There are two types of sweat gland, the eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine glands are much more common and have their own ducts, separate from the pore where sebum (a waxy substance that lubricates our skin and hair) is secreted and hair follicles grow out of.
A number of things cause the eccrine glands to gear into action, including temperatures above 32C, exercise and spicy food. An adult human can sweat up to 1.5 litres a day, and double its water production in response to a rise in temperature of 7-8C. As that water evaporates off the surface of the skin it creates a cooling sensation.
Eccrine sweat glands produce a salty liquid that is 99.5% water and 0.5% salt and other minerals and nutrients. This liquid does not smell, unless it is unable to evaporate from the skin. It is the bacterial growth breaking down this sweat that causes body odour.
The other form of sweat is secreted by the apocrine gland, which creates a special local environment on the skin’s surface. These glands are attached to the hair follicle and secreted out of pores that are 10 times as wide as eccrine sweat gland openings.
Apocrine glands secrete a milky substance made of water, mineral salts, protein, hormones and certain fatty substances that attract bacteria. They are found in the armpits, groin, around the nipples and umbilicus, and there are also a few on the face.
Like sweat secreted from the eccrine glands, apocrine sweat does not initially smell, but contains fats and proteins that bacteria breaks down as it ingests it. This is called fermentation, and is the process that causes body odour.
Apocrine sweat glands are mostly found in the creases of the body, particularly the armpits and groin areas. These areas have limited access to oxygen, which increases the chances of bacterial growth and means more odour is produced.
Apocrine sweat glands react to mental processes like nervousness, anger, sexual arousal and pain. Sweat appears within two minutes of adrenaline being secreted into the blood. What’s more, the sweaty palm and foot evolved as an aid to grip in fight or flight situations, so there are up to 400 sweat glands per square centimetre in these areas of the body.
Apocrine sweat also contains certain pheromones, the hormones that attract others sexually, so it is no coincidence that armpit sweating starts during adolescence.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to go to choose between being sexy and smelling fresh - natural deodorants provide a happy medium that keep your body healthy and clean at the same time.
With a self-preserving deodorant full of natural absorbent powders and beautiful essential oils that gently limit the growth of odour producing bacteria.
Why do some people sweat more than others?
Everyone is unique. There are small differences in gender and location when it comes to sweating and body odour, but on the whole what makes the biggest impact on how much you sweat, and how you smell, is your lifestyle and individual genetics.
The simplest and safest way to deal with unwanted body odour is to wash regularly with soap and water. However with stressful modern lives, less time for showering or bathing regularly and the widespread use of fabrics that limit oxygen such as polyester and nylon, deodorants have become a a part of everyday life. This is clearly seen in sales. Between 1942 and 1957 the market for deodorants increased 600 times in the USA alone, and in 2014 it had become a $2 billion industry.
Lifestyle plays a key part in how much we sweat. Our everyday lives are very varied,and this means we put our bodies through a number of different experiences and emotions on an almost daily basis.
Physical Exertion and Exercise
People who have jobs that require more physical exertion, such as construction workers or sports people, tend to sweat more on a day to day basis. This is because movement and exercise produce heat in the body that must be regulated by the body’s natural cooling response - sweating.
Others will experience intense sweating over short periods of time, like during a workout or a energetic dance session.
In both cases natural powder based deodorants can be applied wherever needed, even on clothes and in shoes, to keep you dry, fresh and comfortable. Absorbent lycopodium powder, charcoal, kaolin, magnesium trisilicate and sodium bicarbonate are especially effective. Allow your body to sweat in areas where it can dry and body odour is less likely to be produced, and apply in areas where bacteria can cause pongs e.g. the armpits and feet. These areas will stay dry and comfortable. You know your body best so you can decide where to apply, and how often if you feel you need to reapply for longer term sweat situations.
Emotional or stressful situations
In times of nervousness, like being on a first date or at a job interview, your body releases adrenaline, which in turn causes you to sweat more. To tackle this you can focus on using products that absorb as much sweat as possible.
Natural absorbent powders, like the lycopodium in The Greeench, or sodium bicarbonate in hardworking T’eo, means odour producing bacteria have no sweat to break down, and aren’t able to produce any smells. What’s more these powdered deodorants have functional fragrances and aid in combating bacteria growth, so you can apply a body spray on top of them to perfume your skin.. If you are going to wear dark coloured clothing, The Guv’ner’s hardworking charcoal is great at absorbing sweat as well as keeping you white-streak-free.
If you find you get body odour but aren’t particularly sweaty, use a creamier solid deodorant like Aromaco or Sunflower. These contain witch hazel infusion, which evaporates moisture from the skin, whilst powerful antibacterial ingredients like Sicilian lemon oil or chamomile vinegar get to work on limiting bacterial growth.
Deo-ling with hair
Shaving or waxing your armpits aids in bacterial growth by removing the hairs that encourage moisture away from the skin surface. This skin also needs tender loving care. A self-preserving solid bar deodorant like Aromaco or Sunflower will glide onto the skin easily without any sting. Cleavers infusion in Sunflower is an anti-inflammatory, while cooling witch hazel in Aromaco soothes skin. The Greeench is the gentlest deodorant of all, with soothing lavender powder, chlorophyllin and benzoin resinoid, to effectively calm and deodorise the skin.
Equally, hair can potentially retain moisture and create an environment where bacteria can grow, especially if the hair is curly and close together, as is often the case in the armpit and groin areas. Washing regularly is a great way to tackle this, but a busy, stressful lifestyle may cause apocrine glands to sweat more and cause unwanted body odour. Using powder deodorants or a solid powder deodorant like T’eo will be the easiest way to cover all the individual hairs with deodorising product and absorb moisture. A powder can penetrate easily through even the thickest of hair to coat the surface of the skin, absorb any sweat, and impart antibacterial essential oils onto the skin.
Don’t sweat it - whatever your situation there’s a deo that’s got you covered. Just remember that everyone sweats differently - so experiment and find what works for your body.