Your friends may be too shy to tell you that you stink, so we’re certain you check yourself every now and then. You know, like how you check for tumors on your balls. What, you mean you don’t? Well, that’s a conversation for another day. In the meantime, let’s deal with the basics of defunking, a.k.a. smelling like a civilized gentleman should, from daybreak, to nightfall, and beyond.
Moisture is a man’s greatest enemy. Unless we’re talking about the skin, of course. But when it comes to the big B.O., moisture is generally the biggest issue. Why? Because the bacteria that causes us to stink thrive in moist environments. Defunking the gunk, therefore, employs either one of these two major strategies:
Strategy 1: Eliminate the bacteria.
Deodorants contain alcohol and antimicrobial chemicals that kill bacteria before they stink you up. Antiperspirants use alum salts to block your sweat ducts, which prevents your armpits from turning into bacteria breeding grounds.Sometimes deodorants aren’t enough. Excuse yourself to the men’s room after lunch and freshen up. Wipe your armpits with anti-bacterial wipes, let dry, and reapply your deodorant. Athletic Body Wipes, ShowerPill, USD12.
This sounds obvious, but showering before leaving the house helps. Did you know that men produce up to 200ml of sweat per night while sleeping? Make sure you get in under your pits real good with anti-bacterial soap and rinse with plenty of water. Natural Lemon & Oak Shower Gel, ManCave, USD14.
Strategy 2: Keep problem areas dry.
The hairs in our armpits are supposed to wick the sweat off our skin, where bacteria feed on dead cells and generate odorous waste. But unless you’re topless with arms up all day, bushy armpits retain moisture instead. Trimming or shaving your armpit hair can therefore make a ton of difference. Not to mention, some women seem to prefer that.
Live in a hot and humid part of the world? Your sweat glands are probably working double-time to keep you cool. Drying off in a heavily air-conditioned mall isn’t going to help; the damage is already done! You may need an extra-strength antiperspirant – prevention is better than cure. Deodorant Active Life Sport Aluminum Free, Kiss My Face, USD16.
If you’re more old-school, an unscented body powder works just as well to soak up moisture – just remember to reapply generously. Pick one with cooling properties to ease off the heat. Ultimate Body Powder, Gold Bond, USD10.
If you’re a beast of a sweater and want to get a solution that lasts days on end, try clinical strength antiperspirants like Driclor. With 20% aluminum chloride, you only need to apply once, grit your teeth through the sting, and you’re sweat-free for days. If you have sensitive or broken skin, avoid use or ask your doctor. Driclor Roll-On, Driclor, USD18.
For the more affluent and adventurous amongst us, here’s a secret from the Hollywood red carpet – Botox. For the price, results can last for up to 6 months. Read here for more details and seek professional medical advice.
Smelling neutral, i.e. not having a bad odor, is enough for the majority of us. If you wish to upgrade to smelling good, head on here [link to fragrance article] for some advice on fragrances. Meanwhile, defunk your gunk, big guy. We’re counting on you.