Boys Smell More… Is it true?

Boys Smell More… Is it true?

Do men tend to smell worse? This is a topic that often comes up from my women-run team at the kaia HQ. A few of them have asked me how to help their dads or boyfriends, and I quote them, “Not smell so bad.”

Why is it that many of us women deem men as the “stinkier” gender? Turns out, there are a few factors that put men on the smellier side and its not necessarily related to grooming.


Photo by Andi Wiskey.


Genetically speaking, a lot of men have more body hair than women. As hair is porous, it can easily trap odors and odor-causing bacteria. Have you ever sat by a campfire and found your hair smells like it shortly after? I still remember as a kid coming home from a campfire and waking up the next day with my hair still smelling like it.

Body hair can also trap moisture, especially with armpit hair. As it is in an enclosed area, it can trap more moisture and prevent sweat from evaporating, creating the perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive (sweat + bacteria = odor)

Therefore, a lot of men tend to say they feel drier and not as smelly when they’ve shaved.


Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius.


Unfortunately, men were genetically made up to have smellier armpits than women. Men typically have more ‘corynebacteria’ – the smelly bacteria, in their armpits than women do. Why? Men have thicker skin in their armpits and sweat more fatty  substances, which is the perfect recipe for corynebacteria to breed. So actually yes, boys do smell.


I hate having to describe the smell of a man after one of my favourite foods in the entire world….. CHEESE.   It has been found through studies that male sweat tends to smells “cheesy” because they have more of the molecule called, 3-hydroxy-3-methylhexanoic acid. On the other hand, Female sweat tends to smell oniony because they have more of the molecule 3-methyl-3-sulfanylhexan-1-ol. Both males and females have these two types of molecules that make our bodies sweat,  however they’re not present in equal amounts.

After mentioning this tidbit to the team last week, one of the girls today mentioned she actually could smell the “cheesy” sweat smell after she was stuck in a crowded subway between some sweaty guys.

Do you find the men in your life sweat a “CHEESY” smell? Let me know!


Photo by Andrew Neel.


If the men in your life are experiencing body odor, here are some tips that may help.

1. Shave

As body hair can trap odors, moisture and bacteria, removing the hair can help reduce odor and help them feel drier.

2. Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics

It was even found that odor-causing Micrococci bacteria grows better on synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon. Choose natural, breathable fabrics like cotton.

3. Cleanse skin with antibacterial soap

It’s important to prime odorous areas of your body like the underarms by removing odor-causing bacteria. Look for ingredients like apple cider vinegar and sodium like the kaia naturalsthe underarm bar which eliminates bacteria on the skin and creates an inhospitable environment for odor-causing bacteria to grow.


4. Choose a cleaner diet

Eating processed, sugary foods can also cause body odor because these types of food lack chlorophyll, the compound that gives green vegetables their color. Chlorophyll is known for cleaning and deodorizing the blood, so foods that lack this compound will be more likely to cause the body to smell.

Why Sunscreen is The Best… Yet Caution is Required

Why Sunscreen is The Best… Yet Caution is Required

If someone asks what my desert island product is? It would definitely be SUNSCREEN. Ask any dermatologist and they’d tell you to ALWAYS wear sunscreen 365 days a year if you want healthy, young looking skin. More importantly, wearing sunscreen will help protect us from skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, which is why you should wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy and raining outside. Sunscreen is a must-have for both beauty and health…but is it actually healthy for us? Like some deodorants, some sunscreens are actually toxic. Today, I’m decoding the difference between natural (mineral-based sunscreens) and chemical-based sunscreens.


why you need sunscreen - kaia naturals

Photo by lack of color.



There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and mineral. If you’re short on time and can’t be bothered with reading the details, just remember chemical = problem and mineral = better choice.  Here’s why: Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the UV rays from the sun, converting them into heat, and then releasing the heat from our bodies. They usually contain a combination of these chemicals: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.

Although there are many other suspicious ingredients found in sunscreens, the one I’d like to focus on is OXYBENZONE.



Our skin absorbs oxybenzone like a SPONGE. A study from the EWG illustrated how sensitive our skin is to oxybenzone. Participants in the study who used chemical sunscreen had higher levels of oxybenzone in their bodies than those who did not. An even more interesting study showed correlations between eliminating usage of products containing oxybenzone and significantly lower oxybenzone levels in the body.



Oxybenzone is classified as an ENDOCRINE (hormone) DISRUPTOR. Endocrine disruptors alter the hormone levels in your body and are thought to lead to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects. Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel in your body and are responsible  for coordinating complex processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. They can influence the function of the immune system, and even alter behavior. More importantly, endocrine disruptors  have been linked to lowered fertility and an increased incidence of endometriosis and some cancers.  For reference, parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances are also all known endocrine disruptors.


sunscreen - kaia naturals

Photo by the Linda Edit.



Oxybenzone doesn’t just affect you because if you’re pregnant it can impact the health of your baby too. Studies have shown significant relations between oxybenzone exposure in pregnant women, shorter pregnancy terms and lower birth weights in newborn males. A study conducted by American Academy of Pediatrics in 2006 found that infants with moderately low birth weights were significantly more likely to have a special health care need, chronic condition (diabetes, heart disease, etc), learning disability, and/or attention-deficit disorder (ADD) or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder(ADHD).

