Are you smelly?
Emitting a foul odour despite caking on that speed stick?
Practicing good hygiene yet lacking desired results?
The good news is that you’re certainly not alone. Anyone who sweats has had a personal experience with bad body odour. Although it’s a natural process for our bodies to produce certain smells, other scents can be downright offensive, not to mention unnecessary. If you’re doing all you can to quell your smell, but still clearing rooms upon entering them, consider the following tips to quash your plight for good:
Modify Your Diet – You may not know this, but the foods we consume have a profound effect on the way we smell. Caffeinated and sugary drinks, spicy foods, herbs like garlic, and vegetables like onions are but a few common culprits of bad B.O.; these pungent staples are widely consumed, and once exuded through the pores of the skin they often contribute to a foul odour. It may be in your interest to reduce your intake, or abstain entirely, from these foods. Avoid packaged/processed options whenever you can, as many of these are also notoriously odour-inducing.
Know Your Body – Not everyone is in the same state of physical health, just as not all people will have the same biological reactions to the same foods. You can be sweaty and stinky at any size or state, but some people will be more prone to odour based on their genetic factors, gut bacteria, activity levels, and digestive health. It may prove highly beneficial to consult a doctor or a specialist to identify and treat the internal causes (often beyond your personal control). If you are overweight or obese, consider taking initiatives within your control to lose weight and reduce skin folds where bacteria can become trapped.
Drink Your Water – Maintaining a healthy level of hydration offers countless health benefits, including the reduction of foul body odour. Toxins contribute to odour, and water helps flush toxins away, in addition to ensuring the proper functionality of all bodily processes. As if you really needed another reason to drink more water.
Know Your Deodorant – Antiperspirants clog your pores and fragrances only cover up a smell; this may give the illusion of freshness, but it’s ultimately an ineffective way to combat your stink. Ditch the big brand varieties for natural and alternative options that don’t use aluminum, preservatives, or toxic packaging (this will require some research on your part). Look for those that neutralize odour with natural ingredients that allow your body to breathe. If you find a natural option that requires little use to be noticeably effective, you're headed in the right direction.
Pamper Your Skin - Dead, smelly skin cells often collect on the body, but exfoliation helps remove these cells. Gently and regularly, exfoliate your underarms with a loofah and water (only employ a bit of natural, non-irritating soap if desired). Of course, don’t forget to shower on a consistent basis; you don't necessarily need to do so every day, but when you do, opt for cool to warm water. Prolonged, hot showers are not only wasteful but they can destroy the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Dry, depleted skin can contribute to odour just as much as excessive sweat and moisture can.
*Bonus Tip* - Don't forget about your oral hygiene and foot care. These are two areas of the body that are not often given the true attention that they deserve, yet they also contribute profoundly to the way you smell. Brush and floss regularly (i.e. daily), including brushing your tongue and gums. Wear footwear that fits and breathes, clip/clean your nails when needed, consider exfoliation, and allow your toes and feet to see the light of day now and then.
Author: Taylor Nason