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Should you wear deodorant to bed at night? Here's what a dermatologist says

Does it matter what time of day you apply your deodorant?
/ Source: TODAY

A seemingly minor hygiene question has sparked intense debate.

Over the weekend, on June 17, a Twitter user posed a simple query to their followers: “Y’all wear deodorant to bed?” The question was reposted by The Shade Room, a trending news site, and followers weighed in with a variety of opinions.

Some people were firmly in the camp that wearing deodorant at night keeps you fresh in the morning.

“That’s when you SHOULD wear it, so it becomes most effective the next day,” one Twitter user replied.

Equally fervent were those who forego deodorant at bedtime.

“Definitely not. Pls let your skin breathe,” another person wrote.

Here's what experts say.

Should you wear deodorant to bed?

To get to the bottom of the great debate about wearing deodorant at night, spoke with Dr. Shari Lipner, dermatologist and associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine.

According to Lipner, whether you should wear deodorant to bed depends on the kind of product you're using.

A true deodorant — one that's simply meant to block odor and does not prevent sweating — isn’t necessary to wear to bed, since people sweat less at night, especially with air conditioning, Lipner says.

“Most people do not really need to wear deodorant at night,” Lipner tells What's more, the odor-blocking properties of deodorant are most effective when applied in the morning, she says.

Is it good to wear antiperspirant deodorant at night?

Antiperspirants, which prevent sweating and odor, are a different story. According to Lipner, nighttime is the ideal time to apply an antiperspirant deodorant.

“We sweat less at night, so the antiperspirant can come into closer contact with sweat glands and decrease sweating," Lipner explains. Basically, because we sweat less when sleeping, applying antiperspirant before bed allows more time for the product to get absorbed, making it more effective the next day.

Wearing antiperspirant at night also saves you time in the morning since you don't have to apply it when you wake up, she adds.

Fellow dermatologist Dr. Uchenna R. Okereke offered a similar perspective to Lipner in the comments on The Shade Room's post: "Dermatologist here. We actually recommend using (antiperspirant) deodorant after shower before bed for the best efficacy."

Is wearing deodorant at night harmful?

But is wearing antiperspirant deodorant on your skin all day and all night harmful? Lipner says “there are no known health risks associated with wearing deodorant at night or wearing deodorant too often.”

Some people have allergic reactions to deodorant and develop a red, itchy rash known as allergic contact dermatitis, but this reaction isn’t associated with overusing the product, she adds.

“There is no need to take a break from deodorant, but if you are sweating so much that you need to use it multiple times a day, you should see a board-certified dermatologist who can recommend other options,” Lipner advises.

To further minimize sweating at night, Lipner recommends wearing “light, sweat-wicking clothing." If you struggle with any excessive sweating, see a board-certified dermatologist, she says.