I am sure you’ve had that moment where you thought to yourself, is that my body odor? Don’t despair, body odor can be tackled naturally and I’ll show you how!
Every person has a signature scent. In most cases this natural smell is not an issue since it is not strong enough to be perceptible to those nearby. For some people however, the scent develops into a strong and unpleasant body odor and this tends to occur in people who sweat more than usual, especially in the armpit area.
Body odor can cause social problems in the workplace, at home and in social gatherings. Left untreated, it can negatively impact emotional and mental health. There are several ways you can effectively combat body odor ranging from surgery to simple home remedies. But to treat the problem, it is essential to understand its causes.
What Causes Body Odor?
Body scents in general are the result of two things: 1. secretions from skin glands and 2. skin bacteria.
Bacterial activity on skin gland secretions (primarily sweat) causes the creation of ‘smelly’ chemicals that are to blame for body odor.
Apocrine sweat glands, which develop during puberty, are the main culprits when it comes to body smell. They produce sweat that contains chemical compounds which interact with bacteria to cause body odor.
Depending on the makeup of the new compounds, different individuals will have varying body odors. Some have a vinegar-like smell while other body odors are reminiscent of cheese. Generally, these odors are unpleasant and can cause those nearby a lot of discomfort.
Genetics, lifestyle, diet and medication can affect the nature and severity of body odor. For instance, overweight persons are more likely to have a stronger odor. Spicy foods and alcohol can also aggravate the situation.
In some cases, body odor can indicate serious health problem(s). Diabetes causes a fruity body smell while kidney and liver disease can result in a bleach-like odor.
How Do I Get Rid Of Body Odor?
In the most serious of cases, surgery can be used to minimize body odor. This involves removing some of the sweat glands in the armpit or severing nerves that are involved in the sweating process.
Botox injections can also be administered in the affected areas to reduce sweating. This toxin works by blocking communication between sweat glands and the brain.
But before you consider these solutions, there are many other simpler and less costly remedies that can be just as effective.
In this article, I have highlighted several options that include essential oils, home remedies and foods. There is also a section on how to prevent, control and cure body odor permanently.
The main principle behind all these solutions is targeting sweat gland secretions and bacteria. These remedies either reduce the amount of sweat being secreted or kill the bacteria that cause the odor.
Why Use Essential Oils For Deodorant?
Commercial (chemical) deodorants and antiperspirants do little to control the thriving bacterial population in the underarms and other dark and damp areas of the body.
Instead, they work by plugging the sweat ducts, which is risky and a temporary solution at best. In contrast, essential oils target the issue from multiple angles. For instance:
- They kill the bacteria that process the sweat and release sulfuric compounds that cause body odor.
- Their astringent effect helps to reduce sweat secretion without plugging the pores.
- They neutralize the sulfur compounds and other odiferous substances in your sweat.
- They smell amazing.
And here is the best part – they are 100% safe and natural and fantastic for your skin. Just remember not to use them directly on your skin as they can cause skin irritation. You can click here for more details on how to blend essential oils. Plus, you can use them in a multitude of ways not just to control but also to treat bad body odor.
Essential Oils With Antiperspirant Properties / Best Essential Oils For Deodorant
Here is the list of the six best essential oils you can use to combat body odor…
1. Australian Sandalwood
Ayurveda has long recommended the use of sandalwood as a natural deodorant and antiperspirant. While Indian sandalwood oil is both expensive and hard to come by, its Australian counterpart is no less effective.
In fact, this is one of the few oils that not only gets rid of body odor but also eliminates the germs that cause the stench. Plus, it’s gentle astringent effect tones down excessive perspiration.
The essential oil of oregano is one of the few natural substances that has been clinically proven effective against nearly all bacteria that cause body odor. Not only does this oil kill the critters almost immediately on contact, but also it stops them from seeking shelter in the pores.
Its astringent properties also helps to keep sweat secretion in check. So, the germs get starved and killed; of course, they don’t stand a chance!
This is another oil that is generally effective against all types of microorganism that live on the skin and have the potential to create trouble, including the main four that are responsible for the sweaty stench. Moreover, this is another astringent oil that helps to reduce pore size and limits sweat secretion.
