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How to Tell When Your Deodorant Stops Working

It’s something that creeps up slowly but surely on all of us at one point or another: your daily swipes get progressively higher in count. At first is may be three or four, and then soon it’s five, six, nine, even ten or more. No matter how much you put on, you still have an end-of-day funk carrying with you, your shirts reek, and you get a couple of funny looks at the checkout line. It’s probably time for you to change deodorants. Simply put: deodorants can stop working. You may be someone who doesn’t like to change deodorants—maybe your girlfriend has a favorite scent, or you don’t like some of the gels versus dry sticks—but eventually, the decision is out of your hands. Nature begins to take its course, and if you want to smell fresh all day, it may be time for a change. But not necessarily: your manly stench may be a sign that you’ve adjusted to your deodorant, but it may simply be a sign that it’s not the right product. Here’s how you can tell what’s what:

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant: A Bigger Difference Than You Think

It’s not too often that you see an antiperspirant by itself, but it is very common to see a product that is a deodorant alone. Because of the way we talk about deodorant, it’s often interchanged with antiperspirant (How often do you say, “Hold on, I just have to put on some antiperspirant and then we can go.”), and that means that people will often mistake a simple deodorant for a product that blocks sweat. But that’s simply not true. While a stick of regular deodorant may be able to stop your B.O. from coming through, it’s probably not enough to stop sweat, and that will cause it’s own foul smells. Make sure that if you sweat regularly under your arms, you’re buying a combination deodorant & antiperspirant.

Stress Sweats: More Than Just B.O.

It’s not a long shot to say that most people have an unhealthy amount of stress in their life. But did you know that stress actually produces a worse odor than your normal B.O.? Stress can cause you to produce hormones that will break through typical deodorants. So if you’ve been experiencing heightened stress recently, and you’ve also noticed your deodorant is wearing down, it might not actually be the product. A few extra swipes during a tough week—or even carrying a spare in your desk—might be the best option for you.

Obstinate Odors

If after evaluating the above conditions, and finding that regardless of your not-so stressful life and strong deodorant/antiperspirant use, you still smell odiferous at the end of the day, then consider switching brands. And then once that stick is done, switch back. While it’s not a proven science, finding the best deodorant for men is a challenge that requires evaluating your lifestyle and needs. And if you’re finding yours doesn’t work, switching to a new stick is a much easier thing to do than cutting out stress or sweaty activities. So here’s to smelling good again!