Banish that body odour

Banish that body odour


Daisy Fresh: It’s always a good idea to carry wet tissues in your bag or briefcaseThe main problem during the hot and humid season is how to look, feel and smell fresh and we all try to gear our efforts towards staying cool and fragrant. Perspiration is the real menace during summer. It saps our energy, detracts from the cool feeling and worst of all, can lead to body odour. Actually, perspiration is the body’s natural way of cooling itself. The sweat glands in the underarm and other regions excrete sweat, which mixes with surface bacteria and decomposes fast, creating problems of odour and stained clothing. In its effort to regulate body temperature, the skin excretes more perspiration as the weather gets warmer and more humid. Body odour actually forms about six hours after we sweat. The waste matter that is secreted with sweat has to be removed by washing and bathing, in order to avoid stale odour and feel fresh. The use of deodorants, anti-perspirants, talcum powder and perfumes do help  to deal with the problem for a while.

Bathing and scrubbing help to clear away germs, dirt and odour. A bath is also soothing and relaxing and yet, it helps to refresh and revive. All parts of the body must be washed well, specially the neck, armpits and feet. These are the areas where germs accumulate and cause body odour. Adding cologne to the bath water leaves the body fragrant.

Colognes also have a cooling effect. Shower gels and body shampoos, containing natural ingredients, like sandalwood, rose and khus have a cooling and refreshing effect. They are natural coolants and also protect the body from prickly heat and other related rashes. 

Most deodorants are also anti-perspirants. A spray, rather than the roll-on deodorants, may be more suitable, but this is a matter of personal choice. However, be sure to choose a mild deodorant, as strong built-in anti-perspirants can cause skin irritation or sensitive reactions. It is always better to try them out on a small area, on the inner arm, first. If the skin tingles or burns for more than a minute, you should not use it. Some people find the use of talcum powders quite adequate. Although they do not really help hygiene, they do absorb perspiration and maintain freshness for some time. 

Staying fresh is the main problem, especially for those who have to go out of the house during the day. If you suffer from body odour, carrying a  deodorant with you is the only alternative, when you are out for long hours. Try to avoid the sun during mid-day, when the sun’s rays are direct. In fact, you should avoid sun-exposure from noon till 3 pm, when the heat is at its worst. If you have to go out, remember to use a sunscreen about 20 minutes before sun-exposure.

It is also a good idea to carry a few freshening items in your handbag or briefcase. Fragrant wet tissues are a boon. They can be used to freshen the face and neck by wiping off perspiration, dust and pollutants. Cleansing pads are also available nowadays to freshen up and provide a cool feeling. These help to remove oil and sweat deposits from the face. A small jar of talcum powder and a mild cologne would also help.

Cotton for comfort
Wear cotton clothes during the hot and humid season, as they help sweat to evaporate. Daily change of underclothes and clothes is a must, as odour tends to cling to clothes. Open sandals are also better. 

Climate plays a part in choosing the right perfume. In hot and humid conditions, it is better to go for light, lemony and fresh fragrances, rather than heavy ones. The effect of perfumes intensifies in hot and humid weather. A heavy perfume can be quite overpowering. In cold and dry weather, a heavier scent can be used. Lemon, rose, lavender or sandalwood are light and refreshing when the weather is humid. 

Here are some tips for preventing odour:
You can be generous with the use of colognes, even splashing them on. Colognes and Eau de Toilette contain mainly of water, or a  mixture of alcohol and water, with only 2 -5  per cent perfume. They are lighter and leave a light lingering fragrance.

Colognes can be added to bath water. Or, add eau de cologne to a mug of water and used as a last rinse. It has a cooling effect too.  

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) helps to prevent body odour. You can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply on areas like the underarms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with water. Or, mix a little baking soda with your talcum powder and apply under the arms, or on the feet.

* Potato slices can also be rubbed on areas where odour forms easily.  
* You can add one teaspoon alum (phitkiri) to your bath water. Crush some mint (pudina) leaves and add them too.  
* Rose water can always be added generously to bath water. It is a natural coolant.
* Add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.  
* For excessive perspiration (which can result in body odour), Ayurveda gives some dietary suggestions:  Sip nimbu paani or ginger tea before and after your meals. Chop fresh ginger root finely and mix with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this before your meal.

Sipping warm water with your meal may also help. A light diet and light spices are advised.

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