Exploration Hub

Blood, sweat and metals

March 17, 2020

There are some great benefits to going to the gym; better health, better physique, a great mood; that endorphin-induced high that leaves you buzzing with energy for the rest of the day. The only downside seems to be the river of sweat you seem to produce along the way. Wouldn’t it be great if it was all benefits and less stinky gear?
 
You may have noticed the immense increase of “anti-odor” gym gear that’s been popping around us over the last few years, all guaranteeing that they will save you from your own stink.
 
Did you know that it’s metals doing the trick?
 

A silver lining: the science behind anti-odor clothing


Companies like Lululemon, famous for their workout gear, have adopted X-STATIC® technology in some of their apparel.
While the science behind it is fascinating, here’s the short explanation: X-STATIC® harnesses the properties of silver to constrain the growth of bacteria on fabric. And without the presence of bacteria, sweat cannot decompose into an unpleasant odor.

The fabric Lululemon has produced bonds 99.9% pure silver to the surface of every fibre — which means that there’s stink-capturing technology woven into the very fabric of your workout clothes. And the great thing is that this technology is for life, which means it won’t wash out!

So as you can imagine, while athletes must be cheering about the advent of this technology, it’ll come in handy in a lot of areas. For instance, NASA and the United States special forces use this antibacterial fabric in their gear. Hospitals around the world are also adopting fabrics infused with silver in bacteria-rich surfaces such as privacy curtains, lab coats, scrubs and in bed linens.
 

Fashionable armor: on zinc and its anti-bacterial properties


Innovative clothing brands around the world have also started to clue into zinc’s antimicrobial properties.
 
Did you know that common underwear fabrics exhibit up to 2,000 times the bacteria growth after 24 hours of wear?
 
BUT, compare that figure to underwear made of Tencel fabric:
 

 
Want to have a guess at what Tencel fabric is made of?
 
You guessed it: zinc.
 
Similar to silver, zinc has natural properties that fight the bad bacteria that leads to infection and odor. As a bonus, it also has soothing and regenerating properties for the skin.
 
Improving breathability and absorption in fabrics, Tencel makes sure that the moisture given off by the skin is quickly absorbed. As if these benefits weren’t enough, the zinc oxides used in smartcel™ fabrics help to regenerate the skin, and improve the healing of wounds and reduce inflammation. So people with very sensitive skin, (eg: babies and people suffering from skin conditions such as eczema) can see a real benefit from its healing properties.
 

Skip the middleman - apply directly to skin

 

Want to take it to the next level? Apply the amazing properties of zinc directly to your body. These days, you can easily find zinc infused deodorants, sunscreens and anti-dandruff shampoo in your local stores.
 
Zinc oxides are great for filtering out UV rays, and stopping them from damaging your skin cells. It’s also handily the broadest filter for UVA and UVB rays, as Tom’s of Main states on their website, and also on the approved list for use in sunscreens by the FDA. The bonus: it’s widely considered to be non-irritating, non-allergenic, and non-comedogenic.
 
And Lululemon deodorant actually uses zinc for the same odor absorbing properties as their sports apparel.
 
Want to learn more about how it works? This two minute video shows the technology behind it.

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