7 Deodorant Mistakes You’re Making Every Single Day

At some point in our lives, our daily hygiene rituals become so routine that we perform them with robotic precision. At some point between waking up and leaving your house, between brushing your teeth and throwing on your shoes, between going to the toilet and checking up on that breakout… you put on deodorant. You don’t put much thought to it; you pull the cap off, raise your arms, swipe away, and keep it movin’. You’re not really taught how to apply it because it seems pretty self explanatory; apply once a day to armpits so you don’t reek. That’s why you might be surprised to know that you very well might be using your deodorant wrong.

“Uh, how the hell could I be using my deodorant wrong?” you might be wondering. Fair enough question. By now you know the basics, like not applying deodorant right after shaving unless you want your pits to hate you all day. But that’s not all you should know. So check out these seven deodorant mistakes you’re making every day that’ll change up your deodorant routine overnight.


Not Knowing The Difference Between An Anti-Perspirant Deodorant And Plain Ol' Deodorant

Okay, so here's the thing: Deodorant doesn't reduce sweat, it just masks odor. Deodorant with anti-perspirant keeps the odor down and blocks sweat. Have you been sweating up a storm despite using deodorant? Maybe your deodorant doesn't double as an anti-perspirant!

For the record, some people are weary of anti-perspirants because aluminum is often a key ingredient in its sweat blocking capabilities; some believe that aluminum and other chemicals in anti-perspirants are cancer causing, and while there's no scientific evidence that outright supports that claim, it's understandable for some people to be paranoid. If you want a more natural approach to your deodorant, check out Tom's brand (which you can buy here for $3.79) for an aluminum free option. But if you know that sweat is something that you just can't tolerate, stick to an anti-perspirant of your choice.

Tom's Brand

Applying Deodorant In The Morning Instead Of Night

Like most of us, I apply my deodorant in the morning. Weren't we all raised that way? Welp, the joke is on us. So here's the deal: Anti-perspirants work best to block your sweat ducts from going into overdrive when you're not sweating. Your sweat point is actually at its lowest at night, when you're unwinding for bed. So you're actually giving your pits a head start if you apply at night instead of first thing in the morning, because they'll have more time to get to work. Besides, many deodorants boast of 24+ hour protection anyway, so why not give it a try? If you take showers in the morning, don't worry, the deodorant is already at work, so even some contact with a little soap and water won't deter it.

Breakfast At Tiffanys

Not Applying The Deodorant Diligently

You probably think that a few swipes under each arm are enough, and they are...if you apply thoroughly. You're supposed to smother your entire underarm with product, so go slowly and don't just concentrate on the exact center of your pit. You don't just focus on one section of your pit when you're shaving, do you? Approach your pit like you would a razor.

iStock.com

Not Exploring Different Types Of Deodorant For Different Needs

When I studied abroad in London, I was shocked by how popular spray deodorants were compared to sticks and roll-ons, which are much more popular in the United States. But as weird as spray deodorant seems, it has its benefits; in fact, every type of deodorant does. Spray deodorant isn't great if you're sensitive to scented sprays potentially flying into your face, but they are great if you're worried about leaving stains in dark clothing; they're pretty invisible. Sticks are great if you hate the wet feeling of gel, but gel is better than sticks if you have hairy armpits because there won't be any white residue left behind. I know we usually stick to one deodorant for, like, life, but you might want to consider switching things up a bit.

iStock.com

Believing There's A Real Difference In Women's And Men's Deodorant

Just because deodorant marketed toward men and women are separated, it doesn't mean they're different. It's literally a marketing ploy! The only difference is that the women's deodorant comes in lighter colors and are cucumber, powder, and floral scented while the men's ones come in darker colors and have really intense scent names like WINTERFROST RUSH or ALPINE FRESH. If you like the scent of Old Spice better than Secret, go off, sis. If you prefer the smell of cucumbers over cloves, stick to the feminine scented ones. It's not that deep. Okay, this had me absolutely shook: Some people don't get smelly under their pits. It's all comes down to a gene called ABCC11, which was the subject of experiments several years ago which initially had nothing to do with underarm odor at all. Scientists discovered that those with the aforementioned gene tend to produce dry earwax instead of wet earwax. They also discovered that people with dry earwax lack a chemical in their pits that bacteria are attracted to; that bacteria produces nasty underarm odor. Cool, right? Unfortunately, this genetic anomaly only characterizes a very small percent of the population, so chances are...your pits reek and you need deodorant. But if you've noticed that your pits really don't smell bad without deodorant, then maybe you don't need to make it a part of your daily routine. If sweat is a concern, stick to scent-free antiperspirants instead of overwhelming rose-cucumber-honey-baby-powder smelling deodorant.

Pinterest

Applying Anti-Perspirant Deodorant When You're Already Sweaty AF

This seems like it makes sense. You're sweating like nuts and you want to keep your sweating to a minimum, so you apply more deodorant. Sorry, it's not going to work. Remember how I said that you're the least sweaty at night, so your anti-perspirant can be incredibly beneficial if you apply it at that time? The mechanism used to stifle your sweat glands just can't do what they need to do when you're already sweating up a storm. You're better off just leaving your pits be.

Some Girls

Assuming You Smell Bad Enough To Warrant Fragrant Deodorant In The First Place

Okay, this had me absolutely shook: Some people don't get smelly under their pits. It's all comes down to a gene called ABCC11, which was the subject of experiments several years ago which initially had nothing to do with underarm odor at all. Scientists discovered that those with the aforementioned gene tend to produce dry earwax instead of wet earwax. They also discovered that people with dry earwax lack a chemical in their pits that bacteria are attracted to; that bacteria produces nasty underarm odor. Cool, right? Unfortunately, this genetic anomaly only characterizes a very small percent of the population, so chances are...your pits reek and you need deodorant. But if you've noticed that your pits really don't smell bad without deodorant, then maybe you don't need to make it a part of your daily routine. If sweat is a concern, stick to scent-free antiperspirants instead of overwhelming rose-cucumber-honey-baby-powder smelling deodorant. Okay, this had me absolutely shook: Some people don't get smelly under their pits. It's all comes down to a gene called ABCC11, which was the subject of experiments several years ago which initially had nothing to do with underarm odor at all. Scientists discovered that those with the aforementioned gene tend to produce dry earwax instead of wet earwax. They also discovered that people with dry earwax lack a chemical in their pits that bacteria are attracted to; that bacteria produces nasty underarm odor. Cool, right? Unfortunately, this genetic anomaly only characterizes a very small percent of the population, so chances are...your pits reek and you need deodorant. But if you've noticed that your pits really don't smell bad without deodorant, then maybe you don't need to make it a part of your daily routine. If sweat is a concern, stick to scent-free antiperspirants instead of overwhelming rose-cucumber-honey-baby-powder smelling deodorant.

Pinterest

Do you already wear deodorant at night? Do you have a preference toward solid sticks or gels? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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