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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