Smelling good is the best. Some of us go to great lengths to make it happen. But good hygiene is only half the battle.
How can you get rid of body odor? Understanding what causes body odor in the first place is a good place to start. Anything that makes your body work harder will signal it to cool, resulting in sweating. Bacteria, ever ready for a feast, consume sweat and other bodily fluids and produce unpleasant odors, aka stank.
Some things contribute to the odor cocktail of sweat and bacteria based on what you eat, how you feel, and what you do. Body chemistry can vary from person to person, so it makes sense that we are affected differently.
Here are some ideas to help you fight body odor:
1. Reduce Stress
Your pits sweat 30 times more when stressed out than when you are relaxed. “Stress stink” is a thing. Stress and anxiety get you all fired up and signal your body to cool you down by sweating. Worrying about how much you are sweating can cause you to sweat even more–it’s a vicious cycle.
Stress sweat can have a more pungent odor than day-to-day sweating because it has a different composition. The eccrine glands produce sweat that’s mostly water from exercise and rising temperatures. Because adrenaline is involved in stressful situations, stress sweat is pumped out by the apocrine glands and contains protein and fat, and bacteria eat that up.
So take some deep cleansing breaths, do some yoga, cut some things from your schedule to make it more manageable, and listen to music that moves you. Do whatever it takes to help you reduce stress. You’ll feel better and smell better.
2. Allow Yourself Time To Cool Down After Exercise
You finished your run two hours ago. Why are you still red in the face and sweating? Exercise raises your core temperature, especially if you are outside on a hot and humid day. The more you do to intentionally cool down, the quicker you’ll avoid excessive sweating.
Give yourself time to bring your heart rate down slowly, drink plenty of water, and take some time to stretch. If you still feel overheated, stand in front of a fan, hold a cool water bottle to the back of your neck, and take a cool shower with The Acidified Cleansing Bar or Body Wash that gently cleanses without harsh ingredients.
You just asked a lot of your body. You need to give it time to change gears.
You can also try Mando Deodorant Wipes after cooling down, which are a great way to apply lasting deodorant protection post-workout when you just don't have the time or desire to shower.
3. Remove or Reduce Body Hair
Look, this is a personal topic. Your body is perfect, exactly the way it is. But, hair does contribute to body odor because it grows in all the places where the odor-producing apocrine sweat glands reside. More hair means more surface area for bacteria to grow.
Anyone who has ever sat around a smoky campfire can attest that hair absorbs and traps odors. If the smell is a persistent problem, consider some manscaping here or there.
4. Go Easy on The Spice
Do you enjoy eating curry or spicy salsa?
Foods that make you sweat more are also more likely to lead to body odor. Curries, cumin, garlic, and onions contain sulfur compounds that release gasses as your body breaks them down. For several hours after you eat, these gasses pour out of your pores along with sweat and can cause a lingering smell.
5. Reduce The Amount of Refined Sugar In Your Diet
Most of us love indulging in sweets now and again (and again and again and…). Bacteria, especially gut bacteria, are also sugar fiends. If you have improper gut flora, your digestive system might not work correctly, leading to some funky B.O.
The solution? Eat less refined sugar, and add probiotics to your diet, like kefir and Greek yogurt.
6. Eat a Balanced Diet
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause body odor, so eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables will contribute to healthier smells. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which has long been thought to lower body odor.
However, some vegetables cause odor - the cruciferous type. The offenders are the same ones that leave a lingering smell in your house when cooked - think broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. If these are a problem for you, consider limiting the amount in your diet. But, you may decide the health benefits (and their delicious taste) outweigh the stinky risks.
7. Eat Less Red Meat
Do you get the meat sweats? The amino acids in red meat leave a residue that lingers in your intestines during digestion, so your body has to put forth more effort to digest, which can lead to sweating. The resulting odor is more potent because the sweat is mixed with enzymes needed to break down the residue.
Moderation is key, especially if your body reacts more strongly to red meat.
8. Quit smoking
When you smoke, nicotine releases acetylcholine, which raises your body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. This signals your body to rev up the cooling machine and start sweating, providing a feast for bacteria. Nicotine can also contribute to night sweats and hot flashes.
Quitting smoking can cause an increase in sweaty episodes, but only temporarily. It’s tough to curtail long-standing habits, but your body will thank you.
9. Drink less coffee
Your morning coffee gives you the boost you are looking for, but it also boosts your sweat glands. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by triggering the release of adrenaline and puts your body in fight or flight mode, which causes you to sweat.
In addition, hot drinks raise your body temperature and signal your body to sweat to cool you down. The solution? Drink caffeine in moderation, and consider cold coffee drinks to reduce sweating.
10. Drink less alcohol
Man, this list is a real bummer.
When you drink, alcohol in the bloodstream causes the vessels to enlarge, which can increase the temperature of your skin and signal your body to start cooling by perspiring. The byproduct of that process is diacetic acid released through sweating, and it has a distinct odor when it meets up with bacteria.
For most people, this only happens at the level of intoxication, so knowing your limits will help. As with nicotine and caffeine, alcohol can contribute to hot flashes and night sweats.
11. Drink More Water
Ever notice your pee smells stronger when you haven’t been drinking enough water? Drinking plenty of water flushes toxins and waste and dilutes the less savory odors they produce.
Your body’s sophisticated cooling system expands blood vessels close to the skin’s surface and releases heat. When dehydrated, it takes a higher temperature to trigger blood vessels to expand, so you stay hotter. And sweatier. And being sweatier makes you more dehydrated—another vicious cycle.
12. Sleep on Cotton Sheets and Wear Cotton PJs
Microfiber sheets and flannel pajamas may be soft and cozy, but fabrics made from synthetic fibers don’t breathe well and will make you sweat more during the night.
Fabrics made from natural fibers like cotton and linen are breathable and absorb moisture. They help regulate your core temperature for a cool and dry sleep. Even if you experience night sweats, cotton sheets, and pajamas tend to dry faster and allow for a deeper rest.
Sweat is our body’s natural response to prevent overheating, so it is a good thing. But, it sure can cause some problems.
13. Use Mando
What's different about Mando's approach to controlling body odor? Mando Deodorant and Mando Deodorant Wipes don’t mask or overpower body odor; they prevent odor from happening before it starts. Mando Deodorant’s patented formula prevents bacteria from ingesting bodily fluids like the sweat under your arms and causing a stink.
But here’s even better news: Mando products, including Mando Deodorant Wipes, Mando Acidified Cleansing Bar, and Mando Invisible Cream, are unique because they can be used anywhere you have an odor but wish you didn’t. Plus, they smell great or not at all (Unscented is here!) and are clinically proven to control odor all day.
Body odor is not limited to your armpits, so it’s about time you had whole body deodorant and deodorant wipes that you can use anywhere–your feet, package, butt, belly, and beyond.
At Mando, we like to say sweat happens, but odor doesn’t have to.Did you Mando today?