Body odor is a deal breaker. Your co-workers don’t like it. Your SO (or any perspective partners) don’t like it. It’s all around bad news.
But what can you do about it?
Guys who deal with strong body odor are often frustrated with the problem. But there are some easy things you can do, like:
- Wash your clothing more often
- Talk to your doctor about stronger deodorant and antiperspirant options
Many guys arrive at this question too - Is my body hair making my body odor worse? Should I shave my armpits (or other parts)? Would that help?
What Causes Body Odor?
Before you decide what to do, consider what’s causing your body odor in the first place. The stink is coming from the bacteria that feed on your sweat. They tend to multiply in damp areas. So your body’s sweatiest nooks and crannies are perfect for BO causing bacteria.
This is why antiperspirants and deodorants work well together. The former prevent sweating. Less sweat mean less bacteria. And less bacteria means less odor. The latter masks your BO. So if you already have less sweat and add an odor masking product over that, you’re all set in most cases.
What About Shaving Your Body Hair?
Is shaving your body hair - your armpits, for example - the answer?
Researchers from the Czech Republic looked into this very question. They found only a “transient effect on perceived body odor pleasantness” from shaved armpits.
In their studies, they had men shave one armpit and leave the other all-natural. They collected scent samples from both for women to smell. After multiple experiments over the course of several weeks, they determined that “axillary hair shaving has an impact on body odor quality and intensity. However, the effect is relatively weak and was not observed in all experiments and also not when the hair was relatively short.”
So shaving might help, but it's going to be a minimal change.
Everyone Is Different
The research shows that body hair by itself is not a cause of bad body odor. But everyone is unique. Some guys report smelling better after their shave their armpits, body hair, or pubes. They feel that it makes them sweat less and smell better.
Are they wrong? Not necessarily. And what matters is how you feel and how others perceive you. So if shaving works for you, great. But don’t feel obligated to do it for scientific reasons.
If You’re Going to Shave, Do It Right
Most guys have years of experience shaving their face. But that doesn’t mean they’re doing a great job. Many men suffer from ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and itchy irritation.
Now imagine taking those problems and applying them to your chest. Or back. Or armpits. Or pubes. Not a pretty picture.
Whether it’s your face or your body, make sure you’re shaving the right way.
- To reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, use an exfoliating face scrub for men. This will removed dead skin cells and lift hairs away from the skin.
- Finally, always finish up with a calming, natural aftershave. Choose one that leaves your skin relaxed and hydrated. Never use one with alcohol - it will only dry and irritate your skin.
Win the Battle with BO
Do you struggle with severe BO? It’s not easy. But a smart approach can help.
Shaving works for some men, but isn’t guaranteed to be the right answer. If - despite your best efforts - body odor continues to be a problem, speak to your doctor.
A smart men’s grooming routine - along with the support of a medical professional - will help you overcome your struggle with body odor.