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Bacterial Deodorant

By simul in Science
Mon May 12, 2003 at 12:16:45 AM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)

A couple days ago, I was thinking about the tooth cleaning bacteria, and how it's very likely that the dental conglomerates are suppressing this research, considering the billions that may be at stake. Then, right after that, I read some people commenting on how "Hippies smell bad" in a post about marijuana.

Sweat doesn't cause odor, it's the bacteria that lives under your arms that causes the odor. Deodorants kill bacteria - but they usually leave enough alive for a new culture to form within a few hours, unless they contain an antiperspirant.

There are lots of people who won't use antiperspirants. Many people can't use them because of allergies. Some refuse to use antiperspirants because of animal-testing. Also, there is a fear that aluminum-based products may be linked to neurodegenerative disorders.

Anyhow, in the interests of science, I went out and bought a liquid gut-bacterial culture of Rhamnosus, Thermophilus, Bulgaricus, and Acidophilus. These are readily available from vitamin stores. After showering, I spread a liberal amount of the stuff under my arms.

I went 3 days without washing under my arms (nasty!), reapplying the Acidophilus culture each morning after waking.

From my girlfriend, "It's definitely not fresh, but it's not bad"

From another friend, "No, I can't smell it from here. No, I'm not sticking my nose up to your arm."

Comparatively, when I use a non-aluminum-based deodorant, I begin to smell noticeably bad after 4-6 hours. In addition reapplying a non-aluminum-based deodorant doesn't help much.

My conclusion is that this technique is apparently very effective at combating odor. It even seems to work better than commercial deodorants.

I think there are two reasons why this helps. Gut-bacteria naturally secrete antimicrobials. The Acidophilus culture may have killed off the competing odor-causing bacteria. Also, they may offer competition with the odor-producing bacteria for food (sweat, exfoliated skin). Unlike a traditional antibiotic, it continued to thrive in that warm environment, preventing the re-emergence of odor.


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o tooth cleaning bacteria
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Display: Sort:
Bacterial Deodorant | 87 comments (76 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
I don't understand something. (3.40 / 5) (#1)
by engine16 on Sun May 11, 2003 at 06:20:30 PM EST

I'm not very well versed in bacteriology, but are you saying that these other bacteria destroy the standard underarm denizens, or just that they coexist? Unless they actually consume or eradicae the existing bacteria, I don't get how it makes any difference.

Ape Infinitum

enlightenment (5.00 / 7) (#4)
by jij on Sun May 11, 2003 at 07:02:15 PM EST

The other bacteria that simul used on his underarms don't kill the odor-causing bacteria directly, they compete with the stink-producers for food (simul's sweat).  It's much the same princlple that allows one to make beer at home in less than sterile conditions; by introducing a huge mass of healthly, vigorous yeast in the wort (pre-fermetation beer), any bacteria or unwanted yeast strains are overwhelmed and never get a foothold, so to speak.  By washing his underarms, and then applying a relatively large amount of the 'good' bacteria, the 'bad' bacteria don't get enough to eat, and thus don't reproduce ( and thereby don't excrete any appreciable amount of stinky stuff).

I haven't tried this, but you know, it just might work.

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric
[ Parent ]

needs more testing (4.33 / 3) (#18)
by Work on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:53:13 PM EST

id be more concerned with introducing new bacteria into your skin day after day and its long term affects. Does it lead to infections etc

[ Parent ]
people have used yogurt on skin for centuries (4.33 / 3) (#19)
by simul on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:16:48 PM EST

Yogurt-oatmeal masque... it helps fight acne. I only wish we could gen-mod the stuff.. make it just a bit more viable in a sweat/skin environment, so you don't have to keep reapplying. Like they did for the teeth.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
from the site.. (4.66 / 3) (#23)
by Work on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:34:01 PM EST

Usage: Wash your face. Massage face with the paste in a circular motion. Keep on for a minute or two then rinse off

Now try keeping said bacteria in your armpit all day long, day after day. I assume a semi-regular showering, but its not likely to get it all off (much like how showering also doesn't remove all the stinky bacteria)

[ Parent ]

Another note. (none / 0) (#52)
by RofGilead on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:12:44 PM EST

Bacteria need a place to attach themselves.  There are bacteria all over the insides of your gastro-intestinal system, and that is a good thing.  You can compete not just for food, but also for attachment sites(this is how there can be good bacteria).  So, this might also be a part of the competition in the underarm idea.

Killing all the bacteria inside your gastro-intestine system lowers your immunity to pathogenic diseases, because it opens up all these sites that were previously protected, among other things.

-= RofGilead =-

Remember, you're unique, just like everyone else. -BlueOregon
[ Parent ]

Faulty methodology. (4.96 / 32) (#6)
by ktakki on Sun May 11, 2003 at 07:32:48 PM EST

You really should have applied the bacteria to one armpit only, leaving the other to serve as a control armpit. That way you'd be able to eliminate other factors that may have influenced your pit smell during the experiment.

To tell the truth, I just wanted to use the phrase "control armpit". Carry on...

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

Human olfaction is inadequately directional. (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by Kasreyn on Mon May 12, 2003 at 01:16:59 AM EST

It would be hard (not impossible) to tell which armpit was providing the smell. Humans have a decent olfactory system, but very little ability to tell where a smell is originating from.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Umm (5.00 / 2) (#46)
by SilentNeo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 03:45:05 PM EST

Well, while human noses aren't very sensitive the actual odor diffuses by 1/r^2.  This means that if your tester were to place his/her nose right up to the pit it would be readily apparent which one was making the smell.  If smells weren't proportional to distance, I would be able to smell dirty socks and underwear in the laundry from across the room.  But, instead I have to pick them up and put my nose close and take a breath.  Actually, sometimes the garment is so smelly that such close proximity is not neccessary...  

[ Parent ]
Still faulty. (none / 0) (#78)
by ScotC on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:09:59 PM EST

You really should have applied the bacteria to one armpit only, leaving the other to serve as a control armpit.

If you want an even better methodology, have someone prepare two indistinguishable preparations, only one of which contains the bacteria, and randomly label them Left and Right. Then, use one on each armpit. That way, you and any other test victims participants won't be biased. They can record which pit they think smells better, and after the experiment, you can reveal whether it was the Left or Right pit that got the bacteria.

[ Parent ]
let me know if you try it.... (none / 0) (#79)
by simul on Fri May 16, 2003 at 12:20:14 AM EST


Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
-1 (1.26 / 19) (#10)
by Hide The Hamster on Sun May 11, 2003 at 08:02:34 PM EST

Lame excuse to avoid not smelling bad. Apply more real deoderant, you freak.

Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Toothpaste (5.00 / 4) (#13)
by YelM3 on Sun May 11, 2003 at 08:51:32 PM EST

Has anyone else noticed that their breath smells noticably better when they wake up in the morning if they *haven't* brushed their teeth the night before? I tried a couple different brands, and they each made my breath reek the next morning. It smells much less if I forget to brush. Conspiracy, or what?

yes (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by Work on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:50:58 PM EST

the acids of mouth and from the foods you eat (they're what cause tooth decay) kill most of the bacteria that cause your breath to stink.

Brushing removes the acids, allowing the bacteria to multiply overnight thus causing the stench.

However, by not brushing you leave said tooth decay agents on your teeth which is Bad.

Better to have bad breath and healthy teeth than decaying teeth and fresh morning breath.

[ Parent ]

so replace the bacteria when you're done... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by simul on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:21:50 PM EST

that's why we need the gen-modded bacteria invented by hammerstrom!

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
don't brush with toothpaste (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by speek on Mon May 12, 2003 at 04:02:54 PM EST

90% of mouth health is gum health. Brush you gums (the right way) and floss. It's the same with hand washing - most of what you're doing is applying friction. Soaps and toothpaste are secondary. My favorite is people who turn the water *really* hot to kill more germs when they wash their hands. Pure genius.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Yes, but if you.... (none / 0) (#53)
by mbmccabe on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:20:10 PM EST

Yes, but if you do a good job with a reasonable mouthwash (like Scope, whatever) after you brush it won't be so bad or won't happen at all.

You really gotta get into the swishing for a good 30 seconds or so though and be THOROUGH.

[ Parent ]

Removing bacteria from teeth (4.80 / 5) (#14)
by lakeland on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:12:59 PM EST

Actually, there is research for removing bacteria from teeth. I (vaguely) know the person doing it. Rather than killing the bacteria it instead fills your mouth with a healthy population of another bacteria that competes with the bacteria that leads to decay.

Anyway, it has been in development and tested on dental students here for decades, and has been commercially available here for a few months.

commercially available *where* for a few months (5.00 / 5) (#15)
by simul on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:23:49 PM EST

Treasure Island, California? Brand name? Any other info?

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
seconded. (none / 0) (#48)
by shdwstkr on Mon May 12, 2003 at 04:17:36 PM EST

i'd like some more info as well.

