(Insert “cough, cough” here) … Excuse me what?
You might be wondering why I just insinuated the need to "love your earwax". Furthermore, why is it #hashtag worthy? Why would anyone in their right mind ever want to enter a love affair with a sticky, yellow-ish brown substance that accumulates and lives in the ear?
You see, earwax is a highly underrated (and perhaps understudied) substance, that the human body produces naturally. Despite its lack of sex appeal, it has a host of beneficial properties that the average person probably isn’t aware of. In fact, according to WebMD, earwax is like the oil in your car, only it never has to be changed. Let’s take a closer look.
3 Key Benefits of Earwax
Earwax is a combination of dead skin cells, bits of hair, and secretions from glands that line the ear canal (affectionately known as sweat). This gives earwax its balmy, moist texture. That said, earwax paves the way for lubrication in the ear canal. Without lubrication, ears become dry and itchy. This can exacerbate feelings of irritation in the ear, leading to frustration and discomfort.
Earwax acts as a shield against unwanted debris such as dirt, bugs, and dust, that can wander into our ear canals completely uninvited! I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to keep a healthy stock of earwax, as to not allow creepy crawlers free access into my ear canal. Besides that, preventing dirt and other particles from entering the ear canal slows the growth of harmful bacteria that could lead to infections and other concerns.
Earwax is a natural cleansing agent that is supposed to self-remove by drifting out of the ear at its own pace. This usually happens through natural jaw movements such as chewing and talking, or during shower and bath time. Therefore, it has a self-regulating mechanism designed to both form, and discard, as needed. See what the Cleveland Clinic has to say about it here.
This is not always the case. For some people, earwax is simply too much of a good thing. In cases where earwax doesn’t properly self-remove, earwax builds up and drives us to attempt unnatural removal techniques that cause more harm than good. Therefore, do yourself a favor and put the kibosh on harmful activities and #LoveYourEarwax.