Lizzo Says Doing This One Thing Makes Her Smell 'Better'
As if the celebrity hygiene debate hasn't gone on long enough already, Lizzo is keeping the conversation going by revealing the, err, unconventional way that she steers clear of stink.
On Thursday, the 33-year-old singer shared a post from @hollywoodunlocked that called out Matthew McConaughey for not using deodorant for 35 years (!!) on her Instagram Stories with the text, "Ok... I'm w him on this one.. I stopped using deodorant and I smell BETTER."
McConaughey has been vocal in the past about his deodorant-free ways. Case in point: In a 2005 interview with People for his Sexiest Man Alive cover, the 51-year-old said, "I haven't worn deodorant in 20 years." Recently, however, his 'pit routine came back to the forefront after his Tropic Thunder co-star, Yvellete Nicole Brown, shared what McConaughey smelled like while working on their 2008 movie, according to Entertainment Tonight. "He did not have an odor. He smells like granola and good living," she said on Sirius XM's The Jess Cagle Show. "I believe he bathes because he smells delicious. He just didn't have deodorant on."
The fact that the award-winning actor (maybe?) bathes, however, seems to be a somewhat rare occurrence in Hollywood. Okay, maybe not rare, but as of late, multiple celebrities have opened up about, as Jake Gyllenhaal told Vanity Fair, "find[ing] bathing to be less necessary, at times."
New to the Hollywood hygiene debate? It all started at the end of July when Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher revealed their rather lax views about bathing on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast. "I wash my armpits and my crotch daily, and nothing else ever," said Kutcher, according to People. And when it comes to the couple's children, Wyatt, 6, and Dimitri, 4, Kutcher added, "Now, here's the thing: If you can see the dirt on them, clean them. Otherwise, there's no point." (Related: Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher Respond to the Celebrity Bathing Debate In a Hilarious New Video)
Fast forward a week later and during an episode of The View, Shepard and Kristen Bell shared their own thoughts on washing their kiddos, Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6. "I'm a big fan of waiting for the stink," said Bell. "Once you catch a whiff, that's biology's way of letting you know you need to clean it up."
Soon other big names such as Gyllenhaal and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson were also weighing in on the topic. And while Gyllenhall seems to also be on the wash-only-when-necessary bandwagon (as evidenced above), Johnson declared himself "the opposite of a 'not-washing-themselves' celeb" on Twitter last week.
Now, it's important to note that the American Academy of Dermatology upholds that children aged 6 to 11 need a bath once or twice a week, when they're visibly dirty (for instance, if they've played in mud), or are sweaty and have body odor. Additionally, the AAD advises that children are bathed after swimming in bodies of water, whether it be a pool, lake, river, or ocean. And once puberty starts (aka becoming an adult), the AAD suggests showering daily.
As for using deodorant — or not using deodorant à la Lizzo and McConaughey? There doesn't seem to be any official recommendations on how often, if at all, you should swipe some on your skin. The AAD does note that antiperspirant, which stops sweating, and traditional deodorant, which masks the smell of sweat, are both safe and effective ways of curbing sweat and stench. That being said, taking a break from antiperspirant in particular "can help restore the natural diversity of bacteria on the skin and let the natural microbiome re-establish itself," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, previously told Shape.
Here's the thing: The more types of bacteria you have in your underarm area, the worse you typically smell (when bacteria breaks down sweat, it produces an odor). And one study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research found that antiperspirants can actually increase the level of odor-causing bacteria in the armpit. Pressing pause can help your skin return to its natural bacteria levels and, thus, potentially smell even better afterward. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Your Skin Microbiome)
Whether you're using deodorant or not, it's important to continually treat your 'pits to some TLC. "Make sure to cleanse the skin after exercising to remove excess dirt and oil," Dr. Zeichner previously explained. "Apply a moisturizer after shaving to ensure that the skin barrier stays healthy." (See more: What Is an Armpit Detox, and Do You Really Need to Do One?)
If you've been wanting to ditch deo for a while, consider Lizzo and McConaughey's endorsement of the bare-pit life enough to convince you to give it a try.