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Ban, a band, and a banned ingredient

This 1960s Ban deodorant commercial is entertaining because it capitalized on the British Invasion, that time in our musical history when all bands were required by law to look like the Beatles.

But behind this Faux Fab Four lurks a tragic beauty science secret.

In the 1940s science gained a better understanding of the role that bacteria played in the development of armpit odor. With that discovery came the development of antibacterial compounds that could prevent body odor. One of the most popular ingredients was hexachlorophene which was introduced in 1948 and soon became widely used in soaps and deodorants, like Ban.

By the late 1960s more and more products began using this ingredient at higher and higher levels. A baby powder product containing 6% hex caused several fatalities which led to the banning of this ingredient in 1972. Today, aerosol deodorants are much less popular than they were in the 60s.

Source: Antiperspirants and Deodorants, edited by Karl Laden

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Christina May 16, 2014, 10:17 am

    The Repulsives..The British Invasion invading armpits and hearts all over the world!

    We dig hexachlorophene, baby!

    Great Flashback Friday post!

    • Randy Schueller May 16, 2014, 6:04 pm

      Clearly they have fallen under the spell of HEX-achlorophene.

      • Christina May 16, 2014, 8:13 pm

        Zing! We’re here all week!