I would like to share some thoughts I have on sweat. As a starting point I’d like to admit to being a profuse sweater in my time. Not only did I sweat a lot, but if I did not wear anti-perspirant/deodorant my sweat would smell. Indeed when I worked in New York, anytime I forgot to apply deodorant in the morning I would have to run out to get some by about 10am to keep things under control.
Shortly after I moved to Cozumel a work friend, Fernando, and I got talking about sweat. I told Fernando that I had to bring Michem Deodorant in bulk from the States every time I would travel there, because it was the only thing that would keep my sweat under control. He said I should stop using it and see what happened and that I would be surprised at what a difference healthy living and a stress free environment would have had on me. Yeah - right I thought – crazy man. Of course I never tried a day without my trusty Michem. Life went on.
The one night early on in my pregnancy I had a really vivid dream that toxins from my deodorant were going to have a really bad effect on my baby. OK, I thought, lets give this a go. To my amazement a day went by with no deodorant and I hardly sweated at all. What little dampness there was, was completely odor free. Maybe just a first day thing right? Michem boasts in their advertizing that their product “works so well you can even skip a day”. So another day, then another, then a week and now I have been deodorant free for months. No smell. Well I say no smell, but there is an exception to that rule. If I eat something bad – like something really sugary or with lots of chemicals, my sweat smells terribly for a couple of hours – like my body is expelling all of the toxins, then its back to normal. This has happened less than ten times in 4-5 months.
What is the explanation for this wondrous turn of events? Well I have a few theories:
1. Fernando was right and when you take stress out of life then your body manages its sweat more effectively.
2. It is a pregnancy related phenomenon – I will report back on this when I see what happens after I give birth
3. It is all about the toxins your body consumes – food, air etc. This would gel with my experiences following eating chemically food or drinks. My diet has been fairly free of toxins since I got pregnant.
4. I read recently on line that salt water was a natural anti-perspirant. Well I am in the ocean almost every day as I swim to keep fit since I’ve been pregnant and before that was diving for work almost every day.
An interesting turn of events was that following 3 weeks of working for my old company, auditing in a stressful office environment, my sweat began to smell again (note that this 3 week period also had me out of the ocean). Not as bad as before, but on the 2 last days of my trip I was forced to break out the emergency sachets of deodorant that I always carry in my purse.
I will report back as my research continues. I dearly hope that after pregnancy I continue to smell so sweet. I do not like putting so many chemicals on my skin and I’m sure I read somewhere that application of deodorant has been linked to cancer.
So Mexico is vey humid. There are good and bad things about this. We’re in a constant battle with mold, the weather feels 10 degrees warmer than it is, and making your hair look nice is almost impossible, on the negative. On the positive, my normally dry skin is naturally soft and I never need to moisturize.
Another negative is that my nose has become accustomed to this gentle environment. When I leave Mexico my nose is assaulted first by the painfully dry air on the flight and then the assault generally continues with A/C or dry heating in hotels, apartments and offices in NY and London. I invariably spend entire trips with a sore and often bleeding nose. This is another condition that is no doubt exacerbated by pregnancy.
Although this situation drives me to distraction, I’m really writing about it to share some solutions with others of you who might suffer moving from humid to dry environments.
During a particularly harshly air-conditioned flight to New York I asked a flight attendant if she had any recommendations to combat the dehydration, which invariable results from flying. She had a great one. Take a damp washcloth and place it over your nose during the flight. This may look silly, but happily looking silly has never bothered me. The cloth provides a barrier to the harsh air coming out of the a/c system and also actually hydrates the air you are breathing. When I employ this system during a flight I feel great at the other end. I’m often lucky enough to get to fly business - where they provide you with a washcloth (due to my brother’s working for BA) you might have to bring something from home.
During my last trip I was having real problems with the A/C in the hotel. Greece was hot as hell but the A/c was VERY dry and my nose was in terrible pain during the night if the A/C was on; I would sweat my ass off if the A/C was turned off. I tried putting a wet towel over my face but it kept smothering me and/ or falling off. Then I had an epiphany. My luxury eye-mask has a little roll over the nose to act as a double barrier against incoming light. I was able to soak this in water and roll it over my nose. Problem solved. I can now sleep like an angel in the most horrible of dry environments. Throw on a pair of earplugs and I’m totally environmentally sealed! It is true that I look very sexy when traveling.