Armpits Cannot Become "Addicted" To Deodorant, Despite Your Body's Seemingly Incessant Need For It

You know the viscous cycle of using lip balm to treat chapped lips, only to find your lips constantly needing more to stay moist? Well, Alina Gonzalez, a writer for Byrdie, wondered if armpits can get addicted to deodorant just like lips and ChapStick. She consulted Osmia Organics deodorant expert Dr. Sarah Villafranco to get to the bottom of this sticky, stanky situation.

Before answering Gonzalez’s question, Villafranco pointed out that sweat itself doesn't actually stink (say what?). “Rather,” she explains, “it’s a sterile fluid comprising secretions from two types of sweat glands—eccrine and apocrine. It is the bacteria in the armpit (staphylococcus and corynebacterium) that interact with the sweat once it’s secreted to cause odor." Well, my mind is blown.

Then Villafranco got down to the core question: can our bodies actually become ddicted to antiperspirants and deodorants (yikes)?! Take a big breather y’all, because the answer is no. She told Gonzalez, “There is no credible evidence to support the idea that using deodorant causes us to increase our sweating or creates any sort of addiction.” However, she continued to say that “conceptually, it makes some sense to me that if you block the sweat glands with aluminum, they might work harder to secrete sweat, as is the case with many of the feedback loops in our bodies. But there simply isn't scientific evidence to support this theory."


Oh, and fun fact? Your deodorant could actually be making you smell worse. Villafranco explained how “there is a tiny body of evidence to show that aluminum salts, such as those contained in antiperspirants, can alter the bacterial balance in the armpit, [shifting] the balance more toward corynebacterium” AKA the stannnnk bacteria. She suggests going a couple of weeks au natural to figure out if your body odors smell and whether antiperspirant/deodorant make matters better or worse. If you’re scared about taking the plunge, get inspired by this fabulous gal that didn’t wear deodorant for a week and survived.

Image Credit: Giphy