Exciting as it was to enter puberty (for some of us, anyway), there was one part of it in particular we know you (just like us) were less than thrilled to realize we now had to deal with...
We’re talking about body odor and all the stinky joys that came with it!
Of course, puberty wouldn’t be the last time you had to deal with unpleasant odor; there are other times in your life as well when the smell seems extra bad! That time of the month, anyone? Yep, us too! And for some ladies reading this, you may be going through an extra bad bout of B.O thanks to menopause!
All this to say… our hormones play a big part in the way we perspire and the stench that we produce. You may know that the smell has nothing to do with the actual sweat; but rather the bacteria living under our armpits and how they’re reacting to the environment and the products you’re using.
In this article, we’ll tackle all the ways hormonal changes can affect you throughout the aforementioned parts of your life, and exactly how you can better manage it.
Body odor (or B.O. as commonly referred to) typically starts to affect us for the first time in our life as we enter puberty. Parents need not be alarmed if your child starts to experience underarm odor as early as the age of 7-9; and not the “tween” ages of 10-13 we typically associate with puberty. For some kids it may be later, but if it’s earlier than this, check in with your pediatrician as there may be other factors at play, including but not limited to Type-1 diabetes, or an overly greasy diet.
So, why do we start to smell under our arms as we enter puberty anyway? This all comes down to hormonal changes! During puberty, the puberty hormones stimulate the apocrine sweat glands. When kids begin to excessively sweat, the sweat mixes with the bacteria under their pits and typically lends to a foul, completely normal (albeit sometimes embarrassing) smell.
How do you help your child feel less stinky? There are a few ways you can accomplish this, none of which involve asking your child to run around outside less, of course! When they get to the age of smelling under their armpits, it should be taken as a signal to introduce daily baths or showers. In the morning before school, or in the evening before bed are both ideal times to make a routine out of cleansing. Make sure they drink plenty of water and stick to a healthy diet free from greasy foods. Keeping clean by wearing freshly washed clothing, and not staying in dirty sports clothes too long after the game helps too. Last but not least, using a deodorant at this age sets your child up to solidify a clean routine of stink-free pits. For their sensitive skin, a baking soda-free underarm stick may be the best choice!
As if all the other symptoms that come with monthly menstruation aren’t already enough, here’s another one to add to your list!
Yep, the way your body odor can definitely be affected by your fluctuating hormones around your period. Both your estrogen and progesterone are affected, making you not only more sensitive to your own smell, but also giving off varying levels of odor during your cycle. In a study conducted at Charles University in Prague, for example, scientist Jan Havlieek found that women gave off the most odor while they were bleeding during their menstrual cycle, which may mean that your body odor (especially due to higher estrogen levels) is a way your body naturally signals your fertility.
Your hormones during your menstrual period may also be playing a role in excessive sweating - which of course, when blending with the bacteria under your pits, causes body odor.
Be sure to keep your pits (and other parts of your body) clean when menstruating by bathing or showering daily, eating clean, drinking plenty of fluids. Opt for underarm deodorants, like the ones from our prebiotic range to restore balance under your armpits.
Excessively sweating after giving birth is not uncommon at all and if you are a mom and experienced this, you’re not alone! Your hormones play a role here as well! While pregnant, your body produces more fluid to help support your baby; and when he or she is born, your body’s hormones naturally fluctuate to help get rid of all this excess fluid. Yes, you guessed it, sweating is one major way your body helps get rid of the fluid (frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate being the other).
While taking care of your newborn, you want to avoid layering too many beauty products. As tempting as it may be to lather on scented lotions and odor-covering body sprays so that your baby’s first visitors won’t be totally put off… stay clear from those. Instead, use a soothing deodorant that helps you smell good for hours like our soothing care deodorants.
Something most women don’t necessarily look forward to (you’ve heard the horror stories from family members, we’re sure!) in their lifetime is menopause!
Of course, it’s assumed that the hormonal changes during peri-menopause and menopause will cause all sorts of changes in your body and you’re not wrong. You’ve heard about the hot flashes, and night sweats? Yep, all of that! What’s worse is, you can’t predict when it will happen, so you can hardly prepare for it! Keep in mind that just like during your period, and even when pregnant, your sense of smell may be heightened during menopause so you may not even be as smelly as you think you are! However, there are reasons your odor might become extra stinky during this time. One being that your digestion changes, causing elimination to become less efficient. Your body tries to make up for this by excreting toxins through your skin and under your arms. This extra bacteria mixes with your sweat, leading to a change in B.O.
Before you make plans to carry perfume wherever you go however, consider using this time to apply an underarm deodorant with detoxifying ingredients like charcoal. Also be sure to stay hydrated so that your smell is no longer that strong and concentrated.
These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any medical concern you should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Full Medical Disclaimer.
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