I know you have been there. I know that there was a time in your life where you put on a cute polyester-made dress or top, for a night out, or on a date, and though you started off smelling so fresh and so clean, two hours later you reeked of a fine mix of chemicals and your body odor. Well, you are not alone. I have been there too. Polyester isn’t the only fabric I have had issues with, though. So far, all of the synthetics have caused problems with holding body odor to a certain degree, but they have all been much more manageable than polyester.
These days when I go shopping for new clothes, I make it a point to check the tags to see what fibers make up the clothing. Unfortunately, 90% of the time, if it says “Polyester,” I will put it back on the rack, even if the item is super cute, as this is not my favorite type of fabric. I do buy this fabric here and there, just not the majority of the time. If it is a polyester-blend, I would think twice about it, but have been known to buy a blend here and there. I simply detest the fact that this type of fabric isn’t breathable and makes one stink. I recently came across a study, check it out here, where they discovered why polyester T-shirts smelled significantly worse than that of cotton shirts. The study was ran on T-shirts (a mix of cotton, polyester, and synthetic blends) that were used during an intense spinning session and found that synthetics have their own special bacteria called Micrococcus, that live on these type of fibers.
According to the study, there was a significant amount of this bacteria found on polyester, much more than on other synthetics and blends. This type of bacteria feed off of your sweat, and produce a bad odor. So, what can we do about this problem? For some reason, I don’t think the fashion industry cares about solving this issue. Maybe a few companies do, but what about the rest? In the study I mentioned above, I read that the conductors of the study hope that their findings will help the industry to make changes to the design of synthetic fabric. The hope is that they can produce clothing that does not give off a bad odor. I hope the same and I hope that it can be done in an environmentally healthy way, as well as a non-toxic way for us humans. Unfortunately, I foresee polyester and synthetic blends in our future and I think that we should take steps to help with the odor in the meantime, until a better fabric comes along. I have been experimenting and have discovered a method that works for me in reducing the smells that I would like to share with you. This isn’t a miracle method, but it works for me. Don’t worry, you will not need to buy a special, $200 machine for this.
What you will need can be found in a supermarket or discount store. I do the following:
1. I spend a few dollars on an exfoliating facial sponge, like the one below, and use this to scrub my armpits.
I use this exfoliating sponge every day. I add a bit of body wash to it, and I scrub my armpits with it until there is no more deodorant left, feels smooth, and look clean. I do not use this scrub anywhere else on my body, and you will have to get rid of it after several uses. I personally like for my scrub to be a bit rough, but there are other facial sponges out there that are a little softer for those with a bit more sensitive skin. This method has three benefits, it gets rid of the layer of deodorant, it gets rid of dead skin cells through exfoliation, and eventually it helps with that dark stain that some of us get, which is an added bonus (especially during the summer).
Something else that I do is avoid putting deodorant on at night. If I shower in the evening and have just scrubbed off all of the deodorant and dead skin, I don’t want to add a fresh layer of deodorant so it can just sit there the entire night clogging my pores. You won’t have a need for it. Your armpits are likely not going to stink, unless you are more prone to sweating and in which case, the choice is yours. Though, I may recommend giving it a chance at least once to see if you do end up with a bad odor.
2. I use an unscented deodorant. Regarding the deodorant, I use Secret’s Unscented deodorant. Before applying it, I make sure my armpits are completely dry to avoid adding a layer of deodorant to already damp armpits. I have chosen to go this route because in the past, I noticed that the scented deodorants always smelled bad on me and on my clothes after a few hours (even on natural fabrics). Think about it, what an unhealthy mix of fragrance, bacteria, and sweat. Using unscented deodorant has been a life saver. Why try to mask your body odor with an ingredient that is just going to make matters worse?
These two simple steps have helped me tremendously. So, by ridding the armpit of the deodorant (nightly), the freshest layer of dead skin, and by switching out a deodorant containing fragrance to an unscented one, those are three less ingredients to add to the foul odor recipe. I know every body is different and that diets and lifestyle will obviously affect the outcome, but it is worth a shot. It worked for me! I feel much more comfortable wearing synthetic fabric these days. I plan to experiment in the future with natural deodorants that you can make, but until I find one that is effective, this is what I will be doing. Let me know if you have tried this in the comments below and if it worked for you or not.
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