Does sweat smell?
Sweat doesn’t smell. It’s a clear, odourless liquid mostly made up of water, salt, proteins and oils. The smell that we call ‘body odour’ is actually caused by bacteria.
Our body is home to millions of harmless bacteria that help the skin’s natural defenses. They survive and grow in moist, humid and nutrient-rich environments – just like our armpit areas. Bacteria feed on our sweat and metabolise it, producing by-products that have a very distinctive smell – like vinegar, cheese or onion.
What causes body odour – or BO – are the excretions from the bacteria that feed on your sweat. This is a totally natural process that starts during puberty.
How to prevent smelly sweat?
Smelly armpits and bad body odour aren’t harmful to your health, but we all know they can sometimes cause embarrassment. Making a few changes to your daily routine can improve your body odour.
Make sure to shower at least once a day, and use an antiperspirant deodorant like Shield to stay dry and fresh. Wear clean, fully dry clothes and change them regularly to stop the build-up of dry sweat or sweat patches.
Discover more about how to prevent body odour