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4 Things You Didn't Know About Deodorant

For most of us, deodorant is a small, yet crucial, part of our daily routine. It takes only a few seconds to apply, but forgetting it can lead to an embarrassingly smelly day. Despite its small (but still important!) role in our lives, deodorant has some interesting trivia behind it.

The First Deodorant Was Called “Mum”

While history is long and full of efforts to mask the natural human stench, the first official — that is, patented — deodorant was Mum, as in “mum’s the word.” Created by Philadelphian Edna Murphy in 1888, Mum didn’t look like the dry sticks we have today. Instead, it was a cream in a jar, meant to be applied with your fingers. Interestingly, it was the same group that later came up with the first roll-on deodorant stick.

It's Not the Sweat That Stinks

You might be under the impression that deodorant covers up the smell of your sweat. That’s almost true, except for one small fact — sweat doesn’t actually have much of a smell to it. Rather, the stink that you’re used to smelling doesn’t come from your sweat alone, but from bacteria that are thriving in the hot, moist environment you’ve created under your arms. Gross! Deodorant kills off this bacteria and in some cases also masks the scent with perfume. Antiperspirant, on the other hand, prevents you from sweating as much in the first place.

Some People Don’t Need Deodorant

Wouldn’t you love to never have to put on deodorant again? For some people, this isn’t a concern, as they’ve never needed it in the first place. Indeed, it’s been estimated that up to 2 percent of the world’s population is fine to go without deodorant. This is because of a certain gene that these people carry that affects the acid levels in their sweat. Interestingly, you can perform a test to see if you’re one of the lucky few. If your earwax is a flaky white rather than a dark brown, there’s a chance you carry this gene.

There’s No Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Deodorants

Call it a needless battle of the sexes. It turns out that it doesn’t matter what color your deodorant stick is, as it’s probably going to have the same effect. Deodorants marketed to men and women contain the same ingredients, and the only differences lie in how they’re packaged and how they smell. So, if you’re ever in a bind, don’t worry too much about using deodorant meant for the opposite sex.

[Image via Getty]

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