Sweating, in general, is actually the body’s natural way to regulate its temperature. However, the body odor that comes with it can be a major turn off. Deodorants are one of the best-known ways to combat body odor. But of late, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the chemicals used in deodorants and their cumulative effect on the human body. Therefore, many people are looking for safer and natural alternatives to deal with the issue. Read on to know about the natural remedies that can help you get rid of body odor.
Types of Sweat Glands
The human body also has two types of sweat glands that are present all over our body. They are:
1. Eccrine Glands: These glands are found throughout the body. The sweat produced by the eccrine glands reaches the surface of the skin via certain ducts. They are usually responsible for maintaining our body temperature.
2. Apocrine Glands: These glands are usually responsible for the foul odor produced by our body. The apocrine glands are usually found in our armpits, eyelids, genital area, and breasts. They are responsible for the secretion of fat droplets in breast milk and the production of earwax in the ears. In the armpits and groin, these glands usually give off an odor and are therefore known as scent glands.
What are The Causes of Body Odour?
Body odor is produced when the bacteria that live on our skin break down the proteins in our sweat into different acids. Some people tend to think that it is the growth of bacteria on the skin that produces body odor, but in reality, it is this process that produces the unpleasant odor.
- Every individual has a unique odor, which is influenced by parameters like age, diet, health, and gender.
- The bacterial breakdown of the proteins in our sweat results in two acids – propionic acid and isovaleric acid.
- Propionic acid is produced when propionibacteria break down amino acids. It has a pungent smell and is often associated with vinegar.
- Isovaleric acid is also found in many kinds of cheese. It is produced by Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria.
How to Get Rid of Body Odor Naturally
Though body odor is a natural phenomenon, it can affect our confidence and personality. Given below are Top 10 home remedies to get rid of this pesky problem.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda absorbs moisture, and hence, it prevents the formation of sweat. It not only kills the bacteria on the skin but also alkalizes the body and neutralizes the pungent odor that our body gives off.
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- Water (optional)
- Take the powdered baking soda in a bowl and brush it on all the sweat-prone areas of your body, such as your underarms.
- Dust off the extra powder and go about your day as usual.
- Alternatively, you can mix baking soda with a few drops of water to make a paste.
- Apply this paste to the underarms and other areas of your body.
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water. Pat dry with a towel.
- Do this daily for a few weeks.
[ Recommended: How to Lighten Dark Underarms With Baking Soda ]
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Being acidic in nature, apple cider vinegar is known for its ability to kill and prevent bacterial formation, which can, in turn, prevent the occurrence of foul body odor.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cotton balls
- Water (optional)
- Apple cider vinegar can be directly applied to your underarms and other body parts using a cotton ball.
- Alternatively, half a cup of ACV can be mixed with one cup of water and used as a deodorant.
- As this is a natural alternative to store-bought deodorants, it can be used on a regular basis as per one’s requirement.
3. Lemon Juice
The acidic nature of lemon lowers the pH of our body, making it difficult for the bacteria to survive on our skin.
- 1 lemon
- Cut the lemon into two halves and rub it directly on your underarms.
- Allow it to dry completely. Wash off with lukewarm water.
- If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute lemon juice with a few drops of water and then apply it on the underarms.
- You can do this daily.
4. Tea Tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and is also well known for its antibacterial properties. Being an antiseptic, tea tree oil can help in warding off the bacteria and fungus present on the skin, which, in turn, prevents the occurrence of foul odor.
- 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Dilute the tea tree oil with water.
- Dab the mixture directly on your underarms and other areas.
- Follow this regimen daily for best results.
5. Green Tea
The antioxidants and tannic acid in green tea help combat body odor from within. While the external application of green tea helps to keep the skin dry and keeps the bacteria in check, daily intake of green tea helps to flush all the toxins out of the body.
- Green tea leaves
- Boil enough water in a teapot and add the green tea leaves.
- Allow it to cool and then apply the strained extract to the sweat-prone areas of the body.
- Regular intake of green tea on an empty stomach can also help you deal with foul body odor.
- Apply this mixture on alternate days as daily application could be too drying for some skin types.
