Whether it’s a hot day, you’re hitting the gym or you’re preparing for an upcoming presentation, many different things can cause you to sweat. Did you know there are different kinds of sweat and one type smells worse than the others?
“There are millions of sweat glands all over your body. Although it may seem like a nuisance, sweating is an essential bodily function and with a few proactive steps, you can manage the body odor that results from sweating,” said Dr. Maiysha Jones, principal scientist at Secret.
Jones explained there are three different kinds of sweat that come from two different sweat glands:
Heat sweat: Whether it’s a hot day or the temperature indoors is a little warmer than your liking, your body will self-regulate by sweating. This produces moisture on the skin that has a cooling effect. Heat sweat comes from the eccrine glands and is made of mostly water.
Exercise sweat: As you move, your body temperature rises and sweat glands react to cool you off. This occurs during intentional exercise or even when you’re moving in other ways, such as racing out the door for work in the morning or playing with your children. Exercise sweat also comes from the eccrine glands.
Stress sweat: You don’t need to be moving or feel hot to experience stress sweat. Your body feels stress for any number of reasons and may react by sweating. This type of sweat comes from the apocrine glands which are found in the armpits and other hairy body sites.
“Stress sweat smells the worst because it comes from apocrine glands, which produce sweat that contains food for the bacteria that lives on everyone’s skin,” said Jones. “When bacteria consume the components of stress sweat, they produce foul-smelling gases that we perceive as body odor.”
How to manage stress sweat
As the world continues to open back up again, you’ll likely be more active and in situations you may not have experienced in a while. This could lead to stress sweat and you may notice an increase in body odor due to stress. In fact, 35% of women have sweat and odor breakthrough up to two times a week, according to Secret research. So what are we to do?!
“The first step is to use an effective antiperspirant that manages body odor from stress sweat,” Jones said. “Secret Clinical Strength Antiperspirant is a great option. It provides 48 hours of sweat and odor protection, with double the sweat protection versus an ordinary antiperspirant.”
Taking daily showers can help you stay fresh as well. Not only does a shower clean your body, but it can also be mentally relaxing, helping you to balance the stress in your life. Here’s a trick: Take a shower at night to relax and promote better sleep. Another trick: Put antiperspirant on at night after your shower rather than in the morning and it will be more effective. Why? Overnight, when your sweat glands are less active, your antiperspirant has time to more effectively block your sweat ducts.
Finally, managing stress in general can help reduce stress sweat. Be aware of your body signals and when you need to take a break. Self-care is important and knowing when you need to pause — even for a five-minute break — can help you regulate your mind and body so you feel (and smell!) your best.