Body odor is the kind of thing that none of us really want to talk about, yet that doesn't mean it doesn't need to be addressed. While it's true that some people have a more intense bout of it than others, the reality is that all of us have apocrine glands (the glands that typically secrete this odor out of our underarms, genitalia, breasts and even our eyelids). And when those glands aren't kept under control, the bacteria within them can create a smell that is, unpleasant to say the least.
The thing about body odor is, no matter how much deodorant and perfume that you try and mask it with, the odor still usually has a way of overpowering your "diversion tactics". That's why, aside from good hygiene practices, it really is best to take a more all-natural holistic approach to body odor. If you're looking for a few effective suggestions, I've got 10 of 'em.
1. Eat Some Chlorophyll
You probably learned in an elementary level science class that chlorophyll is responsible for giving certain foods their natural green color. Well, when it comes to foods like spinach, kale, parsley, spirulina and wheatgrass, it's the combination of chlorophyll and sunlight that give these types of foods the nutrients that they offer. As far as the benefits that chlorophyll is able to offer you, it contains properties that can reduce the signs of aging, fight acne and even build up your red blood cells.
What makes it top this list of ways to reduce body odor is, chlorophyll's considered to be a natural deodorizer too. That's actually why, if you happen to read the ingredients on the back of many deodorants and mouthwashes, you'll see chlorophyll on the list. Interesting, huh?
2. Eat (More) Citrus Fruit Too
Lemons. Limes. Grapefruit. Oranges. Kumquats. All of these qualify as being citrus fruit. It's a good idea to eat these, at least a couple of times a week, because they are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, potassium, magnesium and even copper (which is a mineral that combats premature greying). Citrus fruit is also good for you because it can help to raise the citrate levels in your system (which reduces your chances of getting kidney stones), contains cancer-fighting properties and even has flavonoids that will reduce bodily inflammation. And just how can eating an orange or drinking some homemade lemonade fight against body odor? It's because citrus fruit is highly acidic, so it has a way of altering your pH balance to make it more acidic as well, so that odor-causing bacteria isn't able to stick around for very long.
3. Apply Some Witch Hazel
Sometimes, when I think about all of the ways that witch hazel has had my skin's back, I'm shocked by how inexpensive a bottle of it is (you should be able to find a great brand for less than three bucks). Witch hazel is basically a medicinal plant that is able to relieve skin irritation, tone your skin, fight acne, protect your skin from free radicals and reduce scalp sensitivity that either comes from getting a new set of box braids or from a flare-up that eczema or psoriasis has caused. Because witch hazel is also considered to be a natural astringent that contains a fair amount of alcohol, if you dab some of it onto a cotton ball or washcloth and then rub it onto your armpits after bathing, not only will it reduce how much you perspire, it will decrease odor-causing bacteria as well.
4. Try Some Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
We've already touched on what lemons can do, so let's explore baking soda a bit. Ever since I was a little girl, I was used to seeing boxes of baking soda in the house. Mostly, I used it for brushing my teeth (it's gritty texture can remove plaque and tartar like nobody's business), but it can be beneficial in a lot more ways than that. Because it is able to neutralize stomach acids, some people use it to treat heartburn. If you apply baking soda directly on a canker sore or pimple, the antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in it can help to speed up the healing process. The lactic acid in baking soda can balance out the pH in your system so that you can workout longer on the days when you're tired. Some people even take it to slow down the progression of kidney disease. You can also use baking soda to eliminate your body odor issues because it can also help to make odor-causing bacteria to be less acidic; this ultimately means less sweating and less smelling too. Just mix one-part baking soda with one-part lemon juice and wipe your underarms down at night. You'll have less odor to worry about, the following day.
5. Drink Green Tea
There are dozens of reasons why green tea is good for you (check out "You'll Totally Fall In Love With These Green Tea Beauty Hacks"). As far as drinking it goes, green tea contains natural compounds that are able to reduce body inflammation; the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that helps to reduce cell damage; properties that are able to increase your metabolic rate (so that you're able to burn body fat), and antioxidants that can help to prevent the growth of cancer cells while also slowing down the aging of your brain. Something else that green tea is able to do is help to keep body odor at bay. That's thanks to the antioxidants that help to remove toxins from your system and tannins that help to slow down sweat. Drink tea to detoxify your system. Put a couple of tea bags into your bathwater to get most out of the tannins that are in them.
6. Wipe Down with White Vinegar
When it comes to skincare, something that all of us should have in our home is a bottle of white vinegar. You can use it to remove age spots, shorten the length span of breakouts, as an ingredient in your own DIY toner (because it is able to pull toxins from your pores), heal razor bumps and yes, get rid of body odor. White vinegar also contains properties that can kill odor-causing bacteria. You can either pour one-third of white vinegar into a bottle of distilled water and use the solution as a spray for your underarms or you can pour 1-2 cups of white vinegar into your bathwater and soak in it for 20 minutes.
7. Put Some Vodka on Your Underarms
Off top, vodka is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic properties. If you consume it in moderation, vodka can do everything from reduce stress (even more than red wine is able to), lower your cholesterol levels and even decrease symptoms that are directly related to rheumatoid arthritis.
The reason why you should keep a bottle of it in your bathroom is because it's also a great way to knock out underarm odor. Not only because of vodka's disinfectant qualities, but also due to the high amount of alcohol that vodka contains which is able to stop bacteria in its tracks. All you need to do is pour a little bit of vodka onto a washcloth and rub your underarms with it. You'll notice that you will smell a lot fresher throughout the day after you do.
8. Use Some Tea Tree Oil. Or Lavender.
Any time that I want a pimple to go away, virtually overnight, I'll dab some tea tree oil on it. Because of the compounds in it like terpinen-4-ol, tea tree oil is able to kill the bacteria and fungus that leads to breakouts. Plus, tea tree oil is a potent ingredient for hand sanitizers while also alleviating dandruff, cleansing minor scrapes and abrasions and treating nail fungus and athlete's foot too. Since tea tree oil is so powerful, it is also a popular ingredient in many deodorants. As for lavender oil, it's also great at killing acne-causing bacteria. Plus, it soothes eczema and psoriasis symptoms, smooths out fine lines and, when mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or sweet almond oil (because lavender oil is also quite strong), it can moisturize dry skin as well. Lavender oil's bacteria-fighting properties, along with its fresh scent, make it a perfect addition to tea tree oil should you want to make a DIY deodorant. You can check out some awesome all-natural recipes here.
9. Drop Some Rosemary into Your Bathwater
Something that I'm a huge fan of is rosemary oil. That's because its benefits truly run the gamut, from improving brain function and increasing hair growth to relieving body aches and pains, repelling insects and decreasing stress levels. While rosemary oil really does deserve its own write-up, for now, make sure to get some rosemary leaves for bath time. Not only will it increase your blood circulation (which can make it a great libido-booster) and help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, the menthol and chlorophyll that rosemary contains can help to neutralize your body odor. (You can typically find dried rosemary leaves in the produce department of your favorite grocery store, by the way.)
10. DRINK. MORE. WATER.
Since you're made up of around 65 percent water, that should be enough of a reason to want to consume no less than eight glasses of it a day (for replenishing purposes). But if, for some reason, you happen to need a little bit more convincing—drinking water provides you with more energy, helps your brain to function at a peak level, relieves constipation, aids in weight loss, soothes a headache, reduces oral bacteria and yes, can make body odor less of a problem. Body odor is full of toxins and water helps to flush those toxins out. So, even if you're not a huge water fan, at least try to drink some infused water. It's a refreshing way to release toxins while getting some nutrients into your system at the same time. Drink up!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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