Body Odor And How To Reduce It
Some degree of body odor is normal, and the majority of people control it with regular showers or bathing using plenty of soap and water. Some people do have excess body odor and this can be genetic or due to health problems.
Body odor is largely caused by bacteria interacting with sweat on the surface of your skin; let’s abbreviate body odor to BO. BO is most common in the armpits, groin, perineum, upper thighs and feet. If your deodorant is not working we suggest you read our holistic approach to combat BO.
Tips to reduce body odor
- Keep your underarms dry, as less bacteria will breed in dry areas. Shave your armpits regularly as this will reduce the accumulation of bacteria and can reduce sweat and BO.
- Wipe affected areas of your body with a wash cloth soaked in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Use 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide (3% strength) to 1 cup (8 ounces) of water. You can do this several times daily if needed.
- Wash your gym clothes often, as sweaty gym clothes are a bacteria-breeding ground.
- Skin toner can be another great aid to reducing BO. Skin toner is normally used to remove excess dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria or grease from your skin after cleansing. An acidic toner is by far the best as the skin is normally around the value of 5 on the pH scale of 0 – 14, so it is acidic. If the skin pH is neutral, bacteria grow more readily on the skin, potentially creating BO. Most deodorants are slightly acidic, meaning they have a low pH. If you apply an acidic toner before you apply your deodorant, your skin pH level will be far too low (acidic) for odor-causing bacteria to multiply.
Caution: Do not use toner on your armpits directly after shaving, because it is too acid and may irritate the skin.
- Try herbal therapies. A handy natural deodorant can be made by mixing five drops of lavender essential oil, five drops of coriander essential oil, five drops of sage essential oil, and 2 ounces of distilled witch hazel in a spray bottle. Mix well and spray under your arms when needed.
- Witch hazel can also be used by itself and is a wonderful astringent herb, which means it helps your skin pores to contract; this is good because the smaller your pores, the less you sweat. Witch hazel also lowers your skin’s pH, making it harder for bacteria to multiply. Dab witch hazel onto the smelly areas of your body or put it in a spray bottle to use as spray for your armpits and face.
- Tea tree oil is a natural antibiotic that reduces skin bacteria and thus BO. Use two drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of water for a spray that you can use on the smelly areas of your body. Tea tree oil can upset those with super sensitive skin and some people can be allergic to it.
- Keep your skin acidic, meaning at a lower pH. If you have sensitive skin, fresh lemon can be used to do this; try using fresh squeezed lemon juice as a natural deodorant after your shower.
- Apple cider vinegar can also lower the pH and you can apply it under your arms a few minutes before showering each day. You can add apple cider vinegar to your daily bath and soak your whole body to reduce bacteria.
- Use baking soda. I am sure that you have heard about the ability of baking soda to absorb unpleasant odors? It can also work for your armpits. Make a paste by mixing equal parts of corn starch and baking soda; apply this to your underarms to keep them dry for several hours. This paste will kill bacteria, eliminate wetness, and prevent BO.
Improve the detoxification ability of your liver and kidneys by:
- Having a healthy natural diet replete with fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Avoid sugar in the diet, as this can increase the amount of bacteria and yeast that grow on your skin.
- Supplements of Livatone Plus and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) will help your liver to break down and eliminate toxins from your body via the bile and urine. This means that less toxins are eliminated via the skin and thus your BO goes way down.
- Drink at least 10 glasses of water daily, as water flushes out bodily toxins via the bile and urine which results in less BO.
If you have excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), as well as body odor, talk to your doctor because this can be a sign of underlying medical problems such as infections or blood disorders. There are medications available for those with more severe sweating and your doctor can make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment.