Body odor is the perceived bad odor that our bodies can give off as the bacteria that live on the skin break down the sweat into acids.
Some say that it is the smell of bacteria developing in the body. But it is actually the result of bacteria breaking down proteins into certain acids.
What is body odor?
When a person gives off a smell that others may find irritating, it is known as body odor.
The body’s odor usually becomes apparent when a person does not take steps when he reaches puberty. People who are obese, those who eat spicy foods daily, and persons with such medical problems, such as diabetes, are more vulnerable to body odor.
People who sweat too much, such as those with hyperhidrosis, can also be vulnerable to body odors. However, the salt level of their sweat is always too high for the bacteria to break down. It depends on where the excessive sweating occurs and the type of sweat glands involved.
Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans. The quick multiplication of the bacteria in sweat and the disintegrating of the sweat into acids eventually produces an unpleasant scent.
Here are the 5 best tips to prevent body odor so you can stay fresh and smell amazing every day.
1. Spike the laundry
If your clothes smell like the bottom of your workout bag, don’t worry about it. Add a cup of vinegar to the laundry, and it’s going to come out smelling fresh. You can also use up to 1 cup of baking soda or soda to beat the smell. Just don’t mix the vinegar with the baking soda/washing soda, as they’re going to cancel each other out.
For really smelly conditions like clothing that you forgot in your hot car, or soaking post-hot yoga leggings, put on your clothes in 1-2 cups of vinegar per 2 gallons of warm water before washing. You can do this in a “soak” setting in your washing machine or a bucket before washing.
Pro tip: Turn the clothes inside out before you wash them. This makes it easy to remove the clothing’s oils and sweat, and the clothes can look fresh for longer.
For very stinky clothing and all the technical fabrics, avoid the dryer. It’s going to “bake in” the smell and make it impossible to get rid of it.
2. The right deodorant for you
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had an epic failure to decorate yourself. On the second thought, let’s leave the pits closed.
Finding the perfect deodorant may be challenging. But if your current pick doesn’t work for you, it’s time to kick it down the curb. You’re better than a deodorant that can hardly make it through lunch.
It may take a few efforts to reach a deodorant that works well for your biochemistry and everyday requirements. You don’t have to try to find the right one for every deodorant on the shelf.
Pay attention to the active ingredients. If deodorants that use baking soda or tea tree oil as an active ingredient to beat odors are irritating or do not work for you, you can skip any deodorants that mention them as active ingredients (or that lists them high in the ingredients list).
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any discomfort when you’re experimenting. Smelling like flowers is not worth having an itchy armpit.
3. Homemade deodorant
Struggling to find a deodorant that works for you, huh? Skip the drugstore and formulate your own, perfectly tailored to your tastes and biochemistry. Homemade deodorant won’t stop you from sweating. But it will help you stop the source of the smell, which is bacteria
There are lots of various recipes out there, like this one for a deodorant homemade cream stick. The trick is to find the one that works for you. Some individuals are sensitive to baking soda and may have contact dermatitis. If you get some irritation, stop using it immediately and let your skin cool down before using another deodorant. Also, be aware that you may end up with oil stains on your clothes if your solution is too oily.
Don’t lose all hope if baking soda doesn’t work for you or if you dislike powdery deodorants.
Use the deodorant with a combination of apple cider vinegar and water. Apple cider vinegar helps kill the bacteria that create body odor. Use apple vinegar carefully as it can induce chemical burns and irritant contact dermatitis.
4. Wash regularly
Cleaning properly can go a long way. If you are vulnerable to body odor, frequently wash, particularly in offensive areas.
While you’re at it, think again before you put the T-shirt back on. You do not need to wash all clothes for every wear. But you need to wash more regularly if you tend to sweat excessively.
Shirts and other clothes that touch the armpits should be washed after every wear if you have body odor. Wear a base layer like a short sleeve t-shirt to protect the armpits to prevent sweat and bacteria from spreading to sweaters and outer layers. If you do, you’re not going to have to wash them as frequently. Also, you and your sweater are going to smell better.
5. Wear breathable clothing
Natural fibers (silk, cotton, linen) are able to breathe and minimize sweating. Some high-tech fibers even wick away moisture. Many workout clothes now provide a high-tech fabric that removes moisture from the body. So, bacteria don’t have a chance to sweat. (Clothing tags may identify them.) Dressed in layers also helps to soak up sweat.
Here’s the routine that will remove the foul body odor
Habits that you must include:
- Shower at least twice a day if you have a lot of sweat
- Apply dusting powder to all body folds after the shower.
- Use cotton clothes
- Use the anti-perspirant on the skin
- topical application of aluminum chloride at night
- anti-fungal/talcum powder throughout the day.
The diet that you can follow:
- Avoid eating onion and garlic
- Reduce the intake of caffeine and drink herbal and green tea.
- Start a healthy and nutritious diet rich in fruit and vegetables, whole grains
- Adequate intake of protein
- Include supplements such as vitamin B complex and zinc
- Minimum of 2-3 liters of water a day
The Bottom Line
Some medical conditions might change how much a person sweats. Others can change the way we sweat, the way we smell. It is necessary to see a doctor identify these conditions.
For example, overactive thyroid gland or menopause can make people sweat a lot more. At the same time, liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes can alter sweat’s consistency such that the individual smells differently.
If your body smells different than normal, you should see your doctor. A fruity smell may indicate diabetes due to high levels of ketones in the bloodstream. Liver or kidney disease may also cause a person to have a bleach-like smell due to build-up in the body.