Do you check for body odor every other minute? Is your body odour your worst enemy at interviews, parties, and meetings? Do you shy away from wearing certain fabrics, cuts and designs just because they do not hide your body odor? You are not alone. Around 60% of people experience bad body odor at some point during the day and almost all of them have no clue that this embarrassing problem has a cure!
Before we get to the body odour remedies, it is important to know why you have body odor. Body odor is a natural thing and everyone has it. But it often gets repulsive because of our own lifestyle and food choices. And do know that here is no shame attached to seeking treatment and remedies. Here are some body odor basics.
Causes of Body Odor/Odour:
The sweat secreted by the body is not bad-smelling in itself. It is the body’s own way of cooling down. Think of it as your body’s own air-conditioner! In fact, it is the bacteria that feed on the fat present in the sweat that cause body odor. The strong smell we call body odor is actually caused by the smell of the waste material in the bacteria.
The major causes of body odor, irrespective of gender, are:
- Poor hygiene that leads to a buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
- Spicy food that becomes part of your sweaty smell.
- Excessive sweating which leads to buildup of bacteria in sweat prone areas of the body.
- Caffeinated drinks, an excess of which causes more sweating.
- Alcohol consumption, which makes the body lose more fluids.
- Non skin-friendly fabric which does not allow sweat to evaporate easily, causing buildup of moisture and bacteria
- Thyroid problems
- Certain medications
Moreover, the kind of climate one lives in also plays a major role in how much you will sweat and hence, develop body odor. A hot and humid climate will naturally make one sweat more as sweating is the way your body maintains its temperature in hot weather. People living in tropical countries naturally have more body odor issues and it is no wonder that the sale of deodorants and antiperspirants in these countries sky rockets during the summers!
Top Home Remedies For Body Odour:
1. Get On The Clean Team:
Bathing frequently, especially if you live in tropical areas, will greatly reduce bacteria containing sweat from the sweat-prone areas of the skin. Take essential care to maintain proper hygiene, even if it takes up to 3 baths a day. Research says that warm water is more effective in preventing body odor rather than cold water. You can pick a good anti-bacterial or deodorizing soap easily available in the stores. Sandalwood soap is especially good for tackling body odour.
2. Cut Back On Spices:
If you have body odor, variety is certainly not the spice of life. If you include varieties of hot spices in your diet (chilies, garlic, jalapenos, pickles) you are very likely to develop body odor as their distinctive smells are absorbed by the body. Keep these hot babies at bay and you might easily solve your body odor issues.
3. Baking Soda:
This little compound has great absorbing qualities very much like talcum powder. It is a natural hypoallergenic compound and a good home remedy for body odor. Apply baking soda directly to the most sweat prone areas (armpits and groin) after a bath. It will absorb excess sweat, clear and close open pores and successfully nip the body odor in the bud. Baking soda can also be used as a mixture with cornstarch.
4. White Vinegar:
This simple beauty is nature’s gift for many problematic areas of the skin. For body odor victims, white vinegar acts as a great anti-bacterial and astringent agent. Add 50-60 ml of it to your bath water or simply apply it directly with a cotton ball to the affected areas. The white vinegar will destroy any odor causing bacteria and also prevent new bacteria from developing. You can also try apple cider vinegar in a similar manner.
5. Lemon Juice:
Acidic, refreshing and tangy – this nature’s marvel can solve your body odor issues very effectively. It has natural antibacterial and exfoliating qualities. Add the juice of two lemons to your bath water. It will both kill bacteria, and remove dead skin cells in sweat prone areas that may lead to odor later. The direct application of lemons also works, unless you have just shaved or waxed. Try shaving at night and applying lemon directly to the skin in the morning.
[ Read: Benefits Of Lemon Juice For Health ]
6. Don’t Fabricate The Fabric:
In simple terms, wear natural fabric as much as you can. Much as they are attractive and easy to maintain, synthetic fibers like nylon and terry cot prevent the natural process of evaporation of sweat. As a result, the excessive sweat builds up and invites more and more bacteria to feast upon it. Natural fabrics like cotton and silk allow air to come in contact with the sweat, hence enabling the evaporation process.
7. Common Salt:
Salt has disinfectant properties that most of us don’t know about. For body odor localized in the feet, an 8-10 minute soaking session in warm saline water does the trick. Salt and warm water put together kill most of the foul odor causing bacteria in the feet. The reason feet smell is because they are encased in shoes and socks all day, which become a wonderfully warm, moist haven for bacteria.
8. Stop Smoking:
Yes, apart from all the scary diseases it causes, smoking affects your body odor in a big way too. Ever try sitting close to a smoker? Chances are you didn’t stay longer than a minute. So, quit smoking to regain that natural scent and get rid of that awful pungent smoker’s odor.
