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Let’s talk about sweat, baby

  • 3 min read

Sweating is not a problem. It’s something we should not be trying to stop.

YES - we get that having big sweat circles during wedding photos or when catching public transport is not the best look, but that doesn’t mean we should feel ashamed and try to stop it.

Why sweat it?

Sweating is like a bum. Everyone has one. And everyone sweats (except for a very small percentage of us who have anhydrosis).

We all sweat because it keeps us healthy. Sweating has oodles of positive effects like:

  • Cooling you down and preventing overheating (otherwise we would cook ourselves)
  • Releases endorphins, these puppies make you feel good. Ever had that post exercise rush?
  • May help to expel small amounts of toxins such as BPA, phthalates and heavy metals – your liver and kidneys do the bulk of the work but they do like a helping hand
  • Kills bacteria and viruses than can’t live in temperatures above 37 degrees C
  • Keeps pores clear (less pimples – hooray!)
  • Reduces your chance of kidney stones
  • May stop animals from eating us. Not so much an issue these days but Anthropologist Louis Leakey suspects that our body odour comes from our ancient defence system to stop animals from eating us

Sweat Triggers

Guess what? You are always sweating. Yep even though you don’t feel it our eccrine system is on 24/7 making us sweat but the sweat evaporates as soon as it reaches the skin so we don’t notice.

When we do notice the salty stuff dripping down our face is usually triggered by one of 4 things

  1. Hot temperatures – nothing like a hot day to get the sweat flowing
  2. Exercise – This puts your apocrine system into overdrive and gets the sweat pumping to cool us down. You can even sweat when churning out some laps in the pool.
  3. No air flow – ever felt the clamminess from skin on skin contact? Whether its cuddles in summer or having your arms by your side too long with no airflow, your skin will start sweating to keep cool.
  4. Stress – fires up the hormones which release adrenalin. Stress sweat also smells the worst as it has different proteins in it – damn hormones making life tough again.

It’s not just under your arms

There are 2 - 5 million sweat glands all over your body all working to keep you cool, happy and healthy. So you might be thinking - what’s the point of using deodorant just under your arms then?

The apocrine glands (the ones that really pump out the sweat) are clumped together and found in certain areas like under your arms and groin. The sweat from these glands has more protein and less salt which bacteria love to chow down on.

This might all be too much information - but this is what happens when Aaron gets to wear a lab coat (he goes all Mr Science on us!)…

When the bacteria are chowing down on your sweat, there are 2 main types of smelly acids that get left behind – and this is part of the reason why we all smell a bit different :)

  • Propionic acid – similar to acetic acid (vinegar) and gives off that sour vinegar aroma
  • Isovaleric acid – caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are also found in strong smelling cheese. So it’s true you can smell like cheese!

Sweat is Good

Our bodies are totally unbelievable with what they’re capable of. Even something as seemingly simple as sweating is totally fascinating when you dig down into the nitty gritty details.  

It turns out that sweating is a really complex body function to help keep your body temp regulated and keep you healthy. Who would’ve thought!?

High performance engines don’t work so well when they overheat and neither do our bodies.

So choosing a natural deodorant which supports your body’s all-important ability to sweat (instead of aluminium antiperspirants which stop sweating) should be a no brainer.

Just do it ;)

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