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What to Do When Your Antiperspirant Doesn't Work

September 24, 2022 4 min read

antiperspirant doesn't work

“Why is my antiperspirant not working?” If you have asked yourself this question recently, then you likely encountered a sweat break-through on more than one occasion. You may be baffled when your tried-and-true antiperspirant doesn’t work anymore. Keep reading to learn what makes antiperspirant work, why it stops working, and what to do to remedy the situation.

What makes antiperspirant work?

The main purpose of antiperspirant is to prevent (or block) sweat. A high concentration of the body's hundreds of thousands of sweat glands can be found in the armpits. Our sweat glands regulate body temperature, and they can activate for various reasons. Most people sweat from physical exertion, hot or humid weather, stress, or anxiety. But for others, sweating can be excessive and uncontrollable.

Antiperspirants stop sweat by blocking (or plugging) the sweat glands. Most conventional antiperspirants contain aluminum salts, which morph into a gel and coat the sweat glands. Once the sweat glands are coated, the amount of sweat released is reduced.

Problem: You apply antiperspirant at the wrong time of day.

Most of us shower in the morning and swipe on antiperspirant after drying off. Yet, this conventional way of applying antiperspirant may be why it seems like your antiperspirant doesn’t work.

what makes antiperspirant work

Solution: Apply antiperspirant at night instead.

In general, people sweat the least when they sleep. The body is inactive, in a climate-controlled environment, and free from stress... conditions that usually trigger sweat.

Because of this, applying antiperspirant at night to clean skin allows the formula to work while you sleep. It also has less chance of washing away from sweat. 

Problem: You’re using the wrong formula.

Even though antiperspirants have the same goal, not all are created equal. Sometimes the product you’ve used for years just stops working. This may be a minor change in the formula, or it could be that you are sweating more than you used to.

Solution: Find a formula that works best for you.

First of all, make sure you are using antiperspirant - not deodorant - to stop sweat. As we previously explained, antiperspirant contains aluminum salts specifically to stop or reduce sweat. Conversely, deodorant is designed to combat underarm odor.

Secondly, find an antiperspirant formulated to treat your level of sweat production. If you are sweating more than usual, then look for products with higher levels of aluminum chloride. Many times these over-the-counter products are labeled “clinical strength,” which are available without a prescription.

Lastly, if a clinical strength antiperspirant doesn’t work, then ask your doctor about a prescription-strength antiperspirant.

Problem: You are wearing the wrong clothing.

We’re not talking about wearing turtlenecks in the summertime. We’re talking about wearing clothing that traps heat or moisture and does not ventilate. Additionally, clothing that is too tight may also contribute to excessive sweating.

Solution: Wear clothing that works for you.

Wear natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen, and wool, because they are breathable. Breathable fabrics allow air to circulate, heat to escape your body, and moisture to dry out. Look for clothing that is made from lightweight or thin natural fabrics. They are more likely to absorb moisture and draw it away from your skin. This allows your body to cool off.

why is my antiperspirant not working

In addition to wearing natural fabrics, try an Ejis sweat proof undershirt (buy in our shop or on Amazon) to stop sweat from reaching your clothes. The underarm sweat proof protection is all one piece, which helps prevent leakage. 

Problem: You experience high levels of stress or anxiety.

You're probably already familiar with the effects of stress and anxiety. However, when your levels of stress and anxiety increase, your body temperature increases too which can make you sweat more. (In fact, nervous or stress sweat makes the body secrete about 30 times more sweat than normal.)

Conversely, when you sweat a lot, your anxiety may increase because you feel embarrassed or self-conscious about it around other people.

Solution: Learn ways to calm your nerves.

If you sweat more when you are stressed or anxious, look for ways to relax. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take a minute from work to decompress and get centered by taking a short nap.
  • This helps to clear your mind, so it's easier to focus on the tasks at hand.
  • Practice meditation during your break and reflect on what is most meaningful in your life.
  • Physically release stress through activities like jogging, power walking, or even kickboxing. This type of exercise carries can help you maintain a healthy attitude throughout the day.
  • Distract yourself by listening to calming music during times of high stress.
  • Talk to a counselor or trusted friend about the situations in your life that are causing stress or anxiety.

It can be problematic when your antiperspirant doesn't work. Thankfully there are ways to figure out why and what to do about it. Make sure you’re covered at all times by wearing an Ejis sweat proof undershirt. Our sweat proof protection will keep your dress shirt dry even if your antiperspirant doesn’t.

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