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Why Is Your Deodorant Not Working? 6 Key Tips to Make It Work

Article at a Glance:

  • First of all, you must understand the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants. If the former only prevents the appearance of an unpleasant smell of sweat, then the latter prevents the formation of sweat, affecting the natural biological function of the body.
  • Antiperspirants block sweat with aluminum-based ingredients, most commonly aluminum chloride.
  • If your deodorant doesn’t work, you must have chosen the wrong product or applied it incorrectly. If you follow the recommendations but don’t get the result, the reason may be some health problems.

You can look perfect in your dress, but such a small detail like a sweat odor can spoil the overall impression. Have you just imagined such an unpleasant situation?

Find out how to choose the right deodorant you can rely on in any situation. Check why sometimes you can notice that your deodorant has stopped working. Are all deodorants safe for health or you’d better avoid using some of them?

Here is everything you need to know to protect yourself from the unpleasant odor and, at the same time, not harm your health.

Why Does Your Deodorant Not Work Properly: 6 Key Reasons

“What do I do wrong when I apply my deodorant?” – Check the reasons behind the poor work of your deodorant below.

  1. Applying deodorant on wet skin. Almost everyone does this, but it’s wrong! Don’t apply deodorant after a morning shower, when the skin is still moist, and you have the scent of shower gel on your skin. All the scents may mix. Moisture in the pores and damp underarm skin will prevent the product from absorbing.
  2. The wrong amount of the product. In order for the product to manifest itself, it must be applied to the skin in a sufficient amount.

    For roll-on deodorant, the recommended amount is measured in two strokes across the skin, forward and backward. If you are using spray deodorant, spray time should be at least three seconds.
  3. Using the product too frequently. Don’t use it again and again if you aren’t satisfied with the effect. Mixing with sweat, the product will intensify the unpleasant smell and make it several times sharper.

    If you need to refresh the skin of the armpits, use water and soap, wait until the skin is dry, and only then apply deodorant. 
  4. Using cheap, low-quality products. While deodorant may have a pleasant scent that rivals the scent of fine French perfumes, its formula may not contain the necessary antibacterial agents that should neutralize harmful microflora and thus prolong the feeling of freshness and cleanliness. 
  5. Influence of stress. Stress sometimes causes the deodorant to work ineffectively. It can provoke hormonal disturbances in the body, which ultimately affect the work of the sweat glands and contribute to the appearance of a pungent odor than usual.
  6. Hyperhidrosis.  Make sure you don’t have hyperhidrosis or “excessive sweating.” Deodorants and antiperspirants are usually ineffective in this case. You may need a comprehensive treatment.

Types of Deodorants and Their Principle of Action

How to choose an effective remedy that won’t let you down?

First of all, you need to pay attention to the names that are indicated on the packages – the content is indicated on the bottle. 

  • A perfumed deodorant removes the smell of sweat without preventing it from forming. It consists mainly of antibacterial additives that prevent odor and destroy microorganisms. It doesn’t affect the process of perspiration.
  • An antiperspirant prevents the process of perspiration by blocking the sweat glands, which give off the unpleasant odor. The main ingredients are zinc and aluminum.

What Should You Do to Forget about the Sweat Odor? 

As you could understand already, there are two types of fundamentally different products designed to more or less eliminate the unpleasant smell of sweat.

One type of product does not affect the function of sweat glands, but only masks the smell of sweat. Its effect lasts up to 5 hours, and the main “working” components are triclosan and alcohol. You could guess that these are deodorants.

The second type works more radically, namely: it blocks the production of sweat.

The action of such a product is based on the deposition of aluminum salts in the mouths of the sweat glands, where these salts are converted into aluminum hydroxide, which clogs the sweat gland duct and blocks the secretion of sweat. Antiperspirants work up to 24 hours.

You may say, “Oh, cool, I want to get it!” The problem is that aluminum is an extremely toxic metal.

According to numerous independent studies, it is the cause of the development of neurodegenerative diseases. Use aluminum-free natural deodorants that are effective and safe.

Natural deodorants without aluminum and parabens do not block pores and, at the same time, inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause unpleasant sweat odor.


Why is a deodorant not working for me? 

Do you have sweat odor after you’ve tried to apply several different deodorants? You’re recommended to go to the doctor to make sure you don’t have hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating that requires medical treatment.

But first, switch to a natural deodorant and see whether it’ll provide you with the necessary effect.

Why does deodorant stop working after a few months? 

There are many factors that may influence the effectiveness of your deodorant. If it has worked well for you during some period and then suddenly stopped working, it’s a sign that you may have problems with your health.

It can be connected with your lifestyle, hormonal disbalance, or the influence of stress.

How can I make my deodorant more effective?

First of all, choose the right deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum. Secondly, apply the right amount of the product. Thirdly, use your deodorant only after you’ve had a shower or cleaned your skin with wet wipes. 


If you want to forget about the unpleasant sweat odor, make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle. It can be one of the reasons why deodorant isn’t working.

In case you follow all the tips on how to choose the high-quality product and apply it in the right way, but you still notice that it isn’t working properly, consult the specialist as you may need a complex treatment to get rid of the excessive sweating problem. 

Jane Bradley
Jane is a lifelong student who believes in the power of stories. She is a lover of landscapes, adventure, and genuine people. Jane and her husband recently moved from Seattle to the foothills of the of the Rocky Mountains to pursue a dream of mountain-life! She’s a professional content creator with a background in graphic design & marketing.


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