Body odor, sadly, is a fact of life. Every gal has raised her arm from time to time and caught a whiff of something unfortunate. But keeping yourself smelling good — even while keeping active — is often as easy as riding a bike.
Hopefully, no one needs to tell you to bathe each day. To keep offensive odors at bay, washing with an antibacterial soap can help. It reduces the bacteria on your skin. Bacteria break down sweat, which causes less-than-pleasant odors.
Deodorant helps curtail body odor, keeping you fresh — at least when it comes to your scent. But if your underarms get a little swampy by day’s end, take it as a sign that your deodorant isn’t enough. Instead, an antiperspirant is probably in order. Antiperspirants cut down on sweat, ousting the moisture that bacteria use to cook up the stink.
That being said, not everyone can wear antiperspirants. For some, the aluminum chlorohydrate or propylene carbonate irritates the skin, causing an uncomfortable rash. If this sounds like you, apply talcum powder or even baking soda to your underarms to reduce sweat and combat odor.
Keeping your underarms free of hair decreases the number of bacteria in this area of the body. Shave your armpits regularly to stave off odors.
Spritzing yourself with your favorite fragrance is often a beauty ritual. For best results, however, apply your fragrance to your pulse points, such as your wrists, neck, crook of the arm and behind the ear. These areas tend to give off the most heat, helping release the aromatic notes of your fragrance.
Those fragrance sets you see around the holidays are more than just a marketing ploy to get you to buy more products. They’re actually put together to “layer” your favorite scent. Layering a perfume over a shower gel or body lotion of the same fragrance makes the scent last that much longer.
While you don’t necessarily need to wash your clothes after each wear, keep close tabs on how often it’s been between laundering. Sweat, bacteria and odors can leach into fabrics, which can become a constant reminder of where you were the last time you wore that shirt, shrug or sweater. Take a good whiff of your clothes. If you curl your nose, they probably need a good washing.
When buying shirts, sweaters, slacks, shoes and socks, stick with natural fibers. They tend to breathe more than other fabrics, which cuts down on sweat and, in turn, offensive odors. That means no polyester pantsuit for you!
By now, you already know “you are what you eat.” Diet has a direct effect on your health, but it also has some bearing on your scent. Pungent foods such as garlic or onions can make their keen odor known through your sweat. The same can often be said for alcohol, especially after an all-night bender.
Stress often triggers sweat, and sweat can cause odor. Therefore, learning how to relax in almost any given situation can help keep odors away. Try deep breathing, meditation or yoga to better teach yourself how to de-stress your life.