6. Rose Water
As rose water is an astringent, it reduces the size of the pores present on the skin, and this decreases sweat production. It also leaves behind a floral fragrance.
- 3 tablespoons of rose water
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- Mix rose water with apple cider vinegar.
- Store this mixture in a bottle and spray on your underarms and other body parts whenever required.
- Apply this daily for best results.
7. Neem Leaves:
The antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties of neem help it to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria. It also removes all the toxins from within the body, eradicating the root cause of body odor.
- A handful of neem leaves
- 1 cup of water
- Grind the neem leaves to make a fine paste.
- Apply this paste on all the sweat-prone areas on your body.
- Allow it to dry and wash it off with warm water.
- Alternatively, boil some neem leaves in water. Strain the water and use it in your bath.
- Daily use is recommended for best results.
8. Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is an antioxidant and is known to detoxify our body. It also helps our body produce a hormone called serotonin, which helps it to relax. These properties of Epsom salt relieve stress and this, in turn, decreases sweat production, thereby eliminating foul odor from our body.
- Epsom salt
- Hot water
- Fill a bathtub or jacuzzi with hot water and pour about 2 to 3 cups of Epsom salt into it.
- Soak in the bath and relax.
- You can try this treatment 3 times a week for best results.
9. Lavender oil:
Lavender essential oil inhibits the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. And the floral essence it emanates is a bonus! Cornstarch and baking soda keep the skin dry, thereby preventing the accumulation of bacteria.
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- Mix lavender essential oil with the cornstarch and baking soda.
- Store the mixture in a dark place for a couple of days.
- Apply this mixture as and when needed.
- This is a natural deodorant powder and can be used daily.
10. Rubbing Alcohol
The antibacterial properties of rubbing alcohol eliminate all the surface bacteria present on the skin, and this prevents body odor.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton pads
- Take some drops of rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad and apply it to your underarms.
- This can be used on your underarms and other less sensitive body parts daily.
11. Tea Bags
The tannins present in tea keep the skin dry, thereby preventing sweat formation.
- 4 tea bags
- 2L of water
- Bring the water to a boil and add the tea bags.
- Pour this tea into your regular bath and soak in it for 15-20 minutes.
- Do this at least thrice a week.
12. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is known to eliminate the bacteria present in our body, thus helping in getting rid of body odor.
- Coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of citric acid powder
- 1 cup of water
- Rub a small amount of coconut oil directly on the sweat-prone areas of your body.
- For foul body odor, mix the citric acid powder with water and use it as the last rinse before you step out of the shower. Concentrate on the armpits and the groin area.
- Towel dry your body and apply coconut oil.
- This can be done daily.
13. Witch Hazel
The astringent properties of witch hazel minimize the size of the pores on our skin, reducing the production of sweat to a great extent. Also, its acidic nature lowers the pH of the skin and makes the survival of the odor-causing bacteria impossible.
- Witch hazel
- Cotton balls
- Take a few drops of witch hazel on a cotton ball and dab it on your underarms and other sweat-prone areas of your body.
- You can use this on a daily basis as a substitute for your deodorant.
14. Fenugreek Tea
Being an antioxidant, fenugreek flushes out all the toxins from our body. It also possesses antibacterial properties and inhibits any bacterial infection from spreading further. Fenugreek tea is thus believed to fight body odor naturally by treating its root cause.
- 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
- 250 ml of water
- Add the fenugreek seeds to water and bring it to a boil till the quantity of water reduces to half.
- Drink this on an empty stomach every morning.
- You can continue drinking this every morning to detoxify your body.
15. Milk Of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia is actually magnesium hydroxide suspended in water. Being an antacid, it is known to counteract the production of acid, and hence, it can help combat body odor. Milk of magnesia is also known to leave the skin relatively dry and odor free right from the first application.
- Milk of magnesia
- Any essential oil (optional)
- Dab some milk of magnesia directly on your underarms.
- You can also mix it with a few drops of any essential oil, store it in a bottle, and spray onto your skin whenever required.
- Do this every morning or night on a regular basis.
In addition to these remedies, maintaining basic hygiene and bathing daily, shaving the hair in the sweat-prone areas, wearing cotton clothes, and eating a healthy diet will help combat body odor at a faster pace.
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