Dirty Talk: What Actually Causes Bad Body Odor
Now that you know the secret ingredient to effective homemade natural deodorant, it’s time to talk dirty. That’s right– today we’re going to learn about bacteria!
Why do some natural deodorants make me sweat more?
We’re guessing that one of the main reasons you’re considering a new natural deodorant solution is odor control. If you're like us, you have probably found that some natural deodorants even make you stink or sweat more! That's because those deodorant formulations may not be following our top three tips for effective natural deodorant.
Basically, ineffective natural deodorant recipes tend to use either thickeners (waxes, natural acids or fatty alcohols) with a low HLB, or carrier oils that are too greasy and heavy, giving those natural deodorants a balm-like application that works to trap in moisture as opposed to absorbing it.
This type of application may be good for your lips, but it's certainly not appropriate for your pits! We will be talking more about ways to prevent this heavy application-feel in our next blog post, a Guide to DIY Deodorant Formulation, but for now let's stick to the question: how does natural deodorant prevent odor, and where does the odor come from?
Bacteria: Putting the B in B.O
In case you believed the hype, it’s not sweat that’s causing your bad B.O. – it’s bacteria!
There are two types of sweat glands in your pits, because there are two distinct types of sweat. The apocrine sweat glands are responsible for releasing the "stress sweat" we all know and fear. Turns out the only type of sweating that's "cool" is thermal sweating, required to regulate your body temperate. It's the eccrine sweat glands that are responsible for this type of sweat, and they generally do not contribute to bad B.O. So, stress sweat is the main culprit for stinky pits.
Turns out bacteria likes to eat fat, and the apocrine sweat glands in your pits (responsible for emotional sweat) release fat molecules along with your natural sweat. Not cool! So when you're stress sweating, on a molecular level, the naturally-occurring bacteria already present on your skin is feeding on the fat in the sweat, giving it the nutrients to thrive, which causes bad body odor!
How does natural deodorant control body odor?
Unlike antiperspirants that prevent sweat with aluminum, you may be wondering how natural deodorants can even control odor?
Since natural deodorants "work" by fighting bacteria, the first line of defence is to include antibacterial ingredients! This could be an essential oil like Tea Tree, or the popular DIY deodorant ingredient, Baking Soda (a.k.a sodium bicarbonate).
The second option is to use include absorbing ingredients to wick the sweat off of the skin, which can be done with ingredients like kaolin clay and arrowroot powder!
Tired of Switching Natural Deodorants? Make One You'll Stick With!
Phew, that’s a lot to take in when all you’re trying to do is figure out how to keep it fresh while still naturally sweating! If you've tried a bunch of store-bought natural deodorants, and found after some time they seem to stop working, we recommend switching up your routine! One way to achieve this is to make your own handmade natural deodorant, so you can figure out what works for your skin. Making your own DIY deodorant allows you to tweak the formulation over time, which means you can customize the recipe to suit your particular needs.
And here at MTU, we don’t think DIY should mean compromising quality, especially when all it takes is a little knowledge and science to get a great, effective, homemade natural deodorant just the way you want it. That's why we're striving to share all our formulation secrets with you, so you can sweat about the ingredients and NOT the recipe.
And even if you're a DIY deodorant pro, we recommend keeping an eye on our blog for even more tips and tricks to create the most effective handmade deodorant you can, with or without one of our kits! Because we're just happy to hear you're DIY-ing instead of Buying!