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Why Hormones Stink: Puberty and Body Odor

  • 2 min read

No, it’s not your imagination. His room really is smellier…and his gym bag, his car, the locker room.

You name it and chances are if a teenage boy has been near it, it stinks of body odor. That’s not cruelty or nose-bias. That’s hard truth based on the biological changes occurring in his body during puberty. The singular odor-causing change? Hormones.

How do hormones cause BO, you ask?

It’s simple. More hormones = more sweat. But wait, you already know thatsweat alone doesn’t cause odor. True, it’s not the excess sweat that’s causing his BO. It’s a series of events that literally reeks havoc.

It begins with the arrival of these new and plentiful hormones which awaken the apocrine gland—a gland activated specifically during puberty. Seeking revenge for being disturbed, the apocrine gland produces more moisture in specific areas like armpits and groins. Then, in a particularly spiteful gesture, this gland also starts producing oil to mix with all the newfound sweat. So, the hormones lead to sweat which leads to oil which leads to BO, right? Wrong. Let’s just say, what began as a civil dispute turns into a full-blown community uprising.

The hormones that added all the extra sweat to begin with also contain new, teen-specific chemicals. And these chemicals release odor when broken down. But wait, there’s more.

The excess sweat mixes with the gland-producing oil and the release of the new, odor-releasing chemicals which ultimately merge with the bacteria we find on our skin and clothes to create. And what we’re left with is, you guessed it, body odor.

So, you see, hormones are, in fact, very much to blame for this whole stinky, sweaty biological mess.

Now that we got THAT out of the way, coping with it is the easy part.

It all starts with proper hygiene. Preparing him to start taking care of all the curveballs his body is throwing him during puberty is critical if he’s going to combat body odor. Part of that preparation is choosing the right deodorant.Lucky for you, you came to the right place for info on all-things deodorant and detox.


From the truth about natural deodorants to deciding if charcoal deodorant is actually his best bet (did you know charcoal products can actually draw out odor-causing bacteria?),  we can help steer him in the right direction.

Read more about body odor, hygiene and all the tools he needs to deal with the stink of puberty at The Prepster.

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