a woman showing her underarms

Sweating isn’t a bad thing — it’s your body’s natural way of regulating your temperature and removing toxins from within. However, it may be a cause of concern if you have an active lifestyle, especially when it begins to cause an unpleasant smell. If you love hitting the gym or going out to play sports and are looking for a body odor solution to prevent embarrassing situations, here’s what you need to know!

What Causes Body Odor?

It’s a common misconception that sweat alone is the root of body odor. This isn’t the case at all. Your body is covered in sweat glands that help regulate your temperature. These glands are divided into two types: eccrine glands — which cover most of the body — and apocrine glands — which open into hair follicles leading to the surface of the skin. These are commonly found on your scalp, armpits, and groin.

When your body temperature rises from exercise, your eccrine glands produce sweat to keep you cool. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, work primarily under stress — releasing odorless fluids that don’t begin to smell until the bacteria that live on your skin break it down.

What Can You Do to Prevent Body Odor?

There are a few easy solutions you can do to stay away from an unpleasant smell.

Keep yourself dry.

Invest in quality moisture-wicking activewear to keep you dry.

Staying dry helps keep odor at bay, as it is harder for bacteria to breed on dry skin. If you work out often, it’s a good idea to invest in quality moisture-wicking activewear. These kinds of fabrics pull sweat away from the skin, allowing it to quickly evaporate and keep you comfortable and dry as you exercise. Having a small towel on hand during your fitness exercise can help minimize the amount of sweat and bacteria that linger, too.

Wash regularly with antibacterial soap.

Since body odor is caused by bacteria, have a reliable antibacterial soap in your toiletry kit to help eliminate it. Remember: always wash up after your workout! Washing regularly with antibacterial soap, even on your rest days, will help you stay clean and fresh.

Use a deodorant that best suits your needs.

Before working out and after showering, use a deodorant that works for you. If you prefer roll-on deodorants, go for Rexona’s Powder Dry Roll-On, as these come in clear formulas that don’t clump up mid-day or leave white streaks when pulling on a shirt.

If you’re looking for a spray variant that’s convenient and quick-drying, try the Dove Aerosol Original Nourished and Smooth Deodorant Spray. Not only does this prevent excess sweating but it also eliminates bacteria that may cause unpleasant odors.

Launder workout clothes after each session.

It’s important to wash clothes that have been in contact with sweat before wearing them again. This helps prevent bacteria from harboring on your clothes. A good laundry tip, which doubles as a body odor solution, is to air out your sweaty workout clothes before washing them so that the smell doesn’t linger!

Don't forget your hair.

Body odor isn't limited to your body. Like your underarms and groin, your scalp is also sweat-glands central. In the same way as in your other body parts, when perspiration mixes with bacteria on your scalp, a not-so-pleasant smell is produced. Moreover, hair tends to trap dirt and other debris, which may make that odor worse.

Freshen up with Love Beauty and Planet Radical Refresher Shampoo. It gently cleanses your scalp and hair. Plus, the woody, citrusy notes from the vetiver make your head feel refreshed and your mood invigorated.

Have a balanced diet.

Eating healthy helps neutralize your scent.

Aside from practicing good grooming habits, you need to take into consideration what you eat because certain kinds of food can affect how you smell. For example — onions, garlic, and curry can be carried into your sweat. Vegetables that are high in sulfur, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale may also have an impact on your scent, as these fibrous vegetables don’t get digested right away and create hydrogen sulfide — known to produce an unpleasant, egg-like smell.

While you don’t need to stop eating these kinds of food, it's essential to have a balanced diet. Make sure your meals include healthy fruits and vegetables to help neutralize your scent!

Let these easy body odor solution tips allow you to confidently and comfortably work out or play sports more often. Got a gym buddy or teammate who might appreciate this article? Share it with them!