THE TRUTH ABOUT BODY ODOUR

Body odour can cause extreme embarrassment if it’s not addressed. Like anything else, once you understand the source of body odour it’s easier to find the best ways to combat it.

FAQs

WHAT CAUSES BODY ODOUR

Fresh sweat is an odourless fluid. When skin bacteria present in the axilla metabolizes (i.e. break down) certain components of the sweat, such as lipids and proteins, the malodour evolves. Your armpit has the ideal conditions for skin bacteria to grow. This is due to the moist conditions, the higher pH and the optimal nutrient supply by sweat and sebum glands in this area.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEODORANT AND AN ANTI-PERSPIRANT?

Deodorants can contain ingredients or fragrances that help mask body odour. Bacteria is also responsible for causing body odour, hence deodorants can contain ingredients which prevent bacterial growth or even reduce the number of bacteria in the axilla to help fight body odour.
Anti-perspirants contain anti-perspirant actives – usually aluminum salts, which reduce the release of sweat from the sweat glands as they form temporary gel plugs in the most upper parts of the sweat pores. These plugs are removed over time by mechanical action and the natural skin renewal process. Anti-perspirants also have a deodorising effect as they inhibit bacterial growth due to a lower pH and the reduction of moisture in the axilla.

WHY DO I HAVE TO SHAKE MY NIVEA ANTIPERSPIRANT OR DEODORANT SPRAY?

Antiperspirant sprays need to be shaken well to ensure that the antiperspirant's active powder (aluminum salt) is evenly distributed in the can. Otherwise the product could be sprayed out in a concentrated form and could clog the valve or cause white residues on skin or clothes.
However, alcohol based NIVEA deodorant sprays do not need to be shaken.

WHY DO THE NIVEA ANTIPERSPIRANTS CONTAIN ALUMINUM SALTS (E.G. ACH)?

Many people wish to have a sweat reduction in addition to the odour fighting effect of a deodorant in order to prevent sweat stains on clothes. All effective anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts (e.g. aluminum chlorohydrate). These salts form temporary gel plugs at the most upper part of the sweat pores. Thus, less sweat is released. Through friction and the natural skin renewing process these plugs are removed over time.

WHICH DEODORANT OR ANTIPERSPIRANT CAN I USE AFTER HAIR REMOVAL?

As every shave not only removes the hair but slightly damages the upper skin layer and therefore irritates the skin, all NIVEA deodorant or antiperspirant products without alcohol are suitable. 

WHY DO WE SWEAT?

There are several factors which cause us to sweat. An increased body temperature due to physical activity and/or a high temperature can cause your whole body to sweat. This kind of sweating takes place in order to regulate the body temperature by evaporative heat loss. The sweat is released by the eccrine sweat glands and contains mainly water and salts.
You can also sweat due to emotional or psychological stress. In this case you mainly sweat in your armpit, on soles, palms and forehead. This type of sweat is not only produced by the eccrine sweat glands but also by apocrine sweat glands. Apocrine sweat consists of lipids and proteins, which are metabolised by skin bacteria and thus cause the characteristic body odour. Stress-induced sweating is part of an ancient evolutionary response to threatening situations (the “fight-or-flight” reaction) and plays an important role in our non-verbal communication. Our range of NIVEA DRY DEODORANT provides extra protection against stress sweating.

IS IT HARMFUL TO INHIBIT PERSPIRATION BY THE USE OF ANTIPERSPIRANTS?

The thermoregulation of the body is not affected by the use of antiperspirants. The underarm areas add up to 200 cm2, which is only about 1% of the whole-body surface. Therefore, this area is much too small to interfere with thermoregulation. The safety of anti-perspirants has been proven in many surveys and their use in cosmetic products is approved.

IS MY PRODUCT FREE OF ALCOHOL?

In fact, chemically the term "alcohol" refers to a broad variety of compounds. They all have in common, that they contain a certain group of atoms in the molecule. Generally or colloquially, however, the term "alcohol" is limited to the substance ethanol (chemical name: ethyl alcohol), which is the drinkable version of alcohol. Any product with the claim “alcohol-free” is free of ethanol, thus free of "alcohol" or "alcohol, denat", though the word alcohol may occur in the ingredient (INCI) list (eg. such as stearyl alcohol).

CAN THE USE OF DEODORANTS CAUSE WHITE RESIDUES ON FABRIC?

Some deodorants, more precisely antiperspirants, which contain aluminum salts, e.g. aluminum chlorohydrate (ACH), are able to leave white residues on clothes under specific conditions if not applied correctly. When using antiperspirant sprays it is important to shake the product well to ensure that the aluminum chlorohydrate powder is evenly distributed in the can and accordingly on the skin. In order to avoid white residue, all antiperspirant products must be fully absorbed or dried sufficiently on the skin before putting on clothes. Usually white residues on clothes can be removed by brushing. The special formula of our NIVEA Black and White Invisible Spray Deodorant provides 48 hour effective antiperspirant protection without leaving white marks on your favourite clothes and underarm skin.

CAN THE USE OF DEODORANTS CAUSE YELLOW STAINS IN TEXTILES?

Yellow staining bases on a complex interaction of skin lipids, sebum, sweat components, laundry detergent and antiperspirant active. Several factors are involved, including the frequency of application, amount of antiperspirant product used, frequency of changing clothes, intensity of washing clothes, individual composition of sweat, content of minerals or trace elements in the tap water and the constitution of the fabric itself. The best way to reduce yellow stains in your clothes is to let the deodorant product dry completely before putting on clothes.
However, it is important to note that yellow stains may occur also without presence of any antiperspirant ingredients, similar to a yellow stained collar, where skin lipids together with dirt particles of the air cause persistent stains which cannot be removed easily anymore. In some cases, staining is associated with bleeding of fabric dyes.