4. Spike Lavender
Think of this as the camphorated cousin of lavender essential oil. Since camphor is what we need to keep those sweat pits free of germs and fluids, this oil works wonders in the fight against body odor.
The higher content of camphene and camphor means that you get more germ killing power plus a characteristic cooling that keeps those sweat glands on their best behavior. The best part is that you get all of that without risking the adulteration, which is common place in camphor oil.
Although the aroma does not sit well with everybody, along with sandalwood, cinnamon and oregano, it is one of the few oils that can get rid of all body odor causing germs. Now you know why the hippies were so quick to take to this unusual scent.
Furthermore, this one also brings its astringent effects to the table. And if that’s not enough, patchouli essential oil is also an antispasmodic agent, a property that helps it to control hyperhidrosis.
6. Tea tree
No list of deodorant essential oils would be complete without the inclusion of the famed Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree oil. It is a strong antimicrobial agent that kills the fungus and bacteria that cause odor and skin infections.
Moreover, it helps to keep the surface of the skin dry by regulating sweat secretion. Also, it is a powerful cleansing agent that removes dirt, dead cells and grime from the equation, making those pits that much cleaner and less hospitable for critters.
In addition to these, you may also want to consider the use of some other essential oils, such as:
- Cypress for its astringent effect.
- Palma rosa for its ability to kill germs and it’s rose-like fragrance on a budget.
- Clary sage for its antimicrobial and hormone balancing effect.
- Geranium for its skin soothing properties and its light floral fragrance.
- Peppermint for its instant cooling that makes the sweat glands behave themselves and of course its minty-cool fragrance.
- Neroli for its exotic fragrance and its noteworthy astringent effects.
- Cistus for its ability to reduce sweat secretion.
- Lemon and bergamot for their strong astringent properties and their citrusy aroma.
Recommended Natural Product For Body Odor
An alternative to using essential oils to make up the recipes / blends is to use perfume oils. You can find my favorite ones here; they smell heavenly, are energizing, indulging, rejuvenating, sensual and above all, will make you feel relaxed and happy.
Best Carrier Oils To Use In Deodorant
Remember that in making essential oil deodorants, it is important that you choose the right carrier oil. Use carrier oils with antibacterial properties such as coconut oil.
Additionally, make sure you are not allergic to the chosen essential or carrier oil. People who are allergic to sweet almond, hazelnut, macadamia nut oil can use castor oil as a substitute.
1. Argan oil
It’s hard to imagine that a carrier oil can offer anything more than a base for essential oils. Well, this one does. I am sure you already know that argan oil is fantastic for your skin, but what makes it fantastic for use in natural deodorant recipes is its ability to get through the dermal barrier.
So, this quick absorbing oil takes the active phytochemicals from the essential oils into the skin layers, allowing them to stick around for longer. Think of it as a natural slow release system that can be used to keep those germs away for several hours after application.
Moreover, the oil also displays moderate antibacterial properties. An added benefit is the ability of argan oil to keep those pits free of shadows. If you opt for shaving over waxing to get rid of pit fur, you know exactly what I am talking about.
2. Calendula macerated oil
You should have no problem buying this online. But, if you’d rather whip some up at home, use sesame seed oil as the base and infuse it with dried or fresh calendula flowers. Sesame seed oil is good for the skin and bad for germs.
Plus, it helps to inhibit melanin production, so it prevents hyperpigmentation in the underarm area. Calendula flowers take the modest antibacterial effect of this oil through the roof. So, they are a match made in oily heaven!
In addition to these, jojoba oil and rosehip seed oil are also good carriers for natural antiperspirants and deodorants. They are light and get absorbed easily.
3. Coconut oil
Like it or hate it, you simply can’t ignore the benefits of coconut oil. A versatile base that can be used to add to the benefits of essential oils, the nutty aroma of this oil and its lipid profile make it the ideal choice for antiperspirant and deodorant recipes.
Virgin coconut oil is one of the richest sources of medium chain fatty acids, including lauric acid. This fatty acid along with its monoglyceride (monolaurin) are powerful antibacterial agents that can add to the antimicrobial properties of the oils in the deodorant blend.
