What causes body odour and how to fix it


Body odour (BO) affects the majority of people. For people of European descent only 2% don’t express the gene which causes body odour(1). Many of us have painful experiences where we are overly conscious of the smell our body is giving off; whether it is at the end of a long day at work, celebrating a wedding on a hot summer's day or in the middle of a gruelling CrossFit WOD. The embarrassment and anxiety this causes can be horrible.

Body odour is caused by bacteria that live on our skin that acts upon the sweat coming from the sweat glands in the armpit and other specific areas of the body to create a sulphur containing chemical that gives off the unpleasant smell. Our armpits house many different bacteria but it is only a small number of Staphylococcus bacteria that have this effect(2). 


While it’s not entirely clear what can make body odour worse, there are a few things that are believed to have an effect.
  1. Alcohol - As the alcohol gets broken down into acetate, this can come out in your sweat. This paired with the bacteria mentioned above can lead to a particular unsavoury smell to accompany you in those post-beer blues.
  2. Diet - Some cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and even the mighty health food kale could make BO worse through making a ready supply of sulphur to use in the smelly chemical compounds. There’s also some evidence that the fatty acids in red meat(3) could be another culprit.
  3. Excessive Sweating - No surprise here but the more you sweat, the more the bacteria have to work with to make smelly compounds with. Exercise, coffee, heat and various emotions all cause us to sweat more.
  4. Well-used Clothing - Dark patches forming in the armpit of your favourite t-shirt is mostly a cause of the aluminium salts in antiperspirants but it highlights another issue where bacteria and body excretions such as sebum(4) can build up making you smell more and quicker over time.


To stop BO, the best method we have currently is to stop the bacteria in the armpit. LOX does this using active ingredients that inhibit bacteria, stopping them from creating the body odour creating chemicals. And it does this extremely successfully.

So you could be smell free by always standing by a fan, cutting out coffee, stop working out, changing your diet and buying new clothes every 6 weeks. 

Or, you could subscribe to LOX to never have to sneak an armpit sniff again with just a single application each morning.


  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/study-some-people-have-armpits-that-never-smell-most-still-use-deodorant/267263/ 
  2. https://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2018/research/key-step-in-production-of-body-odour/ 
  3. https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/31/8/747/364338?login=false 
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/this-is-why-your-workout-clothes-still-stink-after-being-washed/2019/03/04/543c5a94-39ed-11e9-a2cd-307b06d0257b_story.html 

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