Hygiene: Feel clean, smell fresh

July 24, 2010

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Summer heat brings with it a host of skin problems like prickly heat rashes, excessive sweating, acne, pimples and sweaty body odour. Among these, body odour can be very embarrassing and troublesome, especially when you are with your friends.

But you do not have to live with this situation. By making a few changes in your lifestyle and adopting better personal hygiene, you can overcome this problem and reduce it to a great extent. So, are you ready to bid adieu to stinkiness? I bet you are!

Shower often

Sweat by itself is usually odourless but it promotes the growth of bacteria on our skin which causes us to smell. We also pick up dust, germs and odours from our environment all the time. Washing away smells with sweet smelling soap and water is the most effective way of eliminating body odour.

How often you should bathe depends upon your activity level, the time of the year and your body chemistry. Some people perspire more and hence they need to take a bath more often. Use a good, gentle shampoo to clean the scalp so that the hair does not reek of sweat.

Sweet smell

Save up your pocket money to buy some essential products in summers that fight body odour. They can range from extra sweet-scented soaps, antiperspirants, light body sprays and deodorants. You can also buy fragrant wet tissues and face wipes and keep them in your bag.

What you apply on your skin has to be washed off regularly as well. If you use antiperspirant and deodorants during the day, take a bath before going to sleep as they can clog pores and hinder your body's natural cooling process. Rose water sprays are also cheap and handy. Keep one in the refrigerator and use often for an instant freshening experience.

Water

Stay hydrated with plenty of liquids in the summers. This will keep you cool and help you to sweat less. A research has shown that constipated people smell more and water helps you to get rid of toxins from your body. Drink homemade lemonades, lassi and fresh juices to quench thirst.

Home remedies

Instead of buying lots of expensive products, try a few home remedies too. Take some gram flour (besan) and turmeric powder (haldi) and form a thick paste with a little milk or rose water. Apply it on your skin regularly before bathing and leave it on for a little while so that it dries. Then thoroughly rinse it off.

Don't forget to rub it on areas where sweat accumulates the most like underarms, neck and shoulders area. Haldi has anti-bacterial properties so it makes a great body wash during summers.

You can also add some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in your bath water to have a squeaky clean feeling. A handful of baking soda can be applied to the underarms and feet to kill bad odour. However, with such home remedies, you have to be very careful. If you experience any stinging or redness, wash away the mixture quickly and use a more diluted form next time.

Skeletons in the closet

Not unless you put them there yourself. Never mix used clothing with freshly laundered ones in your clothes closet. And never leave dirty socks tucked inside your shoes either. Change your clothes, socks and undergarments regularly and only put washed and clean ones in your closet.

Air your shoes often in summers. Dry your towels in sunlight after each use to kill germs. Damp towels left in the bathroom give a musty smell which gets stuck to your skin if you use them to wipe your face and hands.

Diet

Malodorousness is also closely linked to your diet. If you eat too much sticky, fried or oily stuff, you will perspire more as your body will struggle to keep your temperature normal. Include lots of fresh summer fruits and vegetables like watermelons, cucumbers and plums to keep your body fit, healthy and odour free.

And while we are chasing away bad body odours, let us not forget the importance of brushing our teeth twice a day. Our mouth smells more when we are thirsty and while drinking water is good for our overall health, having a fresh breath that comes with brushing teeth with good quality toothpaste is also essential for our quest for smelling fresh and sweet all day long.