Moreover, the oil is also a potent detoxifying agent that can improve lymphatic drainage and speed up the removal of metabolic waste from the dermal layers. Plus, virgin coconut oil has healing properties that can prevent and treat skin irritation and itching. Here is one way in which you can use this oil to deal with smelly armpits.
Add a drop each of spike lavender, lemon and oregano essential oil to a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil. Mix well and apply the blend on the armpits. Massage the oil in, using circular strokes. Allow the blend to work on the area for a minute and then wipe off with cotton wool or cloth soaked in warm water. Reapply a thin layer of the oil and that’s all there is to it.
You can do this right before bed or before your shower. If you are using this method in the morning, start by cleansing the armpits with the oil blend, as discussed above. Follow, with your shower. Dry the area and then apply a thin layer of the blend.
If you use this blend like a lotion, it will keep your underarms clean and odor free and the skin healthy. Plus, with the light application, you won’t have to worry about oil stains on your clothes.
4. Castor oil
All the health benefits of castor oil are attributed to its high content of a unique fatty acid known as ricinoleic acid. This substance is not only a powerful germ killer but also an astringent and a lymphatic stimulator.
Because castor oil is also a potent cleansing agent, as soon as it seeps into the skin, it gets to work removing the toxins through the lymphatic route. In fact, ricinoleic acid speeds up the removal of toxins from all over the body. Because the lymph nodes are so close to the surface of the skin in the underarm area, it is particularly effective against lymph node swelling in the armpits.
Plus, its ability to rapidly kill most pathogenic bacteria and clench the pores shut, comes in quite handy. And if that is not enough, the oil will also leave your armpits visibly fairer. For a quick detox of the armpits, use this easy recipe. You will need:
- 1 cup castor oil (can be mixed with ½ cup coconut oil if castor oil alone is too goopy for you)
- 3 drops cinnamon
- 7 drops spike lavender
- 10 drops sandalwood
Blend and store in a dark glass bottle. To use, soak two pieces of gauze or cotton wool in the oil and place in the armpits. Cover with more gauze or sticky bandage to keep the cotton pads/gauze pads in place. You will have to give the oils 2-3 hours to show their magic.
If you are not too uncomfortable, keep the pads in place over night. This is usually enough to put a stop on the hyper functioning of those sweat glands for 2-3 days. Couple this technique with a natural deodorant to smell amazing all through the day.
Essential Oils Blends For Body Odor
Here are 10 essential oil recipes / blends that you can make at home using ingredients available in your kitchen to fight body odor
1. Lavender deodorant powder
Lavender works by inhibiting the growth of skin bacteria. This leaves fewer bacteria to interact with your sweat, thereby minimizing the unpleasant odor. In this simple recipe, I am going to show you how to prepare a deodorant powder that you can sprinkle on your underarms.
What you need:
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
Put all the ingredients in a glass jar and mix them until you have a uniform powder. Close the jar tightly and let the mixture sit in a dark place for a couple of days after which it will be ready for use.
To apply the powder, dip a makeup brush into the jar and dust the powder on your underarms and any other sweat-prone areas of your body.
The baking soda and cornstarch helps keep the skin dry – inhibiting bacterial growth – while lavender kills odor-causing bacteria and makes your skin smell nice.
Note that you can instead add a carrier oil such as coconut or argan oil to attain a creamy rather than powdery texture. You can then smear the mixture on your underarms and feet every morning before you put on clothes.
2. Spray on deodorant that lasts all day long
This antiperspirant/deodorant spray works well when you need odor control not just in the armpits but all over the body. You will need:
- ¼ cup witch hazel (hydrosol)
- 1 tsp calendula extract
- 1 tsp arnica extract
- 1 cup rose/ lavender hydrosol (you can use any flower water or hydrosol that you like)
- 2 drops sandalwood and palma rosa essential oils
- 1 drop each spike lavender and tea tree essential oils
Mix the liquids and pour into a dark glass bottle. Add the essential oils to this liquid mixture and put the cap of the bottle back on. You don’t have to refrigerate this blend but it should not be exposed to air or sunlight for prolonged periods.
So, what I do is store the bulk of it in a regular dark glass bottle with an airtight lid and I decant the amount I need into a smaller bottle with a spritzer head. This way, I get to carry the spray along and use it through the day when needed. To use, shake the bottle vigorously and then spray all over your body.
