Body odor occurs when bacteria in your body break down sweat.
These microbes are linked heavily to the apocrine glands, which produce a scent that comes from the high protein levels emitted by the sweat from regions that have these glands.
Apocrine glands also help add nutrients to breast milk, form earwax and are also found in armpits, eyelids, and genitals.
While many home remedies for body odor exist as a product you can apply to odoriferous areas of the body, simple changes in habit can also work to great effect.
1. Shaving and Skincare
Body odor related to hair, especially in such areas as the underarms and pubic region, produces these odors because of a combination of sweat and bacteria.
This can be exacerbated by excess sebum metabolized by bacteria on your skin.
Simply shaving, waxing, or using other hair removal tools on the armpits, for example, can reduce odors because there are fewer areas that can trap smells.
Other areas, like the feet, have odors exacerbated by dead skin, which can be removed with a pumice stone.
A regular moisturizing routine can keep skin healthy and free of excess dead cells as well as reduce irritation from shaving.
2. Look in the Pantry or Medicine Cabinet
Ingredients you may already have in your pantry, like baking soda, vinegar, and corn starch.
Theses are beneficial as home remedies for odors from underarm bacteria, especially for individuals with allergies to common ingredients in deodorant.
Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide also works for this purpose.
Gentler astringents such as witch hazel are also effective at body odor removal.
3. Try Crystal Deodorant
Individuals whose body odor does not mingle well with conventional deodorant may wish to try something that has been in use in Southeast Asia for centuries.
Crystal deodorant is made from a mineral salt, potassium alum, which has antimicrobial characteristics.
4. Change Scents
Some perfumes, deodorants, and antiperspirants have scents that conflict somehow with scent glands or bacteria on the skin.
Simply switching products may be all it takes to normalize body odors.
5. Use Essential Oils
Many essential oils double as potent antibacterial extracts as well as pleasant-smelling aromatherapy.
Recommended smells include lavender, peppermint, and pine.
Test the oil on a small patch of skin before committing to regular use to ensure no irritation or allergic reaction.
Sage is another incredibly effective solution due to its antibacterial properties.
6. Tea Tree Oil Products
Tea tree oil is an antibacterial that comes from the leaves of an Australian tree called Melaleuca alternifolia.
The bacteria-killing properties of this oil are so strong that they have been used as a secondary therapy to keep infections from developing after surgery, while tending to burns, or after dental care.
Soaps, mouthwashes, shampoos, and deodorants with tea tree oil are relatively easy to find.
While you can apply small amounts of tea tree oil directly to problem areas, avoid doing this in excess, as it can quickly irritate your skin.
7. Adjusting Dietary Habits
Diet is arguably one of the most crucial home remedies for body odor.
Many foods can counteract excess body odor through chemical interactions in the body, including:
- A few fresh sprigs of parsley a day, whether consumed with a meal or as a tea, is purported to have anti-odor, which could be from its high chlorophyll content.
- Other chlorophyll-rich greens you can incorporate into your diet include chard, kale, and spinach.
Avoiding foods and beverages that aggravate odors also helps immensely.
pH Levels with acidic foods
Incorporating more acidic foods, like citrus fruits, into your diet can make odor-causing bacteria unable to thrive due to raising pH levels in your skin.
Rubbing your skin with orange or lemon oil can also aid in odor control.
Dietary changes like switching to a low- or high-carb diet can also change your body odor due to increased sugars or carnitine and related nutrients.
Low-carb diets force the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, making the body produce an unusual odor described as being either fruity or like nail polish remover.
Worried about recent changes in body odor? See your doctor if:
- Your sweating is unusually heavy and frequent.
- Body odor is significant and persistent regardless of changes made.
- You think a medical condition is the root cause of your odors and sweat levels.
Causes for this can include overactive thyroid, nervous system issues, low blood sugar, or medication side effects.
If the latter is the case, consult with your physician about switching to a different prescription.
Many home remedies for body odor are fortunately as easy as making small dietary adjustments or looking in your pantry or medicine cabinet for solutions.
Most of the time, odor or sweat changes are minor and can be managed at home with ease.
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