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Why Your Armpits Still Smell After a Shower


JUNE 2022 | 5 Minute Read 

after shower armpits still smell

It’s safe to say many of us do what is necessary to avoid odor breakthrough throughout the day, which is maintaining a personal hygiene routine that includes showering in the mornings. However, what should you do if you notice a faint odor emitting from your armpits, even after you shower?

It’s a much more common problem than you may think, so if this sounds familiar, what should you do? In this blog I will break down why this could be happening and what you can do about it.

How Body Odor Occurs

To understand how body odor occurs, we begin with our sweat glands. There are two types of sweat glands on the body:


They open directly onto your skin and can be found all over your body. When your body temperature rises, they release fluids that evaporate and help your body cool down. These fluids are often odorless.

armpit hair smell

apocrine glands

They are found in areas where you have hair, such as your armpit and groin area. These glands release a milky fluid when you are stressed and are odorless until they come into contact with bacteria.

Hair is particularly prone to trapping bacteria, which is why men are more likely to smell even after showering. In other words,  lingering underarm odor is caused by enduring bacteria.


Most people do not pay enough attention to their armpits in the shower, resulting in bacteria lingering in the armpits. In addition to bacteria, oftentimes there is deodorant residue and other impurities that are trapped in the underarm pores and within the hair if you have armpit hair. So the key to eliminating body odor is to tackle the bacteria growth that exists in our armpits with a proper armpit washing routine, using an antibacterial soap.

How Apple Cider Vinegar Can Eliminate Odors

A study conducted by Middlesex University tested different bacteria strains in petri dishes with apple cider vinegar and cultured them together at 37 degrees celsius for a 24-hour period. They proved that apple cider vinegar reduced bacterial growth and eliminated bacteria such as E. coli, C. albicans (which includes corynebacteria), and S. aureus. This means that apple cider vinegar creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow and eliminates odors as a result.


You may also notice that apple cider vinegar has a unique scent, which comes from acetic acid. Acetic acid and other organic acids are found to be responsible for killing bacteria by passing through the bacteria’s cell membranes and neutralizing it.


Eliminate that lingering underarm odor using these two methods: 

1.  Directly onto a cotton ball

Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and apply the solution directly onto a cotton ball and rub it for 30 seconds into each underarm area after you shower. 

2. An antibacterial soap If you prefer to use it in a more convenient form, try using an antibacterial soap the takesumi detox® underarm bar  that I created actually has this ingredient. The key is to massage this into your underarm for 30 seconds as you must ensure that your underarms are “squeaky” clean as this really ensures it leaves a barrier so bacteria cannot survive.  Regardless of which method you prefer, you must apply the solution to each of your armpits for 30 seconds to truly eliminate odor causing bacteria. If you keep underarm hair, ensure you rub into the skin because of body hair. 

For other great tips on this topic, check out the reviews on our underarm bar.

If you have a great tip on this subject please leave a comment on our blog as we love to learn from our readers or if you have a question please feel free to ask as I am happy to answer.

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. 


Clean beauty industry maven and product developer Madame Sweat (Mary Futher) founded kaia naturals after spending 20 yearsworking for global beauty companies. She now shares advice on modern hygiene etiquette for grooming, hosting, home and travel on Instagram, TikTok and her popular blog called The House of Hygiene.

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