Most people who have an unpleasant body odor are completely oblivious to it. For this, you can thank olfactory adaptation. For example, this can mean you can either be unaware of the strength of the cologne you’re wearing or the natural odors your body is producing (that many around you may not be a fan of). It’s also why going to the bathroom isn’t so odiferously unpleasant for ourselves either. In any case, body odors can range from tolerable to, well, intolerable, and for this we have deodorant.
This natural tendency to lose awareness of your body scent (or odor) may be one reason why 40% of young people in the U.S between the ages of 18-24 aren’t using deodorants or antiperspirants . The poll was conducted by YouGov Plan and Track Data last month, following the announcement of Justin Bieber’s partnership with Schmidt’s Natural Deodorants & Soaps to launch a deodorant line .
Deodorants sales typically increase in the summer, but many youngsters are of the conviction that they don’t need to wear them every day (or at all), and this has nothing to do with the affordability or a desire for poor hygiene practices.
Why deodorants are probably a good idea
Deodorants are products that prevent or mask body odor while antiperspirants work to prevent our sweat glands from releasing sweat, focusing on maintaining a dry underarm.
Sweat glands, or more specifically apocrine glands, are usually concentrated in areas where there are a lot of hair follicles, e.g the armpits and pubic area . They are mostly stimulated when the body is under stress or has been exposed to high temperatures. These glands secrete a colorless fluid that may begin to develop an unpleasant smell when it comes in contact with bacteria on the surface of the skin. Under-arm smell can also be worsened by the consumption of strong aromatic foods, which is why you can sometimes perceive the smell of that garlicky chicken salad you had for lunch.
Basically, these are the biochemical reasons why a person may have a body odor. People with larger sweat pores usually sweat more than others and would usually require more consistent use of deodorants or antiperspirants. In rare cases, excessive sweating may be due to a condition known as hyperhidrosis. Primarily, a person with this condition may just have a family history of over-sweating. Secondary hyperhidrosis may be due to a medical condition or side effect of a procedure .
The YouGov poll also discovered that 31% of adults between 25 and 34 are ditching deodorants as well, and they haven’t even used it at least once in the past month.
Over 48% of youngsters between 18 and 24 and 37% between 25 and 34 haven’t purchased any deodorant product in the past year.
The high demand for natural products
At one time it was thought that certain ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants were linked to cancer. Aluminum-containing antiperspirants have been accused of clogging pores with its metallic components which may give rise to certain cancers. Also, paraben-containing deodorants and skin lotions have been found to weakly mimic estrogen, a hormone that in excess can contribute to cancer risk. Some studies have found parabens to be contained in breast tumors . While the evidence for this is not solid, its still a cause for concern.
Because of this more people are now opting for all-natural deodorant products. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate to vegan-friendliness, and many vegans have had concerns about the animal-derived ingredients in some products. There are quite a number of vegan-friendly products out there already, and currently, Justin Bieber is the new face of Here + Now, a vegan-friendly, “cruelty-free”, and all-natural deodorant patented by Schmidt’s. The brand already has several vegan deodorants thriving out there. Here + Now is still in the production stage and will be hitting the market pretty soon.
Justin Bieber is one of the core icons of the young people generation all over the globe, so who better to sell the idea of wearing deodorants to the youth? Millennials and Generation Zers are highly likely to have a positive opinion of the world’s third most famous contemporary musical artiste, don’t you think?
Here’s what the NBC Wake-Up-Charlotte’s audience on Twitter thinks of the no-need-for-deo mindset of nearly half of the youngster population.
— NBC Charlotte (@wcnc) June 18, 2019
Vomit. Trust me, in the heat of summer ESPECIALLY … you need it.
— Angie Bee (@AngieB5) June 18, 2019
If I’m going inside anywhere, I wear it, but not if I’m staying at home or running out to get some food or if I just took a shower and will only be out for a bit.
— #CurtisSamuelWR1SZN (@TLSPanthersV2) June 18, 2019
While not wearing deodorant isn’t a health concern per se, it’s can be helpful, especially in social situations. We’re not always aware of our own scent, so putting on a little all natural deodorant can be helpful. We all know how unpleasant it is to sit with someone who has a body odor, so think of the people who occasionally have to share personal spaces with you.
Also, it’s true love to find a gentle, kind, and non-judgmental way to tell someone close to you that they have an unpleasant odor. Just like bad breath, people don’t usually know they have a body odor. It’s your duty to them as someone who cares about them to discuss this sensitive issue as nicely as possible.
- Wake-Up-Charlotte. Nearly half of young people aren’t using deodorant, poll finds. WCNC. https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/wake-up-charlotte/nearly-half-of-young-people-arent-using-deodorant-poll-finds/275-8f294e3d-2924-41e9-9ef7-c1b4d9d34ed5?fbclid=IwAR0LhV5O2z5EW2_gnMHQsfwBnM0-lPOqQkv6TdAg-Q4CeYogjrVcUWSg65Y. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Ilchi, Layla. Justin Bieber Is Making Deodorant. The singer has teamed with Schmidt’s Naturals to create a new deodorant. WWD. https://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/justin-bieber-deodorant-collaboration-schmidts-naturals-1203136206/. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Nordqvist, Christian. What’s to know about body odor? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173478.php. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Admin. Causes of Secondary Hyperhidrosis. Sweat Help. https://www.sweathelp.org/about-hyperhidrosis/causes-of-secondary-hyperhidrosis.html. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Kirchhof & Gannes. The health controversies of parabens. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23508773. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Horowitz, Kate. Science Explains Why You Can’t Smell Your Own House. Mental Floss. http://mentalfloss.com/article/69262/science-explains-why-you-cant-smell-your-own-house. Retrieved 02-07-19
- YouGov Plan and Track Data. https://today.yougov.com/solutions/syndicated. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Admin. Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis). Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hyperhidrosis2#1. Retrieved 02-07-19
- Admin. Top 5 Natural, Cruelty-Free & Vegan Deodorants. Ethical Elephant. https://ethicalelephant.com/natural-cruelty-free-vegan-deodorants/. Retrieved 02-07-19
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