9. Go Decaf:
Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and colas) are sweat inducers. They tell the body to lose water, so you will notice more sweating and urination when you consume caffeine. Limit caffeine to just 2 cups a day and go low on perspiration.
10. Be Hairless:
Regular shaving or waxing of underarm and pubic hair is another way to reduce sweat and body odor. Hair increases the surface area for sweat to be exposed to air, so that it can dry out easily. But it also increases the chances of sweat getting trapped for long which creates body odor. Therefore, if you suffer from body odor, male or female, go in for a hairless body to feel odor-free.
11. Witch Hazel:
Use of witch hazel mixed with water in a spray bottle will work as a natural antiperspirant and deodorant. Spray it on after a bath or any time during the day and be odor free for hours. It acts as a natural astringent and clears and closes open pores on sweaty areas of the body. Closed pores will reduce sweating.
12. Wheat Grass:
Try adding a wheat grass or chlorophyll supplement to your vitamins. These act as deodorants from within and leave you smell surprisingly fresh. Wheat grass tea also acts in the same manner. However, some people feel mild nausea after consumption of wheat grass tea. For this, make tea that gets stronger gradually.
13. Tea Tree Oil:
This is naturally antibacterial and will combat the foul-smell-causing bacteria in the sweat prone areas of the body. Use this tea tree oil body odour remedy as much as you want as it is totally hypoallergenic, safe and easy to find.
[ Read: Benefits of tea tree oil for skin ]
14. Detox To Deodorize:
Detoxification is a process that flushes out all toxins from the body that build up due to poor diet, lack of exercise and pollution. Consider detoxifying to eliminate body odor as it might be caused by built up chemicals in your system.
15. Corn Starch:
This is a powerful moisture absorber and will soak up the sweat while you soak up the sun! Apply it directly on the skin any time during the day. It may also be used in a mixture with baking soda. However, corn starch can itself attract excess moisture from the air, so regular washing is recommended.
16. Essential Oils:
Oils of pine, lavender and peppermint are quick drying and anti bacterial. They can be used by most people without causing any skin reaction. Try any of these on a small patch of skin. If no allergy is seen, they can be used to fight body odor. They will also leave you with a lingering, natural fragrance.
[ Read: Essential Oil Uses and Benefits ]
A tincture of sage, sage oil and sage tea are all adept at fighting bacteria and reducing sweat. Try this delightfully scented herb in any of these forms and say bye to body odor. It helps in detoxifying the body from within and reduces ass odor causing chemicals.
This fresh scented herb can also fight body odor. Use is to chew raw or as a tea to reduce sweating and to lower body odor. The tea may be a concoction of parsley and green tea. It not only deodorizes but also detoxifies your body.
19. Water Intake:
The more water you drink, the more toxins you flush out of the body. It’s as simple as that. Try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to maintain a healthy, detoxified body that is free from buildup of odor causing chemicals.
You probably may not want to admit it to anyone, but try applying undiluted Listerine to the sweat prone areas of the body after a bath. Listerine has astringent and antibacterial properties that will reduce both sweating and body odor.
21. Milk Of Magnesia:
Who could imagine THAT! But milk of magnesia applied to the underarms with cotton balls acts as a natural deodorant. In fact, some deodorant brands list it as one of their ingredients. People also report that application of calamine works the same as milk of magnesia.
Besides these body odour home remedies, you can also try being a vegetarian or cutting back on meats for a while to see if it works for you. High proteins are difficult to digest and stay in the gut for longer, therefore adding to body odor. Also try cutting back on milk products as they also may cause body odor in some people.
Body Odor: When Is It A Serious Problem?
On rare occasions body odor could indicate a serious medical condition and may require proper medical treatment. Bromhidrosis, apocrine bromhidrosis, osmidrosis, ozochrotia are some names for excessive sweating. Further, body odor can signal hormone fluctuations, especially during puberty and menopause. Diabetics can develop a distinctive body odor that indicated improper sugar levels in the body. Hyperhydrosis or excessive sweating is also a medical condition that requires treatment. Often thyroid problems and poor metabolism also lead to body odor.
In all of these situations, home remedies will soon run their course. What is needed is correct treatment of the underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your body odor becomes different suddenly or increases drastically in a short period of time.
Body odor, often discarded as a laughing matter can seriously debilitate a person’s self confidence. The use of chemical deodorants and antiperspirants may stall the problem, but can produce skin pigmentation and allergies. Therefore, try some of these simple home remedies for body odour. They are all easily available ingredients; you might even have some of them in your kitchen right now. They are affordable, cause no allergies and can be prepared fresh. Some or many of them might suit you and your lifestyle.
Experiment with them and you might even come up with a special remedy that works just for you. You can regain your lost confidence by solving this very annoying but very treatable problem.
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