Can You Use Hand Sanitizer as Deodorant?

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This is a very common question among those who use deodorants a lot.

If you’re one, you know it’s part of your routine to put on your deodorant, especially when you’re going out.

Unfortunately, and if you’re like me, there are some days you’ll forget this ritual.

And if you can’t go back home, it can be a battle with yourself about what to do next.

  • Can hand sanitizer come in as a deodorant?
  • Does it have the same effect?

Can You Use Hand Sanitizer as Deodorant?

Hand Sanitizer as Deodorant

Yes, you can use your hand sanitizer as a deodorant. However, it can only serve as a temporary solution. It cannot replace your deodorant. If you’re looking for an alternative, then your hand sanitizer isn’t one. But if you’re looking for a nonpermanent fix, then go with it.

Hand Sanitizer as Deodorant: How Effective?

If you’re wondering if you can use hand sanitizer as a deodorant, then the answer is two-fold. Short and long term.

Without further ado, let’s dig in.

In the Short Term

If you’re looking for a temporary fix, then your hand sanitizer can double as a deodorant.

This is because the ingredients in both deodorant and hand sanitizer are not that different.

They are both made with different types of alcohol, mostly ethanol and propylene glycol.

They also contain fragrances, surfactants and colorants.

While brands may give them strange/biological names, you’ll find they are the same in the long run.

Knowing that you can deduce now that they will work similarly.

What they do is kill the bacteria that feed on your sweat to cause odor.

Once bacteria is wiped off, it remains just your sweat (which is produced by your apocrine glands found under your armpits) and doesn’t smell on its own.

As long as these bacteria are absent, the odor will not return.

In the Long Term

Unfortunately, alcohol is drying in nature.

That’s to say the deodorant and hand sanitizer will quickly dry off (due to being made from ethanol and other variants), which allows bacteria to return.

That’s to say, once your hand sanitizer dries off, the bacteria comes back along with the odor and sweat.

To prevent this occurrence, deodorant often contains another substance called “triclosan”. This substance is used in deodorants to kill odor-causing germs on the skin. 

It is absent in hand sanitizer, which makes deodorant more effective in the long term.

And why your hand sanitizer cannot replace or double as a deodorant for more than a few minutes or hour at most.

It is also why some deodorants can last for 24 hours or more.

Another thing is that with your hand sanitizer, the sweat may not go away. But it can certainly stop the odor — albeit in a short period of time.

So, you can apply your deodorant once and go out, but your hand sanitizer will require a continuous application.

What Your Hand Sanitizer Does

What your hand sanitizer is doing, in essence, is sanitizing your armpits. Basically, what you can expect when you put it in your hands.

So, it isn’t really serving as a deodorant.

It’ll not just clear germs and bacteria but will also remove grease as it would do if you apply it to your hands.

If you want to know how effective your hand sanitizer can be (as a deodorant), simply try it.

Use it instead of your deodorant and watch how long it will last and if it’ll stop your sweat along with the odor.

Summary

So, let’s return to the question: Can You Use Hand Sanitizer as a Deodorant?

Yes, you can use your hand sanitizer as a deodorant. However, it can only serve as a temporary solution. It cannot replace your deodorant. If you’re looking for an alternative, then your hand sanitizer isn’t one. But if you’re looking for a nonpermanent fix, then go with it.

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