Body odour can really ruin your day. Luckily, body odour is a universal experience, and even revered in some cultures as an expression of the persons inner psyche.
Generally, however, people prefer not to be too smelly and manufacturers offer plenty of solutions to reduce body odour. The trick is to find solutions which are completely safe.
Many manufactured antiperspirants, and some deodorants, contain aluminium chlorohydrate. This will usually range from fifteen to twenty per cent of the product. There is some research which suggests that aluminium chlorohydrate may have negative effects for the body, such as increasing the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimers disease. The research is inconclusive, from a scientific point of view, but why take the risk, particularly where antiperspirants are concerned?
To understand the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants, we need to understand how body odour is produced. The cause is not the sweat itself but bacteria on our skin which interacts with sweat to form fatty amino acids. Sweat itself is odourless but these amino acids have an odour which is sometimes offensive.
An antiperspirant aims to reduce the amount of sweat the body produces.
A deodorant aims mainly to perfume the odour released by the combination of sweat and bacteria.
The safest way to reduce body odour is to avoid antiperspirants altogether and choose an aluminium-free deodorant, which will usually be fragranced with essential oils, such as lavender, tea tree or citrus. As well as being harmless, most aluminium-free deodorants use natural products which are gentle on the skin and are not tested on animals.
Another option is a crystal bar which uses natural crystal or mineral salts to form a barrier, preventing sweat from interacting with the bacteria on the skin. The sweat is then washed away through normal washing. Crystal bars are cost effective in that they usually last up to a year or so. And they are dry, which means the application is not sticky and there is no staining of clothes.
Being gentle with your body in the following ways will also reduce the likelihood of body odour and keep you smelling sweet.
Watch what you wear. Your body loves to breathe and will be happiest in natural fibres which, as well as being comfortable, soft to touch and long lasting, take sweat away from the body by absorption, thus interrupting the process which causes body odour.
Eat clean and green. When it comes to diet, everyone is different and their body responds differently to the foods they ingest. There are, however, some foods that will have a high likelihood of producing sweat. For some, these may be onions, chillies and beer, or caffeine and sugars for others.
Some research has shown that eating meat may increase body odour. Emphasising vegetables and fruit in the diet rather than meats and dairy products provides for a cleaner digestive system.
Pure water is the bodys natural cleanser. It keeps the skin pores open and allows for the natural removal of sweat away from the body. Make water your drink of choice.
There will be some moments in life when we can choose to just sweat it out without causing offence to ourselves or anyone else. Have some antiperspirant and deodorant-free days and see how you feel. You may be pleasantly surprised!