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What causes body odor?

Working, exercising, socializing. If your daily activities are leading to issues with sweat and odor, read on to find out what causes body odor and how you can keep it at bay.

We’ve all been there – a hot and sweaty workout class, busy public transport, a high-pressure meeting. You notice that uncomfortable wetness, and then the inevitable odor. So why do underarms smell, exactly?

Although it can be embarrassing, body odor is totally normal. Most people experience it at one time or another, and fortunately, there are things we can do about it. But before we dive into finding the right deodorant for body odor, let’s start with the basics: why does sweat smell?

Surprisingly, sweat is mostly odorless. But what causes sweat to smell is when it meets the natural bacteria on your skin, developing that telltale odor. There are also different types of sweat: the kind that cools you down when your body is overheating, and what’s known as ‘psychological sweat’ or ‘emotional sweat’. It’s what happens when you become anxious or stressed, and tends to appear on your hands, armpits and face. It’s also believed to be the smelliest kind.

With that in mind, exercise, hot weather, stress and certain foods are believed to be the biggest causes of body odor through sweating. So if you want to address the root of the problem, you might want to look at your diet. Spicy food, caffeine and alcohol can cause us to sweat more, and contain certain compounds that our bodies can’t always break down. It can be what causes sweat to smell more.

As for emotional sweat, managing stress can help tackle excess body odor in high-pressure situations. It can be frustrating – why do you smell when you need to feel your most confident? If you’re heading into a work presentation, or first date, avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol beforehand. Listen to some calming music and practice deep breathing to keep your heart rate steady – and stop stress kicking into overdrive.

It may sound obvious, but practicing good hygiene is essential for dealing with excess body odor. Your armpits and groin are prime culprits for sweat, so wash the areas well once (or ideally, twice) per day with your favorite beauty bar or body wash. Dry yourself thoroughly with a clean, dry towel – bacteria loves damp skin.

Now that we know what causes body odor and how we can manage it through lifestyle, let’s look at one of the most important tools at our disposal: deodorant for body odor. Dove deodorants all provide 48-hour protection from odor, giving you that long-lasting fresh feeling all day. Worried about wetness? You might want to choose an antiperspirant. These help control sweating and keep your underarms dry.

Remember, body odor is a human issue and one we all experience. Follow our tips to target the causes of body odor and you’ll be feeling more confident in no time.

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