Research shows that we can smell over a trillion different scents, from flowers and coffee to dung and sewage.
Unfortunately, one of the things we become nose blind to, is ourselves. Having smelt our own body for years the receptors in the nose shut down and we can’t tell if we smell of roses or something far worse!
How does body odour form?
Most people think of sweat as having a smell but in fact it’s the bacteria that live in sweaty areas of the body that cause a smell. When we sweat, the bacteria break down proteins into acids and it’s this by–product that smells.
Odour is also dependent on where it comes from, and which sweat gland in particular. We have two types of sweat glands eccrine and apocrine glands.
These are found over the lower layer of your skin called the dermis. They help to cool the skin by squeezing sweat directly to the surface, allowing it to cool and regulate body temperature.
Composed mainly of salt and electrolytes these glands lack the fats and other compounds that can smell when broken down by bacteria. Therefore, are less likely to produce a smell.
These release sweat into hair follicles and act when you are hot or under stress. They are found mainly in the armpits, groin and pubic areas.
They become active during puberty and the sweat produced is high in fats which bacteria love to act on and are therefore responsible for most cases of body odour.
Why do we develop body odour?
Certain factors make it more likely for us to have body odour. These often include:
- Being overweight: Having excess skin means more places for sweat to hide, this is great for bacteria to collate and produce body odour.
- Feeling stressed: Stress causes the apocrine glands to start working, which in turn produce sweat that can turn smelly
- Spicy foods: The smell from spicy foods can enter the sweat glands, making the body odour seem worse.
- Medical conditions: Some conditions alter your body's normal scent. Diabetes, kidney problems and liver disease can change the body odour and, in some cases, a change in odour can indicate a serious medical problem.
- Genetics: Some people are just more prone to body odour than others.
- Menopause: May also cause an increase in sweat. And some people just naturally sweat more than others.
How to prevent body odour
- Personal hygiene - keeping skin clean, especially in sweat forming areas such as armpits and groin.
- Regularly wash clothing.
- Wear clothing that allows your skin to breathe.
- Reduce stress levels.
- Try removing spicy or strong-smelling food from your diet.
- Drink wheatgrass juice - high in chlorophyll, wheatgrass is a natural internal deodorant.
However, before getting rid of or masking body odour altogether, scientists have found some very interesting reasons as to why we have it in the first place.
It's thought that body odour affects relationships and how we perceive people. Research has shown smell can be attributed to attraction and even relationship breakdown, so it's an important consideration when buying your deodorant!
There are also hints that body odour doesn’t just influence romantic relationships, but platonic ones, too. Earlier this summer, a study by Noam Sobel at the Weizmann Institute in Israel reported that people who became friends with each other quickly have similar body odour prints.
But back to our original question of, do you smell? If you really want to smell yourself or your home, try having a coffee. This string single scent gives your nose a break from what it has been smelling all day, i.e. you.
That’s why perfume shops often have coffee beans in the draw, to enable you to smell different scents after each other.
To add to your healthcare routine, why not try one of our superfood juices? Brimming with nutrients and vitamins they give you a boost to get through the day.
To order yours visit our shop now.