3. Tea tree essential oil recipe
As we’ve discussed above, tea tree oil is one of the most revered essential oil. Derived from the narrow leaf tea tree plant (from Australia), tea tree is a powerful antiseptic, making it perfect for getting rid of bacteria that causes body odor.
The tea tree oil recipe that I offer below is perfect for those who prefer a ‘wet’ deodorant to a ‘powdery’ one.
What you need:
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 20 drops tea tree essential oil
- Fractioned coconut oil as needed
- Glass jar
Mix the baking soda with the arrowroot powder or cornstarch in a glass jar and add the tea tree oil. Stir in the coconut oil until it is just moist and stir well. There you have it, it’s that simple!
Rub a small amount of the mixture on your forearm to test for skin sensitivity. If you develop an itch or rash, try another essential oil such as patchouli, sweet orange or rose.
If you don’t experience any adverse reaction, the deodorant is ready for use. Dip your fingers in and apply a small amount to your underarms and feet if needed!
4. Stopping the odor before it starts
This is a versatile blend that can be added to your body wash or used on its own as a deodorant cream/lotion in odor-prone areas of the body. This is what you will need:
- 20 ml carrier oil (mix virgin coconut oil and castor oil in 3:1 proportion)
- 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 1 drop cinnamon essential oil
- 3 drops each peppermint and chamomile (either Roman or German) essential oils
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
If you want to add this blend to your shower gel, add the essential oils to 1 tbsp of any light carrier oil of your choice and store the mixture in a dark glass bottle. To use, pour two drops of the blend on the dollop of body wash/gel on your loofah and then use as you do normally.
To use this recipe for a deodorant lotion/oil, prepare as given above and store in a dark glass bottle. Massage a small amount (a drop or two should be more than enough) in the underarm area.
*Note: because this recipe contains lemongrass oil, I recommend that you do a patch test before using it.
5. Cool peppermint blend recipe
Peppermint and coconut oil have antibacterial properties and will reduce the number of bacterial activity causing body odor.
This is probably one of my favorite essential oil deodorant recipes as not only it smells great but it also gives a cooling sensation for the whole day!
Just remember that you can adjust the quantity of corn starch and baking soda accordingly. Corn starch allows you to control the wetness of the blend. Adding more baking soda allows you to have more odor control, however, be careful not to add too much as it is alkaline and can cause skin irritation and burning.
What you need:
- 4 tsp aloe vera gel
- 2 tsp cocoa butter
- 3 tsp shea butter (can replace with coconut oil)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp corn starch
- Glass jar
- 25 drops peppermint essential oil
Melt the butters (cocoa and shea) in a double boiler and add the other ingredients. Add the peppermint essential oil last. Pour into the glass jar for storage. Dab it onto your underarms and feet and anywhere else you want to freshen up.
6. Gel deodorant
If you hate the sweat stains as much as the stench they create, this gel blend will prove to be the answer to all your problems. It is easy to make and very good for your skin. In fact, if you often suffer from skin irritation and itching in the underarms, this gel will also resolve those issues for you. To make it, you will need:
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp grapefruit seed extract
- ½ tsp calendula extract
- 1 tsp green tea extract
- 2 drops each oregano and cypress essential oils
- 3 drops patchouli essential oil
- 5 drops geranium essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together and store in a glass bottle/container in the refrigerator. To use, remove a small amount (½ teaspoon) with a dry spoon and apply in the armpits, either with your fingers or with a makeup sponge. Let the gel dry on your skin, and that’s all you need to do to keep body odor at bay for several hours.
If you want to carry it along for use through the day, decant a few teaspoons (just as much you will need through the day) into a small bottle. Discard what’s left back at the end of the day. Wash the bottle and allow it to dry so that you can fill it up again the next day.=
7. Witch hazel recipe for sensitive skin
This deodorant recipe is for those who have sensitive skin. I have omitted baking soda as it can cause skin irritation. This recipe will reduce bacterial activity and in turn help reduce body odor.
What you need:
- 1 tsp magnesium oil
- Witch hazel to be used as base
- 30 drops essential oil of your choice (sandalwood, patchouli, lemon, clary sage, neroli, geranium)
- 4 oz. spray bottle
In the glass spray bottle, add the essential oil and magnesium oil and fill the rest of the bottle with witch hazel. Shake well and spray to your underarms.
