What You and Matthew McConaughey Should Not Have in Common: Body Odor

Hollywood’s golden boy, Matthew McConaughey, likes going au naturel. Yup. He doesn’t wear deodorant.


Lets be clear on something guys, even if you look like Matthew McConaughey, unless you are Matthew McConaughey, you’re not going to pull this off. (Well, not here in the States anyway).

So what causes underarm odor anyway? It’s not the watery perspiration that soaks your shirt; this is from your eccrine glands which secrete water and salt in an effort to lower your temperature. The odor is caused by bacteria breaking down fats secreted by your apocrine glands. These glands are located primarily in your underarms and groin and do not develop until puberty, which is why kids don’t have adult body odor.

Antiperspirants primarily block the secretion of the watery perspiration from your eccrine glands. They contain anhydrous substances like aluminum chloride and can be used anywhere you have eccrine glands such as underarms, hands, and feet. Antiperspirants do not control odor.

Deodorants do not stop perspiration, but they do control odor. They contain antibacterials like triclosan or other chemicals that inhibit bacterial growth. They also contain perfumes that mask the odor.

Most products labeled antiperspirant have both antiperspirants and deodorants in them; some products labeled deodorant have only a deodorant and not an antiperspirant.

And though this may seem obvious, don’t apply deodorant to a smelly arm pit. It won’t work because the bacteria are already there producing odor; it’s better to shower and dry thoroughly before applying.

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Photo: M Sullivan, Flickr.com

5 thoughts on “What You and Matthew McConaughey Should Not Have in Common: Body Odor”

  1. I use Aloe Vera Gel in lieu of deodarant, its just simpler to me and it does a good job of preventing body odor. Can you tell me why?

  2. LaLa-
    Aloe Vera has antibacterial properties which can eliminate odor causing bacteria. 🙂

  3. What’s the deal with behind the ears odour? (I know, I know, my wife also thinks I’m crazy.) By accident I discovered unpleasant smell there. So I tried applying a variety of cosmetic products to that area. Interesting enough,that area goes bad long before my armpits. I wonder how much (if any) this contributes to “total BO”? Why is this hapening and what to do about it?

  4. margaret nakitto says:

    What if I use the aloe vera plant direct from the garden and apply the water form the leaf direct and wipe in my arm pits.

    secondly, if I use the Aleo vera gel is it a permanent solution.

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