ONE million people may be using deodorant needlessly, a study has suggested, as they have a gene that means they do not produce body odour.
Researchers have found that 2% of the population have a genetic variant that means they do not suffer from underarm body odour yet more than three quarters of them continue to use scents..
The "cultural norm” in many countries is to use deodorant every day whether body odour is a problem or not, the researchers said. Where as elsewhere in the world most people with the genetic variant are aware that they do not smell and do not use deodorant, they said.
According to Euromonitor, the deodorant industry was worth £604-million (R8.5-billion) in 2011, representing a potential saving of over £12-million (R169-million) to the 2% of UK adults who don’t produce underarm odour if they shunned deodorants. Only about 5% who produce body odour do not use deodorant, the researchers suggested.
The gene variant is known as ABCC11 and the study authors said that the consistency of earwax is a good indication of those who have it. People who have dry earwax as opposed to sticky earwax are highly likely to have the ABCC11 variant and therefore do not produce underarm body odour. The research was carried out on a sample of 6 495 women who were part of the wider Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol. The researchers found that about 2% of mothers carried the gene variant.
They discovered almost one in four with the gene do not use deodorant, suggesting they are aware of their special status and do not waste the money. – The Daily Telegraph