It happens to the best of us. Maybe you’re having your first foray into the natural deodorant space, or maybe you’ve moved to a new climate (super humid, high altitude, you name it), or maybe you still haven’t switched to the best aluminum-free deodorant just yet 😉. But sometimes, out of the blue, your trusty deodorant stops working for you. And it’s usually when you need it most. Not to worry, all hope is not lost when you run into a deodorant snafu. As we’ve said before, there are many factors in play when it comes to protecting against body odor; what’s going on around you and within your body can affect how your body responds to any given deodorant. Sometimes all it takes is a little TLC to get your body (and body odor) back on track. Here’s what to do when your deodorant is not working:
Ditching the antiperspirant?
If you’re transitioning from an antiperspirant, which has aluminum salts that plug your sweat ducts, your body may need time to adjust to sweating again (aka the “detox period”). During this transition, you may sweat more than usual and your sweat may smell, well, a little funkier. To push through the detox period, try putting a charcoal or clay mask on your underarms to purify your skin. If you have oilier skin, you may need a little more help to get you through the detox period, because increased sebum production can cause more bacteria overgrowth and, as a result, more odor. If that’s the case, try a mild acid-based toner on your underarms as you make the switch to aluminum-free deodorant. The good news is, once your body adjusts to life without aluminum, your deodorant will work harder and you may actually find yourself sweating less (#deogoals).
Apply to clean, dry skin
Bacteria on your skin is what makes your sweat stink so (naturally) your deodorant won’t work as well if it’s heaped on top of smelly sweat. To get the most out of your deodorant, you should apply it to clean, dry skin. Towel dry your underarms after you shower (and before applying your deo) or, if you’re on the go, use a facial cleansing wipe or tissue to wipe down the skin before applying.
Is it the fragrance?
Ever loved a fragrance on your friend but gagged when you try that very same fragrance on for yourself? That’s because, just like with perfume or cologne, the fragrances used to give your deodorant its “scent” will blend with every person’s skin in a unique way. And yes, this includes both natural and synthetic fragrances. Sometimes the way that a deodorant scent mixes with your body chemistry can create an unpleasant smell (citrus, in particular, can be a little tricky). Definitely not what you want to happen! It’s important to find a deodorant fragrance that’s a fit for you. And if you’re having trouble or can’t be bothered, then you might want to try an unscented deodorant.
Experiment with how much
In some cases, applying deodorant can be more art than science, especially if you’re using a cream deodorant in a jar (hint: tubes are better!). With a little experimentation, you can figure out the right amount of deodorant for maximum odor protection. That said, you shouldn’t have to gob deodorant onto your skin to make it work, but try playing around with how much you’re using and make sure you cover your whole underarm. For extra odor and wetness protection, you may just need to apply more product.
Has anything changed?
Internal factors, like what you’re eating, and external factors, like your environment, can impact how well your deodorant works. Increased humidity and altitude affect your “BO” profile, not just how much you sweat but also your microbiome and how it reacts to sweat. You may also want to look at what you’re putting inside your body (are you eating a lot of broccoli? Yes, that’s a thing) and outside your body (have you tried a new detergent or body wash?). If you’re deodorant has suddenly stopped working, try and think back if there’s anything you’ve changed or done recently that could be the culprit.
If all else fails...
If none of these tips are working for you, and (still) your deodorant is not working, it’s probably time to find a new one. Deodorant, like other skin care products, can produce different results for different people so there’s no “one size fits all” deodorant formula. That being said there are some powerful, heavy hitting deodorant ingredients that will work well for most people. And guess who’s got them? We do! Our aluminum-free deodorant is formulated with clean, safe ingredients that keep you feeling fresh throughout your day. So next time you find your deodorant not working, give us a shout. We’ve got you covered.
Deodorant not working? We've got the aluminum-free deodorant for you.