The Real Reason Your Deodorant Isn't Working Anymore

If you've noticed that your deodorant doesn't seem to be working anymore, it may not be the deodorant that's to blame. Your deodorant's ineffectiveness may be caused by lifestyle factors, or an underlying medical condition, both of which can impact how much you sweat and how much your armpits smell.

Armpit odor is the product of sweat mixing with the bacteria on your skin (via Well+Good). While deodorants mask your natural scent with fragrance, they don't actually prevent you from sweating, unlike antiperspirants. If your deodorant is no longer effectively masking your natural odor, it may be a result of how much you're sweating. Increased sweating can cause your armpits to smell more than usual (via LiveStrong). Often, this is due to increased stress. Anxiety, or even outside pressures from work or school, can affect how much you sweat.

Increased sweating can also be a result of hyperhidrosis, a medical condition characterized by extreme sweating. While hyperhidrosis is generally considered to be its own condition often beginning in adolescence, another form, known as secondary hyperhidrosis, can be a side effect of another underlying medical condition, like menopause, hyperthyroidism, or rheumatoid arthritis.

How to prevent increased sweating and odor

If you're no longer happy with your deodorant, you might want to think about switching to an antiperspirant. Antiperspirants use aluminum to temporarily block your sweat glands and to stop sweating altogether (via LiveStrong). Therefore, armpits don't smell as much if sweat never makes it to the surface of the skin. Antiperspirants last 24 hours and work best when they're applied at night. If you have hyperhidrosis, clinical strength antiperspirants may be more effective.

If you think your increased sweating or odor is due to stress or anxiety, the best solution is to address what's causing it (via Healthline). Anxiety and other mood disorders can be treated with behavioral therapy and medication. This won't be a quick fix, however, so it might be a good idea to start using antiperspirant in the meantime. If you're still unsure of the cause of your sweating, you should contact your dermatologist. They will help you to find a solution and can prescribe medicated wipes or creams to help control your sweat glands.