Experts Answer: Do We Really Need Deodorant?

Applying deodorant every day, like brushing your teeth or washing your face, is something that most people consider to be a basic hygiene practise.

According to dermatology experts, the decision to wear deodorant every day is likely based on personal and cultural taste rather than any probable medical requirement.

“People have strong preferences for and sensitivities to smells.””People have used perfumes and colognes to cover up bad odours since the beginning of time,” explains dermatologist Nina Botton. “But it’s not like flossing, where there’s data that shows you’ll actually live longer if you floss regularly,” she says.

“We sweat to help regulate our body temperature,” dermatologist Joshua Zeichner explains. “However, in some cases, we work up more sweat than is necessary.” Pathological sweating or hyperhidrosis is the medical term for this. Sweat itself has no odour. However, germs on the skin degrade sweat, resulting in an unpleasant odour.” If you must use antiperspirant products for this reason, apply them at night, according to Zeichner. “Because we sweat less at night, they can more effectively plug sweat glands if you apply them before bed.”

However, if you do not sweat excessively, limiting perspiration production with an antiperspirant “is probably not a good idea,” according to dermatologist Julie Rusak. “By blocking it completely, you risk causing a paradoxical increase in sweat production in other areas,” he adds.

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Going without deodorants or antiperspirants might have advantages and disadvantages depending on how you and others perceive your natural body odour.

“If you stop using deodorant or antiperspirant, you may develop a stronger odour over time,” dermatologist Amanda Doyle cautions. “When you stop using such products and start sweating more, it creates a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal overgrowth, which can cause a stronger odour.”

According to experts, the most important strategy to avoid body odour is to take a complete bath every day. Wash your face, armpits, and genital area first because these areas sweat more than other parts of the body. Unusual body odour could indicate that you are not adequately cleansing your skin.

Wearing light, breathable clothing made of natural materials like cotton, silk, and linen, as well as applying topical antibacterial treatments such as benzoyl peroxide or topical prescription antibiotics, are other strategies to lower the likelihood of odour by avoiding sweat and bacterial overgrowth, according to Doyle.

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