Today, we’re talking sweat. Yep, you heard right! Life isn’t all glamour, peonies and new shoes (if only hey?), we all sweat yet it’s a topic you’ll rarely hear a group of gal pals discuss over brunch. What with this crazy heatwave we’ve had in the UK, it seems very on topic to delve into this area and have a bit of a chat about it. It’s one of those slightly embarrassing subjects you might not want to bring up with your boyfriend but might instead find yourself frantically googling ‘WHY DO I SMELL?’ on your iPhone. Luckily we’ve got the Ultimate Sweat Guide from the folks at Fitness Review to break it all down for us…
So let’s start with the types of sweat, did you know there are actually two different types?
No, us either.
There’s your Eccrine glands where you’ll produce sweat from your head, hands and feet and there’s also your Apocrine glands where you’ll produce it from your armpits. As humans, we actually sweat to cool down, this is our primary cooling method and it works by the water evaporating on the surface of the skin and taking the heat with it. The hotter we get, the more sweat glands kick into action thus producing more sweat. It’s a totally natural bodily function and something we certainly shouldn’t be embarrassed about!
As well as keeping us cool in the hot weather, sweating also has a secondary purpose, and that is to remove substances from our body including salts and urea. So basically, it’s kinda important…so don’t SWEAT over it.
Whilst this is all good and natural, it’s only normal for you to want to mask any unpleasant smells and keep the dampness to a minimal level for your own comfort. Here’s a fact – did you know that sweat itself doesn’t actually smell?! It’s down to the feasting bacteria which releases methane containing fatty acids, steroids and sulphurous chemicals which produce that distinctive BO smell. The bacteria multiplies at quite a rate and this is what causes the pong, so, how can you keep this to a minimum?
Firstly you could think about what you’re wearing, for example, whilst cotton feels cool it’s actually not very good at letting the sweat escape. Manmade polyester fabrics actually defuse sweat better by repelling the moisture rather than absorbing it. Who knew? As a quick fix, it’s best to stick with darker colours to avoid any sweat patches, or opt for a sleeveless top to give your pits room to breathe.
Invest a good facial mist and anti-perspirant solution! These work by blocking the ducts which produce sweat, reducing your overall level. There have been rumours regarding the safety of anti-perspirants however there is little proof to prove that they are dangerous but if you’re concerned then you could aways opt for a natural solution. These could be corn-starch based ointments, charcoal, witch hazel and so on. You can usually pick these up in stores such as Holland & Barrett or online.
Armpit shaving is also an important factor, as this will allow your armpits to keep cooler allow the sweat to move away faster. Shower daily and try and remember to pick your razor up too!
Your food and drink also contribute to your sweat and smell levels. If your diet includes high processed sugar levels, trans fats, preservatives, flavour enhancers and other unnatural substances then your sweat glands will be working overtime to get rid of these, hence, you will sweat even more! Work towards reducing ready meals, fast food, sugary drinks and chocolate for healthier, happier sweat glands!
If you’re struggling with the sweat this summer, we hope these top tips will help you to feel comfortable and cool!
View the original Ultimate Guide to Sweat for more interesting facts and tips.