I’m not sure about you, but I hate BO. You know what BO means, right? *whispers quietly* body odor . . . It’s smelly. It makes you feel like you have to keep taking a shower all the time. Whether you are a stinky onion type or an overall yuck kind of gal, we all have one desire . . . to get rid of body odor!!!
Enough is enough. Soap doesn’t get rid of it, not for long. Deodorant doesn’t get rid of it. It masks the odor and holds in your sweat. What then? What is the answer to stopping the stink?
6 Easy Steps to Letting Go of BO
1. Stop Using Conventional Deodorant
Deodorant is not a solution to sweat or to body odor. The point of deodorant is to keep the consumer coming back for more because it will never alleviate the problem. The first claim of deodorant is that it’s an anti-perspirant. It is not a good thing to block your sweat glands and pores to prevent sweat. Sweat isn’t the problem; sweat is a natural way for your body to cool off. If you are sweating excessively, take a look at step 6 to boost your overall health.
The second way that deodorant works is to mask the smell. Most are scented to hide the smell excreted from the bacteria that grows on your armpit. When your sweat mixes with the bacteria on your armpit, the bacteria will eat your sweat, the bacteria excrete waste on your skin, and you stink. While some deodorants may temporarily kill bacteria, the pH of most deodorants encourage regrowth. What a horrible cycle!
2. Switch to a Natural Deodorant
If I told you right now to stop using deodorant, you would probably stop reading. Thus I suggest that you switch from using a conventional deodorant to using a natural version. If you follow the rest of the steps in this post, you may find yourself without the need for any deodorant. My purpose is to help you to reduce and eliminate the bacteria that cause underarm odor.
3. Acidify Your Skin
Did you know that your skin is supposed to have an acidic pH? Our skin has an acid mantle caused by the natural oils that our body produces. This acid mantle is a protection against environmental toxins and foreign bacteria. Unfortunately, many people regularly destroy their acid mantle with conventional soap. If you want your skin to be healthy and free of odoriferous bacteria, you need to restore your acid mantle at least under your armpits (for a start). Use the recipe below to make an armpit rinse that will promote your acid mantle.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Water (50/50) – I suggest using Braggs ACV and water as an armpit rinse. The ACV is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In addition, adding an acid to your armpits will help to restore your acid mantle! Bye bye stinky bacteria! When you sweat while using the rinse, you will have a slight smell of ACV to your armpits. However, this is a positive. When your sweat reacts with the ACV, it means the bacteria will not be combining with your sweat to promote body odor. As time goes on and you have successfully fought the bacteria, you may be able to use this mixture less often.
4. Stop Using Soap on your Armpits
I’ve mentioned in the last point that you need to restore your acid mantle. Using the ACV rinse will definitely be a start toward its restoration; however, you cannot keep stripping your natural oils and healthy bacteria from your armpits and expect to be odor free. The natural oils under your arms will help fight the bacteria that causes body odor and once you stop using soap you have natural bacteria that live on your skin and will keep away bad bacteria. If you want to completely get rid of the bacteria that cause body odor, then you must stop using soap on your armpits.
Not only does the soap remove all the natural oils and good bacteria, but it also leaves behind a film. The bacteria not only eat the sweat that is excreted from your pores, but it also eats the film left over from your soap. The bacteria are feasting on your sweat and soap and leaving you with a stinky present. What a raw deal!!! Leave the soap behind (at least for your armpits) for two weeks and see how your body changes in response. You probably won’t go back.
Note: Also avoid getting your shampoo on your armpits. This is also alkalinizing and should be avoided.
Need ideas for soap alternatives? Check out my post –> here for great cleansing alternatives to soap.
5. Eliminate the Bacteria or Fungus
Each of the above methods are one step closer to increasing your armpit health and getting you back on track with having a naturally balanced skin pH. However, sometimes we have an all-out infection caused by bacteria or by fungus and these solutions are not sufficient to fight the underlying cause of this body odor. Depending on your particular battle, consider the options below to fight back naturally and give the bacteria or fungus a boot out the door.
- Tea Tree Oil in Coconut Oil – If you have a fungal imbalance resulting in extreme body odor, then you need to restore the balance. Tea Tree (or Melaleuca) Oil is a fantastic natural fungal-balancer as is coconut oil. Use this once or twice a day and you should begin to see an improvement within a week. If you’d like to purchase Melaleuca Oil through Young Living, please check out my post here.
- Yogurt – While you are getting ready to shower, slather some yogurt on your armpits and leave it on for five minutes. The natural bacteria in the yogurt (or kefir) will fight the bacteria and fungus that are on your arms. Kefir is also great at fighting scalp infections!
- Oregano Oil – If your body odor is a symptom of a system-wide infection, consider looking into using diluted Oregano Oil to discourage the growth of fungus or bacteria that is resulting in this symptom. The herb oregano is a strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Personally, I do not take Oregano Oil for more than a week in respect of its powerful nature. You will have to decide what is best for your heath. Please read my disclaimer in order to understand that I am not a medical professional, but rather a mother who does her own research and makes her own decisions for her own family.
- Sauerkraut – Give your body a boost of probiotics through sauerkraut. Sauerkraut and other probiotics will help to encourage good bacteria in your body balancing the fungus and the other bacteria that cause body odor.
6. Change your Diet
With all of that said, if you are eating like a pig, you are going to smell like a pig. I cannot honestly tell you that you are going to get rid of all body odor if you are eating foods that are horrible for your health and being indiscriminate with your health choices. To smell swell, you must eat well. To smell clean, you must eat clean foods.
- Avoid processed and refined foods
- Avoid foods that contain ingredients you can’t begin to pronounce
- Find foods that are fermented and naturally aged
- Find foods that are grown locally and are not genetically modified
- Avoid foods that contain ingredients that were only recently approved for human consumption
- Find foods that do not advertise how healthy they are, but rather foods that you know to be healthy
- Find foods that are traditionally prepared and processed
My Stinky Body Odor Story
Thanks to my mother’s good advice, I began my life with outstanding armpits. I never used conventional deodorants, because my mother was concerned about the effect of the aluminum on my health. I’m very thankful that she kept me away from these harsh products! Possibly due to this (and that I never traded clothes with other people), I would never stink. In college, I’d work out, throw on new clothes, and I’d be out the door.
In fact, it wasn’t until years later (oh dear, has it really been YEARS?) that I had my first stinky episode. After being stuck in a moldy hotel room for two months in 2012, I developed a horrendous body odor. I would take a shower and in a few hours, I’d stink. I’d smell like nasty gross onions!!! I moved into a house and out of the holding cell of the hotel room and I HAD to find a solution! I just had to!
I began researching online for natural options to my dreadful condition. Consequently, I came across information on the acid mantle that our body is supposed to have and I came across a natural alternative to soaping up (and alkalinizing) my armpits. Reluctantly, I stopped using soap on my armpits and avoided dripping my shampoo (which at that time I was still using) onto my armpits. I then made up my ACV and water solution as a cleanse. Within two weeks, I was pristine. No more smell! I was delighted.
I have proceeded on my natural skincare journey past my armpits. I’ll leave that for another post. However, after three years, I am now confident enough of my armpits to share it with the world! Use these 6 easy steps and get rid of your body odor for good! Good luck my Boholistic Moms!
THE Boholistic Mom
Resources to Kill the Body Odor
Soap Alternatives | Boholistic Mom
Are You Still Using Soap in the Shower? | Renegade Health
Food or Foe | Boholistic Mom
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