Why Everyone Smells Bad || BODY ODOR 101

Why Everyone Smells Bad || BODY ODOR 101

P.U.! What’s that smell? Turns out, it’s p-YOU. Body odor starts with sweat—but your perspiration
itself isn’t what stinks. Humans have two kinds of sweat:
eccrine and apocrine. Apocrine is the one that fuels body odor. It’s a thick, oily fluid made up of fatty compounds,
and secretes from the groin and armpits. Your skin’s microbiome— bacteria, fungi,
and viruses living on you right now— LOVE to eat those compounds. As they chomp away, the molecular leftovers
cling to you and your clothes— and THAT is your B.O. While your apocrine sweat may cause the smell,
eccrine sweat helps spread it around. Unlike apocrine sweat, eccrine sweat is watery
and your body makes a lot of it. Those apocrine compounds are carried by eccrine
sweat all over your body—and onto your clothes. It turns out the type of material you’re
wearing will influence how much you smell. Cotton is hydrophilic, meaning it easily absorbs
and holds onto water. That’s why cotton t-shirts get heavy when
you sweat while wearing them. That warm, wet environment is great for bacteria
to grow— even after you stop sweating and
take off your shirt. In fact, the longer your sweat lingers on
cotton clothing (even in your hamper), the smellier it’ll get. But, cotton’s hydrophilic properties also
have an advantage. When you wash them, the smells come out pretty
easily. That’s unlike polyesters or so-called “dry
wick” materials. Polyester is hydrophobic and oleophilic—it
quickly gets rid of water, but holds onto oils. So, while your sweat evaporates quickly and
your clothes stay light as you work out, the apocrine compounds cling to the material’s
fibers for dear life. Even after a cycle in your washing machine,
those oily bits remain. So, your freshly-washed workout top could
stink up the gym within minutes of starting your workout, as those stuck-on secretions
mix with your skin’s microbes. There are some odor-producing factors that
you simply can’t help, like your age— older folks tend to produce fewer lipids,
so malodorous bacteria have less food. But barring the creation of time travel, here’s
what can you do to avoid stinking up wherever you go: ♫ Ohhhhhhhhh soap and water make you
cleaner than you used to be ♫ First and foremost: practice regular hygiene. A little soap and water can go a long way. Diet can play a role, too. Eating more fruits and veggies, and less meat
and fast food, can result in fewer lipids in your sweat and on your skin—again, that
means less fuel for odor-causing bacteria. Shaving your armpits can also have temporary
benefits by taking away skin and lipids, but not if you do it every day. Finally, consider cleaning your washer. Run it without any clothing inside on the highest water
temperature with an appropriate disinfectant. This will help eliminate any bacteria that
might be stuck there. And when you do finally wash your clothes,
use a specially-formulated laundry detergent. Many popular brands have “sport” versions
specifically designed to help remove apocrine compounds from your wardrobe. There are also extreme steps, like transplanting
your armpit microbiome with someone else’s, and one day scientists could even
use other bacteria to combat the malodorous ones. But for now, just wash yourself—and your
clothes—to stay smelling fresh. ♫ When you get rid of B.O. ♫
♫ When you get rid of B.O. ♫ ♫ You’ll smell sweet. Yes, sweeter than
you used to be when you get rid of B.O. ♫

You May Also Like

About the Author: John Markowski


  1. Just rub your arm pits with rubbing alcohol after a shower. The rubbing alcohol kills the bacteria that causes you to smell, and you won’t have to wear deodorant ( which is bad for you) anymore. You’ll still sweat, but the daily/nightly ritual of rubbing alcohol will keep you stink-free!

  2. Popsci you need an old British guy to narrate the videos. This girl talks to soft and little girl like and its reminiscent of a asmr video. I want to learn but this is distracting.

  3. I haven't watched the video yet, but this seems to be more BS grade science. Maybe something is wrong with me, but I virtually never have any smell and my wife has told me that a number of times over the years. I can and do sweat profusely in the summer time, like nobody I've ever known. I can go 2 or 3 days without showering, working in my garden or doing other outdoor chores, yet never develop a smell of any significance. I do eat very healthily and never use any sort of cologne or deodorant. I've used Dial soap exclusively when showering for the last 50 years. My wife is basically the same way, other than that she rarely sweats to a noticeable degree.

  4. Very informative, but I didn't like the narrator, kids tend to be hard to understand or heard like an adult narrator. But then you can turn on the closed caption and read the text.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *