Sweat stains, body odour & deodorants
More on deodorants and sweating…
This post is actually a response to a comment on the blog Aluminium & parabens in deodorant – no thanks! and it raised an issue I have often come across – some people sweat a lot regardless of temperature and deodorant use. It can be frustrating as not much seems to help and the sweat marks on shirts can be embaressing. This question is from one of our readers:
In my experience; I sweat at lot, all the time and all year round. Generally exhausting myself, hot & humid temps, but also, oddly enough, being in quite cold air conditioning makes me sweat under the arms (which I find strange). So there is nowhere to run!
I have tried almost everything and I can’t find anything that works too well, luckily I end up smelling like the deodorant I use & I don’t pong. I am using Redwins at the moment, it is okay I guess, waiting for it to dry on my skin is sometimes inconvenient. Rexona is crap, it’s like spraying talc and breathing it in too much is not pleasant either, I’m sorry I bought it in the first place.
I am also wondering, can clothing affect the smell of your sweat? I find if I am wearing my favourite shirts, that I’ve worn quite a lot, the fabric tends to get a quite pungent stench under the arms and it’s not nice. Quality of the fabric? Pesticides from the cotton?? I am not sure. Have you heard of this before?
Thankyou for sharing your wisdom!
In response, I replied:
Sweating year round, even in airconditioning is not as uncommon as you might think. From a naturopath perspective it is generally related to sympathetic nervous system dominance and can be managed or at least minimised by supporting the parasympathetic nervous system. To do this effectively it is worth seeing a naturopath just in case there are underlying factors that are contributing to sympathetic NS dominance. In my case (yes this was a problem for me in the past) Buteko breathing helped because it pushes the body into parasympathetic drive and these days I only sweat when the weather is hot. Buteko breathing is also good for stress and low grade anxiety.
Excess sweating can also be related to electrolyte inbalances that affect the water distribution in the cells leading to too much extra-cellular fluid (water outside the cells) and not enough intracellular fluid (water inside the cells). Using quality electrolyte drinks such as Endura in moderation can assist with correct fluid balance and minimise sweating. This is particuarly important if you sweat a lot in hot weather or after exercise.
From a nutritional perspective stimulants such as coffee and sugar will make the sweating worse so having a low GI diet certainly helps. Nutrients that support the parasympathetic nervous include choline, vitamin B5 and B1. The Lemon Detox Drink is an excellent source of choline and is a good way to increase your levels.
Sweating is not necessarily linked to body odour. As with the reader above sweat doesn’t necessarily smell strong, however, over time clothes will retain a smell that is difficult to get rid of. Body odour as opposed to sweating can be related to a diet high in animal products, particularly red meat. Cleansing your system by reducing red meat, doing a detox or using chlorophyll will help signficantly reduce body odour.
With regard to your clothing, yes the materials your clothes will affect the smell. Bamboo and synthetics can be particularly bad. Hot water washing (although not as environmentally sound) for the items of clothing in particular will help. Of course wearing loose cotton clothing can also help.
Deodorants, even anti-perspirants don’t generally help a great deal. I used to just go for one that smelt nice as like you there was no smell just the sweat. That is why I love the Lavera Wild Rose Spay – it smells like Rose perfume!
If you have any personal experience, things that have worked or other questions about this or any other topic please let me know.