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The best way to smell good in summer

Sunday, May 17, 2020 17:00 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, May 17, 2020 11:31 [IST]

The best way to smell good in summer

Shahnaz Husain
This time of year, people can get a little smelly. Heavy sweating and body odour happen to both men and women to almost the same extent. Unpleasant sweating in peak summer season is a major cause of embarrassment.  For people who live in warmer climates, this problem of excessive sweating is the common year-round, however moist, volatile environment” of summer season makes smells more detectable rather than a change in the smell itself.
Body odour or bromhidrosis is a major concern for both men and women during the summer season when scorching heat causes excessive sweating. Summer stink affects is caused by apocrine, a thicker sweat substance that is produced by glands in the underarm, groin, hairy areas of our body, and produces pheromones, an aromatic chemical due to excessive heat in the atmosphere. But the sweat itself is not responsible for the bad smell that we call body/hair odour. Body/hair odour is caused by the millions of bacteria thriving on your skin which break down the acids in the sweat resulting in bad smell. The by-product of this unholy union causes an unpleasant pungent smell.
Scientists say odour receptors in the human nose also thrive in warmer environments while cold reduces people’s ability to detect smells. When the air is hot and humid that is when the nose operates optimally. 
Yet for many of us, body odour is something we try to get rid of with antiperspirants, deodorants, and perfumes but scientists are discovering that the smells we generate in underarms may hold important information about the types of bacteria we carry, which could lead to new and more effective ways to improve our natural health  At the same time, scientists are finding more reason to pay attention to body/hair odours; the scents we exude can contain powerful clues about our health, emotional state, and identity. Some scientists hypothesize that we each have a distinct "odour print," such as fingerprints, that could be used to verify who we are.
Bathing and scrubbing helps to clear away germs, dirt, and odour. All parts of the body must be washed well, especially the neck, armpits, and feet. These are the areas where germs accumulate and cause 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 not only natural coolants but have germicidal and antiseptic benefits.  Wear cotton underwear and clothes during the humid season. Porous materials help sweat to evaporate. Loose, light clothing is much more appropriate and comfortable during the hot season. Daily changes of clothing are, of course, a must. Avoid wearing polyester, which harbours sweat and bacteria, creating an unpleasant odour. 
The use of antiperspirants and deodorants do help. Most deodorants are also antiperspirants. A spray, rather than the roll-on deodorants may be more suitable in summer, but this is a matter of personal choice. However, be sure to choose a mild deodorant, as strong built-in antiperspirants 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. They absorb perspiration and maintain freshness for some time.
Climate also 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 hot weather. A heavy perfume can be quite overpowering. Lemon, rose, lavender or sandalwood are light and refreshing during hot weather.
Here are some tips for preventing body odour:
Be generous with the use of colognes, even splashing them on. Colognes and Eau de Toilette constitute mainly water, or a mixture of alcohol and water, with only 2 to 5 % perfume. They are lighter and leave a light lingering fragrance.
Colognes can be added to bathwater. 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. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it under the arms. You can also add lemon juice to this paste. Leave on for ten 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 also add one teaspoon alum to your bathwater. Crush some mint leaves and add them too.
Rosewater can always be added generously to bath water. It is a natural coolant and also fragrant.
Add 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil to two tablespoons of water or rose water. Apply this under the arms with cotton wool.
To remove odour from the hair, add the juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use as a last rinse. In order to tackle hair odour , always remember that good wash removes dirt and oil from your scalp, which can otherwise leave your head smelling.    Concentrate the shampoo on your scalp and get it really clean before moving to the rest of your hair.
For excessive perspiration (which can result in body odour), Ayurveda gives some dietary suggestions:
Doctors suggest that genetics and what you eat can also influence the way your body smells. 
Sip “nimbupaani.” Sip 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. Light diet and less spices are advised. Eat smaller meals after short intervals. Avoid strong-smelling garlic, broccoli,   fish, and onion-based foods. Take plenty of, coconut water, lime water, rhododendron water, fresh juices, salads, and fresh fruits, etc. Include plenty of salads and fruits in your daily diet. Green vegetables are a natural deodorizer and green salads will not only keep your skin fresh but clear it of impurities.
In some cases, bad breath, excessive sweating, or unusual odours could be a sign of an underlying condition. If you experience a sudden change in body odour, speak to a doctor.
You don’t need to be doused in designer perfume or bathe in cologne to smell good. Practicing proper hygiene habits can keep body odour at bay and leave you smelling fine. 

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi