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6 seriously weird facts you probably don’t know about your armpits

  • 3 min read

Immensely ticklish, but not often spoken about — armpits don’t exactly get a trophy for being the most charming or handsome of body parts, but they’re pretty amazing.

And quite weird!

Yep. We said it – freakin’ weird.

It’s why we love 'em’!

Whether you’re a Sweaty Betty or not, have fun wowing your friends with these weird and wonderful armpit facts.

1. Sweat doesn’t stink…(no, really)

Despite what most people think, sweat doesn’t smell. It’s actually odourless. It’s the bacteria that just happen to live in the dark, damp areas of your body that produce the icky odour.

You see, when sweat from your apocrine glands (AKA scent glands) reacts with the bacteria living on the skin it causes odour. So by keeping bacteria at bay, there’s less likelihood of having BO.

So stop blaming your armpits for being smelly – it’s those bacteria baddies that are creating a stink party!

2. Some armpits don’t smell

Amazingly, some people have armpits that just don't smell. According to researchers from the University of Bristol, in the UK, two per cent of people have a special gene that blesses them with stink-free pits. Talk about luck of the draw!

The jury is still out on how exactly the gene affects odour, but researchers think those who have the gene produce less amino acid. Since it's the amino acid that stimulates the growth of bacteria, these people get less bacteria. No bacteria smorgasbord = no stink!

3. Armpits are not the sweatiest part of the body

Armpits get a bad rap but believe it or not, your feet produce more sweat than your pits.

Uh, huh – it’s true. Feet have waaay more sweat glands than your armpits. But, thanks to the fact we tend to wear socks and shoes most of the time, we don’t notice our feet sweating.

Bet you notice your pongy socks though ;)

4. Different scents for different folks

Armpits act like an arena for billions of bacteria to find refuge. Interestingly though, we each harbour different bacteria, resulting in different BO scents.

Gross but also sort of fascinating, right?

Some people’s body odour smells sour. Other people smell like gone-off eggs. There are also those who give off a meaty odour or an oniony scent. It all depends on the type of bacteria you have on your skin.

[And this is why no single deodorant suits everyone - you need to find the formula that suits your unique bacteria composition!]

5. Armpit attraction

Apparently, research has shown that androstadienone (a compound found in men’s sweat) can signal pheromone-like activities in women. In other words, sniffing a man’s armpit can be a turn-on, ha!

Ladies, watch out the next time a sweat-soaked armpit comes your way ;)

6. Sweat is your friend

Okay, so no one likes finding big dark sweat patches under their arms. We have to admit, it can be kind of embarrassing. Especially when you’re out on a date or sitting in an important interview.

But the truth is, sweat is good. Sweating helps regulate your body temperature, rid the body of toxins and boost circulation. You see, we all sweat (well, apart from the lucky 2% of us) for important reasons.

So while you might not think twice about your armpits, they’re actually a treasure trove of interesting (and sort of strange) facts. Who woulda’ thought!