Nothing can make you feel as self-conscious in a crowded room quite like wondering if you aren’t smelling as fresh and clean as you’d like to be. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your personal body odor, read on for tips and information that’ll leave you smelling and feeling great all day long.
First: what causes body odor, anyway?
It should first be noted that everyone produces some level of body odor. It’s just a natural fact of life and of our human biology!
One of the primary reasons that we have body odor is because we sweat. Perspiration helps keep our bodies at the right temperature, and on its own, sweat usually doesn’t have much of a smell. Unfortunately, if that sweat is allowed to sit on our skin, it also comes into contact with certain bacteria. When this happens, this smelly combination releases that signature BO smell.
In addition to this natural process, your individual body odor can also be influenced by a number of other factors including your:
The foods that you eat can play a big role in how your personal body odor smells. For example, sulfurous foods (like onions and garlic) and cruciferous vegetables (like Brussels sprouts and asparagus) are notorious for changing your body odor.
It’s not enough to take care of your body’s hygiene alone — it also pays to keep your clothes clean. The type of materials that you wear can also contribute to or minimize odor depending on how breathable and moisture-wicking they are.
Hormonal changes and general health
Your general health can also affect your body odor in various ways. For example, certain health conditions or medications may cause you to sweat more.
So if you want to tackle your body odor, you may need to approach it from multiple angles. Finally, it’s important to note that you may benefit from talking to a doctor if these tips don’t help minimize your body odor. They can help identify any underlying health issues that you may have that contribute to your body odor.
How to reduce body odor
One of the first things that you can do to reduce your body odor is to shower regularly. When you shower, you’re washing away the sweat that can collect on your body. You’re also getting rid of those bacteria that are responsible for the stink.
But of course, water alone isn’t enough to get rid of the stink — you also need a good soap! Soap is a surfactant, which means that it decreases the surface tension between water and oil. Why this matters: the oil, dirt, and grime that stick to your body aren’t going to come off with water alone. You need to add soap into the mix, which effectively breaks down the grime, traps it, and allows it to get washed off with the shower.
For the best results in reducing your body odor, use a high-quality bar soap like the ones from Pacha Soap Co. These soaps can effectively trap the dirt, sweat, grime, and bacteria to be washed away in the shower. Many of them are also lightly scented using natural oils and ingredients, which can help leave you feeling fresh, clean, and delicious after a wash. Just make sure to dry out your soap bars in between each wash so to discourage any bacterial growth that remains. Soap storage solutions that allow your soap to hang, like our Bamboo Magnetic Soap Holder, are great options for this. (Also, just a side note: antibacterial soap usually isn’t necessary — soap on its own is often enough to do the job).
If you prefer a different form of soap, Body Wash is also an option if you’re looking for a gentle, nourishing option.
When you’re washing, make sure to focus on the places that you tend to sweat the most (think your armpits and your groin) since these places tend to start smelling faster than others.
Use a good deodorant
In addition to washing regularly, it’s also a good idea to add a natural deodorant to your routine. These products help target the odor-producing bacteria that are most commonly found on your armpits and other sweaty areas, which can help combat any smell issues and leave you feeling fresh throughout the day.
Apply deodorant when you get out of the shower, and reapply as needed if you start to feel like you could use some deodorizing action.
Consider your diet
As is true with most things in your health, your diet can also play a role in your body odor. For example, alcohol consumption can sometimes lead to increased body odor since your body releases it through your pores, leaving you smelling particularly boozy.
The same can also be said for some foods! For example, some researchers have found that red meat consumption can contribute to a less-than-pleasant body odor. Unfortunately, even some of our healthiest foods are thought to contribute to body odors — think garlic and onion, two popular aromatics that are known for their strong scent and flavor. Other foods like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and strong spices like cumin can also be smelled in your body odor after consumption.
You don’t necessarily need to stop eating these foods completely, especially since many of them are actually quite good for you. But it’s worth reconsidering that extra-garlicky pasta or the plate of Brussels sprouts on occasions when you’d rather keep your body odor to a minimum.
Wear light, cool clothes.
In addition to your personal hygiene and dietary practices, it’s also worth considering how you dress if you want to keep the smell to a minimum. Since your clothes are coming into direct contact with your body, you should stick primarily with moisture-wicking, light fabrics. This can help keep your sweat and other moisture away from your skin and thus minimize your body odor.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to stick to natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, and wool which naturally wick away moisture from your body. Synthetic fibers tend to hold onto odors more than natural fabrics. Even if they’re advertised as athletic gear that is designed to keep moisture at bay, these fibers often hold onto smells after a certain point.
Do your laundry often.
On a related note, you should also take care to do your laundry as frequently as necessary to minimize odors! For the most part, you should try to wash your laundry after every wear if you’re concerned about any smells that could be lingering after a wash. Use a gentle detergent and warm water so that your clothes can come out feeling fresh and super clean after each cycle.
Body odor is natural, and everyone gives it off to some degree. However, there are definitely ways that you can minimize your own smell. By washing often with a good soap, practicing good laundry hygiene, and watching your diet, you’ll be well on your way to a fresher, cleaner you.
Photo by Castorly Stock: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-towel-and-wooden-brush-hanging-in-the-bathroom-3609986/