How Long Does Deodorant Last?

April 4, 2018

Jelly Bell

How Long Does Deodorant Last?

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Deodorant was invented to solve the problem that the majority of the population has experienced or doesn’t want to experience: body odor. Even though it is effective to help you get rid of that embarrassing body’s scent, deodorant still has its little limitation: you’ll have to re-apply it after a period. So then, if you want to remain fresh and emitting a pleasant smell constantly, do you know how long does deodorant last so that you can tell when do you need to reapply it? The answer is right here!

How long does most deodorant last in general?

Most brands claim that their products are 24-hour or 48-hour protection. Or in another word, it means that if you don’t take a shower, you need to reapply deodorant once every 1 or 2 days to get rid of body odor.

How does deodorant work to prevent you from having body odor for that long? First of all, you need to understand that sweat itself does not cause body odor. The bacteria in your armpit areas is the culprit here by thriving on the nutrients from your sweat and breaking them into thioalcohol – a compound that emits a terrible smell.

The reason why deodorant’s effect can last for up to 48 hours is that deodorant products contain antimicrobial. Hence, it kills off bacteria in your armpits area and attacks right on the origin of the problem. Deodorant also works as perfume to shield yourself off with some pleasant smell.

Deodorant’s effect can last for up to 48 hours
Deodorant’s effect can last for up to 48 hours

Although the term “deodorant” and “antiperspirant” are often used interchangeably, there are not the same. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEODORANT AND ANTIPERSPIRANT? Antiperspirant has fragrances that will cover your primary body smell just like deodorant, but it prevents bacteria’s outbreak by blocking eccrine duct to prevent sweat excretion. No sweat, no environment for bacteria to grow.

The term “deodorant” in this article will mean as both deodorant and antiperspirant to make it easy for you. However, in some cases, separations between those two are needed as the difference between them can impact your question “how long does deodorant last” in two different ways. We’ll see in the next section below.  

Factors that affect how long does deodorant last

Unfortunately, those words from manufacture’s advertisement are not enough to determine how long does your deodorant last. The protection time that every brand’s guarantee is not the same for everyone as we are all different. To see how long does deodorant last to you, you would have to consider at least these five factors:

Your deodorant product

This is the beginning of everything. Even though we know that most brands guarantee you 24-hour protection or even 48-hour protection from body odor, that is not always true. And the first one to blame is the product itself:

It is not suitable for your condition

You should use antiperspirant instead of deodorant: as we mentioned before, the difference between them can be one of many factors that can alter how long does deodorant last.

For an average sweater, deodorant is enough to keep yourself being dry and smelling good for a day or two. But for those who sweat a lot, deodorant’s active ingredients are very likely to be washed away which will lead to foul body odor in no time.

Not including that, a soggy underarm is a huge minus point to your style and able to cause both embarrassment and discomfort. In this case, you will need to choose antiperspirants or switch to some of the BEST DEODORANT FOR MEN WHO SWEAT A LOT which is stronger and more effective.

Deodorant formula not strong enough: The degree of bacteria’s resistance to antimicrobial and a load of bacteria are different among us. That’s why some deodorants are effective to someone but tend to be weak to others. It is a long process of trial and fails until you can find out which one is the best for your body.

However, there is still a short-cut to help you find your perfect match easier that is consulting your dermatologist for a prescription antibacterial treatment.  Or even easier, you can simply spend few minutes to take a look at a list of BEST DEODORANT FOR MEN to see some deodorants that work for most people that we have carefully researched and picked for you!

You have much a deeper problem: Sweating is surely normal, but excessive perspiring can be the sign of a more serious condition called hyperhidrosis.

There are two types of hyperhidrosis. The first one is called primary hyperhidrosis. This form is caused by the over-excitation of the nervous system to sweat glands all over your body without any reasons. An over-counter deodorant or antiperspirant is usually good enough to keep your sweat issue and body odor under control. But sometimes, with more severe cases, you will need a prescription antiperspirant or a surgery if excessive sweating seriously interferes with your daily life.