[ Parent ]
More info (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by lakeland on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:11:36 PM EST

Ok, I replied by email but it seems more people are interested so I'll post here too.

The product I know about is called BLIS (Bacteriocin Like Inhibitory Substance). Prof John Tagg (prof means roughly head of department/very senior outside the US) has been working on this for ages, I think it must be more than twenty years now. I first came into contact with it about eight years ago when my wife took part in a study as part of her dentistry course.

I hadn't heard anything more about it until a few months ago when the pharmacies (I think they're called drug stores in the US) started advertising BLIS throat guard. Naturally I recognised the name and thought "oh, he's finally got it FDA approved".

Since the queries I've looked into it a bit more. It turns out the product that is commercial available is a predecessor of the one my wife trialled. It is a simpler bacteria, designed just to protect against streplococcus infections. I don't know when the proper product will be made commercially available but it was undergoing limited field trials eight years ago so I would guess it can't be far off. Here's a link anyway: company selling blis

[ Parent ]

you can buy it online here (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by simul on Mon May 12, 2003 at 06:46:39 PM EST

pharmacydirect.co.nz sells it.... i like the bio-restore to get back the benficial bacteria after antibiotics... seems smart. i actuall got strep in college years ago after coming off on antibiotics... wonder if that was why.

yes, i'm going to see if it works as a deoderant in my comparison test...[ they charge way too much for shipping... they are nutcases.... but then again... so am i ;) ]...

will post unscientific results as a new story in a month... if it gets voted down, i'll post as a comment to this one, and a diary...

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

pineapple juice (1.00 / 31) (#16)
by circletimessquare on Sun May 11, 2003 at 09:29:01 PM EST

makes my jiz taste good


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

while this may very well be true, (1.55 / 43) (#22)
by turmeric on Sun May 11, 2003 at 10:29:48 PM EST

it does not negate the fact that saddam hussein gassed his own people.

yes... (3.66 / 6) (#30)
by CodeWright on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:47:02 AM EST

but did he gas them with gut bacteria or armpit bacteria?!

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Mod. (1.00 / 8) (#36)
by Politburo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:09:06 PM EST

I modded you down for wasting the time to respond to tumeric.

[ Parent ]
I modded you down (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by CodeWright on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:20:46 PM EST

For being a humorless schmuck.

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
Cool (1.80 / 5) (#38)
by Politburo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:25:15 PM EST

Awesome. Keep in mind, the more you respond to morons like tumeric, the more they'll keep coming back.

[ Parent ]
Check out my uid (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by CodeWright on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:39:13 PM EST

Do you think I am unfamiliar with this site?

Turmeric has, at times, said compelling things. He seems like a profoundly frustrated and cynical individual...

In my own mind, I visualize turmeric as the eponymous Shakespearean fool -- mostly foolish, but somewhat kenning-wise.

I would rather encourage turmeric to continue his infrequent substantive contributions (which are truly insightful) than toss him out with the bathwater.

On the other hand, as far as I am concerned, k5 could do entirely without the page-wideners and humorless schmucks.

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
my uid is bigger than yours! *gasp* (3.00 / 4) (#41)
by Politburo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:49:08 PM EST

I don't make assumptions, so I always try to present someone with the information they need to make a decision, rather than rely on an assupmtion that they already have that information. You, on the other hand, seem to have completely figured out my sense of humor through the 35 words I wrote.

Re tumeric: sadly, his signal to noise ratio has fallen too low for me to share the same view. When someone posts the same comment to every story in the q, it turns k5 into slashdot.

[ Parent ]
No (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by CodeWright on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:50:18 PM EST

I'm psychic.

"Humanity's combination of reckless stupidity and disrespect for the mistakes of others is, I think, what makes us great." --Parent ]
LOL (none / 0) (#44)
by coryking on Mon May 12, 2003 at 03:18:57 PM EST

your post sounds supiciously like the "Anti-Troll" whiners on Slashdot. I'll have you know that people such as yourself are the exact reasons trolls exist in the first place.

[ Parent ]
Disagree (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by Politburo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:02:11 PM EST

Generally I will not reply to or otherwise acknowledge trolls. I can't see how I am causing their existence. In fact, my argument is exactly this: by ignoring trolls, they will go away. I'm also glad that you've found the "exact reason" for the existence of trolls. Maybe you should write a paper or submit an article.

