Do you remember those cartoon characters from your childhood that showed their stink with a green cloud surrounding them?
Or how all the girls would stay as far away from the boy’s locker room in middle school?
Maybe the face your mom would make when you got home from sports practice in high school?
All those memories have one thing in common: body odor.
While not necessarily harmful to our health, being stinky can really affect a person’s confidence, reputation, and quality of life. No one wants to be known for having a certain funk that isn’t all that pleasant or having the rumor swirl that they never shower.
We don’t want that for you, either, so we’ve got the down low on your B.O. We’re here to get you smelling good and feeling great.
First, we need to understand what body odor is. To put it in a way that doesn’t sound like a science class in school, body odor comes from bacteria breaking down proteins in your sweat, reproducing, and creating a cycle of stink. The best way to tackle odor is to attack bacteria and sweat, so we rounded up five tips for doing just that.
1. Create a shower routine.
If you can check your favorite sports team’s schedule, clear time to watch the game, prep all the food and drinks, ensure your lucky shirt is clean and ready, and sit for two hours until it ends, we have faith that you can make a shower routine.
Aiming for a shower every day is ideal, but make sure you have a designated time in your schedule for it. Whether after work, after the gym, or right before dinner or bed, getting into the habit of showering at a similar time every day is a surefire way to keep odor at bay.
2. Wash up with soap, and a powerful one at that.
Odor is caused by bacteria feasting away on your sweat. While we can’t wave a magic wand and prevent you from sweating in the first place, we can help reduce the bacteria on your skin. Soaps, particularly those with antibacterial properties, destroy the bacteria causing your stink. They also help wash away sweat and dirt from the day.
When choosing a soap, it’s important to look at the ingredients, how effective they are, and what they do to your body. As we said, antibacterial soaps are the best choice, and we recommend looking for ones with naturally occurring ingredients.
Ingredients like sulfates and parabens are often included in soaps to give it that classic lather, but they don’t actually contribute much. In fact, they can really dry out and irritate your skin. Glycerin is another common ingredient in soaps that can interact with your body in the same way.
While soaps with these ingredients can get you clean, they can harm your skin and remove helpful oils that keep your body hydrated. Why choose harsh ingredients when you can have the best of both worlds with natural soap products that will leave you clean and hydrated. That’s why people love pine tar soap or pine tar body wash. These products are powerful enough to fight off bacteria and stink, but they won’t leave your skin dry and irritated. As a bonus, they leave you with a crisp scent that makes people wonder if you just left the forest.
3. Consider shaving more than just your face.
While body hair is nothing to be ashamed of, it may be contributing to your stink problem. Body hair slows the evaporation of sweat on our skin, leaving not-so-friendly bacteria with more time to munch, creating odor. Shaving areas that sweat more, such as your armpits and groin, can help cut down on the time bacteria have to eat and multiply. That could mean a less smelly version of you.
4. Keep dry and keep cool.
Bacteria have a much easier time breeding in moist, humid environments, so the best way to harsh their vibe? Stay dry. This means toweling off super well after a shower, and we mean more than you probably are now. Pay special attention to areas that can stay damp the longest, like your armpits.
Also, we feel like this goes without saying because we’ve been told to do this since we were teens, but please, wear antiperspirant. Not just deodorant, which masks the smell you already have. Antiperspirants help reduce sweat, which reduces odor as a whole; plus, most have deodorizing ingredients in them. Some are loaded with chemicals, which we can’t recommend, but there are some great natural antiperspirant products, too.
5. Wear clean clothes…always.
Again, another one from Captain Obvious, but fellas, let’s act like adults and do our laundry. The sweat and bacteria on our body causing odor cling to the fabric on our clothes, and while they sit in the laundry basket, the bacteria are having an eating and breeding free-for-all. Don’t put bacterial day clothes back on your body; put them in the wash.
Bonus fact: Did you know that particular foods you eat can increase body odor? Spicy foods, like peppers, can make you sweat more, and aromatic foods, like onions, can carry their smells through your sweat, which can cause you to smell like that food. Cutting back on certain foods and ingredients can reduce your body odor.
We want you to be the best version of yourself, and that starts with some self-care and personal hygiene. Creating and sticking with your personal shower and laundry routines can help mitigate body odor and leave you smelling amazing. Everyone around you will thank you, and your dates and partners will love it, too.