Armpits growing immune to deodorant/anti-perspirant?

Lately, if I buy the same seodorant or anti-perspirant a number of times in a row (2-4 times), after a while it seems that it just stops working. Within a couple of hours I’m sweating in my pit area and sometimes (horrors!) the pits get a little gamey. So I end up reapplying the stuff at least once a day, sometimes twice.

First, this happened with Old Spice High Endurance, so I switched to Degree, then I went back to OSHE and it was fine until recently. What gives?


Um, how often are you bathing? :smiley: I mean, you’re not relying on the deodorant to take care of your total personal hygiene, are you? And you’re wearing clean clothing?

Other than that, all that comes to mind is that maybe the two brands you’re selecting are going through some kind of formula changes, unbeknownst to You The Consumer. Keep trying other brands.

Or possibly that you’re using extremely old deodorant. Are you buying it at the Dollar Store or Big Lots?

I knew it was coming.

Deoderant resistant bacteria!

Maybe you are getting older and riper?

Maybe your just a stinky person? :slight_smile: hehe

I sometimes skip the stuff and often don’t notice until I get stressed or do anything physically exerting. Maybe other people do though. lol

Nope. Noticed the same. Ditto shampoo. To check and see if I wuz going mad regarding anti-perspirant, I used a natural deodorant, mostly castor oils and scent, to see what it was like. It was rosemary-flavored and when it um quit around 3 pm, I stunk like chicken soup! Completely different odor than when anti-p. gave up. More experimenting later, I discovered that both deodorant and anti-perspirant work better in quantity, all over the pital area not just a swab in the cave part. Even so, I get the best protection when I switch off every other day with 2 brands of anti-p, and use the natural stuff (which works well, if for a shorter time) on the weekends.

My sweetie’s pits NEVER stink. They smell like arm sweat but not the stinky kind, ya know what I mean? All his other processes smell average, but his feets and pits is fresh as the Swiss alps.
Is this TMI? Tell me if it’s TMI I don’t want a rash of fainting on the board.

I’ve heard that you should rotate shampoos (about three or four different brands) because if you use the same one all the time your hair gets used to it.

Kinda doesn’t make sense (hair is DEAD, after all), but its what I’ve been told.

Maybe deoderants are the same?

You may have a similar problem to me. Anti-perspirants and sprays make me smell worse. I think its a type of allergic reaction. Since I’ve started using only roll-ons, and especially the herbal ones, I haven’t had any problems.

If you have a problem, use anti-perspirant not just deodorant.

Switch to a brand like Mitchums which is for extra control. Friends and I here find it’s the only one that works in the heat so we bring back loads from overseas every time we travel (can’t buy it here for some reason).

You can also buy ultra-strong stuff at the chemist/pharmacist that you only have to use every few days (even once a week) then you can top-up with normal stuff as you like.

Alum crystals (“natural stones” - but the Alum ones) are very effective too.

The only problem with very strong pore-blockers is that you can end up with itchy, dry underarms because they work too effectively. But at least you’ll smell less.

I should emphasize: I don’t stink where the point it’s outwardly noticable. I just feel sweat in the pits. Sometimes (if I do the sniff check) I notice a sweat smell, but not B.O. I nip that in the bud by re-applying.

Oh I bathe every day-- sometimes twice. Laundry is done regularly. It really isn’t the stink that draws my attention (I don’t reek)-- I just notice that I’m sweating after about four hours into the day when I use the same Deo./AntiP. (at which point I re-apply) after two or three months of using the same brand. But then if I change brands, everything is OK…for two or three months.


lol! No, usually buy it at Farmer Jack when I buy groceries. I might think it was just old deo/antiP doing this to me, but this phenomenon happens like clock-work every two-to-three months. Now today I bought Degree and used it this evening. As a result, after going to the bar tonight, I’m feeling dry and clean, even though three months ago Degree was lettin’ me down. I can almost guarantee that in around two months, Degree will be letting me down again, I’ll switch to something else, it’ll be okay, and the cycle will continue.

Older? Yes. Riper? Only at those unfortunate times every two to three months. :slight_smile:
Maragold, so you’ve noticed the same? Maybe it does have something to do with the hair in the pits…


I too have experienced this phenomenon, as have most of my family. I’m not sure it’s got a scientific explanation, or if it’s a proven phenomenon. You’d think if it were, they’d play it up in ads. Rather than try to build brandf loyalty, instead constantly be pushing at the 'switch…because you need to" angle.

