Monday, April 24, 2006

The truth about anti-persperant and deodorant

From what I understand, some people think that wearing deodorant or anti-persperant is unhealthy, since blocking all those sweat glands in your armpit must mean that the sweat can't get out. Others think that your skin absorbs the anitpersperant chemicals (often containing aluminum), which in turn causes breast cancer, armpit cancer, or alzheimers.

I don't know about any of that - in fact, no study has linked deodorant use to any health related issue. Except maybe the people around you being able to breathe easier. So what's the truth about deodorant?

I don't seem to need it. There, I said it. That's my secret. I don't seem to need deodorant. Or antipersperant. I know this mind boggling, but I tell you, it's true. It's an underarm miracle!

For many, many moons I wore deodorant - every day from the time I was in early adolescence until about early Febuary 2006. Due to a mixup involving sunscreen and the beach, I ended up with pretty tender skin. So, while I healed, I didn't wear any deodorant, because it kind of hurt to put it on. I expected to be driven out of the office because of my offensive odor and profuse sweating, but in fact, I haven't smelled or sweated at all.

It's been getting close to 3 months now, and I've only used it twice - both for times I didn't think I could affort to smell and/or perspire in an unattractive manner.

Now, I know what you're thinking - you're thinking that I must be mistaken, because no virile specimen of manhood like myself can possibly not need deodorant. Or maybe your thinking that I'm one of those people who really do smell, but don't seem to notice it. All I can say on both counts is "Maybe", but I dare you to come smell my armpit and say it doesn't smell like tulips on an April morning. Alright, then.

(Some of you may be thinking I'm gross. Yet you've read this far in a post about someone else's underarms. Who's the gross one?)

Now I've just got to figure out what other toiletries I can get rid of. Toothpaste? Uh, I don't think so. Shaving cream? Ouch! Soap? Maybe, but I'm in the shower anyway, so I might as well use some. Hair goop? I saw the first afro in a long time on a real-life white man when I didn't use hair goop the other day. I know the truth about getting rid of hair goop, and it's not pretty.

So, there you have it. The truth about anti-persperant and deodorant. For me, at least.

8 comments:

aletiha said...

ben, i believe you. i dated a guy here in bemidji who didn't wear deodorant half the time and he never stunk. he would sweat sometimes, but never stunk like my brothers do. i think it has to do w/ the type of sweat glands you have in your armpits. lets ask dr. conville if this is true.....

Jessica said...

oh my gosh...i can't stop laughing. there is something so disgusting to me about armpits. you can imagine my thoughts when i opened your blog...

oh ben, you always crack me up!

knelson said...

Luck you, Ben! One less item to be worried about when packing. However, I would love to see the "white man's afro" in the next blog.

Stacy said...

ok, that's just a gross picture. something about underarm hair that is just disgusting. i could research this topic for you on why you don't have the same pheromones others do and did you have them at puberty and now you've just run out of them? i don't know. and i honestly don't want to look that stuff up. call me lazy. i can say that my chinese grandma always claimed that she didn't need deodorant and NEVER wore it. and i'll have you know that anyone that has ever been within a foot of her on a humid louisiana day could attest that she was seriously mistaken! but since i've been in close contact with you since the discontinuation of the deodorant, i'd have to say that in your case, you don't seem to be mistaken. but please don't make me research why that is so...

Benjamin said...

I agree, the pic is a little gross. But I thought doctors had seen it all, and aren't surprised by anything. I guess I'll think twice next time about putting on that little robe they give you. I can just see the water cooler talk now.

Unlike our MD friend, I actually did the research on body odor. For healthy individuals, human sweat has no noticable odor. However, the bacteria that feed on the sugars and minerals in sweat have very smelly, shall we say, by-products. So, get a warm, wet place for bacteria to grow(like the armpit), add hair (for increased surface area), and voila! Body odor. The same applies for feet, but with different bacteria.

So I guess I'm a little different because I don't sweat very much - mostly because I sit behind a desk all day. Mix in a little sweat and a little time, and I'm sure I'd smell of you-know-what just like the rest of the world.

Unless I'm naturally anti-bacterial, in which case being odorless is just one of my many super-powers...

Jessica said...

if you still lived in the south, you would sweat more, and, thus, probably be able to test your lack of deo out more. just my observation...

elly said...

I think that picture was almost as disturbing as Stacy's wounded finger picture.

Amy said...

Matthew McConaghy (Sp???) doesn't wear deoderant. Just thought I'd throw that in. He said on Oprah women his whole life have told him his natural smell is better. Yeah.