Even if you aren't engaged in heavy lifting or running up 15 flights of stairs during your work day, smelling fresh after a grueling 10-hour day can, at times, be a stretch. Instead of offending your co-workers, take the time to freshen up your act throughout the day. Whether you're a CPA, MD, RN or any other profession, smelling fresh isn't just a hopeful hygiene wish, it's part of your everyday work life.
Shower in the morning before you go to work. Use a scented body wash to create a base layer of fragrance. Pay special attention to high perspiration areas, such as your underarm area and the soles of your feet. Don't skimp on your hair. Keep in mind that foul-smelling hair will stick with you, and your co-workers, all day long. Use a gently-scented shampoo and conditioner before getting out of the shower.
Use deodorant and antiperspirant under your arms. Stop the smell before it starts by using a long-lasting or prescription strength option. For a chemical-free version, opt for a mineral-based product that covers the odor and keeps your underarms bacteria-free. Reapply your deodorant midday to stay fresh. Apply a light coating of antiperspirant to the bottoms of your feet if they tend to smell.
Add a layer of body lotion. Choose a fresh-smelling cream that features lavender or citrus notes. Carry a mini bottle in your bag and reapply as needed throughout your day to freshen your scent.
Dress in loose, breathable or flowing clothes. Allow air to circulate around your body and avoid trapping sweat under constricting outfits.
Spritz yourself with a subtle fragrance. Choose a fresh scent, and add a spray or two in the morning before you leave for work. Carry a travel-sized version with you or stash a roll-on bottle in your desk to use mid-way through your 10-hour day.
Avoid pungent foods during your lunch, snack or dinner breaks. Eating garlic or onion-covered foods can change the smell of your sweat into a foul flood of post-meal fragrances. Choose non-offensive foods during your breaks, such as apples or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Splash some baby or talcum powder under your arms midday to absorb any offensive scent.
- Keep a change of clothes in your car or desk for those times when you start to sweat or smell to the point that a simple scent won't cover it up.
- Avoid bathing yourself in strong perfumes. While you don't want to smell like sweat, you also don't want your co-workers tearing up from your fragrance selection.
- Don't wear any fragrance that a co-worker is allergic to.
Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.