Sleek and Slick

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For most people, the topic of their personal care is, well, personal. Tummy tuck? Hair transplant? Tooth whitening? Most would rather keep such information confidential. There is, however, one area of personal care that galvanizes Americans: sweat. Most would like less of it. And if that's too much to ask, they would prefer it to be odorless and, of course, less visible.

In pursuit of dryness, almost 90 percent of Americans make a point of dabbing on a leading deodorant or antiperspirant at least once a week, according to New York-based Mediamark Research Inc. A quarter of all Americans don't want to take any chances, and apply such protection more than once a day. When it comes to product choice, 52 percent select a stick or solid form of deodorant or antiperspirant.* The next most popular variety is the roll-on, used by 15 percent of the population. About 22 percent prefer gels or sprays. Of those, men predominate, perhaps because the roller-ball mechanism in roll-ons doesn't work as well for those with shaggy underarms. The remaining 11 percent don't use a leading brand or use nothing at all. Young adults are the most sensitive about their olfactory effect on others. Those ages 18 to 24 are 33 percent more likely than average to use scented deodorants or antiperspirants. With fragrances such as “Frost,� “Wild Rain� and “Avalanche� to choose from, the variety is enough to make one break out in a sweat.

*Mediamark Research Inc., 2001

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