[ Parent ]
Hey guys... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by vyruss on Mon May 12, 2003 at 06:24:04 PM EST

...turmeric was just the bait and you fell for it. Politburo was the troll in this case. He wins 1-0.

Lol :)

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
what's wrong with trolls? (none / 0) (#69)
by zonder on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:13:43 PM EST

There is a reason for the existence of everything and everyone!

Mosquitos and flies might be annoying to you but ask a bird or a pond frog or why not, an entomologist.

From a philosophical perspective, people with troll-like behaviour are caricatures of aspects of our own personallity which we should strive to be at peace with rather than advocate their extermination passivelly (through ignoring them) or actively (through flaming them)

I'm not saying you should endlesly give them food to carry on but occasionally, for the sake of universal equilibrium, their needs should be accommodated.

[ Parent ]

smell bad after 4-6 hours???? (none / 0) (#24)
by Hillman on Sun May 11, 2003 at 11:17:59 PM EST

I start, START to smell bad after a couple of days. Use Old Spice High endurance, pure sport. Work real good and smells real nice.

Maybe your friends just havent mentioned it.. [nt] (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon May 12, 2003 at 01:34:22 PM EST

Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

[ Parent ]
lucky for you (none / 0) (#43)
by werner on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:51:11 PM EST

some of us sweat like pigs. i, for one, literally drip with sweat from my armpits. fortunately, my anti-perspirant is up to the job (it stops the stink, but not the sweat - i would need a towel), but my feet don't half stink after being in shoes for a few hours.

a good friend of mine, on the other hand, does not sweat at all unless he is in a sauna or something.

a good anti-perspirant is essential for me to feel good about myself, otherwise i get paranoid about my sweating. however, this belief does not appear to be all that prevalent here in Germany: i often get on the tram at 8am - and i live in a very good area - and it stinks of stale sweat.

come on Germans, clean yourselves and get a decent anti-perspirant. it's downright unpleasant having to be in the same room as you.

[ Parent ]

Germans (none / 0) (#72)
by gombeen man on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:26:25 PM EST

The smelliness of other nationalities is an accusation that is often used by bigots to denigrate other countries but I wonder how much truth are in the stereotypes. My brother in law is german and Ive never seen anybody sweat so much. On a short 3km run in a temperature of about 10 degress celcius I got warm under my arms but didnt sweat whereas my german brother in law was literally dripping sweat from his face. I am Irish. It would be an interesting study to find the effects of diet, nationality and weight on how much one sweats.

[ Parent ]
Old Spice _antiperspirant_ (none / 0) (#70)
by tzanger on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:18:21 PM EST

Yup, that's the stuff I use too. Deodorant doesn't do shit. My pits still smell like the stuff at the end of the day or even into the next morning unless it's really really hot and humid, and I am fairly proficient at sweating. If I'm working hard the odd time I'll feel the cold trickle of sweat running down the side of my body, but it smells ok, so whether the antiperspirant is actually stopping perspiration or just killing off the buggers that make it stink, I dunno.

One thing I would like to figure out, though, is why the hell my armpit sweat actually stains my shirts... All of my t-shirts have pit-shadow, and not even bleaching them seems to help.

[ Parent ]
nope (none / 0) (#71)
by Hillman on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:41:55 PM EST

I use the deodorant. I used the antiperspirant once and it didn't smell as good and it irrated my armpits. Old spice deodorant have really a nice smell. I use Fructis shampoo+Fructis conditionner, Irish spring soap and old spice deodorant. I get compliments from my gf and from my female friends on how I smell nice so it must be working.

[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#82)
by tzanger on Mon May 19, 2003 at 09:27:01 PM EST

My wife (far) prefers the antiperspirant to the deodorant - the deodorant has a very "heavy" odor and it stays strong for hours...  I only use the deodorant stick I bought by accident if I have run out of the antiperspirant.  It makes me feel like I've bathed myself in perfume.

[ Parent ]
i really liked the fructis conditioner (none / 0) (#85)
by simul on Mon Jun 02, 2003 at 06:55:33 PM EST

but when i was on the beach.... it attracted yellowjackets....

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
Pit-shadow (none / 0) (#80)
by Valdrax on Fri May 16, 2003 at 06:44:16 PM EST

Actually, if this pit-shadow is the kind (like mine) that hardens and stiffens up the fabric it may in fact be the deodorant itself that is staining it.  I switched from stick-deodorant to spray deodorant, and while it's less effective, my shirts aren't getting ruined anymore.

