Smell Forever Young
by Sarah Thomas
What a privilege it is to age—to continue to experience life, enjoy the good people in your circle, and the glorious world around you.
Why then, do we not embrace aging more than we do?
Unless something miraculous happens in the world of science, or someone figures out Paul Rudd’s secrets, we all are going to face aging at some point. And that includes some interesting changes, including how we smell.
Elder odor, old people smell, or aging odor - it’s not your imagination, it’s a normal part of aging and poor senior care and hygiene has nothing to do with it.
The Japanese have actually given the smell a name (which seems infinitely more polite than calling it old people smell), and it is kareishu.
Aging Odor Starts Earlier Than You Think
What might surprise you is that both men and women can start dealing with senior smell in their 40's! So that’s why we prefer to call it aging odor - because people in their 40’s aren’t considered seniors or elderly.
Why does our body odor change as we age? And what makes aging odor so distinctive from regular body odor? Understanding the causes and solutions for elder odor is essential in promoting respectful and dignified care for our senior friends and loved ones.
We should probably first refresh our understanding of how regular body odor forms. Regular body odor is a reaction between bacteria living on our skin and bodily fluids - we tend to think of B.O. as the odor in our underarms, but the same reaction occurs below the belt, on our feet, under skin folds, etc.…
We have two types of sweat glands - eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine glands produce salty and odorless sweat, and those can be found all over the body.
Apocrine glands are found in our armpits, groin, feet, and around our nipples, and are responsible for the smelly smells of everyday living - y’all know what I’m talking about. Apocrine sweat stinks because it’s full of proteins and fat, and bacteria are particularly fond of that.
The Source of Aging Odor
Aging odor, on the other hand, is more likely to occur behind our necks and ears and on our trunks - and it has been described as being a bit more musty, grassy, mushroomy, and some even say cucumbery.
However you describe aging odor, one thing is universally understood—it exists, and it is a smell that lingers in the air, in furniture, in sheets, and in clothes. The source of aging odor is not sweat, but fatty acids.
Most sebaceous glands live on or near hair follicles all over the body, and their job is to produce sebum (fatty acids), that help keep our skin happy and moisturized.
When we are young and supple, our body naturally fights oxidation of fatty acids on our skin. But as we mature, our body loses its ability to fight oxidation, and one of the results is the organic compound nonenal, and it has a distinctive smell.
We all know what happens when we use water to rinse away oil - absolutely nothing. Fatty acids are not water soluble like sweat, so nonenal odor can linger on skin and in fabrics even with the very best of hygiene and cleaning habits.
So to recap: Ordinary body odor is a reaction between bacteria on our skin and bodily fluids. Aging odor is the result of oxidized fatty acids on our skin.
Acidified Skin Smells Better
If this seems inevitable and discouraging, Lume would like to balance that out with some encouraging news about odor control for seniors: Lume acidifies skin, and acidified skin smells better at every age.
Lume products are powered by Mandelic Acid, a gentle alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) with a nice, low pH.
When skin is at an optimal pH—or in an acidified range—body odor that normally occurs can be prevented. Yes folks, Lume is based in science and formulated to prevent odor from forming, not just mask or overpower odor after it forms.
Any guesses to what might be the worst product for elderly personal hygiene? Traditional soap. You can’t scrub aging odor away with traditional soap because soap has such a high pH, it actually raises the pH of skin which in turn encourages the formation of odor!
So the best tips for senior odor prevention would be to include products that have an optimized pH level to keep skin happy and smelling ageless.
Lume Makes Senior Care Easy
Step 1: The Right Cleanser
Use Acidified Body Wash or Acidified Cleansing Bar when bathing, they are both clinically proven to remove odor better than soap, and control odor for 24 hours. They contain no harsh ingredients, and are formulated for Whole Body use.
Step 2: Senior Friendly Deodorant
Lume Whole Body Deodorant is a truly senior friendly deodorant because it is formulated to use anywhere, and pH optimized to control odor. It contains no baking soda, which can be rough on sensitive skin because it has such a high pH. Are you sensing a theme here? pH is a pretty big deal.
Step 3: Dual Purpose Moisturizer
Lastly, Lume’s got another senior citizen hygiene trick up its sleeve: Acidified Body Cream. While our Acidified Body Cream is touted for its amazing smoothing and hydrating qualities, it is also clinically proven to control odor. Lume Acidified Body Cream is perfect for using on our trunks or torsos, and behind our necks to prevent nonenal odor from forming.
If aging odor is a concern for you or someone you care about, please understand it is a perfectly normal part of being a human being and Lume provides a solution.
Aging is inevitable; aging odor is optional with Lume.
We’ve heard from many customers that Lume made a difference in how they felt about aging odor - here is a small sample:
“Lume gives me confidence that I don't smell the age I am! What a treat! Thank you 😘” Shirley
“Gone is the old lady funky odor! I’m 71 and definitely feeling blessed about that. Don’t ever want to run out of Lume!” Molly
“My mom had it bad, my older sister...then in my 50’s I became aware I smelled, too. Then I began substitute teaching and the kids said cruel things… humiliating to the extent I was about to quit the job. One day I went to visit my mother and sister who lived together (the entire place smelled) and the order was GONE. Lume deodorant and Persil. I ordered immediately. Within hours of using it I saw my new-ish boyfriend and he said ‘wow, you smell good!’ My old person odor is a thing of the past. Life changing.” Anne
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