Let’s start off by saying that everyone naturally has some body odor. But if you aren’t paying attention to your own and taking steps to reduce it, it can become a problem if you’re getting up close and personal with people who don’t necessarily want to breathe in your natural musk. Read on for tips for reducing your body odor so that you can feel fresh, clean, and confident all day long.
This should probably go without saying, but one of the first things you should do to minimize your body odor is to take a bath or shower on a regular basis! When you sweat, you’re leaving bacteria on your skin that can eventually start to smell, hence the unpleasant body odors that follow.
While it’s a little up in the air as to how frequently a shower is necessary (a majority of Americans swear by showering daily, while many health experts agree that it’s only necessary several times a week to protect your skin from drying out), make sure to shower as frequently as makes sense for you if you’re concerned about your body odor.
Take special care to hit the showers frequently if you’re sweating often, like during the hot summer months or after a good workout, since that’s when you’re most apt to develop body odor.
To really attack the smelly culprits that are contributing to your BO, take a bar of antibacterial soap and hit those places where you’re especially prone to sweating, like your underarms and your groin.
Finish it off with an American Provenance Natural Bodywash to remoisturize and leave your skin smelling pleasant.
Watch what you eat
Your diet can also play a major role in your body odor!
“Aromatics” like garlic and onions are responsible for adding tons of delicious flavor to your favorite meals ... but on the downside, those sulfurous compounds can also add a little extra scent to your own natural body odor as you sweat. The same thing goes for cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts and asparagus, and for certain strong spices like cumin, curry powder, and cayenne.
You don’t necessarily need to cut these foods out completely (in fact, many of them are full of nutrients that are really good for you!) But you may want to hold off and choose something else on the menu if you’re going to be in particularly close quarters with other people and are concerned about smell.
Reduce your red meat intake.
On a similar note, you may also want to reduce your red meat intake if you’re especially conscious of your body odor. Red meat is notoriously hard for your body to digest, which can lead to increased perspiration and an increase in odors as those subsequent fatty acids are released through your pores.
Interestingly, a small study published in 2006 set out to examine this effect by having seventeen male “odor donors” divided into either meat-eating or non-meat eating diets for two weeks, then having female participants judge the collected odor samples of both groups. They found that the odors of non-meat eaters were judged as “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” than the odors of the men who ate meat!
Wear deodorant every single day.
As the name suggests, deodorants are made with the intention of neutralizing those stink-producing bacteria on your skin and keeping your body odor under control. Similarly, antiperspirants work by “plugging” your sweat glands and minimizing the amount that you sweat.
Unfortunately, some deodorants and antiperspirants come with a bevy of potentially harmful ingredients like aluminum salts, sulfates, and phthalates that you may not want to apply to your sensitive underarm skin day after day. Luckily, natural deodorants like American Provenance can keep you feeling fresh, clean, and smelling good without the addition of those questionable ingredients.
Make it a point to apply deodorant every morning before you leave the house so that you can feel more confident and stink-free. Even better, keep a stick on hand in your car or bag to reapply whenever you feel that you need a quick refresh throughout the day.
Reduce your alcohol intake.
If you’ve ever felt like you smelled particularly strange after a night of heavy drinking, it probably wasn’t just a coincidence. As your body metabolizes alcohol, it releases the substance through your sweat, which means that the smell of alcohol can literally be coming out of your pores if you’ve drunk enough of it. Drinking alcohol is also known to give you “dry mouth” and stick to your breath, making the smell factor even worse.
Wear light, cool clothes.
Besides the actual odors that are coming off of your skin, the clothes you choose to wear can also play a major role in how you smell to those around you. If you find that you’re sweating often, it’s a good idea to stick with lighter natural fabrics like cotton, bamboo, and silk, which are generally fairly breathable and won’t trap odors as much as some other synthetic alternatives like polyester. Even wool is a great anti-odor option since it can absorb so much water!
If you’re especially concerned about body odor in clothes that tend to be exposed to sweat like athletic gear and underwear, you can also find synthetic fabrics made with “anti-odor” technologies. These types of fabrics are treated with antimicrobial substances that can kill off those odor-causing bacteria that contribute to BO.
Do your laundry often.
On a similar note, make sure to wash your clothes regularly! As a general rule of thumb, wash your clothes after every wash to get rid of any sweat and odor-causing bacteria that might be lingering around in your fabrics after each wear.
Body odor happens to the best of us from time to time, but luckily there are a ton of easy hacks you can incorporate into your lifestyle to stop that odor from becoming a problem. By simply paying attention to your laundry and hygiene choices, incorporating high-quality natural products like those from American Provenance, and watching your intake of particularly strong-smelling foods, you’ll be on your way to smelling fresher and cleaner!
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Katerina Holmes