[ Parent ]
Isn't using salt rock much cheaper? (3.50 / 2) (#25)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun May 11, 2003 at 11:57:24 PM EST

It can feel like murder if one shaves his or her pits, but I've have friends who use salt rock with nothing but good effects.

Salt rock doesn't work very well with me because of the lack of frequency in my bathing habits. But if one takes a shower every day, salt rock does quite well.

Salt rock (none / 0) (#28)
by FyreFiend on Mon May 12, 2003 at 01:21:03 AM EST

I think it depends on the person. I shower once, sometimes twice a day and those salt rock things don't work well at all for me. They're great for, oh, about 2 hours then I start to smell.

Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we".
-- Mark Twain

[ Parent ]
Smelly hippies (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by bigchris on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:01:23 AM EST

I beleive the original smelly hippies comment originated from the following post:
"This really isn't meant to be a troll, so don't take it that way. But those stupid stoners discredit the legalization movement, and people that don't bathe. ?? I went to a war rally and could smell some interesting odors, to say at the least. Try to make yourself more respectable, people, and you might not look like raving morons. Take a bath, comb that hair, stop wearing stupid beads and such. Hippies annoy people, and make a cause look bad."

I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
It did, and it's true (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by Silent Chris on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:55:36 AM EST

What's more effective in swaying the populace?  Calm and rational debate in a suit or tie or smoking weed and wearing tie-die shirts?

[ Parent ]
I bet (2.50 / 2) (#49)
by br14n on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:00:58 PM EST

Big Chris could beat you up and you wouldn't even say anything.

[ Parent ]
Thanks (I think) (none / 0) (#67)
by bigchris on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:54:09 AM EST

I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
[ Parent ]
I don't know about you (3.66 / 3) (#63)
by KnightStalker on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:36:00 PM EST

I sway a LOT more when smoking weed than when rationally debating in a suit and tie. Unless the tie is too tight. Then I tend to sway almost as much. Also, smoking weed while debating is much more fun.

[ Parent ]
Potassium Alum stone (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by Mr.Surly on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:10:47 AM EST

I've used a Potassium Alum (first link I found, not the one I actually use) stone for years, though in fact I've only bought about 3 of them, because they seem to last forever. Mostly I've had to replace them because I dropped them and they shattered.

Just rub it in your underarm when you're still damp from the shower. Be sure to cover every bit of your pit.

It lasts longer than I can say, because it's never given out before the next shower, and there's _no_ odor whatsoever.

Is that what's in ordinary anti-perspirant anyway? (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by Gully Foyle on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:41:22 AM EST

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

No, it isnt the same (none / 0) (#74)
by jester69 on Wed May 14, 2003 at 06:12:39 PM EST

from the above link, if you had bothered to read it:

Aluminum compound, such as aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium, which is very soluble, is used as an antiperspirant, that compound is readily absorbed,  Once in the body, the aluminum portion of the molecule ionizes, forming free or radical aluminum (AI+++).  This passes freely across cell membranes, and forms a physical plug, that when dissolved is selectively absorbed by the liver, kidney, brain, cartilage and bone marrow.  It is this concentration of aluminum that has been the source of concern in the medical community and has prompted the research being done on ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE and BREAST CANCER victims,  Potassium alum molecules have a negative ionic charge, making it unable to pass through the cell wall.  THEY ARE NOT ABSORBED.     This is why we recommend the use of Deodorant stones they are safe to use and will not cause high levels of ALUMINUM in your systems.  ALUM and ALUMINUM are two different substances, with distinct chemical signatures.  They posses different chemical properties which create different chemical attributes.  


Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

I must correct myself (none / 0) (#75)
by jester69 on Wed May 14, 2003 at 06:18:24 PM EST

I did some more research, and still believe it is a different mineral than in regular anti-perspirant however, it does contain aluminum.

here is some discussion from google:

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&thre adm=3vk63n%24nbj%40taco.cc.ncsu.edu&rnum=1&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Ddeodorant%

  1. Bstones%2B-thai%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26selm%3D3vk63n%252
  2. nbj%2540taco.cc.ncsu.edu%26rnum%3D1
take care,

Its a lemming thing, Jeep owners would understand.
[ Parent ]

Thanks. I apologise for my laziness. (none / 0) (#77)
by Gully Foyle on Thu May 15, 2003 at 06:56:57 AM EST

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

It's not anti-perspirant (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by Mr.Surly on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:45:38 AM EST

The stone doesn't keep you from sweating, but I don't know if anti-perspirant contains the same chemicals.

