How To Reduce Sweat Odor
Sweating is not appealing. The stench can make you conscious and lower your confidence. But, did you know that sweating is good for you?
Research shows that there are many benefits of sweating. And you can reduce the stench by following some simple tips. Read on to know what sweat is, why we sweat, the reason behind sweat odor and how to reduce it, and the benefits of sweating.
What Is Sweat? Why Do We Sweat?
Sweat is the “fluid that exits the body through pores in the skin, usually due to physical stress or high temperature for the purpose of regulating body temperature and removing certain compounds from the circulation” .
Sweating helps your body to cool down when the body temperature rises. A mix of salt, water, and toxins is excreted in the form of sweat from the sweat glands. Talking about sweat glands, there are two types – eccrine and apocrine.
The eccrine sweat glands are present all over the body and on the soles of the feet. The eccrine sweat glands produce about 500 mL – 750 mL of sweat per day. The apocrine sweat glands are present in the armpits, the nipples and areolar tissue of the breasts, ears, eyelids, and groin area.
Scroll down to find out the reason sweating causes body odor in some people.
Why Sweating Causes Body Odor?
Sweating may cause body odor due to the presence of the apocrine sweat glands which is why they are also known as odoriferous sweat glands. The glands start to function when puberty hits.
Initially, the sweat the apocrine glands produce remains odorless, but it develops odor after it gets exposed to bacteria.
Hence, maintaining personal hygiene is necessary to reduce body odor associated with sweat. But before we get to the simple tips to reduce sweat odor, let’s first understand why sweating is good for your health. Scroll down.
Benefits Of Sweating
Helps In Detoxification
Sweating helps to get rid of toxins from the body, including heavy metals like cadmium and mercury, pollutants, and alcohol. Scientists have deduced that since sweating helps to eliminate various toxins in the body, sweat analysis, along with urine and blood analysis, should be done to get a complete picture of bioaccumulation of toxins.
Improves Kidney Function
Your kidneys are real-time filters that help filter toxins from the water and maintain a balance of nutrients in the blood. Scientists have found that hot bath or sauna sweating helps excrete urea, which helped uremic patients improve their kidney function.
Note: Sweating a lot and not keeping yourself hydrated may lead to kidney stone formation.
Sweating is your body’s natural mechanism to stay cool due to physical exertion, stress, or tension. This prevents the body temperature from rising beyond 37o C (or the temperature that your body has adapted to depending on your environmental temperature) and hyperventilating.
Helps Heal Wounds
Sweating can also help heal wounds, scrapes, burns, and ulcers on your skin. “Skin ulcers including those caused by diabetes or bed sores and other non-healing wounds remain a tremendous burden on health services and communities around the world,” says lead author Laure Rittié, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical School.
She also added, “It may be surprising that it’s taken until now to discover the sweat glands’ vital role in wound repair,” and “The regenerative potential of sweat glands has been one of our body’s best-kept secrets. Our findings certainly advance our understanding of the normal healing process and will hopefully pave the way for designing better, targeted therapies.”
Protects The Body From Germs
Researchers found that sweat contained a potent antibiotic called dermcidin. This antibiotic forms a protective layer and helps protect the body from germs. Dermcidin protects the skin from infections. Constant washing of the skin may erode this layer. So, do not overwash your body or face.
Improves Skin Health
Sweating helps open up the pores, which helps to get rid of the dirt, bacteria, and pollutants. People who workout regularly and sweat have shown significant improvement in their skin over a period. Acne and spots are reduced, and the skin has a healthy glow.
Sweating in the gym or while doing any physical exercise helps to secrete endorphins. And that helps to enhance the mood and makes you happy. This, in turn, lowers stress levels, makes you feel better, and strengthens your immunity.
Sweating is not actually that bad. But there are times when excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis can hamper your daily activities.
Here are the simple tips to reduce sweat odor.
Tips To Reduce Sweat Odor
- Add a pinch of camphor to your bathing water.
- You can also add lemon essential oil to your bathing water.
- Wash your undergarments separately in lukewarm water.
- Keep your armpits and pubic area clean. However, do not use vaginal wash regularly as it may cause a pH disbalance.
- If you workout regularly, keep an extra t-shirt and a pair of leggings/shorts in your gym bag.
- Keep a roll-on deodorant in your bag so that you can use it whenever you need to.
- Use alcohol-free deodorants and perfumes.
- Wear clean socks and clean your workout shoes every alternate week.
Go au naturel
With fabrics, that is. The material you wear matters a lot. A recent studyTrusted Source showed that your fancy gym clothes and other man-made fabrics like polyester and spandex are bacteria heaven. The unnatural fibers are breeding grounds for bacteria. You’re better off with a natural fiber like cotton, linen, or wool.
You sweat what you eat
Over do it on happy hour, and you might spend the whole next day smelling like salsa and margaritas. It’s not just coming from your breath. What you eat directly affects your body odor. Foods that contain sulfur, like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, can affect the way you smell. Onions and garlic are frequent offenders. Curries and other intense spices may also find their way into your B.O. Pay attention to what you eat. Skip, or cut back on, the foods that make you smelly.
Make your own scent
A light, fresh scent can go a long way. Make your own perfume or cologne with a light carrier oil, like sweet almond oil, and essential oils. Start with a 5-10 drops per ounce of carrier oil and increase until you like the scent. A roller works best to apply the perfume, but you can also use a bottle to put a couple of dabs on your fingertips and apply where you like.
Wash your body
If you find that you are a bit smelly, hop in the shower if you have the time. Body odor is created by bacteria that cause you to smell, so rinsing your body can help to get rid of the smell quickly. However, it’s important to use soap or an antibacterial detergent when you wash yourself, rather than just rinsing with water.
Use oil blotting paper
If you are sweating heavily and are afraid you might begin to smell, use an oil blotter to wipe up the sweat. These papers are very effective at absorbing moisture, so rub one of the papers under your armpit in order to prevent yourself from beginning to smell.
Rub an alum stone on the area emitting the odor
Alum is a mineral that contains properties that can help to fight the bacteria that create body odor. To use an alum stone, you rub it on your armpit much in the same way that you would apply deodorant.
Rub mud on the stinkiest areas of your body
If you are out in nature and don’t have any deodorant or antiperspirant on hand, try rubbing some mud on your armpits or feet and letting the mud dry. Once it has dried, wash it off. The purpose of doing this is to dry out and remove any dead skin and old sweat that might be causing your body odor, much in the same way that a mud mask works.
Use diluted lemon juice
Lemon juice is thought to be a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent. Because of this, it can be used as fast relief from body odor. To apply lemon juice to your armpits or feet, you can either pour lemon juice onto a clean washcloth or rub a sliced lemon onto the problem area.
Shave your underarms regularly
This can apply to both men and women, though women more commonly shave their armpits. Getting rid of the hair in your armpits can help to reduce the amount of body odor you have because hair absorbs odors easily; if you have less hair, there will be less chance that the body odor is absorbed.
Wash your clothes regularly
As mentioned above, body odor can seep into your clothing. If you sweat heavily in a shirt and allow the shirt to dry without washing it, there is a very good chance that that shirt will smell bad the next day. Try to wash your clothes every time you sweat in them to keep them, and yourself, smelling fresh.
Don’t sweat the sweat
Sweat is good for you! It’s a completely normal function that helps regulate your temperature and remove waste from your body. And don’t forget that we weren’t born smelling like roses or Old Spice.
There you have it some benefits of sweating and ways to reduce body odor due to sweating. So, get sweating and improve your skin, mood, and health. Cheers!