Sweating and body odor come from secretions of two types sweat glands,
eccrine glands and apocrine glands
Picture from www.mayoclinic.com
Eccrine Glands Help Regulate Body Temperature
The majority of sweat glands, eccrine glands, are found over most of the body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. The “sweat” from these glands is composed mainly of water, salt and trace amounts of other electrolytes that help regulate the balance of fluids in your body. Sweat produced by these glands does not contribute to body odor.
The main role of eccrine glands is to assist in body temperature regulation. Sweating is controlled in hypothalamus of the brain which receives messages from temperature receptors in the skin. When your body temperature rises the eccrine glands are stimulated to secrete fluid onto the surface of your skin. As the sweat evaporates body temperature is cooled.
Apocrine Glands are Responsible for Body Odor
The second type of sweat glands, apocrine glands, are found in areas with lots of hair follicles like the scalp, armpits and groin. These glands open into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface and secrete a thicker fatty sweat that also contains proteins. These secretions are quickly inhabited by normal bacteria that thrive in the warm humid environment under the arms. The odor is the result of the bacterial breakdown of the sweat. Louis Leakey, an anthropologist, believed that the original function of body odor was to make humans unappetizing to animals who wanted to
eat us for dinner.
Our Chagrin Valley Cream Deodorant is Not an Antiperspirant. So...What is the Difference?
The basic difference is this...antiperspirants keep you from sweating
and deodorants help decrease odor when you do sweat.
Deodorant is used to mask odor or eliminate the bacteria that causes odor. Deodorants work by neutralizing the smell of perspiration, creating an environment unappealing to bacteria and some contain agents that actually kill bacteria that cause odor. Although there are natural deodorants on the market, most standard brands contain harsh and potentially toxic ingredients such as parabens, triclosan, propylene glycol, alcohols and a whole host of synthetic colors, scents and other chemicals that can cause irritation.
Antiperspirants actually keep you from sweating. Antiperspirants work by clogging or closing pores with strong astringents such as aluminum salts to keep you from perspiring. Antiperspirants enter your body through the sweat pores and form a temporary plug that prevents the release of sweat. Without any sweat, bacteria have nothing to breakdown...so there is no odor.
The safety of antiperspirants and commercial deodorants has become quite a debate. Some studies indicate potential health risks associated with aluminum compounds found in many antiperspirants. Does aluminum accumulate in the brain and contribute to Alzheimer’s disease? Does it also contribute to breast cancers? Studies have also found risks with parabens and other chemicals found in both antiperspirants and deodorants. However, some manufacturers and health agencies claim that these studies are flawed and therefore the fears are unwarranted.
I do not know whether claims about links to breast cancer and other serious health issues are true or not, but I do believe that natural is better! I like to feel good about what I put on my skin!
Read Ida's Blog Series: ANTIPERSPIRANTS CAUSE BREAST CANCER?