When people think of body odor, horrible images of nasty sweaty folks come to mind. However, you would be lying to yourself if you said that you don’t produce body odor yourself- that or the fact that you are blissfully unaware of what is going on in your body on a daily basis.
It is natural, every single adult person is subject to body odor, but this does not mean that you have to just accept it and move on. Rather, you can make use of effective home remedies that tackle this unpleasant and embarrassing odor, before someone has to point it out for you.
What Causes Body Odor?
You will have undoubtedly noticed that body odor seems synonymous with adults, and you would be correct. Children do not necessarily give out unpleasant body odor, as the hormones produced during puberty tend to initiate this change. But hormones are far from the primary cause of your body odor. Rather, you can thank the bacteria for that. Sweat itself is virtually odorless, but bacteria reproduce rapidly in moisture, making sweat a perfect breeding ground for them. This, and the fact that waste products of bacterial metabolism of keratin combine to produce this Sulphur smelling odor.
Body odor is not restricted to the armpits alone, as many people believe, but rather can occur on any point of the body, but especially at junctures of joints (waist, behind the knees, elbows, underneath the chest).
But don’t worry- the production of body odor is normal, and with a little conscious effort, you do not have to smell offensive all day long. Try these amazing home remedies for body odor and banish yours to the darkness!
1. Use A Mild Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide has been an established home remedy for centuries, being used for many purposes. Hydrogen peroxide is also very effective in combating body odor, thanks to the anti-bacterial properties it possesses. 5 ml of a 3% solution diluted in a cup of water and applied with a washcloth over the body helps to reduce bacterial colonies and can remedy excessive body odor.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another popular home remedy, apple cider vinegar works by changing the pH of the skin surface, so that it becomes inhospitable to bacteria living there. However, owing to apple cider vinegar’s highly offensive smell, it may be unbearable to have it on your body all day long. Try applying to body just before your bath, or dilute in a bit of water to reduce the intensity of the smell.
3. Baking Soda
Completing the classic household trio is baking soda, which acts primarily to neutralize odors and suppress bacterial growth by altering skin pH. Baking soda can be applied as talc, but may be better suited when made into a “cake” by combining with a little water and lemon juice. This can then be applied to the underarms and left for a while before being washed off. Many deodorants actually contain baking soda as an ingredient thanks to its proven utility in managing body odor.
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent solution to cool you down when applied to the skin on hot days, but more so it kills bacteria and slows their reproduction. Alcohol also acts as an astringent to close the pores and reduce active sweating. Alcohol also usually overpowers body odors scent, and is safe for regular usage making it an excellent home remedy.
5. Rosemary Oil
The rosemary is an herb with anti-bacterial properties, helping suppress the byproducts of bacterial metabolism. Applying a few drops of rosemary oil directly to problem areas should help to treat your body odor issue, as it possesses a strong smell relating to a distant “mint” itself.
6. Drink Green Tea Daily
Green tea is well establish for its benefits on health, but it can also reduce the severity of body odor thanks to its anti-oxidant and detoxifying properties. Regular green tea consumption helps promote removal of toxins via the kidneys and liver, reducing the likelihood of the metabolites being secreted in sweat. The tannins found in green tea also improve skin health and reduce excessive sebum production.
7. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is another essential oil that can help reduce body odor as it is able to suppress the growth of bacteria that produce offensive metabolites on the skin. Peppermint is widely used as natural deodorant due to the fact that its actions persist for many hours and keep you smelling minty fresh.
Sage can be applied either as an oil, or steeped as a tea and then applied to areas with a high density of sebaceous glands. It is believed that sage is able to suppress the production of sweat, and hence control body odor by that mechanism.
9. Cornstarch Powder
Cornstarch is a popular ingredient in many baby talcum powders, as it reduces bacterial overgrowth, reduces moisture accumulation and thus lends itself to controlling body odor. Cornstarch powder also has a very cooling and hypo-allergenic action, decreasing sweat production.
10. Lemon Juice
Freshly squeezed lemon juice can also help treat excessive body odor and leave you smelling fresh for hours. Lemon, while acidic, is base forming, meaning that it can alter pH and make it difficult for bacteria to grow. Lemon extract may be effective for reducing odor, but won’t necessarily address the issue of bacterial overgrowth. Apply half of a cut lemon to problem areas of the body a few minutes before your bath for a powerful neutralizing action.
Alum crystals have multiple uses ranging from the treatment of mouth ulcers, to preserving foods and to also reducing body odor. Alum based deodorants are already available in many parts of the world as it has been established as an anti-perspirant and anti-bacterial remedy when applied to the body.
12. Sandalwood Powder
Sandalwood belongs to a class of tress which are highly aromatic and have the ability to retain their natural scent for a long time. To take advantage of sandalwood’s odor reducing properties, take a little of the powder and make it into a paste by mixing with water. Leave until it solidifies, then wash off during your bath. It is best to apply about 30 minutes before bath time, so that it can be easily washed afterwards.
13. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is extremely pleasant smelling, and can be used to effectively reduce body odor. You can either apply as-is by using a few drops, or making your own lavender based spray by adding water. Just be careful to assess your tolerance first, as some people are allergic to lavender and its products.
14. Arrowroot Powder
A very good powder for relieving excess sweating, arrowroot powder is believed to reduce sweat production, and help prevent inflammation of the sweat glands that may result in profuse sweating. Its drying action ensures that bacterial growth is kept to a minimum as well, and it is safe for children to use as well.
15. Eat More Yogurt
While yogurt may come packaged, it is still considered a home remedy as it is natural and should not have preservatives. Yogurt can be both consumed and applied to the skin, where it encourages the growth of helpful
bacteria in the intestines. Applied to the skin, it can also alter the pH and kill bacterial living on the surface, or at least reduce their density.