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The Groovy Science Behind Your Armpit Microbiome

The Groovy Science Behind Your Armpit Microbiome

Here’s a mind-blowing revelation: hidden on the seemingly ordinary surface of your armpits, there's a whole world of microscopic magnificence going on!

That's right – your armpits are home to an ecosystem called the armpit microbiome – a teensy tiny dance party packed with billions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria.

In one corner, we've got the notorious "Odour Makers" (the bad boys of bacteria) – Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus. When you sweat, these little stinkers gather for a tasty meal of proteins, lipids, and amino acids. In the process, they produce waste products like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and short-chain fatty acids, that create the nose-twitching, cringe-worthy BO that sends us scrambling for the deodorant.

In the other corner, we've got the heroic "Freshness Saviours" – the mighty Lactobacillus! These tiny champions are the valiant knights of your pits, pumping out antimicrobial compounds that keep their stench-spewing rivals at bay.

It's an epic battle of microscopic proportions, a clash of the bacterial titans, all going down right under your very arms!

And if you can get your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria to play nice, you’ll be smelling fresh and feeling fabulous in no time. Victory!

But here's the kicker: some lucky folks out there have their bacterial groove so perfectly in sync that they don't need deodorant – ever! Can you imagine? Now that's what we call living the funk-free dream.

Let’s backtrack a little…

Get to know your sweat glands

Before we keep diving into the wacky world of armpits, let’s get to know our two star players: apocrine and eccrine glands, the unsung heroes of your body's built-in cooling system.

Eccrine glands are pretty much everywhere on your skin, but they've got a soft spot for hands, feet, and noggins. These little guys have been busy since you were born, pumping out a light, watery sweat like it's their job – because it is!

Apocrine glands are the rebels of the gland world and prefer to chill in exclusive spots like armpits, areolas, ear canals, nostril edges, perianal regions, and some parts of external genitalia. Once puberty hits, these glands crank things up a notch, producing a richer, fattier sweat that bad bacteria LOVES.

And that’s why some body parts smell different from others. 

Sweat DOESN’T smell!

Now here's a wild twist for you - it's not your sweat-producing glands that cause body odour. Nope. The sweat they make is as inoffensive as a freshly laundered linen shirt.

The body odour gets unleashed when the ‘bad’ bacteria on your skin – we're looking at you, Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus – start feasting on sweat and other bodily fluids, belching out a funky smell as a result.

The balance of bacteria

In the fascinating world of your underarms, the ‘bad’ bacteria join forces with the ‘good’ bacteria in an unlikely partnership.

The ‘bad’ bacteria, like the mischievous DJs of the dance floor, break down the complex molecules in your sweat, creating a stage that the good bacteria can groove on. 

These 'good’ bacteria, the true life of the party, maintain the pH balance and keep harmful microbes in check.

Together, this dynamic duo tries to ensure that your underarms remain fresh and fabulous, without the fear of unwanted BO. It's a delightful collaboration that reminds us that even in the world of bacteria, teamwork makes the dream work 😉

But sometimes we apply products that cause more harm than good…

Your antiperspirant could be causing microbial Armageddon

It turns out that many antiperspirants and traditional deodorants play hardball with bacteria.

They use powerful antibacterial ingredients, such as triclosan, which can annihilate not only the bad bacteria but also the beneficial ones, leading to a significant reduction in the diversity and abundance of microbial species in your armpit.

And in a super duper interesting study by Callewaert et al. titled "Deodorants and antiperspirants affect the axillary bacterial community," it was discovered that antiperspirant usage can lead to an increase in Actinobacteria - a group of bacteria that loves to produce those smelly compounds we associate with body odour.

Now, imagine what happens when you stop using these products, even just for a day. Brace yourself for an unwelcome surprise – you'll notice a sudden surge in BO!

The sudden increase in stinkiness is due to the disruption that these products cause to your armpit microbiome.

The eradication of both good and bad bacteria leaves a void in the underarm ecosystem, allowing odour-causing microbes to multiply rapidly. Eeeeeek.

Without the balance of ‘good’ bacteria, the BO-producing ‘bad’ bacteria run amuck, leading to the dreaded stink.

Balanced bacteria = pit party central 🎉

By now you might be wondering, ‘How can I join the pit rave and help the good bacteria thrive and keep the bad bacteria in check?’

The answer: shimmy on over to natural deodorant, and you'll be doing the cha-cha with your fresh-smelling pits in no time.

Instead of causing a bacterial wipeout like many mainstream deodorants and antiperspirants, our all-natural Woohoo deodorants use the power of plant-based ingredients to let the righteous odour-fighters, like our heroic pals Lactobacillus, flourish and work their disco magic.

The result: A fresher, more balanced microbiome and a funk-free, happier you!

Woohoo Natural Deodorant & Anti-Chafe Stick (Wild) 60g


Ready for an armpit microbiome reset?

If you need to restore bacterial balance to your armpits, bring on the Woohoo Armpit Detox Mask.

Think of it as a spa day for your pits, unclogging your pores and deeply cleansing skin without being harsh or drying.

Colloidal Silver reduces the cheeky overload of ‘bad’ bacteria while allowing your skin’s natural ‘good’ bacteria to regenerate and thrive. And when applied regularly, it can actually strengthen your skin’s defenses—resulting in fewer and more manageable incidents of inflammation.

Kaolin, Zeolite & Bentonite Clays help clean and remove impurities from your pores while absorbing excess oil, calming redness, and rebalancing your skin to keep it healthy and fresh.

Armpit Detox Mask


In next to no time you’ll have a balanced underarm microbiome and you’ll be rocking your natural deodorant like a boss. Eventually, you may even notice you need to wear less deodorant and apply less often (hurrah!). 

So, the next time you catch a whiff of something a little stinky, remember that it's just the bad bacteria in your pits getting a bit too rowdy.

With a little help from our Woohoo Natural Deodorant and Armpit Detox Mask, you can restore balance to your underarms and keep your bacterial buddies boogying in perfect harmony.

Ready to dance through life with BO-free confidence? Join the pit party revolution here. 🕺🏼🕺🏼

Woohoo Natural Deodorant Family Pack (6 x Sticks)