Do you really need to use deodorant? Find out right now

Recent research has found that you don't need to use deodorant, especially if your earwax does something special.
Feb 01, 2016

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  • If you're always applying deodorant, sorry, you're doing it wrong.

  • In fact, you may not even need it.

  • A 2006 study found that some people are born with a particular gene that could reveal whether their body produces odor when they sweat. The study, which examined whether people produced dry or wet earwax, found those who had drier ear wax didn't have a certain chemical in their armpits that has the bacteria that also creates body odor.

  • "Body odour of itself is odourless, however when it reacts with bacteria on the skin sweat is broken down revealing a chemical which produces a smell," The Independent reported.

  • But people remain generally unaware of this. As The Independent reported, a study from the University of Bristol found that 75 percent of women who didn't produce the odor still used body deodorant, mostly because of societal pressures to keep body odor at a distance, researchers said.

  • "An important finding of this study relates to those individuals who, according to their genotype, do not produce under-arm odour," The Independent reported. "One-quarter of these individuals must consciously or subconsciously recognise that they do not produce odour and do not use deodorant, whereas most odour producers do use deodorant. However, three-quarters of those who do not produce an odour regularly use deodorants; we believe that these people simply follow sociocultural norms."

  • Devices like deodorant have been popular since, well, almost the beginning of time. The New York Times reported in 1990 that ancient Egyptians used "scented bathing" to keep themselves smelling fresh and would sometimes even apply perfume to their armpits to keep the odor away.

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  • It wasn't until 1888 that the first antiperspirant, called "Mum," debuted, according to The Times. And then 15 years later, Everdry, the first antiperspirant, came about.

  • The art of antiperspirants has evolved so much that you can actually make your own, too, according to The Huffington Post. You can use plant oils and extracts, but those aren't always effective.

  • Of course, that lack of efficacy could be because people aren't applying deodorant the right way or at the right time of day. As The Verge's Chris Plante pointed out, people often apply their antiperspirant during the morning time, before your body has the time to clog your pores with the antiperspirant.

  • "You'll then still sweat throughout the rest of the day since the deodorant failed to 'clog those ducts,'" Plante wrote.

  • He suggests applying your deodorant at night instead, so that your body has the time to fill those ducts.

  • "Antiperspirant works by clogging sweat ducts, preventing moisture from escaping your body," he wrote. "By applying at night, the antiperspirant has time to — how do I say this in a way that doesn't sound gross — clog those ducts. Once the antiperspirant has had time to set, it should last 24 hours, even if any residue is washed off in the shower."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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