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.
THE HAIRY CULPRIT
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.
GENETICALLY… JUST SMELLIER
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.
THE CHEESE SWEAT?
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.
TIPS TO HELP THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE OUT
If the men in your life are experiencing body odor, here are some tips that may help.
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 naturals‘ the 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.