Sweating, in general, is actually the body’s natural way to regulate its temperature. However, the body odor that comes with it can be a major turn off. Here’s some news that might surprise you: Body odor does not just come from the underarms; it can originate anywhere there are sebaceous (oil) and sweat glands—which includes the scalp, genitals, feet, and even nipples! Sweat itself doesn’t actually stink; the unpleasant smell is believed to develop when bacteria that are naturally found on the skin start to break down sweat, While a daily shower, change of clothes, and swipe of deodorant do the trick for most people, those who perspire excessively (hyperhidrosis), have certain illnesses (like diabetes), or prefer to steer clear of aluminum-based antiperspirants may have a harder time getting rid of the stench. Though body odor is a natural phenomenon, it can affect our confidence and personality. Given below are home remedies to get rid of this pesky problem.
How to Get Rid of Body Odor
- Wear breathable cloths:
Breathable, natural fabrics, including bamboo or cotton, are helpful in both preventing and fighting off sour body odor. Try to look for clothing that helps you minimize excessive sweating in the first place. The right material will pull sweat away from your body so it can evaporate rather than sit on your skin with the chance to mingle with your skin bacteria. Naturally derived fabrics like cotton, silks, and wools have more breathability than most man-made materials like rayon or spandex. But when it comes to workout clothes, look for moisture-wicking synthetic materials. To ensure an odor-free skin, you should always wear clean undergarments and socks.
- Apple cider vinegar
If probiotics aren’t your style, there’s another method you can try: apple cider vinegar. Its antiseptic properties kill bacteria and balance out the pH level of your skin. Acid, like the kind found in apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, inhibits the growth of bacteria including the kind that makes your sweat smell gross. Just be cautious, and use it sparingly: “While apple cider vinegar and lemon juice may help reduce levels of odor-causing bacteria on the skin, they may cause skin irritation.” So if you decide to dab a few drops on your underarms with a cotton ball or add a splash to your bathwater, make sure you have no minor cuts or scrapes. Witch hazel and tea tree oil are also believed to be antimicrobial.
- Reduce stress:
Because anxiety or fear sweat is generated by the apocrine glands and is often the most likely to cause odor, any way you can manage to reduce your level of stress will be helpful in fighting your body odor. Anxiety and stress activate our sweat glands at full-on survival mode, so relaxation techniques like meditation, biofeedback and yoga, a brisk walk outside or a variety of other calming activities may help get your anxiety and in turn, your body odor under control. It might sound impossible, but relaxation activities have historically proven successful for many people. When you exercise or otherwise get overheated, your eccrine (sweat) glands produce a watery substance designed to regulate body temperature. But emotional stress triggers different glands, the apocrine glands, which are found mostly in the underarms and groin area and they secrete a milky fluid. This fight-or-flight-related liquid is made up of water and lipids, so it’s a veritable feast for odor-causing bacteria, according to finding meditation, yoga, and other calming practices may help.
- Bath with Antiseptic soap: It should go without saying that good hygiene, including showering regularly, can help you cut down on body odor. Taking it one step further and showering with an antibacterial soap is even more helpful. Because body odor is directly related to sweat mixing with your skin bacteria, using an antibacterial soap can reduce bacterial growth on your skin in the first place, which also reduces odor. With this move, you’re attacking body odor at its source.
If you’re worried about chemicals in antibacterial products, you can always go for natural products that feature essential oils for body odor like tea tree oil, peppermint, oregano, and eucalyptus. These products contain bacteria-fighting and odor-fighting qualities that can help keep you smelling fresh.
In general, you should shower at least once a day, maybe more in especially hot weather or after a tough workout. And when you’re finished with your shower, make sure to dry off completely so you don’t leave behind a moist environment for bacteria to quickly repopulate.
- Baking soda:
Baking soda absorbs moisture, and hence, it prevents the formation of sweat. It not only kills the bacteria on the skin but also alkalizes the body and neutralizes the pungent odor that our body gives off. Baking soda is a mild cleanser and helps to maintain the pH level of the skin. Mix a portion of baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil. Transfer it to a container and keep it in the refrigerator overnight to set. Apply it on the areas prone to sweating. “Experiment with the ratios to find out what works best for your skin.” A mixture of a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with two drops of lavender essential oil can also help.
- Lemon juice:
The acidic nature of lemon lowers the pH of our body, making it difficult for the bacteria to survive on our skin. Using lime is another great way to tackle body odor naturally. It not only controls sweat, but also helps in whitening of underarms. Cut a lemon into two halves and rub it on your armpits. You might feel a bit of irritation at first, but eventually, it will leave you with happy results. But avoid it strictly, if you have a cut or are suffering from skin problems.
Drinking tea has many health benefits but it also has a few cosmetic usages including getting rid of the stubborn odor. Soak a black tea bag in hot water for fifteen minutes then place in the fridge for another ten minutes. Soak a piece of a cotton pad in the chilled tea then place it on your underarms. Leave it there for thirty to forty minutes before rinsing. For best results, do this two to three times a day for about two weeks. Take water in a vessel, bring to boil and then add some green tea leaves. Once it has cooled, dip a cotton ball in the concoction and apply to your sweat prone areas. Tea will help keep the skin dry and odor free.Don’t get called out for noticeable body odor. Adopt these body odor-fighting methods to avoid getting labeled “the smelly guy” at the bar or office. We hope these tricks help you learn how to get rid of body odor for good.