The Crazy Reason Why This Type of Sweat Makes You Smell 4x Worse

The Crazy Reason Why This Type of Sweat Makes You Smell 4x Worse

This week, Mary decodes: Nervous sweat & why it smells so bad.

Nervous sweat (aka stress sweat) is something that I have experienced first hand. 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.


Mary presenting at the Sephora Accelerate demo day conference.


Ironically, the presentation was about my natural deodorant company! Yes, I applied my deodorant and washed my underarms with anti-bacterial soap about 100 times as I was terrified I was going to smell after I walked off the stage and I will tell you why.


Why do you smell worse when you’re stressed or nervous?

When you’re stressed, 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.


Photo by Benjamin Alexander Huseby


Nervous Sweat vs Normal Sweat

Your body has two different types of sweat glands.


Apocrine Sweat Glands

These are found mostly in your underarms area, genital area, and on your feet.

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’s a lose-lose situation!


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.


Photo by Vogue China.


Tips to prevent nervous sweat odor breakthrough:

It’s inevitable that we all experience nervous situations and stress. Here are some tips that will help you stay odor-free, even through the most stressful situations!


1. Wear a natural fabric. 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.

2. Prepare your skin with an odor-eliminating soap to create a barrier on the surface of your skin before you apply the deodorant this leaves a residue on your armpit that will help to keep it bacteria free before you apply your deodorant.

3. Practice deep breathing/meditation before a stressful situation to help relax your blood vessels and to lower blood pressure.

4. Stay hydrated! Your body produces sweat when you’re dehydrated to help regulate your body’s temperature.

5. Watch what you eat! Onions, garlic and spices will add to the situation, so stay away from these type of foods until you are in the clear!


Have you experienced any embarrassing ‘stress sweat’ situations? Or do you have any tips for someone going through stress sweat? We want to know! Please chat with us in the comments section.



At kaia naturals, our charcoal detox deodorants are 99% natural, aluminum-free and cruelty-free. If you want to give ours a try, USE CODE: TAKESUMI for 15% off your first order.

(Offer valid for new customers only; limit one per customer. Can’t be combined with other offers.)


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Good Spend, Bad Spend: Bath Salts VS Bath Bombs

Good Spend, Bad Spend: Bath Salts VS Bath Bombs


This week, Mary decodes: Bath Bombs vs. Epsom Salt


There’s no better way to unwind and destress after a long week by taking a relaxing hot bath.

However, there are way more benefits of taking a hot bath than just for relaxing, in my opinion using products that can actually help your skin and your body matter more than a “tutti-frutti fizz.”

Personally, I would choose to use epsom salts over bath bombs any day! I know millennials, like the experience of a bath bomb but personally… I would rather spend on something a little more luxurious… which actually is less or the same price as a bath bomb.

Here’s why:


GOOD SPEND: Epsom salts

bath salts by pocahontas times


All epsom salts contain the naturally occurring minerals of magnesium and sulphates, which are critical nutrients our body needs to function. They are poorly absorbed through our food, therefore most people are deficient in these nutrients. Luckily, these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin, which is why it’s even more beneficial to soak in a pure epsom salt bath. It has been used for decades and ask any pharmacist they will tell you there is nothing like an epsom bath to make you feel better… in cold and flu season.

There are so many medicinal properties and benefits of soaking in epsom salts:

  • Helps boosts circulation throughout the body
  • lowers blood pressure
  • relieves muscle and joint pain
  • pull toxins from your pores
  • Helps to relax your mind
  • Helps relieve congestion during a cold or flu


BAD SPEND: bath bombs

bath bombs by soapqueen


Sure, bath bombs are definitely fun, watching it fizz and slowly explode in your water can be entertaining. However, if you actually want to get something out of your hot bath other than just ‘fun’, bath bombs are not the most beneficial.

Here’s why:

  • Bath bombs use inexpensive fillers such as baking soda and citric acid.
  • Most commercially made bath bombs use artificial colors and food dyes. A 2013 Slovenian study found that your skin can actually absorb these toxic dyes, particularly through recently shaven skin and the mucous membranes. From there, the dyes are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, instead of being broken down in the gut or detoxed through the liver.
  • Many bath bombs also use synthetic fragrance, talk about a bomb!
  • The one thing I really hate to see in bath bombs is GLITTER. Sure it makes your bath look so pretty and Instagram worthy, but don’t forget – they’re tiny pieces of plastic that won’t biodegrade once its down the drain. I can’t see tiny pieces of glitter being healthy for “certain body parts” as well!  



If the visual aspect of a bath bomb is THAT important to you, and you don’t care that you’re soaking in inexpensive ingredients but paying as much or more than Epsom salts… by all means… but colour, glitter and synthetic fragrance in a bath is not my idea of a good spend.

So, if medicinal and healing benefits are more important to you, spend your money on pure epsom salts.


At kaia naturals, our detox hot baths were inspired by the healing waters of a Japanese onsen. If you want to give ours a try, USE CODE: TAKESUMI for 15% off your first order.

(Offer valid for new customers only; limit one per customer. Can’t be combined with other offers.)


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