Wearing deodorant under your armpits every day is a given. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of forgetting to apply it before running out the door, then you know what the rest of your day is like: sweaty, sticky and smelly. Applying deodorant is just as routine as brushing your teeth. You just wouldn’t go through the day without it.
But, are there other parts of the body where you should be wearing it, like your face to make it less shiny? We asked New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD, her thoughts and this is what she had to say.
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“Deodorant can help with sweat to some degree, but they are designed to be acidic to get into the follicle where the sweat gland lives and block it from releasing sweat. It doesn’t work the same for your skin as it does when you apply it to your underarms because the face has more oil glands and if you over dry the skin and totally block sweat, the oil glands may go in to over production to hydrate the skin. That may make a bad problem worse.” Should you choose to use deodorant on your face, use your fingers to apply a small amount on areas that get a bit oily.
Sure, there are more traditional ways of treating shiny and oily skin, like using oil-blotting papers such as Boscia Clear Complexion Blotting Linens ($10) and mattifying gels—Benefit The POREfessional Matte Rescue Mattifying Gel ($28) is one of our favorites. But, if you choose to go the nontraditional route and use deodorant to cut down on a sweaty face, you need to realize that there is a chance that you’ll be irritating your skin. “You also should be careful because some products can leave a film on the skin,” says Dr. Day.
One place she says it’s really helpful is on the inner thighs. “It’s great for runners who get chaffing in that area,” explains Dr. Day. According to Amy Schumer’s Instagram, she seems to agree, too.
Oh, and always opt for a clear gel formula as opposed to something white and creamy. You wouldn’t want anyone getting wind of your secret trick.