Sweating is your body’s way to regulate temperature. It usually occurs when it is hot, such as when it is over 30 degrees Celsius and very humid outside or when you exercise, play sports, or engage in strenuous activities. Unfortunately, it sometimes comes with a drawback — an unpleasant smell that is called body odor — that can be a huge turnoff.
The causes of body odor
Body odor is produced when bacteria break down the proteins in your sweat, creating different kinds of acids that give off certain kinds of scents. Usually, body odor occurs in the following body parts:
- Behind the ears
- Pubic hair
- Belly button
Each person has a unique body odor that is determined by gender, diet, medication, health, and other factors, and some can have scents that are okay and even pleasant, while others can have smells that are so pungent and horrid.
Ways to get rid of body odor
Having bad body odor can prevent you from living your best life. It can stop you from creating strong and long-lasting bonds with people, and lower your self-esteem and self-worth. It can also make you more prone to infections and diseases.
If you want to fix your body odor problem, below are some easy and effective methods you can try:
Coconut oil contains compounds that can help reduce body odor. It contains lauric acid, which has the ability to combat bacteria that contribute to body odor.
Every day, you can rub a drop or two on your armpits, feet, and other body parts that get really sweaty. If your body odor is a more severe case, you can mix some citric acid powder and water to coconut oil, and rinse your whole body with the mixture before stepping out of the shower. Dry yourself with a clean towel, and apply more coconut oil on specific parts.
Lavender oil possesses bacteria-busting properties that stop odor-causing bacteria from growing and thriving in your body. It also has a pleasant floral fragrance that makes it a good homemade deodorant and can help enhance your smell.
To make your own lavender oil deodorant, mix some lavender oil, cornstarch, and baking soda in a bowl. Leave the mixture undisturbed for two to three days in room temperature to give the ingredients time to blend. After that, dab a small amount on your armpits, feet, and other body parts that sweat a lot and give off that bad odor.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has acidic properties that allow it to eliminate bacterial growth and development, preventing the occurrence of bad body odor.
To make your own apple cider body odor eliminator, you only need apple cider vinegar and some cotton balls. Wet the cotton ball with a small amount of apple cider vinegar, and then dab it onto your armpits, feet, and other problematic body parts. If used every day, body odor can be minimized and you will feel cleaner and more refreshed.
When taking a shower, make sure that you wash your armpits, groin, feet, and sweat-prone body parts with warm water. Compared to cold water, warm water is much better and more effective at annihilating odor-causing bacteria. After washing, towel-dry thoroughly.
Showering everyday and washing at least once a day is highly recommended. You can also apply any of the natural oils and mixtures discussed above for best results.
The kind and quality of fabric that you wear can influence your body odor. To allow your skin to breathe and your sweat to evaporate, you should use clothes that are made with cotton, silk, wool, or other natural-made fibers.
If not, your body odor will get worse and you will feel hotter, as a result of your sweat being trapped and your skin unable to breathe.
There are certain kinds of foods that can make your sweat smell bad and pungent. According to health experts, eating spicy foods, garlic, and curry often can take the odor of your sweat and body to an unpleasant level. A regular diet of red meat can contribute to body odor problems as well.
To improve your body odor, you should fill your meals with lots of green and leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains, and minimize your consumption of oily and greasy foods, junk foods, and foods that are high in sodium.
Tea contains tannins, which are compounds that can help keep your skin dry and prevent the formation of sweat, which minimizes the occurrence of body odor.
To fix your body odor problem, treat yourself to a tea bath two to three times a week. You only need to boil two liters of water, and then add in the tea bags. Pour the tea into your bathtub and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Baking soda has moisture absorption abilities, so it can stop sweat formation. It can also destroy odor-causing bacteria, and neutralize the bad and unpleasant odor.
To make your own baking soda mixture for body odor treatment, just mix a small amount of baking soda with a small amount of water to make a paste. Rub the paste on your armpits, feet, and other sweat-prone areas. After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse the paste off with lukewarm water and towel dry. Make sure to do this every day for a few weeks for best results.
If you have tried many homemade remedies and self-care measures for body odor and have not seen any improvements, you should go see a doctor as soon as possible. Your problem may require a surgical procedure known as endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or ETS, which kills off a particular type of nerve that is involved in the sweating process. However, this option is quite risky, as it can put the nearby nerves and arteries in danger. For this reason, it is considered a last resort.