Deodorant fatigue: What to do if your deodorant stops working

Deodorant fatigue: What to do if your deodorant stops working

Have you ever experienced a day when your trusty deodorant seems to have lost its magic? Despite applying it as diligently as you usually do, you end up with an unpleasant odor wafting in from your armpits? Don't worry, you're not alone. The issue is more common than we may think, and it's known as deodorant fatigue. 

Here are some things to know about deodorant fatigue, its causes, and what steps to take if your deodorant stops working: 

What is deodorant fatigue?

Deodorant fatigue is when your deodorant stops working over time. It happens when your body becomes less responsive to the active ingredients in your deodorant, resulting in reduced odor control.  

Possible causes of deodorant fatigue

  • Bacterial resistance: The bacteria on our skin can become resistant to the antimicrobial agents present in deodorants, reducing their effectiveness in controlling odor.
  • Product buildup: Continuous use of the same deodorant can lead to product buildup on the skin's surface, preventing the active ingredients from working effectively.
  • Changes in hormones: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those occurring during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can influence sweat production and affect the efficacy of deodorants.
  • Environmental factors: Hot and humid weather can cause increased sweating, overwhelming the deodorant's capacity to keep up with odor and sweat control.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Changes in diet, stress levels, and physical activity can alter our body's natural odor, making the current deodorant less effective.

What to do if your deodorant stops working

If you notice your deodorant losing its effectiveness, don't worry; there are several steps you can take to combat deodorant fatigue and regain control of your body odor. 

  • Rotate deodorants: Switch between two or more deodorants with different active ingredients. This rotation can prevent bacterial resistance and product buildup, increasing the effectiveness of your deodorant. We recommend switching up the strength of your deodorant as an easy start.
  • Cleanse properly: Before applying a new layer of deodorant, ensure you wash your underarms thoroughly with soap and water to remove any residual product or bacteria. In addition, gently exfoliating with a konjac sponge can help remove bacteria and sweat build-up. Here’s how to exfoliate your armpits properly.
  • Natural alternatives: some people, especially those who use antiperspirants, find success in switching to natural deodorants without harsh chemicals. This is because antiperspirants use aluminum compounds to block sweat ducts. Over time, the body can become used to this blocking effect, leading to reduced effectiveness. Natural deodorants, like those found at Nala, do not block sweat ducts, so there's no buildup of ingredients like aluminum. 
  • Lifestyle adjustments: Evaluate your lifestyle choices and make adjustments to help control body odor. Staying hydrated, managing stress, maintaining a balanced diet, and practicing good hygiene can all contribute to odor control.

When should you seek medical advice?

If deodorant fatigue persists despite trying different solutions, consult a healthcare professional. They can help identify any underlying conditions that might be contributing to the issue.

products mentioned in this article


  • WebMD. (n.d.). How to Deal With Deodorant That Just Doesn't Work. Retrieved from
  • Berger, A. (2018). What to Do When Your Antiperspirant Just Stops Working. Retrieved from

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  • Just wondering if you will ever have a lemon myrtle deodorant that’s extra strength. Or something close to that scent.
    I’ve been using your deodorants for 6 years. Love it.

    Heather Dow on

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