Sunday, August 21, 2011

What to do when you forget to wear deodorant

You’re probably thinking, how often do you actually forget to wear deodorant? Well, pre-baby, I forgot maybe once or twice a year (I can be a little spacey), but post-baby it happens almost once a month.

I’ll have my hand on the deodorant, just about to remove the cap, when Ansley cries, and, being the stellar mommy I am, I go pick her up. Then I finish getting ready, completely forgetting the deodorant. It’s awful. You have to spend the whole rest of the day worrying if you smell and doing surreptitious underarm monitoring.

On one such day, I confessed my lack of deodorant to a friend at work:

Me: I totally think I forgot to put on deodorant today.
Her: Ohmygosh. Now that you mention it, I think I forgot too. That’s so funny.
Me: We are both going to smell.
Her: Do you have any antibacterial hand sanitizer? Because you can use that in a pinch.

Shut the front door. You can use what?! But it turns out, she’s right. You can use antibacterial hand sanitizer in emergency situations.

Here’s the science behind deodorant:


- Sweat doesn’t stink. Not really.
- The bacteria that live in your armpits ferment the sweat (gross), and that’s what makes body odor. Kind of like what yeast does when you make wine only the end product isn’t nearly as pleasant.
- Deodorant usually contains a few things:
1) Alcohol and other chemicals that kill/slow the bateria
2) A sweat-reducing chemical or antiperspirant
3) Some kind of essential oils to make you smell like cucumber or jasmine or whatever

So, the antibacterial hand sanitizer can act as ingredient number 1 if you forget deodorant. And it works too (mostly). There are a couple of drawbacks:
1) It stings like a mo-fo. Especially if, like me, you shave your underarms.
2) It doesn’t work 100%. Don’t plan on using this in lieu of actual deodorant on a regular basis or you will become the smelly kid in class.

Armed with this information, my friend and I ran downstairs to find a hand sanitizing station. (We didn’t have any sanitizer, but we work in the same building as a clinic, and there’s one of those hand sanitizer stands at the entrance.) Then, we waved our hands under the sensor so the machine would squirt out some antibacterial foam. That’s when it occurred to us that we were about to publicly embarrass ourselves. Using our powers of stealth, we sneaked over to a nearby bathroom with our handfuls of foam concealed at our sides. Thank goodness no one walked in while we were rubbing our underarms with hand sanitizer and giggling.



  1. first off...CONGRATS ON FINALLY GETTING A BLOG!!!! Isn't it fun? And...what a great post. Ha. Did not know that trick about deodorant and being that I ALWAYS carry those mini hand-sanitizer bottles from Bath and Body Works (which you will always have on hand when Ansley gets a little older and you're tired of carrying wet wipes :D). Such a cool trick because guess what...My girls are five and I still have mommy brain and get distracted constantly by them and forget half of everything I'm doing through the day!

    Hugs to you! Will check out your review of Invincible Summer as soon as I finish. Thought I would today, but alas, I was too busy getting ready for vacay today.

  2. Thanks, Mel!! Yeah, it's fun :) Man, I was kind of hoping mommy brain went away after the first year, but good to know.

    And definitely want to know what you thought about Invincible Summer, so I'll keep an eye out for it!

  3. OMG. I totally had mommy brain and forgot my doedorant this morning. I am in the medical field and have hand sanitizer ALL around me, so I just smeared a handful under each pit, then did the funky chicken to dry them!!!! LMAO. I will update with how this goes!!!

    1. You never updated us

  4. Happened to me before

  5. So grateful for this post! This morning while running around the house getting myself ready for work and the kids ready for school I forgot deodorant!! This worked perfectly thank you!

  6. Life Saver! Well......reputation saver ! :-)

  7. I forgot to wear deodorant this morning and it is very warm in my office. Very uncomfortable. I was just in a panic making me sweat even more. Then, I read your blog. You have rescued me from humiliation and I thank you so very much!!!!

  8. Thank you for this insight, unbelievable that I left the house this morning without my deodorant. I even tried calling home, my husband, a co-worker and my daughter to see if they would run me up some. No one answered the phone, so my first thought was,"great, my husband dropped me off to work so I have no car to get to the store, I forget my cell phone and my ebook, and now I even forget my deodorant. Lord, it is not going to be a good day." Then I read this and I am ever so thankful that I have 3 different areas where I keep hand sanitizer. So thank you for this information again.

  9. I read this because I forgot my DO for the BO today. Thankfully one of the hotels near my office had given us a goody bag a while ago with spray hand sanitizer. I just sat at the front desk and literally sprayed my armpits with hand sanitizer. It's a good thing no clients came in lol

  10. Oh. My. Gosh. Saved my life this morning.

  11. I am 8 months pregnant and not only did I forget deodorant today, my work baby shower today (which I also forgot about- and I am a mess for). I have a Lavender Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer with me. Thank you so much for saving me!

  12. Found this through google and wanted to thank you! I don't have hand sanitizer on hand, but a baby wipe and some isopropyl alcohol will hopefully do the same trick. Thanks!!!

  13. It DOES sting like a mo-fo ... but you just saved me from having to make a time wasting trip to the store or home before an evening event.
    Thank you thank you!!!

  14. I am so happy that I am not the only person that Googles things like this :)

  15. thats fantastic I'm going to use that method

  16. Man... this post has saved me from embarrassment and humiliation this morning. I cant believe I left out the crib without putting any deodorant. This is the 2ND time this YEAR and its only 9 days into 2014! Thank goodness I googled and found this post because I dont have a car to go to the store. I think im going to put a post-it sticky note on the back of my front door that say "HEY!!!!!! Did you put on deodorant?!" lol...In the meanwhile, my arms are feeling refreshed now and a little cool (temp wise).

  17. Brilliant! thanks soooo much!

  18. I found this blog after realizing I just went out of town on a business trip without bringing my deodorant! Thank you for this post, I am here without a car, and at the mercy of a set itinerary so i can't go buy any the whole 3 days I am here. I will be looking out for hand sanitizer and sneaking some LOL

  19. Thanks for the advice, I was running late for work today and completely forgot to put it on, I was desparete, I Bing'd it! I grabbed some hand sanitier and I didn't smell bad for the rest of the day, and luckily it didn't sting for me either, thanks again for saving the day!

  20. Wow such a neat advise. Thanks ladies. I used the mini Pocket bac sanitzer(small ones from Bath and Body works ) Lemon scented one. The bad smell is gone and I smell nice and lemony. :-)

  21. Awesome! Hope this works it always seems I think I put deordorant on, but the first stink reminds me I didn't. Can you still put some antibacterial even when u stink a little? i'll find out.... Thanks have a graduation today.

  22. I tried it, and told a doctor that I work with about it and she just cautions not to use a ton of it daily. You have glands right past the skin of your armpits, this is how the accusations of deoderant causing breast cancer started. Now, she wasn't saying anti-bacterial gel causes cancer by any means, just too much might make you feel ill.

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