In our desperate bid to stave off the creeping horror of body odour, it turns out we may have actually been damaging our own health.
In a worrying new revelation, a study has revealed that using deodorants and antiperspirants might actually be harmful to your health.
As reported by the Mirror, the substances may allow potentially dangerous bacteria to grow in users’ underarms, as deodorants and antiperspirants affect the working of microbiomes – the mass of bacteria and fungi that live on the skin and inside the body.
The research comes from a group of U.S. scientists, with the study published in the Peerj journal.
In the study, 17 men and women were observed over an eight day period, with the researchers finding that deodorants and antiperspirants change the microbial ‘community’ that live in people’s underarms by killing some of the good bacteria, and also allow more potentially harmful bacteria to grow back at a faster rate.
To be fair, the scientists could only confirm that bacteria grew back faster in the armpits after regular users of deodorants and antiperspirants stopped using them, so maybe just staying clean is the key here.
Our work clearly demonstrates that antiperspirant use strikingly alters armpit bacterial communities, making them more species rich.
Honestly, this whole thing would worry us more if it wasn’t based off a study of only 17 people. We’ll probably just keep trying to smell nice, to be honest.