Looking for chemical free alternative to deodorants?
Great! Look no further as I’ve got 2 great natural alternatives for you right here. Plus, a helpful list of foods and drinks that may contribute to your odiferous (smelliness) arm pits. Knowing what makes our bodies extra smelly helps us make better decisions on what not to eat should we have to be in close proximity to our friends and family.
The first two remedies do not just mask the smells but may actually be helpful in killing the bacteria that cause them. I am not a medical professional and do not make this claim based on anything but personal experience.
IMPORTANT WARNING: These remedies can sting if your skin is sensitive, or if applied after shaving. Apply at your own risk. There are plenty of sources online that explain exactly how the properties in baking soda react with sweat and bacteria to reduce body odor so this will not be an exhaustive discussion. If unsure, ask a medical professional.
Natural Deodorant Remedy
#1: Baking Soda
My husband and I have been using baking soda as our only deodorant since about 2005. We live in a very warm summertime climate and have found that we have no body odor issues. The issue of sweating will be discussed further on. For now let’s address why baking soda helps lesson or eliminate body odor.
Why It Works
The two glands that allow our bodies to sweat are the apocrine and eccrine glands. The eccrine glands are found throughout our bodies. The apocrine gland is more specific to armpits, groin, feet, and around nipples. When we perspire our sweat comes into contact with bacteria that is already present in these areas, this contact produces body odor. Baking Soda reduces the stink caused by this natural bodily function. There is also the added benefit of absorption. While not as effective as commercial counterparts in actually stopping perspiration, baking soda helps without blocking up the works, so to speak. Which in a good thing because sweating, no matter how it makes us feel, is essential for our good health.
Here are a couple of ways to apply baking soda that you may find helpful
Method 1: I personally like to pat it on dry after I shower. My husband and I keep a small baggie filled with baking soda in our bathroom. When you need to use it, either after a shower or at the start of the day, simply pat some on using your fingertips. Brush the excess off before dressing.
I’ve notice that if you wear dark clothing too much baking soda will discolor in your under arm pits. But it doesn’t stain. If a discoloration is noticed, pre-treat before washing. And if you don’t over apply, there’s no problem.
Method 2: Mix a small bit of baking soda (1/4 tsp) with a little bit of water. The consistency is going to be up to you, but a mixture that is a little pasty but on the runny side seems to work well. Dampen your underarms first. As an experiment, try just a little spot under your arm pit, let it dry. If it begins to sting you can easily rinse it off and try a thinner mixture.
When you’re sure the baking soda will not cause skin irritation apply the mixture to both underarms and massage in, then allow it to sit for a few minutes, shower off and your good to go.
While this may seem a bit labor intensive it might be an inexpensive solution to an odor problem.
Natural Deodorant Remedy
1This is a simple way to help with body odor.
Like baking soda, the juice of lemons helps lower the pH level in our skin. When our bodies’ pH is elevated, it’s easier for the bacteria that live in our sweaty areas to thrive. Lowering our pH helps reduce the bacteria that cause body odor. A lemon can help do this.
First, cut a lemon in two. Using one half, apply directly under both arms, making sure the juice is absorbed into your skin. It’s important to allow time for the juice to dry, then rinse or shower off.
It may be necessary to dilute the lemon juice if sensitivity is an issue. Instead of applying directly from the lemon half, use a bowl of diluted lemon juice and apply with a washcloth, tissue, cotton swab, or something similar.
Results may not be immediately noticed, but be persistent. Probably in a few short days you’ll notice a difference.
Feeling More Stinky Than Usual?
Check Out These Odor Enhancing Foods & Drinks
Food and drinks with caffeine can increase the activity of the apocrine glands thereby generating stronger unwanted odors. Other food, Garlic, for example, when consumed in great quantities can leach out of our pours. This is particularly handy when dealing with mosquitos, or in-laws. Of course the downside is that we would have to literally cover ourselves with baking soda or lemon juice in an effort to combat the odor.
But this isn’t about how to make ourselves more pungent, but just the opposite. Therefore sudden diet changes, eating a very poor diet of junk food, fried foods, candy etc.… these can also increase unwanted “smelliness” under your arm pits. Simply eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, and unprocessed foods can help decrease those unpleasant side effects from an unhealthy diet. If eliminating all unhealthy foods seems daunting, try just cutting back in one area and see if that makes a difference.
Try eliminating fried foods, fish, liver, legumes and even eggs from your diet for 2 weeks to determine if any of these foods could be the underlying “smell-factor” coming out of your arm pits.
If you find a major improvement, add in one food at a time to determine which ones are OK and which might be responsible.
What about Excessive Perspiration?
The fact is perspiration is a good thing so we really don’t want to stop it. It pushes out toxins and helps lower our body temperature when we’re getting overheated.
It is important to note we are not addressing the condition hyperhidrosis, a condition that can be caused by medication or a medical condition. If this condition is suspected, a consultation with your doctor would be in order.
However, most of us tend to perspire due to exertion, anxiety, fear, or nervousness. And some just have over-active sweat glands. So, for those of you with this issue, here’s a tip that may help lower the visibility and or amount of sweat accumulating under your arm pits.
Cornstarch to the Rescue!
Cornstarch is extremely absorbent and does not have any stinging side effects. For the best results, make sure areas to be treated are dry. Cornstarch will clump if applied over moisture. To avoid this, simply dry the area and apply by dusting on, wait a few minutes and reapply. This second application acts as a seal.
Cornstarch and baking soda can be used at the same time as they are not chemicals and will not have any type of explosive reaction when mixed together.
As always, talking to your family doctor is a good idea before testing any natural remedies out.