Why you’ve been applying deodorant all wrong, according to a doctor

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Megan Murray
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Hands up anyone who knows that being caught short on the deodorant front is no fun?

The sweaty bettys among us will testify that finding the right deodorant can be an absolute minefield, especially with the amount of brands and types currently available on the market. 

And even when you have painstakingly made a final decision and tried said product on at home, you could well be disappointed to look down and find your lower body buried under an avalanche of crumbling white powder. Or find yourself with a roll on that just won’t dry, but instead chooses to transfer huge moist patches straight under the arms of your favourite top as soon as you pull it on.

And now it appears our deodorant woes don’t end at simply picking the perfect anti-perspirant. Getting effective results is also dependent on how we’re putting it on – and some of the little-known rules for applying deodorant might surprise you.

In fact, there’s a whole science behind it, as Embarrassing Bodies doctor Dawn Harper explained to Cosmopolitan.

Here, we share two of her fail-safe tips for applying deodorant correctly – so listen up and get your roll-on at the ready...

Only apply to dry skin

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve all had busy mornings where we’ve hopped straight out of the shower and thrown everything on so quickly that we’re still a bit damp. Harper confirms that to get maximum results from your deodorant it’s important for your underarms to be completely dry before application.

Apply at night

For the majority of us, applying deodorant is very much part of our morning routine. 

However, Harper says we’ve been doing it all wrong. Apparently, our deodorant will have much more staying power if its applied before bed and slept in over night.

As Harper says, “Apply at night before going to bed to allow to dry fully. Leave on overnight and wash off any residue in the morning with soap and water.”

So there we have it. Let’s hope changing our deodorant habits will deliver us all to a new, sweat-free world, where not even the busiest of underground commutes can get us flustered. 

Images: iStock


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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.