(FOXNEWS) — The routine of slicking on antiperspirant or deodorant may be good for your social life, but bad for your microbial life. According to new research published in the journal PeerJ, the type and quantity of the thousands of bacteria species that live on your skin— in particular the armpit— is determined by the use of deodorant and/or antiperspirant, raising questions about the benefit or harm of the products.
Researchers from North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Rutgers University and Duke University collaborated on the work, which involved 17 study participants. Three men and four women used antiperspirant products, three men and two women used deodorant, and three men and two women used neither product.
For eight days, participants had swabs taken of their armpits. On the first day, participants followed their normal hygiene routine. On days two through six, they did not use any deodorant or antiperspirant. For the last two days, all participants used antiperspirant.
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