The History of Deodorant

You use it every day without even thinking about it, but where did deodorant come from? Who’s big idea was it to slather a balm under the arms and on the feet to prevent stink from emanating? While the original thought may have occurred as far back as the 9th century in Asia with different types of homemade deodorants, the first commercially sold deodorizing balm was invented in Pennsylvania in 1888. At this time the name of the inventor of Mum is unknown but his product is still being used around the world. Some people prefer the original stick solid form while others opt for a roll on or an aerosol version.

In 1931 Bristol-Myers bought the Mum company and later invented the roll-on applicator for their product. The roll-on was inspired by the newly invented ball point pen and while it sold well, the most popular applicator quickly became the aerosol spray. Aerosol spray first hit the market in the 60’s as Gillette company’s “Right Guard.”

deoderantBy the end of the decade almost 50% of deodorants sold in the US were of the aerosol variety. The numbers fiercely grew to over 80% in the early 70’s. However, aerosols began to fall out of favor after the FDA banned the active ingredient in aerosols in 1977 and awareness of the effect of propellants on the ozone layer increased. As the popularity of aerosols went down, stick deodorants became increasingly popular and are now the most popular version of deodorant sold.

How Deodorant Works

Deodorants work by eliminating or decreasing the bacteria that grows on skin that causes body odor. They often contain alcohol or other anti-microbial as well as perfumes to keep you smelling clean and feeling fresh all day long. While some are concerned with the potential health effects of regularly using deodorants most people say that the very small amount that is actually used isn’t dangerous even when being used regularly. Which ever kind you choose to use, we appreciate it!

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