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A novel body wash/deodorant to prevent body odor

Image credit: Rudden et al, doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-68860-z.

Jamila Dec 29, 2020
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Can we create a novel body wash/deodorant to prevent body odor (BO)?


The main cause of BO is thioalcohol. Bacteria (Staphylococcus hominis) residing on the body break down sweat into smelly products called thioalcohols. BO can arise due to a wide range of factors such as gender, general health, medications, diet, and bacterial populations and activity.

Common hygiene practices like regularly showering and using deodorant may help to reduce BO. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat glands, preventing sweating, and hopefully prevent BO. However, these hygiene practices might not help everyone. Some individuals suffer from bromhidrosis; this is where they excessively sweat and have chronic BO regardless of hygiene practices. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel hygiene products.

The idea
The idea is to create a novel body wash/deodorant that impacts thioalcohol production. Some possible mechanisms we could incorporate into the body wash/deodorant include:
  • Using drugs to inhibit C-T lyase. C-T lyase is an enzyme found in bacteria that breaks down sweat into smelly thioalcohols. Drugs can be used to inhibit C-T lyase so that the smelly thioalcohols aren't produced.
  • Find drugs/enzymes that can breakdown thioalcohols into non-smelly products.
Alternatively, people use antibacterial products to remove bacteria from the armpits. However, in the process of removing the "bad bacteria," you are also removing "good bacteria." On the other hand, you could remove "bad" bacteria from the armpits and then replace them with beneficial bacteria, as mentioned in this idea.

Are there any problems with the idea mentioned above? How do you think the idea could be improved? I would definitely appreciate your feedback.

[1]Rudden, Michelle, et al. "The molecular basis of thioalcohol production in human body odour." Scientific reports 10.1 (2020): 1-14.

[2]Wang, Yanjin, et al. "A new type of surgery for the treatment of bromhidrosis." Medicine 98.22 (2019).

Creative contributions

Safe, natural, environmentally friendly salt crystal (Already exists)

salemandreus Apr 01, 2021
This is a natural salt crystal which you wet and apply underarm after showering. Applying it in the morning gives me zero BO for the whole day. It is environmentally friendly and even endorsed by cancer treatment centres! I used it for years and been happy with it the whole time - it simply prevents the smell without blocking sweat - I would sweat freely in the hot and humid climate - it is not an antiperspirant- but would still not have BO (though if applied much later than the shower the BO sweat might already be in the clothing and thus the clothing would still smell). You can buy these in Dischem, a South African pharmacy chain, for about the price of a can of deodorant and it lasts much longer!
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