

Source: iStock

Which of these deodorant mistakes have you made? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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  • Ash Rose

    I always use a solid stick deodorant, as most sprays make me wheeze (even when I use them in an open, ventilated space and make sure not to breathe too much of them in), and roll-ons don’t seem to work on me. I change my brand of deodorant every six months or so. All in all, I think I’m quite good with how I use deodorants!