Why You Should Always Apply Antiperspirant at Night Before Bed

Photo: Getty Images / NKS_Imagery
If you tend to sweat a lot and would rather not, deodorant—which just protects against odor—won't help. You need an antiperspirant. And to get the most out of it, Maral Skelsey, MD, a Maryland-based dermatologist, says to always apply antiperspirant at night before bed.

"There's this idea you have to get up in the morning, take a shower, put your deodorant on," says Dr. Skelsey. "That's part of the normal American routine, but you don't have to use it every day and it's actually much better to just use it at night." That's because antiperspirants contain aluminum salts which the body absorbs to form a plug in your sweat glands. "It takes a little time for that plug to form," so applying it at night means it will be performance-ready by the morning. "The sweat gland recognizes that it's blocked and stops producing so much sweat."

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Additionally, Dr. Skelsey says you should apply antiperspirant to dry skin. "It causes a lot more irritation when your skin is damp," she says. If you're not having excessive sweating, she says you only have to use antiperspirant every few days, especially if you're using something that's clinical strength. "A lot of people only have to use it three days a week," she says.

The effect of the antiperspirant will remain for a bit even if you're sweating and regularly washing your armpits with soap. Deodorant, however, wears away so she says you can use it on a daily basis. She says to look for antiperspirants that contain aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrate (AZT). Shop our three favorites below.

3 of our favorite antiperspirants to apply before bed

Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant — $8.00

The Secret Antiperspirant Clinical Strength Deodorant is the holy grail of antiperspirants. It’s made to provide 48 hours of wetness protection. It has twice the sweat protection of ordinary antiperspirant. It has a 20 percent concentration of AZT.

The Degree Motion Sense Advanced Protection Antiperspirant, 2 Count — $7.00

The Degree Motion Sense Advanced Protection Antiperspirant offers 48 hours of non-stop protection against sweating. It features motion-sense technology through smart fragrance-filled capsules that best when you’re in motion. It has a 19 percent concentration of AZT. This set contains two antiperspirant sticks.

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick, 2 Pack — $9.00

The Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant Deodorant Stick keeps your underarms dry for up to 48 hours. Because antiperspirants can be drying, one-quarter of this stick is moisturizing ingredients. It contains 15 percent AZT. This pack comes with two antiperspirant sticks.

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