Most people love the summer, and what's not to love? Blue skies, warm sunshine, the birds singing, sultry nights..... This all sounds idyllic, right? Not necessarily! When temperatures soar our bodies can go into meltdown mode and it becomes harder to cope with the sweltering heat and humidity. Staying fresh when the weather is blisteringly hot can present some real challenges, but here are five simple ways to keep clean and sweet smelling so you can avoid becoming “not so fresh” or, god forbid, stinky!!
- Get clean! Sweat is the body's most convenient way of keeping cool, but when temperatures soar there are around 2.5 million sweat glands acting as tiny air-conditioners to help in maintaining the body's homeostatic balance. Sweat is actually odorless, but when left for extended periods of time on the skin, it is broken down by the bacteria that normally live there which feed on it. Chemicals are released which then cause a nasty smell! Some areas of the skin, such as the genital area and armpits, can get smellier because these glands produce oily substances and proteins that the bacteria love to feast on. On other areas of the body sweat is mainly salty water which the bacteria don't find anywhere near as appealing. By having a shower or bath at least once a day you can avoid sweat building up that makes you smell stale and musty.
- Use tepid or warm water rather than water that is hot. Hot water dries the skin so a cooler shower or bath is much kinder to the skin and it also helps to cool your body down. Washing with a PH balanced shower gel, or a gentle, moisturizing soap, will also help keep your skin soft and healthy.
- Feet often produce a very recognizable odor! We tend to wrap them in socks and shoes, making them hot and humid and allowing fungi, as well as bacteria, to thrive. Feet should be washed regularly, dried thoroughly, particularly between the toes, and treated with an anti-fungal powder, if necessary. Whenever possible, avoid wearing closed, sweaty shoes such as sneakers; instead wear fresh cotton socks or keep feet bare in open sandals as often as possible. If you must wear sneakers, however, don’t wear the same pair every day. You should alternate your sneakers from one day to the next, giving the sweat time to dry out so the smell does not build up. Also, pedicures are a great way to keep your feet free of calluses and dry skin that is cracked and porous and can retain odor. Keep in mind that pedicures are not just for women; men have feet that need attention too.
- Use a good antiperspirant or deodorant. When buying products to handle perspiration knowing their function is a must. Antiperspirants stop the sweat from leaving the skin by blocking the pores while deodorants destroy the bacteria when sweat leaves the body. Furthermore, you should be aware that conventional antiperspirants contain aluminum, a metal that has been linked to Alzheimer’s and cancer when found in high doses. It can also irritate the skin, or clog the sweat glands, causing a nasty lump under your armpit. Some antiperspirants contain high concentrations of aluminum salts, perhaps using the “more-is-better” approach. These salts are quite acidic and can exacerbate razor burn and even contribute to the development of underarm acne. For this reason, antiperspirants which are free from aluminum, or a deodorant, would be a safer and just as effective option.
- Getting a professional facial is a wonderful way to rid the face of excess oils and impurities brought on by hot, humid weather and the sweat that results! A facial is a treatment for the face that is meant to cleanse, firm, smooth and moisturize the skin. Many people swear by facials not only to feel relaxed and pampered, but also as a means for making their skin healthier and cleaner. There are many reasons to get a facial. Facials are deep cleansing treatments applied to the face that are designed to eliminate clogged pores, blackheads, or any other impurities that may be affecting the appearance and the overall health of our skin.