Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The CafeMom Newcomers Club The CafeMom Newcomers Club

People who don't stink still wear deodorant, study finds

Posted by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM
  • 12 Replies

People who don't stink still wear deodorant, study finds

For most people, putting on deodorant is a necessary ritual on par with brushing teeth or washing hands. But for those who produce no armpit stench, it is totally unnecessary.

Despite that, more than three-quarters of those people still use deodorant at least once a week, a new study finds.

The findings, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, show just how much a person's daily life is dictated by what's considered normal.

"They're spending their money, exposing their skin to what may in a few instances not be good for their skin. It sort of suggests to me that there are a lot of conformists around," said study co-author Ian Day, a genetic epidemiologist at the University of Bristol.

Several years ago ago, scientists discovered that a gene called ABCC11 determined whether people produced wet or dry earwax. Interestingly, people who produce the "dry" version of earwax also lack a chemical in their armpits that bacteria feed on to cause underarm odor.

"This key gene is basically the single determinant of whether you do produce underarm odor or not," Day said.

While only 2 percent of Europeans lack the genes for smelly armpits, most East Asians and almost all Koreans lack this gene, Day told LiveScience.

No one knows exactly why gene prevalence varies so much between populations, but its absence in East Asia suggests that being stinky was evolutionarily selected against there over the last several thousand years, he said.

The new findings came as a surprising twist on a larger study investigating chemical exposures in 6,495 women and their babies in Britain. Researchers took blood samples (which contain genetic material) from the women and asked them what types of hygiene products they used daily. As a result, the researchers could investigate how genes related to product usage.

About 98 percent of the women had the gene for smell-producing armpits. Of those, 95 percent useddeodorant on a regular basis.

But of the the 117 non-odor producing women, over three-quarters still used deodorant daily. That suggests the majority of women are using a product every day, when they have no need to, Day said. The researchers estimated that about $32 per person each year -- or a total of $14.3 million -- is spent on deodorants by people who don't produce odor.

Though the team didn't look at men, they think the results should generalize. (Other studies have found that men in general are slightly less fastidious in their deodorant use, Day said.)

Because the study didn't intend to look at deodorant use, the researchers can't tease out why smell-free women continue to slather on the odor-reducing product. But one possibility is that social pressure or conformity plays a large part in some of our most common hygiene routines, Day said.

by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
TableforSeven
by Judy on Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:37 PM
1 mom liked this

I wish more people who needed it DID use deodorant!  

coolmommy2x
by Ruby Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:07 AM
I second that!

Quoting TableforSeven:

I wish more people who needed it DID use deodorant!  

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
christina0607
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:15 AM

I wonder if it's just something people are raised to do. They reach a certain age and their parents tell them they have to use it.

Growing up my father never once used deoderant. He just never smelled. It wasn't something he needed and therefor didn't use it. So I grew up thinking you used it if you needed it. I use it sometimes in the summer if I feel I might want it. But really deodorant isn't something I use either. 

Kmary
by Silver Member on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:20 AM

I agree.  My grandfather never wore deodorant once in his entire almost 80 years on earth and that man did not smell.  And he did plenty of sweating, as he did a lot of manual labor.  He just did not stink, so I also concluded a long time ago that deodorant is a learned behavior and if people wouldn't start using it from the beginning that they wouldn't need it all the time.  Maybe not true for all.  But I have a hunch that most people could get by with normal, daily hygiene and fabric materials that don't hold in the sweat (like polyester).  Anyway, I'm like you.  I wear deodorant, but not every single day and I don't think it's a big problem for me.


Quoting christina0607:

I wonder if it's just something people are raised to do. They reach a certain age and their parents tell them they have to use it.

Growing up my father never once used deoderant. He just never smelled. It wasn't something he needed and therefor didn't use it. So I grew up thinking you used it if you needed it. I use it sometimes in the summer if I feel I might want it. But really deodorant isn't something I use either. 



momofsunshine77
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:27 AM

I use deoderant daily.  I don't know if I stink, but I still use it because my pits will stick together if i forget and it is uncomfortable.  And I like the smell of the deoderant.  LOL  Will not discontinue use ever even if I dont stink. 

christina0607
by on Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

I do think...and this study shows that not everyone needs deodorant...however, I don't think using it will force anyone to need it, or produce a smell where there otherwise wasn't. 

Quoting Kmary:

I agree.  My grandfather never wore deodorant once in his entire almost 80 years on earth and that man did not smell.  And he did plenty of sweating, as he did a lot of manual labor.  He just did not stink, so I also concluded a long time ago that deodorant is a learned behavior and if people wouldn't start using it from the beginning that they wouldn't need it all the time.  Maybe not true for all.  But I have a hunch that most people could get by with normal, daily hygiene and fabric materials that don't hold in the sweat (like polyester).  Anyway, I'm like you.  I wear deodorant, but not every single day and I don't think it's a big problem for me.


Quoting christina0607:

I wonder if it's just something people are raised to do. They reach a certain age and their parents tell them they have to use it.

Growing up my father never once used deoderant. He just never smelled. It wasn't something he needed and therefor didn't use it. So I grew up thinking you used it if you needed it. I use it sometimes in the summer if I feel I might want it. But really deodorant isn't something I use either. 




Make someone happy today, mind your own business.

katfeemom
by Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:41 AM

My 13 y/o DS sweats like a faucet.  He is the only person that I know who can go outside in a snow storm and come back in soaking wet with sweat.  But his pits don't stink.  He feet though, end up smelling like bad doritos and onions.  My 11 y/o DD, on the other hand, she dry sweats and she STINKS!!!  I feel like I have to wash her clothes separately, and use whatever means I can to get the odor out.  I have to exercise like crazy just to sweat, and I rarely use deodorant.  I have gone an entire week with out taking a shower, and no one was the wiser.  The only time that I end up getting stinky is if I were to eat Tuna fish.  For some reason, I end up with a metallic smell to me if I eat alot of tuna fish.  (I'm guessing that it's the mercury in the fish).

norahsmommy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:45 AM
I use deodorant in the summer almost daily but in the winter I do not. I just don't sweat much then and I don't have an odor. The summer when I'm working hard in the garden I stink!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
LizzyPookey1248
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 12:51 AM
My dad never smells. He probably doesn't even own deodorant because he never needs it. If I wear cotton then I hardly ever smell but if I'm wearing polyester or something I sometimes do so I just use it everyday since I work almost everyday and my work shirt is polyester.

A stick of deodorant can last me like 6 months.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
LiesLiesLies
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2013 at 3:08 AM
I don't sweat at all...anywhere because of medication I am on...so most days I forget.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)