Fresh and fragrant

Last Updated 09 July 2010, 10:22 IST

During the monsoon, it is a challenge to stay energetic and smell nice. Body odour is a problem which many people battle. Sweat mixes with bacteria on the surface of skin, decomposes and results in BO. The waste matter that is secreted with sweat has to be removed by cleaning or bathing. The use of deodorants, anti-perspirants, talcum powder or perfumes help — to an extent — in dealing with the problem.

A bath helps to remove germs, dirt and odour. All parts of the body must be washed well, especially the neck, armpits and feet, where bacteria tend to accumulate and cause odour. Adding a few drops of cologne to your bucket of bath water leaves you feeling fresh and fragrant. Colognes have a cooling effect too. Shower gels and body shampoos, containing ingredients like sandalwood, rose or khus, also have a cooling and refreshing effect. They are natural coolants and protect the body from prickly heat. 

Powder, roll-on or deo?

Most deodorants are also anti-perspirants. A spray, rather than a roll-on deodorant, may be more suitable, but this is a matter of personal choice. However, choose a mild deodorant as strong ones with built-in anti-perspirants can cause skin irritation or rash. It is always better to try out the deodorant on your wrist first. If the skin tingles or burns for more than a minute, avoid the product. Some people find the use of talcum powders quite adequate. Talcum powder absorbs perspiration and does not create a sticky feeling.

If you suffer from body odour, carry a deodorant with you, especially when you are out for long hours. Stock your bag with wet tissues which can be used to clean your face and neck by wiping off perspiration, dust and pollutants. Cleansing pads are also available. These help to remove oil and sweat  from the face. Keep a small jar of talcum powder and a mild cologne in your bag.

Wear cotton clothes during the humid season. Open sandals are better than formal shoes or heels.

Banish that BO!

During hot and humid weather, it is better to choose a light perfume. Heavy scents can be overpowering. Lemon, rose, lavender or sandalwood are light and refreshing.
Here are some tips for preventing body odour:

*Be generous with the use of cologne while splashing it on. Colognes and Eau de Toilette are mainly made of water or a mixture of alcohol and water — with only 2 to 5  per cent perfume. They are light and leave a lingering fragrance.

*Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) helps to prevent body odour. Make a paste out of baking soda and water and apply it under your arms. You may also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash with water.

*Mix a little baking soda with your talcum powder and apply under the arms, or on the feet, especially between the toes.

Raw potato slices can also be rubbed on areas prone to sweating.

*Add 1 teaspoon of alum (phitkiri) to your bath water. Crush some mint (pudina) leaves and add them too.

*Add rose water to your bath. It is a natural coolant.

*Add 2 drops of  tea tree oil to 2 tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.

Watch what you eat

To tackle excessive perspiration, Ayurveda  experts makes a few dietary suggestions:

*Drink a lot of lemon juice.

*Sip ginger tea before and after every meal.

*Chop fresh ginger root finely and mix with a pinch of salt. Chew a little of this mixture before you eat a meal.

*Sip warm water with your meal. 

*Light food, free of heavy spices and garnishes, are best during the monsoon.

*Eat small and frequent meals.

(Published 09 July 2010, 10:20 IST)

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