For anyone who would like to reduce the appearance of yellow marks on black or white clothes, we recommend using a deodorant from our NIVEA Invisible Black & White range.

CAN THE USE OF DEODORANTS CAUSE COLOURED STAINS (E.G. GREEN, BROWN, RED BLUE) IN TEXTILES?

The development of colored stains in textiles is similar to yellow staining. The concrete color of stains might be influenced by trace metals in the tap water (e.g. copper, manganese, iron). In some cases the color impressions might also be influenced by fluorescent whitening agents (optical brighteners). Coloured stains on light-coloured clothes might also appear when a coloured piece of clothes worn beneath or above looses dye due to bleeding. This process often occurs if the dyed material is not sweat-proof.

WHAT CAN I DO TO REMOVE YELLOWISH STAINS?

Existing yellow stains cannot be removed or reduced by frequent / repeated washing of clothes; sometimes the washing can even solidify the stains. In case of stains, rinse your clothes in cold water before washing them with laundry detergent. In many cases we were successful to remove the stains by soaking the clothes in 5 % citric acid for approximately 24 hours. Very important: Rinse the clothes with clear water before washing them at the highest possible temperature. Still, we can’t guarantee that for all stains and clothes the given procedure will be successful. Be careful with delicate and colorful fabrics and with clothes with buttons of “mother-of-pearl” as the acid solution can damage them. Warning: Be aware that citric acid is slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, sensitizer), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion and of inhalation (irritant). Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Tissue damage is dependent on length of contact. For this reason, we highly recommend to wear protective gloves when handling citric acid and to not breathe in citric acid dust.

BODY ODOUR

CAUSES AND TIPS FOR PREVENTION

Body odour is a great source of frustration and embarrassment for many of us, and it’s important to understand what causes it and what we can do to help combat it. Some of us sweat more than others, and here at NIVEA we’ve got all the answers to help you understand and alleviate your body odour related worries. So, what are the main causes of body odour?

GENETICS

The microorganisms on our skin that react with the sweat our bodies produce which result in body odour is determined by our genes, so it is likely that if your mother or father has strong body odour, you will too. The best way to combat this is to shower regularly, and wear breathable clothing made of cotton or linen to reduce your sweating and minimize body odour. Applying antiperspirant/deodorant help a lot.

HORMONAL CHANGES

  • Your monthly cycle, pregnancy, menopause, and puberty can cause hormonal fluctuations and thus increase your core body temperature causing you to sweat more. Women in particular may experience an increase in sweating after pregnancy as the body releases excess fluid as hormone levels return to normal.

    Tips to help deal with your hormonal sweating: 
  • Be aware of when hormonal swings. Core body temperature naturally increases around 9 p.m, so making sure your bedroom is kept cool and buying breathable bedding will help with your body odour.
  • Take a warm bath before bed. This will lower your core body temperature and combined with a cool bedroom, help to prevent hormonal sweating.
  • Plan your clothing. During the day try to layer your clothing so that you can easily remove things like long sleeves should you begin to sweat.

Emotional Sweating

When you're nervous, scared, agitated or in pain you produce more sweat from those body odour releasing sweat glands than the sweat you produce when your body is trying to cool itself down.

Tips to help deal with your emotional sweating:

  • Relaxation exercises. This will help to eliminate the effects of stress by breathing down, deeply and slowing for a few minutes each day.
  • Calm music: This reduces heart rate and slows down breathing.
  • Laughter: This helps to combat feelings of stress therefore reducing emotion-related sweating.

Eating Some Types Of Foods

Foods that are fat soluble, dissolve into your body's fatty tissue and your sweat smellier. These include foods like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage, and fish. However, it's important to eat fat soluble foods because they contain valuable vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to be healthy.

To combat body odour caused by eating fat soluble foods, use a good antiperspirant deodorant to prevent smelly armpits, such as the NIVEA Dry range of deodorants.

 

SWEAT GLANDS

Body odour is a universal and very natural human trait and can be due to a number of things. So what is our body doing to cause us to produce the smell that we do, and why are some of us smellier than others?
The human body has two types of sweat glands:

1. Eccrine sweat glands - these exist all over the body with the primary function of cooling you down by producing sweat mostly composed of water.
2. Apocrine sweat glands - these exist only in targeted areas of the body, such as the armpits, groin, and feet and do little to cool you down. Instead, these glands release proteins and lipids. Bacteria on the skin feed on these and disrupt them, resulting in body odour.

7 TOP TIPS FOR PREVENTING BODY ODOUR

  1. Shower regularly - shower at least once a day to wash away sweat and remove some of the bacteria on the surface of the skin, focusing on areas such as the groin, armpits, and feet.
  2. Use antibacterial soap - to remove some of the bacteria on your skin
  3. Dry thoroughly after a shower - when your skin is dry it's harder for the bacteria that causes bad body odour to breed on it
  4. Use antiperspirant deodorant -When you use a good antipersipirant like NIVEA dry range of deodorants, to prevent sweating and therefore reduce body odour.
  5. Wash your clothes regularly - sweat and body odour can get trapped in clothing, so changing them regularly will reduce this
  6. Cut out spicy foods - these cause you to sweat more
  7. Limit your caffeine intake - this causes you to sweat more than usual.