Another type of hyperhidrosis is secondary hyperhidrosis. It is the result of some underlying medical condition such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, infection or gout [1]. If you are suffering from secondary hyperhidrosis, neither over-the-counter deodorants or antiperspirant are likely to work successfully.  Please seek medical help to get prescription antiperspirants and find out the underlying problem to fully dispose of body odor.

Your deodorant has lost its effect over time

Since deodorant works as an antimicrobial, it won’t get contaminated, but its fragrance will fade over time. So after a period of time, deodorant’s effect may decrease, but it is still safe though.

In another case, occasionally, your body may become adapt to deodorant after two or three months especially if it contains antiperspirant’s compounds [2]. Even though there has not been any firm evidence yet,  this is probably because your body finds some way to unplug the blocked eccrine ducts or develop a compensatory sweating mechanism.

However, if you want to save some money, there are still ways to make one stick of deodorant last longer than a few months. Click HOW LONG DOES A STICK OF DEODORANT LAST to see what factors can modify a stick of deodorant’s shelf life and what can you do to lengthen that time.


Undoubtedly, how you live can change how long does deodorant last to you as well. For highly-active people, after a long run or an intense work-out at the gym, for example, their body will sweat a lot to cool down the heat produced by those kinds of activities.

Does deodorant’s effect still last then? Well, most people will take a shower or reapply deodorant afterward to prevent further unpleasant smell formation, but if you can’t do that right away, the answer here depends on the amount of deodorant that you put before.

If you apply too little deodorant, its active ingredients will easily be washed away along with sweat and then dissipate. If you apply too much deodorant, a strong deodorant will be effective, but you will have some troubles such as stains on your clothes or becoming adapted to deodorant quicker.So HOW MUCH DEODORANT SHOULD I USE on myself? Click here to find out the answers!


Diet affects deodorant’s effect
Diet affects deodorant’s effect

Even though what you consume does not directly impact on deodorant’s active ingredients, it can contribute to the natural scent of your body which can affect deodorant’s effect and change how long does deodorant last after all:

Eat less animal protein: Carnitine is an acid-amine in that mostly found in red meat like pork or beef. Normally, it will be broken down by digestive system’s enzymes and dispose of through feces, but if you consume too much of it, your body will emit a “fishy” body odor [4]. To fix this, you can switch to an alternate source of protein like soy, beans, and poultry.

Eat more vegetables and fruits: With a high level of fibers and vitamin, these type of foods will flush out toxins or compounds that cause an unpleasant smell. However, you should avoid overeating brassica genus like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower as the sulfur in these vegetables can lead to unpleasant body’s scent.

Use herb to get rid of body odor: Chlorophyll – a substance that makes leave green is proved to counteract body scent well. Mint, cilantro, parsley are good examples of herbs that contains a great amount of chlorophyll. You can add this kind of herbs into daily meal or juice to increase appetite, refresh and detoxifying your body.

Psychological factor

Stress or anxiety are surprisingly linked to your body odor and how long does deodorant last. To explain this, first of all, you need to know that there are two types of sweat glands in your body that is apocrine gland and eccrine gland. While the product of eccrine glands is watery sweat, apocrine glands- a type of gland that mostly found in your armpits – excrete sweat with high level of nutrients like fat, lipid, and protein which makes up a perfect environment for bacteria’s growth.

Under stress, anxiety, fear or pain, apocrine glands are activated [3]. So if you have stress, even though you feel like you don’t sweat a lot, you still stink. But your deodorant’s quality is not the one to blame here; it is your mind that worsens the smell. Now just relaxing, taking a few exercises, going out and enjoying your life(or asking for help if you need), the body odor problem will go away sooner or later.

