School may be starting soon for most students across the US, but summer doesn’t truly end until late September. And until then, most of us will still experience the smoldering heat that summer is known for. With that comes ounces of sweat dripping down our backs while we impatiently wait for our cars to cool during the midday heat.
You may be used to the usual extra layer of deodorant during these drenched days, but there are more ways than one to fight the odor that comes with a sweaty body.
Body Odor Basics
You might be surprised to find that body odor doesn’t come from you alone. It’s an orchestration of many factors.
There are two primary kinds of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine glands. Eccrine glands are all over your body and open to produce sweat when you’re hot. Apocrine glands congregate near hair follicles like your armpits and pubic area.
Apocrine glands release fluid mostly when you’re under positive or negative emotional stress. And while generally odorless, the fluid interacts with bacteria on your skin which causes odor. One group of bacteria is most known for causing such a stink: Staphylococcus hominis.
What Can You Do?
We all sweat but maybe your stink can get out of control at times. Aside from regular deodorant and antiperspirants, try these four ways to keep that odor in check.
If you haven’t discovered the antimicrobial power of essential oils yet, it’s time to jump on this bandwagon. From cleaning your home to eradicating underarm funk, essential oils are your best friend. Use diluted tea tree or rosemary oil under your arms to alleviate the stench from those relentless microbes.
Eat less meat
Bacteria play a large role in body odor production but many other factors come into play too, like genetics, hormones or even foods. Meat consumption adds a unique quality to your odor that can be less attractive for the opposite sex. Try to sub a week of meat eating for one without.
Visit the doctor
Disease can be another player in the body odor game. If you’re developing excessive sweat or less sweat than usual with a different smell than you’re used to, you may have a health issue surfacing that requires a visit to the doc. Get checked out to get your body and odor back in order.
Check your hormones
Whether you’re overproducing cortisol from stressful living or you’re out of balance with your cycle, hormones can be a leading culprit in your summertime (or year-round) stench. You’ll be pleased to know that what helps one will help the other. Change your daily habits to incorporate a simpler, stress-free, and healthy lifestyle. It’s often unhealthy eating, lack of exercise and too much work-related stress that causes cortisol to skyrocket and your monthly cycle to get out of balance.
These are four unique ideas to make sure you’re not stinking up the aisle at the grocery store or scaring off your next date. But you can also try to…
- Shower regularly
- Wear breathable fabrics
- Cut tobacco
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Take your vitamins
- Eat your greens
Some body odor is natural, and it plays an important role in sexual attraction so complete elimination shouldn’t be the goal. But if you know your stench is out of whack, then these tips will help to get you back in the sweet spot.
By Paula Jones