Deodorants are there for people who don’t like stinky, sweaty, and sticky feeling in their armpits. But did you know that misusing deodorant also leads to these and many more bad side-effects? Here are 11 of the common mistakes that we commit and we should definitely look out for.
1. Not knowing the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant
Antiperspirants reduce sweating on our armpits, deodorants on the other hand focus on reducing the bad odor from our pits. According to dermatologist and founder of FryFace Fayne Frey, most, if not all antiperspirants actually contain aluminum salts, sometimes mixed with a bit of zirconium salt, which binds to a protein in the sweat glands, creating a plug for the sweat duct that temporarily stops sweat production. Deodorants are simply topical products that eliminate body odor, usually by making use of ingredients that get rid of the bacteria that causes them or mask the odor completely. “They do not reduce the amount of sweat expelled and will not keep your armpits dry,” said Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, board-certified dermatologist based on Los Angeles and clinical instructor for the University of Southern California.
2. Applying it to wet skin
Antiperspirants or deodorant, no matter one you make use daily, only works effectively on dry skin surfaces. If you just got out of the shower, be sure to wipe your armpits clean before applying these products.
3. Applying it right after shaving
Making use of deodorant or antiperspirants right after you shave can cause irritability, especially those with a high alcohol content, according to Alisha Plotner, MD, a dermatologist from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
4. Layering deodorant
This technique usually works on beauty products, but bear in mind that it doesn’t work on deodorant. Putting on deodorant freshly on your stinky armpit won’t rid your pits of the stench. You always need to apply these products to clean, dry skin, so it can stick onto your armpits well.
5. Applying it in the morning
Most people do this. In reality, experts explain that you should actually do it on evenings, right before bed. Deodorants and antiperspirants alike are most effective when the skin’s sweat ducts are least active and when there is minimal moisture. “Because deodorant should always be applied to clean, dry skin, it’s best to shower in the evening, pat your skin dry with a towel, and then apply deodorant,” said Joel Schlessinger, MD, board-certified dermatologist and a contributor in RealSelf.
6. Not applying it every day
This one actually depends on many factors, such as how sensitive your skin is, and what your deodorant or antiperspirant requires you to do. “Depending on your body and what type of deodorant/antiperspirant you’re using, you may not need to apply every single day,” said Dove dermatologist Alicia Barba, MD.
7. Forgetting to moisturize
Dr. Frey advises people to apply a dimethicone-based moisturizer in order to minimize irritation. Sharla Martin, a spa director in Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans, explains and recommends the use of coconut oil when moisturizing your skin.
8. Using the wrong product
Alongside the effects and results we want from our deodorants and antiperspirants, we also would want to look out for our health. Using high alcohol products may induce irritation, alongside with high fragrance formulas. “You have to take care of the skin under your arms just like you do the skin on your face,” stated Dr. Barba.
9. Not knowing the difference between regular and clinical strength
Regular antiperspirants must show a 20% sweat duct plug formation, while clinical strength ones should show at least 30%. “Clinical strength antiperspirants contain a higher concentration of aluminum zirconium salts, and although they may be more effective, they may also be more irritating,” says Dr. Frey. “I advise my patients with sensitive skin to avoid antiperspirants with fragrance as well as extra strength formulas, and to look instead for products that contain dimethicone, which may also prevent irritation in susceptible individuals.”
10. Not considering natural formulas
Before you assume that natural deodorants don’t work, always bear this in mind: Natural deodorants are for people with light sweating or ones who are hoping to mask off only mild odor.
11. Not knowing how to get it off clothes
Using a deodorant can have many good effects for us, but having those white marks on our clothes can be a turn off for everyone who sees them. A few proven methods of removing these marks can be using a damp washcloth or making use of the Gal Pal Deodorant Be Gone Remover Sponge, an innovation regarding removing deodorant marks instantly.