do you not smell body odor or do you just get used to it?

Genuinely curious. I have met a few people of different walks of life that I could tell did not and I have always used it, so I’m just curious. I know there was a couple that stopped using it for around a year, and they said their body actually end up not perspiring as much as when they used antiperspirant, but I’d like to know other people’s experiences.

My wife says my sweat doesn’t have a scent unless I eat garlic or I’m having sex. So if you smell my bo I just came from eating a pizza, or I just came

Baron Von J

I use non-antiperspirant deodorant. I got tired of the aluminum in antiperspirant staining my shirts and clumping up, then I learned that the aluminum works by being an irritant that causes an allergic swelling that blocks your sweat glands. That all sounds pretty gross to me. I might re-apply deodorant during the day if I’ve been sweating, or put on some fresh clothes or even take a light shower.

aluminum works by being an irritant that causes an allergic swelling

That’s not how it works though

Baron Von J

Thank you correcting my understanding! The part I find gross though is less the mechanism and more the result: that all the sweat my body is making is just stuck in the glands. If the anti-perspirant was simply absorbing the sweat as it comes out of the pores, then I would feel different about it.

So tl;dr they simply block the pores on your skin to prevent sweating?

But it’s the sweat glands, to be precise.

Aluminum sulfate has also been theoretically linked to Alzheimer’s.

This is an internet myth based off a single flawed study that hasn’t ever been able to be replicated that you’re shipping as a studied fact. I won’t engage in an argument with you but here are some sources for the lurkers.

Cheers mate, thanks for this.

I said theoretically because I recall it not being proven, and it’s been a while since I read anything on the topic.

It’s mildly amusing that my statement suggested to you anything remotely close to “studied fact”. Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? Enough water? There’s empirical evidence out there that those can help with constipation. Now that’s a studied fact! Be well! 😇

It’s unfortunate that your ego was harmed by my comment. I enjoy my daily toilet time. I’m even pooing right now. I hope this brings you comfort.

My ego is fine! Enjoy.


This is how you fight off Tigers with using antiperspirant, it blocks the paws…

This is the correct answer. Deodorant works just fine without cancer causing aluminum oxide.


There’s no cancer link. It’s a discredited hypothesis.

You don’t have to use it, but aluminum salts are not really cancer-causing:

All calories are cancer causing, seriously. We need to stop using that term, because it’s nearly meaningless. We use it to describe something with a 100% cancer rate, and 0.01% rate.

Most people make the greatest risk of their lives, when they get in their car… and here we are all taking precautions against something insanely less likely to cause your death.


Regular deodorant works just as well as antiperspirant for stopping scent, and if you don’t sweat all that much, there is relatively little difference.

This is what I do. I don’t like the ingredients that make up antiperspirants so I stick with not stinking.

I generally don’t sweat too badly either, which helps.

Exactly. Luckily I don’t sweat much or smell much, so basic solid unparfumed deodorant works fine.

I sweat the same amount with deodorant and antiperspirant! Either way, under my arms are going to be a little wet, but also I don’t smell either way.

If I go a day without deodorant though, I can definitely tell

Neither. I just don’t smell. Confirmed by partners over the years. As it turns out, it’s genetic. One perk of being Korean I suppose.

The non-functional ABCC11 allele is predominant among East Asians (80–95%), but very low among European and African populations (0–3%).[6] Most of the world’s population has the gene that codes for the wet-type earwax and average body odor; however, East Asians are more likely to inherit the allele associated with the dry-type earwax and a reduction in body odor.[6][32][34] The reduction in body odor may be due to adaptation to colder climates by their ancient Northeast Asian ancestors.[32] Wiki: Body Odor (Genes affecting body odor section)

Cool. My smelllessness has a name. I am european though, but the description fits. I guess I won the generic lottery

Deodorant user here. I smell great because of it. I didn’t like antiperspirant because I also found I smelt worse because of it and it never really stopped the sweat very well anyways.

Something you may not factor in though is people expire at different rates. Also, some people smell worse than others regardless of expiration time and some perspire more.

Antiperspirant made me stink more. I switched to non antiperspirant deodorant years ago and it seems to be the right product for me. I do run cooler than most and didn’t sweat at all till I was 22.

And yes any sweat will eventually smell so daily showers are part of this routine.

I couldn’t really get antiperspirant to work though, really. Always my underarms would smell at the end of the day, and my shirts as well. That doesn’t happen anymore.

ETA: I think you have some bias at play here - you don’t really know if the stinky people you meet are wearing antiperspirant, or if the good smelling people you meet aren’t.


How do you know they all weren’t wearing it?

There are a lot of people who do wear it but continue to smell because of underlying medical conditions. For example, fruity smelling body odor can indicate diabetes. People with a rare genetic condition called Trimethylaminuria can smell strongly of fish. It all depends on what bacteria (which outnumber your own body cells by 10 to 1 even though they are only 2% of your body mass) and what balance of enzymes you may or may not have.

Reducing perspiration can and often does help, concealing the odor with different ones can help, but sometimes people’s bodies just aren’t right for whatever mass produced product they have bought. Sometimes that can be fixed with medication. Sometimes it can’t.

I knew a guy in university who absolutely reeked. He was a really nice person and I befriended him in a casual way (like sit together in a lecture, chat in the hall). It was clearly a medical thing but people ostracized him and talked behind his back about how he must never shower. I felt really bad for him.


