It’s natural to sweat (and in our tropical climate, it’s unavoidable). But how do you stop sweat from turning into nasty body odour? Find out what’s causing it, and what you can do to smell fresh the whole day.
What causes body odour?
Not all sweat causes body odour. Eccrine glands emit a clear, watery sweat that doesn’t smell like anything. (That’s the sweat you get when you work lut.) However, the apocrine glands along your underarms and genitals release a fattier sweat that can feed bacteria and make them multiply really fast.
Unfortunately, some things can make your apocrine glands go on overdrive. These include stress, ovulation and some kinds of drugs.
Some health conditions can make your body emit compounds that have very distinct smells — and your body odour can help you “sniff out” a hidden problem.
For example, if your body always smells like fish, then you may have trimethylaminuria, a genetic disorder that stops you from breaking down a chemical found in fish, soy and some kinds of vegetables.
If you pick up sweet or fruity smell on your body or breath, check if you have diabetes. It’s a sign that you have a lot of ketones or acetones in your body.
Liver disease, kidney disease and hyperthyroidism can also trigger stronger or more frequent body odour.
When your body can’t break down some compounds in your food, it’ll show up in stinky sweat or stool. Common culprits are garlic, onion, strong spices, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, asparagus, and alcohol.
What food can help fight body odour?
Activated charcoal supplements
If certain food can trigger body odour, then you know that the quickest fix is to remove them from your diet. But if you love your garlic breads and curries, then try taking an activated charcoal supplement right before you eat them. They bind to the compounds and reduce (or even erase) the smell. But a word of warning: activated charcoal can affect birth control or thyroid meds, so ask your doctor first.
Green leafy vegetables
Spinach, chard and kale contain chlorophyll, which is said to have a deodorizing effect. The fiber also keeps your digestive tract healthy, so the odour-triggering compounds don’t stay long in your system.
It’s like eating a whole plate of spinach in one pill. They’re often made from
plants like kelp, barley grass, and blue-green algae. Aside from fighting body odour, it’s full of antioxidants and can give you more energy.
This also has a lot of chlorophyll to fight body odour. If you can take the taste, you get a lot of other health benefits. It can lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and even help you lose weight.
A study by Ohio University found that drinks with a lot of water and fat (like milk) can help fight garlic breath. Apparently, the fat helps reduce the sulfur compounds that cause the stink and help mask the smell too.
Parsley, peppermint and spearmint are like nature’s mouthwash. They can temporarily hide strong smell from your breath. Maybe you can chew the garnish on the lunch you ordered until you can get your hands on some toothpaste.
What DIY beauty treatments can help me stay fresh all day?
Witch hazel is a natural astringent. t closes your pores (so you produce less sweat) and lowers your skin PH (which lessens bacteria). Just soak cotton pads in witch hazel solution and apply on your armpits and groin area. You can also transfer it to a spray bottle.It’s like a natural deodorant!
Baking soda and cornstarch
Mix in equal parts and apply on sweaty areas. You’ll feel fresh and remove the moisture that bacteria need to grow.
Tea tree oil
Yup, the same stuff that fights acne and backne can also help prevent body odour! Pure tea tree oil can be irritating — especially in sensitive areas like the armpits and groin area — so dilute it with olive oil or coconut oil. (Use a 1:1 ratio.)
While tea tree is still the best oil for fighting body odour, you can also try lavender, pine, peppermint and sage. Always do a skin patch test to see if you’re sensitive to it.
To use, just mix with your regular body oil or body lotion. That way, any of your body products can help you ward off the stink! You can also add a few drops of the oils into your bath water.