WHY NERVOUS SWEAT
MAKES YOU SMELL WORSE

WHY NERVOUS SWEAT MAKES
YOU SMELL WORSE

DECEMBER 2022 | 5 Minute Read 

why nervous sweat makes you smell worse

SHARE:

Ever notice your armpits are extra smelly when you’re stressed out more than usual? Nervous sweat (a.k.a. stress sweat) is something that I have experienced firsthand. I was so stressed and nervous before doing one of the biggest presentations of my professional life; presenting to a group of over 200 investors, and Sephora merchants, in San Francisco for the Sephora Accelerate program. Ironically, the presentation was about my company kaia naturals!  I must have washed my underarms with my underarm bar and reapplied my deodorant about 100 times.  I was terrified I was going to stink after walking off stage because of how nervous I was.  

Nervous sweating is no joke as it can make you smell so much worse! Here is the why, and more importantly, how to manage that nervous sweat so you don’t stink throughout the day. 

WHY DO YOU SMELL WORSE WHEN YOU’RE STRESSED OR NERVOUS?​

When you’re stressed or nervous about something, your brain signals your body’s nervous system, known as the ‘fight-or-flight’ center. Adrenaline and cortisol (a steroid hormone that helps the body respond to stress) is released into your bloodstream, which then activates the apocrine glands to start sweating. Odor-causing bacteria thrives on the fatty type of sweat produced from the apocrine glands, which creates a very unpleasant odor.  

nervous sweat - woman stressed

NERVOUS SWEAT VS NORMAL SWEAT

Humans have two different types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. Our apocrine glands are responsible for the stinky odor we produce when stressed.
nervous sweat - sweat glands

APOCRINE SWEAT GLANDS

These are found mostly in your underarms and genital area and open into the hair follicle. These glands become activated immediately to psychological stress or to an “event”. It produces a thick fatty sweat that is full of proteins and lipids.

Bacteria loves this type of fatty sweat and thrives when there are proteins and lipids. When bacteria mixes with this type of fatty sweat, it creates a very pungent odor. This is why you are told that nervous sweat is the worst for many reasons, but the main reason is because it SMELLS the worst.  The unfortunate part of a nervous situation is that it creates odor, which can also add more stress.  It can feel like a lose-lose situation!

woman stretching

ECCRINE SWEAT GLANDS

These are found all over your body. These glands become activated through exercise or exposure to heat. It produces the watery sweat to help cool your body down. As this type of sweat is mostly composed of water, it tends to be odorless. That is why even if you leave the gym drenched in sweat, you won’t smell as bad. 

SHOP NATURAL DEODORANTS

TIPS TO PREVENT NERVOUS SWEAT & ODOR BREAKTHROUGH

Going through nervous or stressful situations is inevitable. That’s why I’ve gathered some tips that will help you stay odor-free, even through the most stressful situations! 

1. USE A NATURAL ANTI-BACTERIAL SOAP 

The underarm bar I created contains anti-bacterial ingredients like apple cider vinegar which creates a barrier on the surface of your skin before you apply the deodorant. This leaves a residue on your armpit that will help keep it bacteria free before you apply your deodorant. 

2. USE A SWEAT POWDER

Since the excess sweat production is the root cause of nervous sweat odor, using a powder over your deodorant to help absorb that moisture can make a massive difference in managing that nervous sweat odor.  

the sweat powder (the one I developed) has apple cider vinegar to combat odor while rice starch, magnesium carbonate and zinc oxide absorb sweat. It is also housed in a portable brush applicator so you can reapply on the go. 

3. WEAR NATURAL FABRICS

This is very important as rayon/polyester will smell like crazy as it loves to hold odor.  Your best option is to wear cotton or bamboo under your clothes to help absorb excess moisture. Read more about fabrics and odor here.

4. WIPE OFF THE SWEAT & REAPPLY DEODORANT + POWDER

If you find that you’re getting really sweaty during the day bring cleansing cloths and a mini deodorant with you. You can use cloths like the vitamin cleanse cloths I created to wipe off the sweat. The vitamin cleanse cloths are made with jojoba oil and organic honey which will nourish the skin while preventing the sweat from drying your skin out. Then reapply deodorant and a layer of the sweat powder.

nervous sweat - meditation

5. PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING AND MEDITATION 

Mediating and deep breathing exercises before a stressful situation can help relax your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. 

6. STAY HYDRATED

If you’re dehydrated your body will produce more sweat to help regulate your body’s temperature. That’s why it’s important you drink water while being in stressful situations. 

7. WATCH WHAT YOU EAT! 

Onions, garlic and spices can contribute to odor because they contain volatile organic compounds and sulphur. The pores in your underarms could emit a garlicky scent, so stay away from these type of foods until you are in the clear! 

THE TAKEAWAY

Nervous sweating can feel like a losing battle as stressful situations can be made more stressful when you experience odor breakthrough. Implementing these lifestyle tips and incorporating the takesumi detox products (the underarm bar, charcoal deodorant and sweat powder) into your routine will help you manage these situations will less stress and odor.  

Join the community

If you enjoyed this blog, consider subscribing to my newsletter.

You’ll receive a weekly email with my latest blog on common body discomforts.

I also share lots of body and skincare tips on on my TikTok page @madamesweat and Instagram @kaianaturals

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

madame sweat logo

The Little Book of
Human Discomforts

BY MADAME SWEAT

Clean beauty industry maven Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. After seeing the complexities of underarm problems, she set out on a mission to educate and eliminate the stigma associated with these “unsexy” hygiene issues, providing practical solutions and advice.

Subscribe to The Little
Book of Human
Discomforts Newsletter

Subscribe to The Little Book of Human Discomforts Newsletter

Related Articles

Related Articles

why your armpit still smells after a shower

Why Your Armpits Still Smell After a Shower

We’ve all been there: fresh out of a shower but you still smell your own body odor. Learn all about apple cider vinegar, the only natural remedy you need to stay fresh and odor-free.

Read More

Here is Why One Armpit Smells Worse Than The Other

Have you ever wondered why one armpit smells worse than the other? There are a few reasons this may be happening. Read more to find out.

Read More
0
YOUR CART