9 Ways to Get Rid of Body Odor Naturally

We’ve all been there – that uncomfortable moment when you catch a whiff of your body odor and look frantically for a quick fix. Body odor (BO), although it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, is a completely natural part of being human.

While sweat and body odor often go hand in hand, sweat itself doesn’t have a smell – body odor comes from the bacteria that live on the parts of your body that are prone to sweat. As you sweat, these bacteria break down proteins in your sweat into acids, producing those unmistakable, less-than-pleasant scents.

Although your first instinct may be to grab an anti-bacterial deodorant off the shelves, you don’t need to rely on harsh, damaging chemicals to combat body odor. Here are nine natural, chemical-free ways to manage BO:

1. Shower Regularly

Taking a shower at least once a day is the easiest way to eliminate body odor – however, if you live in a hot, humid environment or frequently engage in high-impact physical activity, you may opt to shower more than once per day.

If you struggle with body odor, rinsing off with water alone is often not enough. Using natural, high-quality products and scrubbing the areas that are prone to BO is key to removing odor-causing bacteria. If you don’t have time for a shower, use a warm, damp washcloth to wipe down key areas (like your armpits, feet and groin).

Once you’ve showered, make sure to dry off thoroughly. Bacteria thrive in moisture – so, if you’re prone to body odor, towel yourself dry completely before putting on your clothes. Put a little extra care into the areas where you tend to sweat the most.

2. Use Antibacterial Soap

Many commercial soaps contain harmful chemicals like triclosan, which can disrupt your endocrine system and lead to hormonal imbalances. However, not all soap is off the table – there are plenty of soaps that contain natural antibacterial properties that gently fight off odor-causing bacteria. Ingredients like tea tree oil, oregano, peppermint, apple cider vinegar and eucalyptus will get the job done without exposing your skin to harm.

Read More: Deodorant Soap: What Is It & Does It Really Work?

3. Shave

Sweat glands are most concentrated in areas of the body that are covered by hair, like the armpits and groin. Because hair holds sweat and encourages warmth, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Consider shaving or waxing the hair on odor-prone areas to reduce sweat and BO. If you’d rather not go bare, try trimming the hair short.

4. Make Diet Changes

Your diet heavily impacts the scent of your body odor – for better or for worse. Spicy, pungent foods tend to make the odor of your sweat unfavorable.

Consider removing (or reducing) these foods from your diet:

  • Spicy foods, like peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Too much red meat
  • Processed foods, like fast food and frozen meals
  • Sulfurous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
  • Excessive caffeine and alcohol

On the other hand, some foods can reduce excessive sweating and improve your natural aroma:

  • Fruits and non-sulfurous vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Pickles
  • Fresh sauerkraut

While tweaking your diet won’t result in immediate changes to your body odor, it will make small (but noticeable) improvements over time.

5. Try Probiotic Deodorant

Removing bacteria from the skin is key to getting rid of BO – but not all bacteria are bad. In fact, killing all bacteria does more harm than good. Beneficial skin bacteria can prevent the growth of other, potentially harmful microbes as well as interact with the immune system to fight infection. And, most importantly, they help reduce noticeable odor.

To keep your skin healthy, consider trying probiotic deodorant. Probiotic ingredients support good bacteria and crowd out bad bacteria, promoting a healthy skin barrier and helping you fight off unpleasant smells.

6. Apply Natural Remedies

If your deodorant needs a bit of reinforcement, consider dousing or washing odor-prone areas with natural antibacterials like lemon juice, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil or baking soda. These kitchen and medicine-cabinet home remedies contain antiseptic properties that kill excessive bacteria and balance the pH level of your skin.

To apply, dampen a cotton ball with the ingredient of your choice and apply it to dry, clean skin. To use baking soda, mix one part baking soda with one part water until a paste is formed and apply sparingly. You may also choose to rub half a lemon on the affected areas. Avoid areas that may have cuts, scrapes or burns.

If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid ingredients like apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and baking soda, as they may cause irritation. Instead, soak a cotton ball in a solution of equal parts lemon juice and water and apply it to the skin.

Read More: How to Stop Sweating Naturally: 16 Remedies + Tips

7. Update Your Laundry Routine

After multiple wears, body odor can begin to impact the scent of your clothes. Avoid stinky clothes by updating your laundry routine with these tips and tricks:

  • Wash sweaty clothing ASAP. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to get the odor out of your clothes.
  • Wash clothing inside out. The detergent will do a better job of removing sweat and odor from the inside of your clothes, where they are most affected.
  • Add 1 cup of distilled white vinegar to your laundry cycle. This will help get rid of tough, persistent odors. You may also opt to add ½ cup of baking soda to your load of laundry (but don’t combine the two).
  • Try laundry sanitizer. Laundry sanitizer kills the bacteria that are living in your clothes, which may help reduce odor.
  • Ditch the dryer or dry on cool. Warm, musty dryers can worsen the odor of your clothes. Try air-drying your clothes or letting the dryer run on cool.

Read More: How To Get Sweat Smell Out of Clothes: The Ultimate Guide

8. Wear Breathable Clothing

Wearing natural, breathable fabrics like cotton or bamboo can help get rid of body odor and promote healthy airflow to the skin. Because these fabrics are lightweight and naturally antibacterial, they discourage the growth of bacteria and promote healthy airflow. They’re moisture-wicking, too, which will help your skin stay dry.

Synthetic materials like polyester and rayon, on the other hand, push moisture and bacteria outward – creating a more noticeable smell. It’s best to avoid these materials if you’re worried about BO.

Read More: 8 Sweat-Resistant and Sweat-Absorbing Fabrics Explained

9. Wear Anti-Odor Shirts

Wearing an odor-proof shirt is an effective way to prevent body odor naturally. They help contain moisture and reduce noticeable BO, giving you the confidence you need to be certain that you can go about your day stink-free.

Thompson Tee’s anti-odor T-shirts, available in crewneck or V-neck styles, go the extra mile to control and get rid of body odor. Made with OdorShield™ technology, the Thompson Tee anti-odor shirt captures, blocks and kills odor-causing bacteria, keeping it from seeping onto outer layers or creating a noticeable smell. They’re a safe and effective solution for fighting odor — guaranteed.

Try a Thompson Tee risk-free today! 

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