Body odor is a diverse situation because our stink factor is heavily influenced by what we eat/drink, our hormones, genetics, our physical activity, our lifestyle, and of course our emotions - stress sweatin’ friends, you know what we’re talkin about!
We've been experimenting with ways to reduce body odor for several years and are excited to share 10 simple ways to bid that stank goodbye!
1. Whipped deodorant
We sweat for good reason, so it's important not to clog the pores in our armpits (one of the reasons we don't use any comedogenic oils). Sweating is our bodies natural way of removing waste and impurities and regulating body temperature. Choosing the right deodorant makes all the difference, as we don't want to be absorbing toxic chemicals that are unfortunately present in all conventional deodorants and many "natural" ones. Our deodorant is safe and free of plastic and toxic chemicals to keep you and the planet healthy, baby! If you make your own deodorant or use another truly non-toxic one that works for your body, we think that's awesome and totally support you.
Our body and its amazing systems are constantly working and excreting waste/toxins. Drinking water helps flush out toxins. When we stop ingesting toxins through food and what we put on our skin, our body has less waste to get rid of. More water = less toxins = less body odor.
3. Crowd out acidic foods
With our sad American diet many of us are eating highly acidic foods (sugar, coffee, alcohol, dairy, meat, processed foods). A diet high in acidic foods can contribute to major body odor. We started crowding out acidic foods and adding in alkaline producing ones (greens, avocado, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, etc.), staying hydrated, and supporting our microbiome with probiotics (friendly bacteria). With this change in diet, we noticed that our body odor was significantly less stinky.
4. Get your chlorophyll on
Chlorophyll is the pigment found in all green plants and is what facilitates the process of converting sunlight into energy (photosynthesis). We've found that taking liquid chlorophyll or eating foods high in it has reduced our body odor because chlorophyll neutralizes odor on the inside before it is excreted!
5. Avoid synthetic clothing
Synthetic materials don't allow the skin to breath, which can contribute to sweat build up where we have apocrine sweat sweat glands (mainly in our underarm and groin area). Synthetic clothing promotes a super moist environment where the odor causing bacteria thrive. Clothing made from plant fibers like cotton or linen allow air flow and breathability, which keeps the pits drier and thus less stinky. Catch our drift?
6. Eliminate toxic chemicals
The cosmetic industry in the United States is irresponsibly unregulated, which means even "natural" body care products contain toxic chemicals. We absorb over 60% of what we put on our skin, so being mindful of what we feed it is important. Many products are also irritating to the skin because they are not pH balanced and disrupt the skin's protective barrier, leaving us even more vulnerable to pathogens and toxic chemicals. If we eliminate toxic chemicals form our skin care routine (antiperspirants, toxic deodorants, shampoo, soap, lotions, makeup, cleansers, etc.) then we reduce the amount of toxins our body has to absorb and process, which reduces body odor and improves our overall health and the health of the planet.
7. Love ur lymph
The lymphatic system is the body's secondary circulatory system responsible for getting rid of toxins and waste. It's of vital importance to take care of our lymphatic system - we do not want it to become congested or sluggish, because this can cause serious health issues. Hydrating, crowding out acidic foods, and adding in more alkaline producing foods support a healthy lymphatic system. Additionally, applying the whipped deodorant gives our pits a little massage, which can stimulate the lymph nodes that live there, and further support circulation and detox. Exercising, dry brushing, avoiding tight fitting clothing, lymphatic massage, reducing stress, and SWEATING all support lymphatic health and drainage. You hear that?! Sweating supports your lymphatic system, oh funk yeah! Check out our Love Ur Lymph body oil.
8. Green Clay Mask
Clay works to draw out impurities from the skin on a deep level. We like to use montmorillonite clay (also called French green clay) as it's gentle and suitable for all skin types. French green clay is a mineral clay (silica, iron, calcium, magnesium) that gently absorbs toxins from the skin while removing impurities. It naturally exfoliates, purifies and firms, bringing the skin back into balance. Simply mix 1 part clay to 2 parts water (a little goes long way), apply to pits and keep on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with water. We only rinse with water because soap can throw the pH in our underarm off. We always moisturize our pits with our Love Ur Lymph body oil post underarm mask.
9. Rebalance underarm pH
Our skin is drop dead amazing and is our first line of defense against pathogens and environmental toxins due to its slight acidity. While our skin is pretty good at regulating it's pH, sometimes it gets off and needs our help to get back into balance. If the pH in our armpits is too alkaline, it can lead to dryness and irritation. To rebalance underarm pH, use our Love Ur Lymph body oil, or get a food grade aloe vera leaf and apply the fresh gel to the pits. Fresh is best as packaged aloe vera gel often contains toxic chemicals and preservatives. Or you can mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with water or equal parts witch hazel with water and gently apply the solution to the pits with a wash cloth and let dry.
10. Balance Life
We have found that in order to reduce body odor, we also have to slow down and reduce the stress in our lives. Stress that could be manifesting because we are experiencing unbalance at work, unbalance in our relationship or diet, anxiety about something, etc. When we get stressed our heart rate can increase and our hormones can get triggered which can cause our apocrine glands (mainly in our armpits and groin) to produce more sweat. This sweat is odorless, but when it makes contact with our skin, the bacteria that live on our skin begin to break it down. It's this innocent meet and greet of sweat + bacteria that produces odor. We all have a lot going on, and if possible, it's important to take a breath and focus on lowering the stress in our lives, loving ourselves, and practicing some radical self care in whatever way supports our own unique personhood.
Smell ya later.