It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odour but rather the bacteria on your skin. Picture: MACKOFLOWER/123RF
It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odour but rather the bacteria on your skin. Picture: MACKOFLOWER/123RF

Deodorant not enough to stop your body odour? A new futuristic-style bodysuit with live bacteria embedded in it could help combat those unpleasant smells.

The pale grey, long-sleeved “Skin II” contains healthy probiotic bacteria, reducing body odour, says its designer Rosie Broadhead.

“It’s not the sweat on your body that causes body odour, it’s the bacteria. So we’ve incorporated healthy bacteria into the textiles to enable a healthy microbiome which will help to reduce your body odour,” says Broadhead.

“This change in the microbiome is associated with reducing your body odour, encouraging cell renewal and is really good for the skin’s immune system,” she says.

Broadhead developed the garment as part of her postgraduate degree at London arts university Central Saint Martins. She worked with Belgian microbiologist Chris Callewaert of Ghent University to develop Skin II. He provided her with the healthy probiotic bacteria that are commonly found on skin, and has himself done extensive research on the causes of body odour.

The two plan to commercialise Skin II, and Broadhead hopes to design a sportswear range with the same technology.

Broadhead says the sustainability of the bodysuit is another of its benefits. Reducing body odour reduces the need to wash the bodysuit so often. Testing show that the bacteria in the bodysuit is able to survive a 30-degree wash.

“People are becoming more aware of sustainability and the environment. They’re concerned about the food that they are eating and the cosmetics that they’re putting on their skin. But less is known about the toxic chemicals that are in our clothing. So in time I think people will become more aware of wellness clothing,” Broadhead says.

Reuters