Although a lot of people try to get rid of it, a little bit of earwax is actually a good thing.

1. Most of us spend time trying to get rid of that sticky, yellow substance in our ears earwax.

2. But have you ever stopped to ask why you're cleaning your ears and if you even should?

3. INSIDER spoke with several specialists to find out what exactly earwax does for the body and why you need it.

It's shiny, sticky, and often yellow or orange cerumen, commonly known as earwax. Many of us spend time trying to get rid of it, making us believe it's dangerous and worth the efforts of removal.

It conditions and protects the skin of the ear canal

Earwax is made up of a combination of dead skin cells, hair, and sweat. This is what gives earwax its balmy and moist texture, and in turn, lubricates the ear canal. It keeps the outer ear canal skin moist, allowing for the skin cells to be healthy and enabling the cells to continue shedding skin debris. The protection and moisturizing properties of ear wax also prevent the ears from getting dry and itchy.

It keeps debris from entering your ears

Additionally, earwax acts as a physical barrier, to prevent dust, dirt, water, products, and even bugs from entering the ear canal and getting into the eardrum. They all have bacteria and fungi on the surface of our skin. If there is a break in the skin barrier, it's an open door for these unwelcome intruders to invade our body, resulting in infection, inflammation, itch, and pain. The growth of bacteria is slowed by earwax, preventing infections and other health issues.

Antibacterial and Antifungal agent

According to Otolaryngologist, Tests have shown that earwax has antibacterial properties, So besides acting as a physical barrier in preventing debris from entering that could lead to infection, the sticky substance itself keeps your ears healthy.


As gross as it sounds, earwax leaves your ear at its own pace. Naturally, earwax acts as a cleansing agent that drifts out of the ear at its own pace, which lifts the burden of having to remove earwax. In fact, it's dangerous to clean the inner part of the outer ear canal, because removal often causes mechanical trauma.

Using Q-tips, fingers, and other small devices can push wax against the eardrum, potentially puncture the drum, and cause a conductive hearing loss due to obstruction of the drum, she said.

This may lead to excess accumulation or not enough leaving the ear feeling itchy and putting you at risk for irritation from debris. Needless to say, let earwax do its job.