Why Body Odor Bugs Us
Many people are a little creeped out when they find out the cause of body odor. Like our ancestors, they just assume the cause is sweat. They are only partially correct.
Fact Number 1 - Bacteria are the cause of body odor.
What scientists did not know until the 1800s is that we have billions of bacteria living on the surface of our skin. This is a natural thing that has nothing to do with basic hygiene. These bacteria interact with sweat to cause a process of fermentation. This is a chemical reaction that produces the odors.
Scientists developed the first strategy for dealing with body odor as a simple attack on the bacteria that cause it. The first deodorant used alcohol-based ingredients to kill the bacteria. Deodorants today, such as Degree Dry Protection deodorant and Adrenaline Adventure deodorant, use more advanced ingredients, but deal with odor the same way. That is not the case with antiperspirants.
Fact Number 2 - Antiperspirants work differently than deodorants.
Deodorants attack the bacteria that feed on sweat. Antiperspirants deal with the issue of sweat and perspiration. Most of these products use ingredients derived from the inactive metal aluminum. When these products come into contact with sweat, there is a chemical reaction. The electrolytes in the sweat cause the ingredients to form a gel-like substance. This material forms plugs in the pores of the sweat glands. These plugs stay until washed away or sloughed of as a normal part of the skin renewing itself.
One of the first things our parents teach us while growing up is to take baths and keep clean to make sure we smell good. The next fact may surprise you.
Fact Number 3 - Bathing can increase body odor.
Alright, it is not the actual bath that is the problem. A bath will certainly eliminate odors for an hour or so. The problem is that bathing can upset the pH balance of the skin, especially if you use an alkaline soap. Bacteria do not grow well if the pH balance is one the acidic side, a natural state. If that balance is upset, it can accelerate growth of the bacteria and result in increased body odor.
Studies by the personal care companies show that over 80% of people shower and put on their deodorants in the mornings. That is not the best approach, at least for the deodorants.
Fact Number 4 - Deodorants and antiperspirants are most effective if put on in the evenings.
Both products are most effective with increased contact with the skin. When applied at night when the body is cool, there is less perspiration to block the application. They get a chance to work without being diluted. It is okay to shower and touch up the application in the morning, but try the evenings as the time for your main use.
With just a bit of knowledge, you can make your grooming routines a little more efficient. Fighting body odor is a daily process, it helps to do it right.