Missing a control (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by X3nocide on Mon May 12, 2003 at 02:45:07 PM EST

I know its not exactly scientific measurements you're after, but it usually helps to at least have a control experiment. In this case it would probably be "no deodorant." I doubt it fits anybody's hypothesis, but there is the possibility that the best odor control is no odor control.

Of course a real medical experiment would also need to research (or at least consider!) the effects of the bacteria on humans, since these guys are usually present in your intestines. A third experimental design issue is related to the placebo effect. If your implements of measuring odor are human then they are susceptible to their predispositions. You ought to introduce a blind (the nose person is not informed) or a double blind (the nose person and the wearer of deodorant are not informed of what it is they're wearing).


what's wrong with BO anyway? (4.71 / 7) (#45)
by zonder on Mon May 12, 2003 at 03:34:36 PM EST

The majority of us (us referring to the human race) are idiots. As a result, people with sufficiently superior mental capacity can tell the idiots what is and is not acceptable and after an initial period of the idiots feeling the sturdiness of the the new-found ground they will all happilly start jumping up and down on it and claim it as theirs, (until further notice that is)

Just as in politics, art, music, science and countless others so it is that the criteria of body hygiene are relative to say the least. The grat-grandfathers of the people that today make fun of the BO of others are the ones that made fun of frequently bathing individuals calling them fagots because they smelt of rosewater, levander and other fragrances of the time.

The fact is that as far as hygiene is concerned your body does not need water more than a couple of times a year and it certainly doesn't appreciate shampoos, shaving gels, (maybe toothpastes) and the rest of the shit we are all compeled to buy in our attempt to fit in.

I did my own little (admitedly unscientific) experiment a few moths ago to evaluate the issue of BO from sociophysical prespective.

I decided that I wouldn't take a shower for a week but still carried on shaving and brushing my hair as usual to try and look as respectable as possible at work.

I had my last shower on a Saturday night before going out with some friends. We actually went to a club which was quite hot so I was off to a bad start... but I decided to not chicken out and went to work on Monday already feeling a little smelly and not quite confident.

By Tuesday I could already hear the odd sarcastic remark but didn't respond and certainly didn't encourage anyone by trying to find a humorous answer to their comments. My girlfriend who I've actually lived with for the last two years also noticed my BO and she was a lot less tactful than my work buddies. Despite feeling a little embarassed and awkward, mainly because of my unwillingness to explain the reasons, I decided to carry on with the experiment.

I don't want to break your balls with this so will give a summary of my findings:

a) Colleagues will tend to avoid coming too close to your desk or inviting you  to meetings unless really required. (I took part in 20% less meeting that week than the week before)
b) Girlfriends will complain at first but their sex drive will increase (I swear she wanted more sex more badly than when I was fresh out of the shower)
c) Given the choice, people walking with you will tend to walk by your side or slightly ahead and to the side of you but very rarely behind you.
d) The health of your skin improves dramatically, less irritations and the like...
e) The BO level increased asymptotically and on day 4,5,6 and 7 neither me nor my girlfriend could notice a difference from the day before.
f) Girls you walk past in bars do tend to turn around and look at you more often than not. Despite openning casual conversation with a couple of them I honestly couldn't figure whether this was because of curiosity driven by disgust or genuine interest at a guy that is obviously respectable (judging by the attire) but doesn't feel obliged to do as he is expected in the body hygiene department. A third possibility that occured to me was that of subconscious sexual attraction similar to the one I observed with my girlfriend.
g) I saved about 1 euro in cosmetic products (That's not the currency I use but given its gains... i prefer it for expressing international amounts)
h) It does make you feel as a master of your own self to a certain extent. i.e. "this is who I am and if you don't like me then fuck off." This is arguably a more manly stance than the "I smell? Sorry I'll have a shower."
i) Call me disgusting but I quite enjoyed the way my armpits smelt after day 3. In fact I could get enough of sniffing myself.

Sorry people, don't mean to step on P&G's toes and those of the various utility companies (water, electricity etc) but given the choice I would vote for a smellier society in that department.

In contrast I would prefer to see the money and energy spent on true hygiene like more frequent collection of rubish, cleaner public toilletes, cleaner bars and restaurant kitchens, and a cleaner planet in general if that is practically possible.

As far as I am concerned, today's society's obsession with personal hygiene is nothing more than an invented need constantly reenforced by popular stereotypes in the mass media. If we could all be convinced that BO is actually an aspect of someone's personallity then there wouldn't be problem. And the stigma associated with poor hygiene would vanish taking with it a very unreasonable prejudice we all seem to have.