8. Extra strong deodorant powder for hyperhidrosis
If hyperhidrosis and bad body odor are both ambushing your confidence, this extra strong deodorant powder will be the perfect option for you. You will need:
- 1 cup kaolin clay
- 1 tbsp orange/lemon peel powder
- 1 tbsp sandalwood powder
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 3 drops each spiked lavender and bergamot essential oils
- 4 drops tea tree essential oil
Mix the oils in a small glass bowl and set aside. Take a larger bowl and measure out the dry ingredients into it. Mix the powders well and then start to add the oil blend, one drop at a time. Stir the powders constantly as you add the oil blend to them. The idea is to get a lump free and free flowing mixture.
Store the oil infused powder in a dark, glass jar. If you don’t have one simply cover an old mason jar with some colored tape or paper from the outside.
To use the powder, employ a powder puff or an old cosmetic brush. Go for a light dusting in the armpits, the groin, under the breasts and any areas of the body that have skin folds. Reapply after any activity that leaves you sweaty.
9. Summer deodorant
Deodorant recipes that use coconut oil have one common problem: they melt when it gets hot. This creates the need to store the deodorant in the fridge during hot weather. One way of creating an all-weather melt-free deodorant is by adding beeswax. Here is the recipe.
What you need:
- 3 tsp coconut oil
- 10 drops essential oil of your choice (bergamot, cypress, palma rosa, vetiver, etc.)
- 1 tsp beeswax pellets
- 2 tsp baking soda (omit if you are sensitive)
- 2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- Glass jar
Mix the coconut oil and beeswax pellets and place the mixture in a hot water bath. Keep stirring until the beeswax has melted. Once the beeswax has melted, add the baking soda and cornstarch (you can also use arrowroot powder).
Mix well until you get a creamy texture. Then add 10 drops of your chosen essential oil. Mix and then transfer the deodorant into a small glass jar.
10. Deodorant wipes for a fresh, clean feel and aroma
If you know you are going to get all sweaty and icky, carry these nifty wipes along to save the day and keep odor away. They are easy to make and double up as an effective antiperspirant and deodorant as well as a light perfume. You will need:
- 1 cup hydrosol/flower water of your choice
- 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
- ½ tsp grapefruit seed extract
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 drops patchouli essential oil
- 3 drops each sandalwood and neroli essential oils
- 3 drops palma rosa essential oil
- 1 tsp jojoba oil
- A roll of heavy duty paper towels
- An old wet wipes container
Cut the roll of paper towels into half (vertically) and place one half into a large bowl. Mix all the ingredients, save for the oils, in a large bowl. In a small glass bowl combine jojoba oil with the essential oils.
Add the oil blend to the liquid mixture and whisk briskly to disperse the oils. Pour immediately on top of the one half paper roll placed in the large bowl. Rotate the roll to ensure that all the sheets get completely covered. This may take 3-4 minutes.
Remove the soaked paper towels and place them in the repurposed wet wipe container. These wipes are specifically meant for armpits. Use them after a workout to clear the sweat and the critters from the underarms, neck, chest and other sweat drenched areas of the body. If you intend to use them on your face, do a patch test first.
Best 5 Home Remedies For Body Odor
Now, if essential oils is not your thing, here are 5 homemade DIY all-natural and safe recipes for body odor using common ingredients found in your kitchen.
So next time before you go out and buy expensive deodorants whose ingredients you cannot pronounce, try some of these home remedies.
1. Baking soda
Bacteria thrive in warm moist places, which is why the underarms tend to be quite smelly. By keeping the area dry, there will be less bacteria and therefore less odor.
Most homemade deodorant recipes call for baking soda as one of the main ingredients. Baking soda has several properties that make it effective at combating body odor.
For one, it is naturally antibacterial. This means that it will kill the bacteria causing your sweat to smell. Second, it absorbs moisture, thereby reducing the bacteria count.
Finally, it is a natural base. It counteracts the smelly’ acids created when bacteria interacts with sweat. You can use baking soda on its own or as part of a recipe (you can refer to the various above essential oil recipes).
