Body odour? Bacteria-embedded bodysuit may help

LONDON (Reuters) - 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 the smell of body odour, said 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,” said 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 said.

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 said the sustainability of the bodysuit was another of its benefits. Reducing body odour reduces the need to wash the bodysuit so often. Testing showed that the bacteria in the bodysuit was 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 said.

Reporting by George Sargent; Writing by Emily Roe; Editing by Hugh Lawson