Body Chemistry: Why You Should Apply Deodorant at Night

Deven Hopp

Like brushing your teeth and washing your face, applying deodorant is one of those tasks we do automatically every day without putting much thought into it. However, like the aforementioned tasks, most of us apply deodorant in the morning. No-brainer, right? Apparently not. Our bodies react with the chemicals in deodorant differently at night than they do in the morning. And the difference is actually a big one. 

First of all, this only applies to antiperspirants. If you prefer products that only block odours (not sweat), application time makes no difference. But if your deodorant is an antiperspirants, you should apply it at night. At night, your body temperature drops, which means you sweat less. When your sweat glands are less active, they are able to absorb more of the aluminum-based active ingredient in antiperspirant. Overnight, the product has time to sink in and effectively block those sweat ducts. In the morning, your sweat glands are more active, and it’s harder for the active ingredients to penetrate your skin and get down where they need to be.

The other important piece of the equation is your shower schedule. Applying deodorant right after showering is a big no-no. Antiperspirants are most effective when applied to very dry skin. If the skin’s surface is wet, the chemical reaction with the aluminum happens on the outer layers of skin, rather than inside the pores where it needs to be for the sweat-blocking action to occur. “It’s best if you apply it after you’ve towelled off and your underarms have dried completely—the main point is that your skin is clean and dry,” says Dove dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur. And no, if you shower in the morning, you won’t wash away the deodorant you applied the night before. The effect of the ingredients stays active for around 24 hours (or longer, in some cases), even through showering.

We like Dove's Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant ($15) and Nivea's 48h Invisible for Black & White Anti-Perspirant ($7).

Did you know this about anti-perspirant deodorants? Sound off in the comments below!

Explore: Dove, Deodorant, Nivea

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