For most of us, applying deodorant is one of the first things we do in the morning and we wouldn’t dream of going a day without it. More than 90% of Americans use antiperspirant products daily to deal with odor and excessive sweating but some researchers question whether these products are really necessary. According to an article from the Washington Post, “Antiperspirants may actually make you smell worse,” your deodorant may be doing more harm than good.
Because they are home to sweat glands, the armpits are the site of moisture that the body releases when it becomes too warm. While sweat itself is generally odorless, the moisture and heat in the underarm area leads to certain bacteria growth that causes odor. Antiperspirant products help reduce moisture and excessive sweating while deodorants mask unpleasant odors with fresh scents.
According to the article, new research suggests that antiperspirants may actually lead to an increase in bacteria that causes odors. During clinical studies, researchers and lead author Chris Callewaert found that when individuals began using antiperspirants there was an increase in the odor-causing bacteria.
“The armpit microbiome changed considerably when starting or stopping the use of deodorants and antiperspirants,” Callewaert says. “In the case of the antiperspirants, the dominance changed toward the ‘smelly’ actinobacteria.”
Other researchers have raised concerns about the study such as the small sample size and the lack of long-term research. Dr. Joel Schlessinger also views this research somewhat skeptically.
"Despite this research," says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, "antiperspirants should still play a huge role in most people's regimens."
If excessive sweating is a problem for you and you’re not ready to give up your deodorant or antiperspirant products, try Jack Black Cool CTRL Natural Deodorant. If your main concern is odor, you can also choose a natural product that leaves a fresh scent such as Dr. Hauschka Sage Mint Deodorant.
Do you agree with these researchers? Let us know in the comments section!