A new study suggests that wearing deodorant or antiperspirant can actually predict what kind of bugs live (and, yum, breed) in your armpits, Time reports. In other words, they can seriously affect your gut health by disrupting your microbiome.

Scientist Julie Horvath, head of the genomics and microbiology research laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, wanted to find out if deodorant and antiperspirant were linked to different patterns of bacterial growth in the armpits.

Turns out, when we use deodorant or antiperspirant, we are also affecting the type and amount of bacteria on our armpits, she told Time. At the beginning of the study, antiperspirant wearers had fewer microbes—and deodorant users had more—than people who did not use products. But after a few days of going product-less, the bacteria colonies were all fairly similar.

From a lot of other microbiome studies, we know that variation is important and probably healthier. There is so much more we need to learn, as stated by Horvath, a longtime user of clinical-strength antiperspirant told Time.

So what is Horvath wearing now? At the end of her research, she ditched her antiperspirant in favor of an aluminum-free natural deodorant. Which, a) welcome to the club! And b) makes us wonder if all-natural deodorant is the new kombucha.

While you ponder the microbes living in your pits, check out a few of our favorite natural options —Alison Feller ( ).


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