Hey, there’s an entire website about this topic. “KILL-BO.” The owner makes the assumption that all of the stink is entirely created from your body’s natural flora (bacteria.) Then he goes through steps to eliminate those particular odor-producers, and to eliminate any colonies on clothing which would easily re-infect armpits.

He claims that his techniques can wipe out armpit odor entirely for months on end. I once experienced something similar after using nasty bactericidal soap on my armpits before minor surgery. I didn’t need any deodorant for several days afterwards.

I’ve never tried the KILL BO procedure. However, I did mess around with the bacterial colonies in clothing. I tried putting about 20mL of Chlorox in with the wash. It was amazing. The usual after-wash stink was entirely eliminated. Once I even left a whole load of wet towels in the washer for a whole week, and there was none of that “shower room funk” in them at all. Normally, if I leave wet towels in the washer for only a day or so, I’ll have to wash them again to get rid of that odor.

Me, I’m now convinced that bacterial colonies in clothing are an issue. And fairly small amounts of sodium hypochlorite wipes them out. (Watch out though, if you don’t dilute the chlorox you can easily put white stains all over your collection of black T-shirts.)

If this guy is right, think: how could the deodorant company scientists NOT KNOW about this?!!! They could sell products that, after a few days of use, totally eliminate the need to ever buy those products again. An entire industry collapses just because some little-known facts are exposed.

Heh. The conspiracy theorists among us might want to mirror the KillBO site in case its author should meet with a mysterious demise. :smiley:

stv, now you’re saying

That sounds pretty normal to me. Maybe you’re just a bit too obsessed with your armpits. On the other hand, if you really think there’s a problem, go see a dermatologist.

What was I saying before?


The more I read the responses to the OP, the more I wonder if it (the OP) was written in Etruscan.

Does anyone know if it has been anywhere shown or proven that deodorants/anti-perspirants lose their effectiveness on a particular person over time? (ie, do the bacteria become “immune” to one type of deodorant?)

If not, does anyone have an explanation of their own for this phenomenon? Failing that, has anyone else encountered it?

As far as I can tell, stv doesn’t have a medical or hygiene problem, he just wants to know why he has to buy a new type of deodorant every three months to maintain the highest level of effectiveness.

Oh, by the way, I did try googling for observations or explanations of this, but I must not be using the right keywords, because I just get buried under piles of “Anti-perspirants cause breast cancer!” warnings.

Sorry about your B.B.O., but I’m pretty sure deodorants and anti-perspirants do not work by killing the stinky bacteria which live in your armpit. They mask the smell and reduce the sweat level, but I do not think they are antibiotics. But correct me if I’m wrong. And if they aren’t antibiotics, resistance doesn’t make much sense. I’m a hairy guy but have never had this problem.

Noticed “kill BO” above?

Try searching on “aluminum chlorohydrate” and “bacteria”, etc.

Besides, there’s also and

bbeaty, that’s NOT what I’m looking for. I am looking for a web page that either says “Deodorants lose effectiveness after a few months due to X” or “Some people percieve that their deodorants lose effectiveness over time, but that’s a myth. It’s really X.” NOT “Here’s an alternative way to kill BO.” Your key words have nothing to do with specifically developing immunity to antipersipirants or them losing their effectiveness over time, and so do not get me any websites about this phenomenon, which is specifically what I’m looking for.

That’s right. Neither anti-perspirants nor deodorants contain antibiotics, though dermatologists have been known, in some cases, to prescribe antibiotics to control axillary bacteria, usually with limited success, as one population pops up when another is suppressed. Anti’s-perspirants work by partially obstructing the pores to prevent the apocrine secretions from interacting with the naturally present bacteria. The latter merely mask the smell. Contrary to what someone said above, the alum crystals have decidedly inferior performance compared to the mainstream anti-perspirants, though YMMV. By the way, anti-perspirants work best when applied in the evening–about an hour after bathing. Another factoid is that even a slight increase in body temperature (think stress) can cause a huge surge in bacterial growth.

In a few months, a revolutionary new “biological deodorant” will hit the store shelves. In the meantime, I read somewhere that Secret Platinum (scented for women) is perhaps the most effective OTC anti-perspirant, even better than Mitchum, whose original formula changed in recent years. Prescription anti-perspirants (Dry-Sol or Odo-Ban) are several times stronger. The latter can be obtained without prescription from Britain. Do a Google search. If hyperhydrosis (extreme perspiration is a problem, surgical correction is possible and usually successful.

I’m surprised by the responses. The same thing happens to me. After using the same deodorant/anti-perspirant for a while, it stops working as well. I don’t get stinky - just a little damp. I was told once that you do need to switch brands regularly. I figured this happened to everyone.