Sunday, July 21, 2013

Do You Smell?

Have you ever felt the need to smell yourself because you thought you had a body odor or an unappealing stench?  This question has been coming up recently in my conversations with friends.  There are days when I go to the gym and I feel the need to smell myself because of how much I was sweating.  Even though I don't smell, I have a paranoia that I may smell unclean to others around me whenever I sweat (especially during these very hot summer days).  Luckily, constant showering and good hygiene keep the odors at bay.  I have also found an AMAZING deodorant that works wonders and lasts up to 48 hours to keep me nice and dry, even on the hottest days.

The body works in mysterious ways.  It adapts to any sort of environmental, physical, social, or emotional change to keep homeostasis (or equilibrium).  The main cause of body odor can be from bacterial activity and secretions from the apocrine glands (sweat glands) within the skin.  An increase of secretions can mix with the normal bacterial flora, causing fermentation that emits an odor from your body.  On top of that, these secretions can also mix with sweat, which contains salts and urea, to further cause an odor to form.  For you science nerds, the bacteria that causes most of the smells from your body is Staphylococcus epidermidis.  Yummy, right?  This buildup is exactly why everyone needs to shower at least once a day.

Bacteria, however, isn't the only factor to cause an unappealing smell from the underarms (or the rest of the body).  The foods you eat can also affect your smell.  Your body can be greatly affected by food, and not just through the digestive tract.  For example, if someone decides to eat a lot of garlic, that garlic scent will penetrate through the skin and emit the smell through your pores.  The smell of garlic is strong enough to run throughout your body and exit through the skin.  Other factors include the use (or no use) of a deodorant with strong perfumes topically applied, which may react to your skin in various ways.  Genetics, race, and even the type of earwax you secrete can even determine if you are more susceptible to having body odor or not.  Don't you love science?

Most deodorants have the active ingredients known as aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrate and aluminum chlorohydrate that plug the sweat glands and dry them, creating an antiperspirant.  To put this all simply, deodorants don't make you stink, as long as there aren't many additives in it.  There are even some very natural deodorants around if you know where to look.  One of which is "Tawas," which is a natural salt deposit found in the Philippines containing the main compound of potassium aluminum (seeing a pattern in ingredients yet?).  This salt has the ability to kill bacteria.  All you have to do is take the Tawas crystal, wet it, and rub it wherever you see fit to eliminate any smells.  I've actually used this before and it works.

If you're looking for something a little more available, you can go to any supermarket and pick up a decent antiperspirant containing any of the ingredients I've previously mentioned and use that.  I'm a fan of the gel or roller ball deodorants because I feel the solids are never as invisible as they say they are.  Thus, they leave this horrible white residue underneath your arms, which may look like cottage cheese once you perspire.  It may also get on your clothes if you aren't careful.  These deodorants come in all colors, shapes, and sizes, so it may take you a few tries to find out which one is for you.

My deodorant is actually from Mexico.  I stumbled upon it a few years ago when I took my first trip to Cancun and I fell in love with it.  It's called Garnier Bi-O, which can probably only be found in Mexico (NOTE:  the website is in Spanish).  This deodorant works wonders on the skin and keeps you very dry.  The guarantee for 48 hours really holds true for this product in particular.  They come in many different scents and strengths.  The one on the left shows a clarifying deodorant, which contains lemon extract to even out the pH of your skin and to remove the bacteria growing underneath.  Some other variations include extra strength, stress reduction, relax, and invisible.  This deodorant in particular doesn't contain those extra fragrances to make you smell one way, which is a big PLUS in my book.  I'd rather smell fresh and clean than chemically altered to make one THINK you smell better than you do.  I want my odor to be eliminated, not masked (not that I smell).

If you know someone going to Mexico, have them pick up one of these for you because they will work wonders.  If any of you know where to find this online as well, please let me know!  I'll be looking to purchase more once my supply runs out.  You can also find out which one will do the job.  Sometimes, women use men's deodorants because they are much stronger .  This is because of the genetic makeup of a man compared to a woman.  They have larger apocrine glands, which produce more sweat.  They also are hormonally driven, causing quicker changes within the body.  If you don't want to smell like a man, you can always do the more organic and natural way.  Let me know what will work for you and I hope this helps you on your quest to being dry on your sweatiest days!  Enjoy and see you next time!

DISCLAIMER:  I was in no way endorsed by any of the products I've mentioned in this post.  These are my thoughts alone and no one else's.

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