Let’s face it. Most men don’t smell the greatest. That could be for many different reasons, such as bad hygiene, a health issue, or putting on too much AXE body spray for your own damn good. It’s not that it’s necessarily hard to smell nice—we just don’t give it much thought. You may not notice it, but I can assure you, others do.
I will highlight the main reasons why people smell bad, and share several tried-and-true methods to getting rid of that stench for good. Trust me. The people around you will thank you for it.
What’s the main culprit of bad smell?
Bacteria. Contrary to popular belief, sweat doesn’t have an odor. It’s when bacteria metabolize our sweat for all its juicy proteins and fatty acids that the odor is produced. This is why the smelliest parts of our body are our feet, genitals, and armpits because they are covered up the most. This makes it hard for the sweat to evaporate, allowing bacteria to thrive in these conditions.
What does this mean and what can you do about it?
You might be sitting here confused. How can we stop these microscopic organisms from causing social suicide? It’s actually not that complicated.
Let me explain.
Since bacteria are the reason why we smell bad, we can either reduce the amount of sweat or reduce the growth of bacteria on our skin that may lead to skin problems. This leads me to my first method to smelling good—taking care of your personal hygiene.
1. Shower and Brush Your Teeth
You might be thinking this is common sense, which it is, but many people think they can get away with skipping showers or not brushing their teeth. Bacteria grow at an exponential rate, so it’s easy to understand why your sweat would smell worse if you have poor personal hygiene. Consider that the next time you think about not showering after the gym.
2. Stop Stressing Out
The sweat that you produce when you’re under stress is different than the sweat produced when you exercise. Most of stress-related sweat is produced by a specific type of sweat glands called the apocrine glands. They are larger in size compared to the eccrine glands that produce sweat all over your body during physical activity.
The sweat from the apocrine glands is thicker, which takes longer to evaporate. In combination with the fact that it also contains more proteins and fatty acids, this results in an odor much stronger than when you work out.
The thought of us having a foul body odor can cause anxiety to some. So the next time you get stressed about it, just remember—you’re making it worse.
3. Wear Clothes Made of Natural Fibers
Clothes made of synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and spandex are tougher and last longer than ones made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton, and cashmere. But, unlike natural fibers, they don’t allow your skin to breathe. This traps moisture in, preventing it from evaporating, which creates favorable conditions for bacteria. Try to wear clothes only made of natural fibers, or at least ones that consist of an 80/20 mix.
4. Get Routine Medical Check-Ups
Some health conditions can cause odors from your body. Whether you have bad breath or your body odor is excessive, it may be time to see your doctor.
For example, fruity breath may be a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis, where fat is broken down into ketones so fast that it makes your blood acidic. This is a potentially fatal problem for people with diabetes, so consult your doctor immediately if you notice this symptom.
5. Watch Your Diet
Have you heard of choline? Probably not, so let me tell you about it. It’s a nutrient that can be found in most foods. The tricky part about it is that it can cause muscle and liver damage if you don’t get enough of it, and it can cause a fishy body odor if you get too much of it. Luckily, your choline levels would need to drop excessively low for that to happen.
6. Check If Your Cologne Expired
Yes, it’s true. Your cologne can and will go bad. It’s not going to have an expiration date stamped on the bottle, but the scent will be either less potent or it will smell different. It may even smell like vinegar, which in that case, it’s time to throw it away. Unfortunately, this is pretty much the only way to tell if your cologne bottle has expired, but it’s safe to assume that most cologne are good for about 3-5 years.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
There is an extensive list of health problems you will face if you don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Dehydration causes your body to sweat more in order to reabsorb it to stay hydrated. And as mentioned before, this creates the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria to grow.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial, not only to combat diseases and infections, but to smell good too. So if you notice your body smells funkier than usual, give some of these tips a try. You might realize that smelling good is no sweat.