Before using it however, test it on a small patch of your skin to make sure there is no reaction.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has many of the welcome properties that make baking soda effective at combating body odor.
It is naturally antibacterial, which helps reduce the amount of odor-causing bacteria on your skin. Unlike baking soda, apple cider vinegar is acidic. But the end results are similar.
ACV’s acidic nature neutralizes any alkaline components in sweat. This keeps the skin in a mildly acidic state that is not conducive for bacterial growth.
The easiest way to use apple cider vinegar is to apply it on your underarms using a cotton ball. Apply it in the morning before you go out and in the evening before you sleep.
Alternatively, mix half a cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
3. Lemon juice
Being a weak acid, lemon juice lowers the pH of the skin. This creates an unfriendly environment that bacteria cannot thrive in. By reducing bacterial activity, body odor intensity also goes down.
As with other home remedies, you can use lemon juice on its own or mix it with other ingredients. To use it on its own, soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and dab it on your underarms or rub one half of a lemon on your skin.
If you have sensitive skin, dilute the lemon juice with water before application.
Sage is a fragrant herb that has antibacterial properties.
To use it to combat body odor, mix two tablespoons of dried sage and four cups of hot water. Once it has steeped and cooled, apply it on your underarms using a cotton ball.
If you cannot get your hands on sage, rosemary is a great alternative. The preparation process is similar.
Mix 4 tablespoons of dried rosemary with 4 cups of hot water. Dab it on your underarms once it has cooled.
Foods That Eliminate Body Odor
Green away the stench
If you want to kick out the stink, think GREEN! Yes folks, I am talking about all those foods that are rich in chlorophyll here. Kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, mint and other herbs can fill you up with the good green stuff that keeps body odor away.
Fiber all the way
Fiber rich foods ensure the health of your digestive tract and they help to get the smelly stuff out of your system faster. So, it does not get the chance to get into your sweat and raise a stink. Lentils, beans, peas and whole grains are all good to get ample of your fiber into your body.
Citrus can do wonders
Take your pick from oranges, lemons, mandarins, tangerines, grapefruits and others. It does not matter which one you choose because all citrus fruits contain boat loads of natural plant acids that can purge out the toxins and balance your body’s pH level.
Tomatoes are the best
Have them raw, cooked or juiced, tomatoes with all that lycopene in them can do wonders against body odor.
An apple a day keeps odor away
Not only are apples great to keep your pearlies white and your mouth smelling good but also the crunchy fruits help to neutralize sulfur compounds inside the body. So, if you have gorged on onion and garlic, end the meal with a serving of apples to neutralize the foul smelling sulfur before it creates a stench.
Yoghurt keeps the gut healthy and your body smelling good
The good bacteria from yoghurt not only keep your gut healthy but also help to neutralize sulfur compounds from the food, preventing them from making their way into your sweat. Plus, yoghurt also purges out other odor causing toxins. So, start your morning with some natural (sugar-free) fruit yoghurt to keep smelling good all day long.
Spices that smell good will make you smell good
Flavor is good but if you are struggling with body odor, choose spices that smell good. For instance, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and fennel all smell good. In fact, their aroma is enough to both neutralize and mask the aroma of sulfur compounds.
Tea up to smell good
The next time you are pining for a “wake me up” pick a cup of green tea instead of java. The tannins in green tea can make all of you smell good because they act as internal astringents that stop the sweat glands from going loco on you.
Foods That Cause Bad Body Odor
Caffeine and booze
One stimulates and the other intoxicates, but they can both make your body stink. For starters, caffeine and alcohol make your sweat glands go into overdrive, which means more food for the bacteria and an increase in body odor.
Also, alcohol gets processed into acetic acid in the liver, and this acetic acid finds its way into your sweat, lowering its pH. The work of the odor causing bacteria on the acidic sweat is what gives you the “I’ve been drinking” stench.
Well, they have a host of health benefits but making you smell good isn’t one of them. In fact, all cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are chock loads of healthy vitamins but they also contain a wholesome amount of sulfur, which can leave you smelling like rotten eggs.
However, you don’t have to shun these veggies. All you have to do is cook them with fragrant herbs and spices to neutralize the bad odor.
