How to use anti-perspirant – because you’ve probably been doing it wrong

Olivia Petter
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sweating is no fun. We know this, which is why we use deodorant.

In fact, 63 per cent of British women cite sweating as their most embarrassing body issue, reports Perspirex.

However, apparently we’ve been doing it wrong our whole lives, as a doctor revealed the errors of our sweaty ways to Cosmopolitan.

According to Dr Dawn Harper, who appears on Embarrassing Bodies, there are four common mistakes everyone makes when applying the antiperspirant.

There's a difference between antiperspirant and deodorant too, as Dr Harper explains: "Antiperspirants are designed to prevent sweat whilst deodorants are used to mask the smell.

"Interestingly fresh sweat doesn’t smell. The odour is produced when bacteria on the skin break down the sweat.

"Anyone conscious of body odour should use a pH balanced soap to wash as perfumed products can alter the pH of the skin making it a better environment for the bacteria to grow, which in turn could exacerbate the problem."

Using it when you’re still wet from the shower

"To get the best results you apply deodorant to completely dry skin,” Harper advises.

This one isn’t too surprising, given that wet skin tends to be pretty poor at absorbing anything, let alone deodorant, but good to know all the same.

Applying it in the morning

Naturally, we want to remain sweat-free for the entirety of our days – afternoon sweat patches appeal to no man - so it’s only normal that most of us would apply lashings of our deodorant shortly after we hit the snooze button.

However, Harper suggests applying deodorant in the evening instead, explaining that leaving it on overnight has a more long-lasting effect. She advises following this up by washing your armpits the next morning with soap and water.

Getting dressed too quickly after putting it on

Ever used a hairdryer to abolish sweat patches in emergencies? Desperate times…

You wouldn’t be alone, however - Harper explains it might actually be necessary to use this handy hack to dry your deodorant properly before putting clothes on.

Let’s just hope nobody walks in whilst you’ve got a hairdryer up your pits.

Using too much

Apparently, we shouldn’t even be using it every day.

“Apply two strokes up and two strokes down to each armpit. You should only need to do this once or twice a week," Harper advised.

Yep, just once or twice a week. We’re frightened too.