It’s a legitimate disability, and certainly I don’t envy anyone with this issue. We’ve all been taught that people who have maybe acne or body odor or sweating issues or dandruff or whatever else are just people with “poor hygiene”, but the reality is that products and buildings are made to meet the needs of the most ‘average’ person (usually defined by a company selling something), and there is so much variation in how bodies function. When you’re trying to make a product that maximises usage and sales, it’s ironically easy to exclude a lot of people.

Thanks for being kind to that person, I’m glad you were able to see (and smell) past it.

For anyone else who does experience limitations because of their body odor, check out the Job Accessibility Network’s list of possible accomodations for this symptom of your disability. Because medical issues that cause you to be ostracised and limit your ability to function in society are a disability and you deserve an equal opportunity to thrive.

Preach. For a long time I was given shit for dandruff. No matter how clean my hair was, I’d always have dandruff. Wasn’t until I decided to let my hair grow out to donate it, and thus learnt about how to take care of it properly, that it was the shampoo and conditioner I was using that caused it in the first place.

Now it’s clean and healthy, with no dandruff. Bodies are hella weird.


That’s a fair point. I guess only one or two I knew said they didn’t use it because of the aluminum, but I didn’t get to ask more about it.

I know people who don’t use antiperspirant because they tell people about it, and how aluminum causes breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Neither claim is substantiated. Aluminum consumed in food from being cooked in/on aluminum can contribute to Alzheimer’s. The one claiming aluminum causes breast cancer said “Just think about it. It makes sense.”

I personally don’t wear antiperspirant but only when I’m planning on not leaving the house, because sweating feels good sometimes. Not in summer, and I’ll usually wear shirts that absorb snuggles help evaporate my sweat. It gets the salt out and feels better after a workout when I can sweat more.

Some people don’t sweat that much. For example, I have to use antiperspirant to avoid body odor but my wife don’t need to use one and I can’t smell odor.

This is probably related to this genetic trait. I have wet earwax and body odor, while my wife has dry earwax and no body odor.

Quote from the article:

In general people with the non-functioning ABCC11 variant don’t need to wear deodorant.

Wet earwax??

Yep this actually varies among people. The “wet” type is soft kinda like warm candle wax, and more common in the West. AFAIK the “dry” type is more brittle and crumbly and more common in East Asia.

Apparently I got that too. Confirmed by my first gf, I barely smell while sweaty. And my earwax is dry/flaky.

So here is what I’ve noticed.

The acceptance of sweat BO is partly a cultural thing. At my workplace we have people from all over the world, and there are certain parts of the world where it is clearly uncommon to wear deoderant. Both men and women, although I have noticed it far more with men. I guess if everyone had natural BO, it wouldn’t seem so unusual.

This is not to be confused with uncleanliness, I’m sure these people shower, the scent is purely one of sweat from hard physical labor. It is never better or worse, but always the same and in fact, you can identify people by their particular unique scent.

Sometimes I’m a bit disturbed by strong manly BO because they are too… arousing. Specially in places like at work where feeling arousal is the last thing I want.

It’s not just cultural in terms of nations it’s also dependent on the type of work. You’re going to be critical of a taxi driver stinking of BO when he sits in an air conditioned cab all day, but not somebody doing physical labour in the open air

The primary cultures that don’t use deodorant and smell like a wet ox, in order:

  • Magic the Gathering tournament players.
  • Board game café customers.
  • Gamescom attendants.

Don’t forget smash players that no life the tournament scene

I’m allergic to aluminum-based antiperspirants, and I didn’t know there was another kind for a long time, so I’ve always just used deodorant. It has never been a problem for me.

Course not, it’s a problem for everyone around you though.

I’m not sure you understand what a deodorant does. It doesn’t stop you from sweating, but it makes you not smell.

I’ve never had any complaints, but go off.

Do you mean deodorant? I don’t use antiperspirant because it actually makes me sweat more in my experience. I’m not alone on this either.

As many others have said, the choice is not between antiperspirant and nothing. I use deodorant but no antiperspirant.

These posts always make me question myself because I’ve basically never worn deodorant or antiperspirant.

I’ve had jobs where you can’t be stinky(sales,office jobs, at a hospital), and nobody has ever said anything. I’ve lived with partners for 16 years, none have ever complained about my smell(besides times when anyone would smell, like after a long run on a hot day).

I’m guessing I just have lucky personal body chemistry, but I’m sure there will be some people telling themselves I’m just smelly and don’t know it.

Some people genetically just don’t smell bad when they sweat

Well. If your measurement method is “no one ever complained” there lie a problem. It happened to me to smell other people grossness but i wouldnt dare to tell them, i simply avoid em.

When I was middle school, I did just start smelling bad as I was sweating more. My parents told me to start wearing deodorant. I didn’t know that some people just don’t smell when they sweat.

I’m kind of the same, I rarely wear deodorant, and it’s basically never an issue (believe me, my wife would tell me if it was)

But some days even I’m like “holy fuck I reek” - I think it’s probably a diet thing


I’m not a fan of antiperspirant. They’re supposed to stop you from sweating but for me they just make my sweating worse for when they eventually run their course. So i just use deodorant now.

I have sensitive skin under my armpits it seems so I have to be careful with what did I use under there and the only ones I seen to get away with are the natural ones that try to neutralise the smell by killing the bacteria that create that smell rather just masking the smell like most standard deodorant. It’s not 100% but it’s better for my skin and it’s better than putting nothing at all on.

I’ll never use antiperspirant again though, they just clog up pores and what they clog pores with is often a big pollutant to the rest of the world or at least damaging to the environment around you for little animals.

Anti-perspirant makes the rest of my body sweat a lot more as suddenly I can’t just use my pits to cool my body.

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