I am not a hippy. I do not have a beard and my clothes, I like to think off as quite fashionable. So don't go making any unfair assumptions about me personallity.

By the way, I have nothing against beards per se, but have come to associate them with mainframe programmers and VMS operators, a clique I try and keep a fair distance from as a programmer in a distributed environment.

Erm, I happen to LIKE water :) (none / 0) (#55)
by aralin on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:40:09 PM EST

Hey, I am cancer, water sing, I happen to like water. What can I say more. It might not be healthy, but I actually look forward to take a shower. I feel good in water and I feel better afterwards. For me it is more important than whether I smell or not. And the hygiene/health part is way at the last place when I think about bathing. Anyway, just wanted to let you know about alternative view. Some people don't shower, because they feel they should. :)

[ Parent ]
Buying as remedy (3.00 / 1) (#56)
by xs euriah on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:41:40 PM EST

There is much money to be made in creating products that "remedy" a problem. However fabricated or media-induced the problem may be.

[ Parent ]
made or transformed? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by zonder on Mon May 12, 2003 at 07:22:09 PM EST

I agree with your view but I am not sure whether in this and many other similar circumstances the term "make money" as applied to the selling of body hygiene products of a cosmetic nature is an accurate description of the action or merely a euphemism.

Let me explain with an example.

When a farmer grows some tomatoes and then goes and sells them in a market then he has really made some money. He has used his environment and tools to create something people really need. Food!

When a company invents a need and then in turn creates a product to satisfy that need can we really extend them the same courtesy and say that they have made money?

In my opinion they have not. They have merely transformed raw material into something people don't really need in order to carry on with their lifes. If anything they have taken away from the system (=earth)  rather than added to it, and in doing so increased its entropy which I believe is synonymous with, decreased its life expectancy.

Why? So that they can merely transform energy from one form (the consumers pocket) to another (their pocket) neglecting the gross efficency of the transformation. (r&d, by-products, emissions etc)

[ Parent ]

Saturday night out (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by UnConeD on Mon May 12, 2003 at 07:44:34 PM EST

I think the saturday night out thing definitely skewed your experiment. A hot club is not a normal environment. And instead of going a week without washing, you should try a week without showering but still doing a very quick water-only wash up in the morning in the areas you sweat most. If you don't mind being considered the smelly guy again, you should repeat it, but starting on a monday.

[ Parent ]
bo (none / 0) (#62)
by gdanjo on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:18:39 PM EST

b) Girlfriends will complain at first but their sex drive will increase (I swear she wanted more sex more badly than when I was fresh out of the shower)
I've noticed this behaviour too. I think it's a combination of chemical (BO has hormones in it, no?) as well as mental that causes this. It's as if you're showing her a part of yourself that the outside world doesn't get to see (smell) which shows trust.

As for:

i) Call me disgusting but I quite enjoyed the way my armpits smelt after day 3. In fact I could get enough of sniffing myself.
Perhaps you were trying to (scientifically) figure out the reasons for b)? :-)

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
[ Parent ]

Pheromones (none / 0) (#66)
by kraant on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:44:29 AM EST

I've noticed this behaviour too. I think it's a combination of chemical (BO has hormones in it, no?) as well as mental that causes this. It's as if you're showing her a part of yourself that the outside world doesn't get to see (smell) which shows trust.

I think the outside world was getting a good whiff too in this case...

I reckon it was probably pheromones.
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

BO (1.00 / 2) (#81)
by TheSleeper on Sat May 17, 2003 at 12:00:48 PM EST

I'll go on record as enjoying a certain amount of my own BO, as well. If I could continuously maintain a "one or two days since shower" level of scent, I would.

I don't find anything surprising about your girlfriend's reaction, either -- lacking all scent isn't exactly sexy. And it's pretty well established, I think, that scent plays a big role in physical attraction. Daily bathing will interfere...

