Banish body odor!
How to smell good all day, especially in sticky monsoon months .
We’ve all been there. Stuck on a bus next to a guy who smells like fish left out in the sun. Worse, you could be that guy! Body odor is embarrassing and unpleasant and since men sweat more than women, it’s no surprise they’re the worst offenders. From certain foods and poor personal hygiene to medications and medical conditions that cause excessive sweating, the reasons for body odor are numerous. Ironically though, the worst offenders are often oblivious to the fact that they smell. Research suggests that some people (read men) can’t detect certain molecules; while they can smell garlic or grilled meat they can’t register the smell from their armpits! But for a savvy man like you it’s better to be safe than sniffy.
What causes body odor?
When it gets hot and humid, humans sweat. It’s the body’s way of cooling down. Sweat glands secrete toxins from the body and the bacteria that breed in sweaty body parts—under arms and the groin area for instance—feed on it to give off an odor. Some medical conditions like an over active thyroid gland can also cause excessive sweating, as can some medicines. Certain fabrics like cotton and silk easily absorb body odor while polyester and nylon can raise a stink. Some people tend to have overactive bacterial growth, or perspire more when they’re stressed. Studies also suggest that certain foods can affect how you smell. An overdose of garlic, cumin, coffee and onions can cause sweat to smell funny as can a zinc deficiency. Sugar imbalances caused by diabetes can also alter the amount and type of perspiration. Ultimately though, in most cases it all comes down to maintaining proper personal hygiene
How can you reduce body odor?
A good place to start would be bathing regularly—at least twice a day—with an antibacterial body wash or soap like Thalgo Marine Shower Gel, Palmer’s Skin Success Anti-Bacterial Medicated Soap and Dettol Re-Energize Soap. Take care to lather well to get rid of dirt, grime and bacteria. Pay special attention to your armpits, groin and feet because they have the highest concentration of sweat glands and cleansing properly removes odor causing bacteria. It’s best to shower at least twice a day and wear cotton or other breathable fabric that allows sweat to evaporate when humidity levels are high. Needless to say, you shouldn’t recycle clothes, especially socks and underwear.
Eat right to smell nicer
Cutting down on odor causing foods like garlic, onions, fat filled dairy products such as blue cheese, fermented foods such as dhokla and dosas, coffee, canned food and curries will help. Instead make sure you drink enough water and eat fiber rich foods such as fresh fruit, veggies and whole grains. Aim for at least two bottles of water daily; the more water you drink the more diluted your sweat, and by association your body odor.
Spray on an antibacterial deodorant
It’s not enough to spray on a nice smelling deodorant because most simply mask body odor and don’t actually fight odor causing bacteria. Instead look for antiperspirant formulas containing aluminium and zinc, elements that fight odor-causing bacteria and clog sweat glands so that the bacteria have nothing to interact with. In short, while deodorants can mask the smell of sweat, antiperspirants reduce the amount of sweat your body products. Try Davidoff Cool Water Mild Deodorant Spray for Men, Gillette Antiperspirant/Deodorant Cool Wave Clear Gel, Park Avenue Good Morning Body Deodorant, Garnier Men Absolute Dry Deodorant, Garnier Men Anti Sweat 48H Intense Sport Deodorant and Nivea Fresh Active Burst Deo Spray 150ml.
Some other clever odor busting tricks:
- Trimming armpit hair can cut body odor because it drastically reduces the surface area for sweat to adhere to, giving bacteria very little to work with.
- Regularly throwing your underclothes, socks and shirts in the wash is helpful too.
- A proven home remedy to reduce body odor is dunking a tablespoon of boric acid or baking soda into bath water to reduce the spread of bacteria. However, use it sparingly; an excess can cause skin irritation.
- Keep your feet scrupulously dry and dust with foot powder or talcum powder. Keep a spare pair of shoes at work to change into if you get caught in a downpour. There’s nothing more yucky and smelly than squelching around in dripping footwear.
- If all else fails, dip a cotton ball dipped in apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil (Try Aroma Magic Tea Tree Essential Oil or Soulflower Tea Tree Essential Oil) and cleanse sweaty hot spots like the underarm area. They have anti-microbial properties and kill odor-causing bacteria and smell.
Finally, if all else fails don’t feel hesitant to see a dermatologist. But for most, simply following this no-fuss regime will have the girls falling over themselves to get up and close.