According to the researchers at the Germany-headquartered personal care giant, stressful situations can increase significantly the amount of sweat and odor precursors produced.
In an attempt to decrease stress-induced sweating, particularly in teenagers, the company has developed a new formulation containing aluminum chlorohydrate as well as an anti-microbial compound to tackle malodor formation, which it tested on participants who underwent a stress test.
Forty participants, 20 female and 20 male, between the ages of 16 and 18 were recruited to test the product and started a washout period, using a neutral soap and an aluminum free deodorant, 14 days before the study started.
The participants then applied the anti-perspirant deodorant to one of the armpits, leaving the other untreated, for four days.
Test to induce moderate psychosocial stress
On the fourth day the participants took part in a Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which according to the researchers is a standardized and effective protocol to induce moderate psychosocial stress in a laboratory setting.
The test involves participants giving an impromptu presentation in front of a panel in the knowledge that it will be videoed, before performing a mental arithmetic test.
According to Beiersdorf the sweat produced during the 15 minute test (collected by absorbent cotton pads fitted under the armpit) was significantly higher than the amount produced under non-stressed conditions. Levels are comparable to that produced during 30 minutes of physical exercise at ambient temperatures, according to the team.
In addition, the team noted a strong increase in malodour during the test, which suggests the underarm bacteria are almost instantaneously working on the odorant precursors to release the volatile odorants.
Stress reduction by 50 percent
According to the results of the study, the amount of sweat produced was reduced by approximately 50 percent, and the presence of the antimicrobial agent butyloctanoic acid helped fight against malodour.
Director of Beiersdorf’s body care research division, and one of the author’s of the study, Dr Heiner Max, explained that the product’s success is related to the fast action of ingredients within the formulation.
The aluminum chlorohydrate dissolves well when it comes into contact with sweat and works to reduce it by narrowing the openings of the sweat glands in the skin, the company said.
The products are marketed under the Nivea brand name.
Source: International Journal of Cosmetic Science
Effective prevention of stress-induced sweating and axillary malodour formation in teenagers
A Martin, J Hellhammer, T Hero, H Max, J Schult, L Terstegen