Don’t go red
Whether it’s meat or fish, stay away from the reds if you have a body odor problem. Red meat is particularly hard to digest, which means that it leaves a lot of odiferous residue in your digestive system. Eventually, this gets absorbed into the bloodstream and is sent to the sweat glands. And, that’s how you get a distinctly pungent body odor.
Red fish is a rich source of choline and omega 3 fatty acids, while these micronutrients are extremely healthy, they can lead to a fishy body odor. So, if you are willing to go the extra mile to smell good, stick to white fish and meat. They won’t make you smell any better but they certainly won’t make you smell bad either.
Put in smelly stuff and you get smelly stuff out
Yes, I am talking about the known culprits here- onion and garlic and the allium family (leeks, chives and others) in general. They are very good for your body but very bad for body odor all thanks to their very high content of sulfur. In fact, these veggies/spices can leave you smelling bad for days after you consume them.
Sugar and spice are not all things nice
If your body odor is a constant cause of embarrassment, you should stay away from sugar as well as pungent spices that make you sweat. So, not only are processed foods out but also you may want to consider staying away from curry and cumin.
Asparagus and pumpkin
You can whip up all sorts of delicacies with these veggies and they are so very healthy, but they will make you stink.
Asparagus contains a compound known as methyl mercaptan that can cause bad odor (breath and body) within 10 minutes of entering the digestive system.
Pumpkins are a rich source of choline, which gets processed into trimethylamine, another odiferous compound.
How To Prevent Body Odor
When it comes to staying fresh, a shower is at the very top of the list. Taking a shower daily gets rid of odor-causing bacteria and secretions. For those extra warm days, you may have to shower twice to stay fresh. For added effectiveness, use an antibacterial soap. After taking a shower, make sure you towel off thoroughly. Any remaining dampness especially in hidden areas such as the armpits creates the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
Ensure that you only wear fresh clothes. This ensures that your clothes are not making the body odor worse. Wash sweaty clothes with antibacterial detergent. This gets rid of any lingering odors on your clothes especially those that tend to absorb a lot of sweat.
Finally, as we’ve seen above, check your diet. What you eat has a connection with how you smell. Research has shown that spicy foods, onion, garlic, alcohol and excess caffeine can increase body odor. Reduce beef, lamb and pork consumption, go for chicken and soy products.
Consume fresh fruits for breakfast (orange, grapefruit), salads and vegetables (don’t eat too much broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower as the sulfur in them can cause body odor).
How To Cure Body Odor Permanently
More inches means more space for odor
Obesity causes several health problems and bad body odor happens to be one of them. When you pack in those extra pounds, you also get the additional inches and extra folds and crannies. These create the perfect environment for bacteria.
Plus, the fatty tissue is often a hot bed of toxins that linger in the body longer than they should because they get absorbed by the fat cells. So, workout and go green and if possibly vegetarian to reduce the pounds and eliminate body odor.
Health issues may be the root cause
Bad body odor can also be the result of certain health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid issues and others. If your issue with smelly underarms is a recent development, it would be wise to talk to your doctor about it.
Keep clean to smell good
Yes, this one’s a no brainer yet people often tend to overlook it. The thing to remember here is that antiperspirants/deodorants and perfumes are supposed to compliment and not replace good personal hygiene or mask the lack of it.
Daily showers and change of underwear and keeping the underarms and other areas prone to sweating free of body hair can help a lot to prevent body odor.
The right gear
It takes two to create the bad odor party. If you can’t remove the bacteria from the equation, simply take away their food supply and the job will still get done.
A time-tested approach to achieve this is through the use of light weight and breathable fabrics. So, go natural on this front as well with cotton and linen, which remove the sweat before it turn into a buffet for the bacteria.
Drink to a better smelling you
Infusion teas made from sage, rosemary, lemon balm and chamomile can not only rein in wayward sweat glands but also help to keep the smelly substances from getting to the surface of your skin.
Body odor is not just embarrassing, it can also be detrimental to your self-confidence and self-esteem. Luckily, it is not a problem that requires thousands of dollars to manage.
With the right natural products (essential oils, home remedies and/or the proper diet), you can easily manage body odor. My favorite is of course essential oils as not only are they effective for this particular issue but especially beneficial for your skin.
Just go ahead and try one recipe; you’ll be amazed with the result!