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9 Alternative Uses for Deodorant and Antiperspirant

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Antiperspirant — it’s not just for your pits! Believe it or not, there are lot of ways to repurpose all that deodorant in your stockpile. First things first — it’s important to mention that while the terms “antiperspirant” and “deodorant” are frequently used interchangeably, they are actually two distinct products. Deodorant helps prevent unwanted odor via antimicrobial ingredients that kill odor-causing bacteria, but deodorant does not actually prevent you from sweating. On the other hand, antiperspirants contain ingredients that plug up sweat glands to prevent sweating. The first eight alternate uses mentioned in this article require the use of antiperspirant, while the ninth use requires deodorant (of the spray-on variety).

Check out these nine alternate uses for deodorant and antiperspirant:

1. Prevent “chub rub” (inner-thigh chafing)

Unless you’re a prima ballerina or a waif of a runway model, you’ve probably experienced chafing and irritation of your inner thighs caused by walking, running or doing anything that causes your legs to rub together. To prevent (or at least minimize) this painful condition, rub antiperspirant along the areas that are prone to chafing. For this alternate use, you may want to use a clear gel antiperspirant to prevent getting white marks on your clothes.

2. Prevent “under-boob” irritation and chafing

Another joy of being a woman during the sweltering hot summer is irritation and chafing on the delicate skin underneath your breasts. This type of irritation is more common in bustier women but can occur in women of all shapes and sizes — especially when wearing a tight sports bra during sweaty workouts or a too-tight underwire bra that constantly rubs against your skin. To keep this condition at bay, apply a thin coat of clear gel antiperspirant on the affected areas of your chest.

3. Dry out a zit

Has a zit just erupted smack in the middle of your chin? No zit cream or clarifying lotions and potions in sight? What to do, what to do? Well, one option is to put a tiny dab of antiperspirant on your zit before bedtime to dry it out overnight. Zits are the pits (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!); fortunately, this alternate antiperspirant use hits the spot.

4. Relieve itchy bug bites

Have you been attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes, gnats or some other pesky pest?  Well, as I’m sure you’ve heard a million times before, don’t scratch those bites — it will only make them worse. For instant relief, place a dab of antiperspirant on your itchy bites.

5. Prevent sweaty palms

What's worse than a limp handshake? Answer: a sweaty handshake! If you’re plagued by sweaty hands, put a thin layer of clear gel antiperspirant on your palms each morning when you wake up. High five for this solution!

6. Prevent nipple chafing during long runs (for men)

Male long-distance runners frequently suffer from chafed, irritated or even bleeding nipples caused by their shirts rubbing against their skin for an extended period of time. While the problem could be prevented with Band-Aids, chest hair is going to make ripping them off unpleasant. Instead, try this innovative solution to nipple irritation: rub a layer of clear gel antiperspirant on the areas prone to irritation prior to running. While there are specialty running products intended for this same purpose (i.e. BodyGlide Anti-Friction Stick, $14.99 at Road Runner Sports), antiperspirant is usually less expensive, and you’ll most likely always have it around.

7. Keep your feet dry and odor-free

Sweaty and stinky feet — whew, now that's a double whammy in the ick department! Keep your footsies dry and odor free by applying a thin layer of clear gel antiperspirant to the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed at night. The antiperspirant will sink into your feet, offering you wetness and odor protection the next day.

8. Prevent blisters on your feet

From platform pumps to peep-toe slingbacks to pointy-toe stilettos — I love shoes, even the uncomfortable ones that pinch and prod and destroy my feet. Pain is beauty, they say, but let me tell you — there is nothing pretty about a giant blister on your foot. Fortunately, one of my fellow shoe-fiend friends told me about this simple trick to prevent blisters: rub a dab of clear gel antiperspirant on the parts of your feet and toes that rub against your shoes, wait for the antiperspirant to dry, and then slip on your beloved shoes. The antiperspirant should create a barrier layer between your skin and your shoes, thus preventing blisters. As an added bonus, the antiperspirant will fight foot odor!

9. Remove permanent marker stains

If you have permanent marker stains on a smooth surface such as a wall, try spraying some aerosol deodorant on the stain and then wiping the area clean with a paper towel. How re-marker-able is that? This alternate use works due to the high alcohol content in deodorant sprays.


Note: If you’re applying antiperspirant to an area of your body other than your underarms, it’s strongly suggested that you do a patch test first. Just because an antiperspirant doesn’t irritate your underarms doesn’t mean that it won’t cause irritation when used on your face, inner thighs, hands, chest or feet. Apply a small amount of antiperspirant on the part of your body where you want to ultimately use the antiperspirant and leave it there for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes you get an adverse reaction such as itching, burning, redness, swelling or any other discomfort, wash the antiperspirant off and refrain from using it on that part of your body.

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