[ Parent ]

on hygiene (none / 0) (#84)
by Sniggy on Fri May 23, 2003 at 07:58:23 PM EST

"your body does not need water more than a couple of times a year and it certainly doesn't appreciate shampoos, shaving gels" actually, it does. it's because of problems that poor hygiene had caused that human society has developed all this shit. as to shampoos, gels etc- depends on the amount of usage, on skin sensitivy and choice of used material. having a shower twice each day might be tough on your skin sooner or later. then again, we are very adaptable as a race. people live in the desert, bathing a couple of times a year or swim in the sea every single day. as to the "armpit" problem within this article: the smell isn't bad if your sweat has the opportunity to evaporate. most of us wear wrong clothing (too tight, non-breathable fabrics, too warm) and thus actually "live" in our sweat and odours most of the time. that is one cause of bad smell. the natural body smell of a person may be quite fine or quite bad- that depends on the pheromone mix that person has. the women that turned around were attracted to your mix of pheromones. those that didn't turn around were probably indifferent or didn't like the smell.
da Sniggy
[ Parent ]
follow up... (none / 0) (#54)
by simul on Mon May 12, 2003 at 05:21:53 PM EST

i've been using it excusively now. i've found that it only works well if you apply *right after* showering. if you wait a few hours, it's too late.... (which makes sense)

also, i went online and bought 6 different liquid formulae. i'm going to try each one - and choose the one that's the most aesthetically pleasing.

and i'm *trying* to enlist a few more volunteers... to see if the ph/hormones of other people's sweat...

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks

Don't use any... (none / 0) (#83)
by pgrb on Thu May 22, 2003 at 11:09:07 AM EST

I've not used anti-perspirent or deodorant for well over a decade now.  I shower every two days.

I gave up because the ingredients in under-arm products were destroying my clothing.  I thought, "What the hell, I'll try nothing and see what happens".  No odour problems *at all*.  I have asked honest witnesses on many occasions.

One thing that may well help is that:
- I wear only non-synthetic textiles.
- Any clothing in contact with the odour-producing parts of my body gets worn once, and once only before being washed (low temperature 'eco'-wash, naturally).

What I noticed that wearing any particular clothes two days in a row *really* amplifies the odour.

I wear a synthetic base layer for cross-country skiing, and that *stinks* after two to three days, and can't be washed out after a season of use, no matter how often it is washed during the season.

For me, then, wearing nylon, polyester, acrylic or any other synthetic, even in a mixture is a no-no - perhaps this is a cause of really bad BO for some people?

[ Parent ]

Will acidophilus really work? (4.00 / 2) (#64)
by davedash on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:19:24 PM EST

My father, a Biochemist/MicroBio PhD, owns UAS Labs (www.uaslabs.com) a company which makes a specific strain of acidophilus called DDS as well as other multibacterial probiotics. Acidophilus as far as I know is typically freeze-dried and it needs some sort of heat in order to be activated, e.g. stomach acid. So would the body heat from your arm pits be sufficient... I wouldn't suspect so, but perhaps someone smarter than me would know (or I'll ask my dad or brother next time I see them). Somehow I suspect the other bacteria in this coctail did the trick... Note: I don't recommend using our brand, DDS Acidophilus, for this experiment. It's slightly more expensive, but it is more potent - which may be necessary for the smell. Also though... can this get rid of navel odor? ;)
I used American Health Acidophilus liquid... (none / 0) (#65)
by simul on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:43:46 PM EST

Yyou're welcome to try putting it in your navel, let me know if it works. It will add to the growing body of research.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
-1 (2.50 / 8) (#68)
by tkatchev on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:16:32 AM EST


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

Hyperhidrosis (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by gengis on Wed May 14, 2003 at 04:55:20 AM EST

Ditch deodorants, bacteria and all the rest and get the surgery. Also useful if you have sweaty palms, or sweaty feet.

crappy solution... (none / 0) (#76)
by simul on Wed May 14, 2003 at 07:57:33 PM EST

hiperhidrosis is a rare disorder where you sweat excessivley. plenty of people can get bad BO after a hard day's work at the office... that don't have hyperhidrosis

the bacteria's working great btw... still haven't tried any new strains (i'm getting to like the one i have)... but i've convinced a few firends to try it.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]

Rubbing Alcohol (none / 0) (#86)
by grandenonfatlatte on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 04:07:01 PM EST

Once, when I was about twelve, my grandfather explained to me that he has never bought antiperspirant or deodorant, instead, he just uses cotton balls to apply rubbing alcohol to his pits every morning.

I don't know if it is bad for you, but I do know it works... I have worked under all types of hot weather with my grandfather chopping wood, digging trenches, roofing, and I have to say, he has never smelled foul.

I hate deoderants (none / 0) (#87)
by Xanthipe on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 07:40:45 AM EST

It's weird, but I prefer people to smell like people. Deoderants just get up my nose. Especially ones for guys.


The best answer I can give to the question of whether I am alive or dead is "Yes"...

Bacterial Deodorant | 87 comments (76 topical, 11 editorial, 0 hidden)
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