LONDON (Reuters) - Deodorant not enough to stop your body odor? A new futuristic-style bodysuit with live bacteria embedded in it could help combat those unpleasant smells.
The pale gray, long-sleeved "Skin II" contains healthy probiotic bacteria, reducing the smell of body odor, said its designer Rosie Broadhead.
"It's not the sweat on your body that causes body odor, 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 odor," said Broadhead.
"This change in the microbiome is associated with reducing your body odor, 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 odor.
The two plan to commercialize 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 odor 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)