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Apparently We've All Been Applying Deodorant Wrong, So I Asked A Dermatologist

It's actually a little more complicated than you think.

There's been a huge debate over hygiene in the media this year. So when Sid Raz (@sidneyraz) went viral on TikTok for claiming that we've actually all been applying our deodorant wrong our whole lives, I was intrigued.

As you may recall from earlier this year, Dax Shephard and Kristen Bell admitted they "wait for the stink" before washing their kids, and Jake Gyllenhaal claimed he doesn't find bathing to be "necessary,” stirring up many emotions in people.

In his TikTok, Sid claims, “You’re supposed to apply deodorant at night,” and then cites an article by Garnier that says, “The most effective time of day to apply deodorant is at night before going to bed, and it is especially important to apply your antiperspirant at night. Your body temperature is lower and your underarms dryer at this time, so the deodorant will have a better chance to work on your skin.”

@sidneyraz / Via tiktok.com

Clearly, Sid struck a nerve, because his TikTok has been viewed more than 3.8 million times and received 582k likes and 10.5k comments — many of which express shock and others that reveal they do actually apply deodorant at night.

@sidneyraz / Via tiktok.com

In order to get to the bottom of this, BuzzFeed spoke with Dr. Dustin Portela, a board-certified dermatologist, who explained that deodorant is primarily used to mask odor. Therefore, it's unnecessary to use before bed. However, it may be beneficial to apply antiperspirant, which is used to prevent sweating, at nighttime — particularly if you deal with excess sweating.

Dermatologist Dr. Portela crosses his arms
@208skindoc / Via Instagram: @208skindoc

Dr. Pertola elaborated, “For the vast majority of people who do not have an issue with excess sweating, using an antiperspirant first thing in the morning is still totally okay. It doesn’t require any habit change if you just sweat a normal amount.”

If you are someone who deals with excess sweating, like hyperhidrosis, Dr. Pertola noted, “Those [who naturally sweat a lot] will benefit from using their antiperspirant at nighttime because our sweat glands are the least active while we’re sleeping.”

Nastya_ph / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dr. Portela mentions, “[Antiperspirant] is usually going to be an aluminum compound and will help to plug up those sweat ducts and provide a more long-lasting effect during the day.”

According to Healthline, the aluminum compounds help to “block sweat pores.” Just like your face, your body has pores that regularly release sweat and oil. By applying an antiperspirant, you'll actually lessen the amount of perspiration that is released onto your skin.

If you are planning to apply antiperspirant before bed, Dr. Portela recommended cleaning your underarms beforehand and making sure they're completely dry before applying antiperspirant.

A woman in a towel holds her arm above her head and sprays deodorant into her underarm
Holger Scheibe / Getty Images

So, turns out, Sid was onto something. BuzzFeed reached out to Sid, who had heard about the claim from someone in his DMs. When asked about his own experience, Sid said, “I tried it for a little, but it’s a very hard habit to break if you’ve been doing it in the morning the whole time.” He added that he wasn’t sure he noticed a huge difference when applying deodorant at night.

Selfie of TikTok user Sidney Raz
Sidney Raz

He did, however, appreciate certain aspects, “I did like not worrying about it in the morning, especially when I was in a rush. There was no, ‘Did I put on deodorant?’ because I had at night.”

As for why Sid decided to share this advice, he features a series on TikTok with videos on tips and lessons that he wishes he'd known before he turned 30. He explained, “I wanted to make this because it’s the opposite of what most of us know and do. A lot of us do things every day that we’ve just done because that’s what we’ve thought, so this was a chance to tell people that, actually, we’re wrong.”

A screengrab from Sid's TikTok with the caption, "Here's something I wish I knew before I was in my thirties"
@sidneyraz

Sid concluded, “People tend to walk around worried about what others think and are afraid to admit they don’t know how to do ‘simple’ things. It’s okay to not know something, and I really hope that people feel less alone when they see that I don’t know it either. I know that I feel less alone thanks to the people that watch my videos, and I’m so grateful that we’re in this together.”

So there you have it! Have you tried applying antiperspirant at night? How did it work out? Let me know in the comments!

20th Century Fox / Via media.giphy.com