Some elderly people smell weird. But what is the cause of such a smell?

Mar 27, 2018
12:34 A.M.
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Although many people link this phenomenon to poor hygiene methods, that couldn't be further from the truth.


Many people are familiar with the musty, grassy or greasy odor that always lingers in elder care facilities and grandparents’ homes.

Although is mistakenly attributed to poor hygiene, it is actually an inescapable component of body odor that only manifests in older individuals.

According to Vix, the culprit behind the smell is nonenal, a chemical compound that people develop as they age.

Research suggests that this smell enables humans to determine the suitability of potential partners based on age, in addition to other factors.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

According to Aging Care, nonenal is produced when omega-7 unsaturated fatty acids on the skin are degraded through oxidation.


The skin begins producing more fatty acids around the age of 40 in both men and women, as tits natural antioxidant defenses begin to deteriorate.

Skin's natural oils oxidize more quickly as it grows weaker, producing nonenal. And because it isn’t water soluble, nonenal can remain on the skin after washing.

Aging Care recommends exercising regularly, avoiding stress, abstaining from smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, eating a clean diet, drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest in order to minimize it.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

According to Huffington Post, cosmetic firms Shiseido Group and Mirai Clinical, are now introducing different products to deodorize against it.

Although the truth about 'old-people smell' is that it’s a natural part of the aging process, and no one experiencing it should feel ashamed, these products could be just an innovative way to capitalize on people’s insecurities.

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