Is It Bad to Share Deodorant?
Is it okay to share antiperspirants & deodorants?
There are potential risks to your health whenever you share your roll-on deodorant, toothbrush, and other personal hygiene items.
However, if there is no choice but to share the same deodorant, opt for sprays to avoid contact. Otherwise, rub the tip of the stick with some alcohol first before using.
Keep reading to know more about why you should not share deodorant.
Is It Bad to Share Deodorant?
It is bad to share personal items (such as toothbrushes, nail clippers, razors, towels, and soap) for grooming. It is a very easy way to spread germs and bacteria through direct contact.
An example of a contagion is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — an antibiotic-resistant staph infection. Other things you can catch are the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and warts.
These can enter nicks from shaving or ingrown hairs, causing problems like skin infections.
Similarly, if you share deodorant, you are rolling on germs and bacteria left by the previous user.
Statistics on Deodorant Sharing
If you have ever been tempted to share your body soap, nail clippers, or toothbrush with someone else, you are NOT alone.
In fact, Drive Research, a market research company in the United States conducted a survey of 1813 Americans in 2022 and found that 35% of people are willing to share their deodorant with family, friends, or a significant other.
People are also willing to share other personal hygiene items. For instance, 1 in 2 share a bar of body soap with a friend, family member, or significant other.
The Risks of Sharing Deodorant
Deodorants and antiperspirants can harbor microorganisms (like bacteria, yeast, and fungi) that can spread skin problems and infections to a friend who borrows them.
A true deodorant has antimicrobial properties that remove odor-causing bacteria. They remove elements that cause sweat to attract bacteria from the apocrine glands in your pits.
They turn your skin acidic, making it less attractive to bacteria. This makes it less likely to cause an infection than an antiperspirant.
Meanwhile, as the name implies, antiperspirants only BLOCK your sweat glands and pores. Hence, if a stick transfers bacteria, germs, or fungi, there is an increased risk of bacterial or fungal skin infections.
On top of that, microbes flourish in an armpit's warm and damp environment — and when the antiperspirant wears off, bacteria may start wreaking havoc.
Health Expert Opinions on Sharing Deodorant
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marnie B. Nussbaum warns of the risk of sharing either antiperspirants or deodorants after shaving since it can "leave microscopic cuts in the skin, allowing blood-borne pathogens to be TRANSFERRED via deodorant."
Meanwhile, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these blood-borne viral infections include the following: HIV, Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV), and other dangerous diseases.
Safer Alternatives to Deodorant Sharing
Switching to natural deodorant might seem like a good move since these products are made from tea tree oil or similar ingredients with anti-bacterial properties.
However, it is still best if you don't share deodorants at all.
If you have to share, you can swap solid or gel deodorants with sprays to AVOID cross-contamination since they do not come in contact with anyone.
But if you absolutely have to share a roll-on deodorant, rub the tip in disinfectant alcohol first to prevent potential bacterial infections.
Key Takeaways on Sharing Deodorant
Sharing tweezers, toothbrushes, soap, and, most of all, roll-on deodorant is a surprisingly common practice. However, instead of only fallen hair or skin cells, you spread diseases and blood-borne infections.
If possible, don't share your deodorant stick with anybody, even if that person is a loved one. If you have to share, opt for sprays or rub the tip with disinfectant alcohol first.
Teach this to your kids at an early age. You can also get them their own natural deodorant for kids so they know and practice the importance of personal hygiene.