Should You Be Wearing Deodorant To Bed?

To keep underarms dry and fresh, deodorant is one of the most popular solutions available. A 2018 survey conducted by Civic Science found that 92% of American adults wear deodorant or antiperspirant at least some of the time. However, even if deodorant products are a staple in many people's medicine cabinets, how to use them isn't always so straightforward.

According to skin and body care brand Garnier, many deodorants on the market today claim to last for 24 and even up to 72 hours on the skin. But how often you should actually apply them can vary depending on who you ask. Doctor Dawn Harper, a partner of antiperspirant brand Perspirex, told Cosmopolitan UK that people should only use antiperspirants "once or twice a week." Yet dermatologist Dr. Sharleen St. Surin-Lord told Best Life that antiperspirants should be used daily — or even multiple times a day if you exercise or sweat a lot.

Another question is when to apply deodorant for best results. Some brands, such as Arm and Hammer, suggest swiping the underarms at night. However, experts say there are dos and don'ts when it comes to wearing deodorant to bed.

What the experts say about wearing deodorant at night

If you routinely apply deodorant to your underarms before going to bed, you may want to think twice. Dr. Julia Tzu, founder and Medical Director of Wall Street Dermatology, told InStyle there's no need to wear deodorant at night. "Perspiration levels are not as high compared to daytime and usually the 'deodorizing' is most important during the daytime. While using it occasionally at bedtime is not harmful, use of deodorants around the clock may be an additional source of unnecessary irritation to the skin," she explains.

Dr. Tzu's advice may work for those who still have deodorant residue from application earlier in the day. But for those who shower at night, dermatologist Dr. Joel Schlessinger told The Healthy that it's better to put on deodorant later in the evening. He recommends showering, drying the skin with a towel, and then applying deodorant after.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology also confirmed that it's best to apply antiperspirant products at night to give active ingredients time to enter sweat ducts.

Overall, wearing deodorant to bed will likely result in better sweat and odor protection, but lifestyle habits (such as when you shower) and personal preferences may, ultimately, be the deciding factors for when you choose to swipe.