Oxybenzone not only affects your baby during pregnancy but can continue to affect them after they are born through breast milk. Margaret Schlumpf of the University of Zurich detected oxybenzone in Swiss women’s breast milk, which suggests that newborns may be exposed to these substances (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010).



In a study conducted on American children, researchers found that adolescent boys with higher oxybenzone measurements had significantly lower testosterone levels (Scinicariello 2016). Lower levels of testosterone has been linked to low energy levels, hair loss/male pattern balding, increased body fat, and lowered sex drive.


oxybenzone and coral reefs sunscreen - kaia naturals

Photo by Catrin Johnson.



When we swim in the ocean with chemical sunscreen on, oxybenzone enters into the water and gets ingested by corals. Oxybenzone has been found to decrease the coral’s defenses against bleaching and disrupts it’s reproduction and growth cycles.

In 2018, Hawaii passed a bill banning sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in efforts to help protect their marine life and coral reefs.



The FDA says the only sunscreen ingredients that they know for certain are safe are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, also known as the two main active ingredients found in mineral sunscreens. They work by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting the sun’s rays. Mineral sunscreens that use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are also coral-reef safe, as their particle sizes are much bigger than oxybenzone and cannot be ingested by corals.

Because mineral sunscreen doesn’t penetrate the skin, its only real downside is the trademark white cast sunscreen is famous for. But hey, I’d rather look like a ghost on the beach knowing my skin is protected.



Look for tinted mineral sunscreens or apply sunscreen underneath your makeup.


A lot of natural sunscreens use coconut oil which can leave your skin looking and feeling greasy. It’s also not ideal to use coconut oil on acne-prone skin as it can clog your pores, so look for coconut oil-free natural sunscreens.


Do you have a favourite mineral sunscreen? Share your recommendations below!

Am I Losing Hair Because Of My Dry Shampoo?

Am I Losing Hair Because Of My Dry Shampoo?

Many of us probably still remember that post that went viral on Facebook a few years ago that immediately shook the dry shampoo world! A woman from the UK had posted a photo of her bald patch on her head blaming her aerosol dry shampoo. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just google ‘dry shampoo horror story’ and you’ll see.

I remember the girls at the office and even my friends were all talking about it and trying to scare each other off from using dry shampoos ever again (it lasted for a short while, I know a lot of them still use dry shampoo today).


The Controversy

Is it true? Can dry shampoo cause hair loss?

Depending on how you treat your scalp, oh for sure it can definitely be a factor and cause many scalp issues.  What I found was that many consumers are not really aware of how to properly use dry shampoo. I’ve heard horror stories of women using dry shampoo for 2 weeks straight, skipping shampoo the entire time and I silently squealed in horror. My silent squealing wasn’t from the fact they haven’t washed their hair, but because I was just imagining the amount of product buildup and their poor suffocating hair follicles!


Dry Shampoo is not intended to be a replacement for shampoo & water:

Here’s what you NEED to know if you use dry shampoo: if you’re spraying product and powders near your scalp, you must wash it out! Not 2 weeks later but one to two days later at the most. You don’t want to suffocate the hair follicle which can lead to dry brittle hair and possibly hair loss.


Dry Shampoo vs. Regular Shampoo: What You Need to Know

People assume that dry shampoo and regular shampoo are synonymous but each has a specific function. While regular shampoo works to clean your hair by REMOVING dirt and oil, dry shampoo works by ABSORBING OIL and refreshing your. Dry shampoo should NOT be used as a substitute to regular shampoo (ie. if you usually wash your hair 2x a week, you can’t wash your hair 1x and use dry shampoo and count that as 2 washes). The problem becomes when the dry shampoo powder + dirt + oil sits on your scalp for too long (longer than a day). This build-up not only irritates your scalp but it also clogs your hair follicles, suffocating and weakening the hair roots which can lead to hair loss and stunt hair growth.


extend hair wash with dry shampoo - kaia naturals

Photo by Matthew Henry.


How to Extend Your Hair Wash Schedule

Listen, it’s 2019 and women are busier than ever juggling their careers, side projects, families, and everything else life brings. So believe me, I hear you when you say “Mary, I don’t have 30 mins in the morning to wash, dry and style my hair”. That’s when dry shampoo comes into the picture and can help prolong the days between your shampoos. For example, if you usually wash your hair on Mondays and Thursdays, you can use dry shampoo on Thursday and shampoo on Friday. Read more on how to extend your hair wash cycle here.


Tips to Know When Using Dry Shampoo

The rule of thumb should be, you use dry shampoo on the day or day before you plan on shampooing your hair. This will prevent product build-up and hair loss.

1. AVOID synthetic, aerosol based dry shampoos as these can have synthetic ingredients and fragrances that can increase the amount of scalp irritation and hair damage.

2. Use a NATURAL dry shampoo to avoid irritation. Use as needed.

3. Use dry shampoo to extend your hair wash schedule by 1 DAY not 1 week. For most people this means washing your hair every 2-3 days. Also use a diy clarifying natural shampoo to ensure you remove all the build up every time you wash.

4. I would even recommended doing a weekly scalp scrub to really make sure your hair follicles are free of product.


Using dry shampoo is the best time-saver and is a great way to help train your hair to need less washing, however just make sure you’re using it correctly and not causing product build-up at the roots!

shop dry shampoo