Young woman in the shower

What causes body odor?

Despite what you might think, it’s not our sweat that smells.

Natural bacteria on our skin feed on our sweat and release the smell we call body odor. The warm, damp conditions of underarms make them an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and for the sweat from our apocrine glands – which are more prone to releasing odor – to get trapped. This can also result in sweat patches on our clothes.

Body odor starts to occur when we’re in puberty. Men tend to suffer more from body odor, as they sweat more from their apocrine glands than women, even though women actually have more sweat glands overall.

Certain foods, like curry, garlic or spices, alcohol and some types of medication can also make our sweat smell unpleasant.

How to control body odor?

If you sweat a lot, you may find that body odor is becoming a problem. Here are a few handy tips that could help you stop body odor:

Make deodorant part of your daily routine. Degree’s Motionsense™ formula responds to body movements, releasing bursts of freshness throughout the day helping to prevent body odor.

Sweat can easily get trapped in our armpits, feet, toes and genital area – which can lead to sweat patches, so it’s important to properly wash and dry these parts of your body with an appropriate soap or shower gel.

As hair allows sweat to get trapped and cause body odor, shaving your underarms can help.

If smelly feet are a problem, make sure you wear socks made from natural fabrics and change them daily, and avoid wearing shoes made from synthetic materials.

Degree has a range of antiperspirant innovations to help with body odor, including 48-hour protection, and our Clinical Strength antiperspirant.