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Why is there no deodorant in Korea?


In this article, we will explore the reasons why deodorant is not commonly used in Korea. While it may seem strange to those from other countries, there are cultural and societal factors that contribute to this phenomenon.

Historical Context

Korea has a long history of practicing natural medicine and using herbal remedies for health and hygiene purposes. This tradition has carried over into modern times, with many Koreans preferring to use natural solutions for body odor instead of chemical products.

Cultural Perceptions of Body Odor

Unlike in Western cultures where body odor is viewed as a negative attribute, Koreans have a more accepting attitude towards natural body odor. In fact, some Koreans believe that sweating is a healthy bodily function and that masking it with deodorant is not ideal.

Climate and Lifestyle Factors

Korea has a humid climate which can lead to excessive sweating. However, Koreans also tend to lead active lifestyles that involve regular exercise and frequent showers. This combination may lessen the need for deodorant.

Alternative Products

While deodorant may not be popular in Korea, there are still numerous products available to help combat body odor. These range from natural remedies such as vinegar or tea tree oil, to specialized clothing that wicks away sweat and prevents odor.

Social Pressure

There is some social pressure in Korea to conform to certain beauty standards, including having clear skin and a slim figure. However, body odor is not typically considered a major factor in these standards. Therefore, there may be less pressure to use deodorant.

Marketing Strategies

The lack of deodorant use in Korea has led to unique marketing strategies for companies looking to break into the market. Some companies focus on promoting the health benefits of natural remedies, while others emphasize the convenience of specialized clothing.

Influence of K-Pop

The popularity of K-pop and Korean dramas has led to a greater interest in Korean culture around the world. However, these popular media portrayals often do not accurately reflect the reality of everyday life in Korea, including the use of deodorant.

Public Opinion

While opinions on deodorant use may vary among individuals, there is generally a lack of negative stigma associated with body odor in Korea. This means that those who choose not to use deodorant are unlikely to face social repercussions.

Hygiene Standards

Despite the lack of widespread deodorant use, hygiene standards in Korea are generally high. This is due to a combination of cultural norms and government regulations on cleanliness and sanitation.

Global Trends

The trend towards natural products and eco-friendliness has gained momentum around the world. As such, it is possible that more people in other countries may adopt the Korean approach to body odor, leading to a decrease in deodorant usage worldwide.


In conclusion, the reasons why deodorant is not commonly used in Korea are multifaceted. They include cultural perceptions of body odor, alternative hygiene products, and climate and lifestyle factors. While this phenomenon may seem unusual to outsiders, it reflects a unique aspect of Korean culture and values.

Why Koreans doesn t use deodorant?

There is a specific gene that determines whether or not a person will produce underarm odor. According to Day, this gene is the main factor in determining whether or not a person will have smelly armpits. While only a small percentage of Europeans are without this gene, the majority of East Asians and almost all Koreans lack it. This was reported by Day in an interview with LiveScience on January 17, 2013.

Is it true that there is no deodorant in Korea?

In general, many Koreans don’t require deodorant due to a specific gene called “ABCC11” that was discovered by scientists a few years ago. This gene plays a significant role in determining whether an individual produces dry or wet earwax.

Why do some Asians not need deodorant?

The occurrence of the A and G alleles differ significantly among various ethnicities. In East Asians, the A allele is prevalent, and as a result, most individuals in this group do not require deodorant and therefore do not use it. It is estimated that only 7% of North East Asians use deodorant regularly.

What country does not use deodorant?

The reason why many Chinese people do not use deodorant is because they do not experience the same level of body odor problems as Westerners. Chinese individuals tend to sweat less even in hot and humid weather compared to Westerners.

Which country uses the most deodorant?

The group that uses deodorant the most are young Americans, with 90% of those aged 18-29 using it daily, compared to only 78% of those aged 60 and over. The United States is currently the top country for deodorant sales and usage, but Brazil is a close second and is predicted to surpass the US soon.

What is the popular deodorant in Korea?

In Korea, Nivea is the most well-known brand of deodorant. This information was reported on June 29, 2022.

Additionally, some people may simply prefer the natural scent of their body, finding it more appealing than the artificial scent of deodorant. This is especially true for those who have sensitive skin, as deodorants can sometimes cause irritation or allergic reactions.

It’s worth noting that while deodorant is not widely used in Korea, antiperspirants are more commonly used. Antiperspirants work by blocking sweat glands, whereas deodorants work by neutralizing odor-causing bacteria. However, even antiperspirants are not as popular in Korea as they are in other countries.

Another factor to consider is the cost of deodorant. In Korea, many people prioritize spending money on skincare and beauty products, which are seen as more important than deodorant. As such, deodorant may be seen as an unnecessary expense.

Despite the lack of deodorant use in Korea, it’s important to note that personal hygiene is still a top priority for most Koreans. They often shower twice a day and take great care in grooming themselves. While deodorant may not be a part of their daily routine, they still take steps to ensure they smell fresh and clean.

In conclusion, the reasons why deodorant is not commonly used in Korea are complex and multifaceted. It reflects a unique aspect of Korean culture and values and should be respected as such. While it may seem unusual to outsiders, it’s important to remember that personal hygiene standards are still high in Korea, even without the use of deodorant.

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