Why Stress Sweat Is Different Than Regular Sweat

Why Stress Sweat Is Different Than Regular Sweat

We’ve all experienced a rush of sweat in anticipation of an event or big day, and desperately tried to fan ourselves, in an attempt to not only cool down, but to avoid what many consider embarrassing sweat stains.

Oh, and did we mention odor?

If you’ve found that your sweat smells more intense when anxiety and stress take over, then you definitely aren’t imagining it, and in this article, we are going to tell you why. 

By the end you’ll feel empowered to take charge of your sweating so you can feel confident and rock any challenge or future event.

Why does stress make me so stinky?

When our body temperature rises due to physical activity or warm temperatures, it triggers our sweat glands to start producing sweat, as a way to naturally help us cool down. Sweating also helps to hydrate the skin and to balance the body’s natural electrolytes.

This sweat is secreted from your eccrine glands and is made up mainly of water with a small amount of lipids and salt. This is why this sweat may not smell too intense. Your eccrine glands are found in larger numbers on your soles, forehead, palms and armpits, although they do cover the majority of your body. 

When you experience stress and adrenaline floods your veins, your sweat is secreted by your apocrine glands, found in areas with more hair follicles. This sweat is thicker and contains more proteins and lipids. When it interacts with the bacteria on your skin, it results in body odor. 

You should also know that your underarms secrete 30 times more sweat when you are stressed versus relaxed; maybe this explains some things!

Ways to reduce and manage stress sweat

Finding ways to reduce stress in your life can really help to lower stress hormones in the body; a trigger for stress sweat.

Of course, sometimes it’s inevitable though, in which case, following these tips can help to get it under control. 

Use a natural deodorant

Sweating is natural and helps your body to cool down and rid itself of toxins. A natural deodorant will not hinder your body’s natural detox process and overtime, it will help to control excess sweat and ensure you smell better with regular use. 

You want to avoid conventional antiperspirants that block sweat and may contribute to bacteria build-up, and instead, make the switch to a natural deodorant.


Exfoliation is excellent for helping to lift bacteria up and out of the pores, especially when using a powerful detoxifying ingredient such as charcoal, known to absorb thousands of times its own weight in toxins!

We recommend using this as part of the transition from antiperspirant to natural deodorant, as part of your daily routine, or before shaving for the closest smoothest shave.

Bathe daily

Bathing once a day is important to fight dirt and bacteria that may accumulate on the skin. When your skin is clean, there is less bacteria to interact with sweat secreted during stressful times. 

Try a natural soap bar and be sure to dry your skin thoroughly afterwards, as damp skin encourages the growth of bacteria and fungi. 

Manage underarm hair

While your grooming habits are 100% a personal choice, we should mention that hair can trap dirt, oil and bacteria increasing the likelihood of odor when stress sweat happens. 

Keeping the hair trimmed or shaved under your arms can help to manage odor if you tend to sweat when anxious or stressed. 

Stress sweat shouldn’t rule your life! By following the tips in this article, you will start to get your sweat under control so you can spend more time pursuing your dreams, and less worrying about smelly pits or stains!


These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any medical concern you should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Full Medical Disclaimer.