How do you apply deodorant

Applying deodorant in the right way can make deodorant last in a long time. In the opposite, using it wrong can not maximize deodorant’s full potential. Because of that, let’s take a brief look at some dos and don’ts to see what you should do with your deodorant to keep yourself smell good for a whole day:

Do clean or take a shower before using deodorant: good hygiene of armpits area can boost deodorant’s effect by partly get rid of bacterias and remove nutrients for bacteria’s growth. Before bathing, applying toothpaste 5 to 10 minutes is a small tip that can be helpful to promote deodorant as well.

However, don’t apply deodorant right after that: Impatience can make bathing action back-fire. Water from wet skin can shorten how long does deodorant last by diluting or washing away deodorant’s active ingredients. Moreover, deodorant can leave a mark on your outfit if you get dressed immediately after taking a shower. Just let your armpits have some time to dry before using deodorant, guys.

Do preserve your deodorant properly:  Nothing can last for long unless you treated them right. Firstly, remember to cap your stick of deodorant after using to prevent the fragrances from fading over time. And secondly, avoiding applying or touching it when your skin is still wet as that action can lead to contamination, especially with natural deodorant.

What to do when you don’t stay under deodorant’s protection

Deodorant has been such a great help for all of us to get rid of body odor. But because of some reasons, sometimes you can’t or don’t want to stay under deodorant’s protection. What can you do in those cases to prevent body odor then?

You have sensitive skin: Besides being a hero to chase away body odor, deodorant can be annoying to some people with delicate skin. As a reaction to chemicals such as alcohol, aluminum or alcohol in deodorant, a sensitive-skin person will show symptoms of allergy like itchy, irritation or flare-ups.

To solve your problem, you can switch to more friendly type such as nature-origin or no-scent deodorant. Click BEST MEN’S DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN or BEST DEODORANT FOR SENSITIVE ARMPITS to see which deodorant you should choose if you fall into this category.  

You can switch to more friendly type such as nature-origin or no-scent deodorant
You can switch to more friendly type such as nature-origin or no-scent deodorant

You are afraid deodorant will lead to dark underarms: Rumour has it that deodorant will lead to darker armpits which is a nightmare for women. Even though there is not any research that can prove that but just to make sure, this problem also needs to be thinking through. Click here to see BEST DEODORANT FOR DARK UNDERARMS for more information!

You are concerned about deodorant’s health effects: Aluminum is the active ingredient in most antiperspirants. Regardless of its common,  aluminum has a bad rep about how it can lead to health problems like Alzheimer, breast cancer and so on. Even though there is no firm evidence to support this link, for the sake of your health, please consider using one of the BEST ALUMINUM FREE DEODORANT FOR MEN that we have selected for you.

You forget to use it: You got up late in the morning and had to rush to work immediately. Unfortunately, when you get there, you realize that you forgot to put on deodorant before leaving the house. So now you have to avoid contact at least as possible before anyone notices something “weird” coming off from you.

That is such a common scenario for those who forget to put deodorant before heading outside. So WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FORGET DEODORANT? Well, hand-sanitizer can be a true savior for you. Alcohol in hand sanitizer can kill bacterias in your skin and keep your body’s smell under control. It is not a friendly option for sensitive skin in underarms, and you will smell like alcohol, but hey, at least you don’t smell terrible for the whole day!

Main points of how long does deodorant last

How long does deodorant last in general

Deodorant works both as an antimicrobial to kill bacteria – the culprit of body odor and the perfume to cover your body with a great smell.

Most brands claim that their products are 24-hour protection or 48-hour protection.

Factors that affect how long does deodorant last

However, the words in those advertisements are only true with average, normal sweater. But we are all different so to determine how long does deodorant last to you; there are at least five factors to consider:

  1. Your deodorant product
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Diet
  4. Psychological factors
  5. How do you apply deodorant

What to do when you don’t stay under deodorant’s protection

It’s common that you don’t want to or can’t use deodorant to get rid of body odor. Then to prevent stinky smell,  you should look for a more “friendly” deodorant or use hand sanitizer as a temporary solution.

In conclusion

We have just explained to you about how long does deodorant last in great details.

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