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Are you one of the people who don't need deodorant?

Kimberly Gillan
Friday, January 18, 2013
Image: Thinkstock

For most of us, spraying or rolling deodorant on our armpits after a shower is a permanent fixture of our morning ritual.

But according to new research, about one in 50 people don't produce smelly body odour (BO) so don't really need to wear deodorant.

The lucky sweet-smellers can thank an inactive ABCC11 gene that stops their underarm sweat from smelling when it mixes with bacteria.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK studied 6495 women and found that 117 carried a rare version of the ABCC11 gene.

Yet 78 percent of those who don't get smelly pits still wear deodorant on most days.

"Three quarters of those who do not produce an odour regularly use deodorants –– we believe that these people simply follow socio-cultural norms," lead author Professor Ian Day said in a media release.

"This contrasts with the situation in north east Asia, where most people do not need to use deodorant and they don't."

The other quarter of the odour-free don't worry about deodorant.

"These findings have some potential for using genetics in the choice of personal hygiene products," said co-author Dr Santiago Rodriguez.

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"A simple gene test might strengthen self-awareness and save some unnecessary purchases and chemical exposures for non-odour producers."

The authors also noted that people with this particular genetic pattern also tend to have dry earwax, as opposed to sticky.

The research is published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.


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