The ‘taboo’ around Body Odour in our culture has created a billion dollar industry worldwide....$18.9 billion U.S. dollars to be exact. And it’s expected to rise to 24.1 Billion in the year 2021. Everyone seems to want to mask, cover, or eliminate unpleasant odours. Undesirable smell surfaces through the action of bacteria on the sweat on the skin surface. So, what are some easy ways you can reduce or even eliminate your body odour today? Here’s the short list.
1. Dry Brushing.
If you’ve never heard of dry brushing, there are lots of resources online.
Basically, dry brushing your skin (especially your pits), helps loosen the dead skin cells that have toxic buildup and residue. It’s important to concentrate on the pits, especially when detoxing from a product. It exfoliates and increases circulation.
Remember to: ~ Use a plant bristle skin brush, ~ Do it on dry skin only for the best stimulation and exfoliation. ~ Follow with a shower or a bath after dry brushing. Continue the process in the shower with a sponge exfoliate further. ~ Use natural soaps, avoid anti-bacterial product.
A note: when you take hot showers, you perspire and that will aid in cleaning out the sweat glands. (Take a look at number 4, below).
2. Eat a clean, healthy, diet. And plant-based whenever you can.
Avoiding certain Foods and Drinks will decrease or eliminate body odour. It’s been known, and studied, that some things we’re eating create a more unpleasant body odour. Meat, dairy and processed food are among other culprits, as were drinks with caffeine and alcohol. These same foods and drink can coincidentally cause us to sweat more as well. And the sweat won’t be odourless.
3. Drink more water.
If you think you’re already drinking lots of water, drink even more. Can’t have enough. Our bodies have actually lost our ‘natural thirst’. Which means our bodies signal and ability to let us know when we need water.
When you drink lots of water, your body flushes out toxins faster and increases urination. The more hydrated you are, the less dense your sweat can be. Which means less amino acids for bacteria to feed on, and less odour.
4. Sweat more.
Exercise. Take hot showers and baths. This one may sound funny at first. We’ve all been lead to believe that our sweat smells. The truth is, perspiration (our sweat) isn’t the cause of the odour and it’s actually supposed to be odourless. The undesirable smell is generated through the action of bacteria on the sweat on the skin surface. What we eat and what we do to our bodies changes the bacteria in our sweat and can cause sweat to smell bad. You can increase sweating by doing a number of things, such as taking a steam bath or hot shower, exercising, running or even going regularly to a sauna. By increasing sweating, it increases the removal of toxins and odour causing bacteria. It’s especially important to eat a fresh, clean meal after you sweat. And to continue eating clean as a lifestyle choice.
5. Wash more often during.
You may need to clean more than you’re used to, now that you’re sweating again (which is what we’re naturally meant to do!) Wash your armpits with hot water and lots of natural soap (we love castille or a nice olive soap). Leaving your natural soap on your skin for 30 seconds can help draw out those odors and remove bacteria.
6. Eliminate toxic input (and increase toxic output).
This is simply avoiding certain substances and ingredients that are not natural to the body and potentially toxic. Toxins in our body (from food, water and the environment) can affect our body odour. They change the bacteria in our body and our sweat. If you feel like your body is overloaded you can eat foods that are known to absorb and remove toxins, such as: ~ chlorella ~ chlorophyll ~ spirulina ~ cilantro ~ greens in juice form, etc. And of course, as mentioned above, drinking more water and sweating more will flush toxins out of the body faster.
7. Use soaps without antibacterial properties.
The manufacturers of these antibacterial soaps and washes may claim that their product gets rid of odour at first, (and they usually do), but our body will increasingly need more and more to stop the stink. And it’s not healthy. Triclosan and a related chemical, triclocarban, (incredients in antibacterial soaps and creams) and now proven and known to be very harmful.
Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical agent widely used in liquid hand soaps as well as other personal-care products such as body and face washes, cosmetics, school supplies and kitchenware. It works by killing or weakening bacteria, similar to the way antibiotic drugs prevent or treat infections. But while antibiotics are prescribed to cure disease, they also kill good bacteria that’s often needed to stay healthy. Antibacterials are also aimed at preventing the spread of disease-causing bacteria to people who aren’t infected, including by handling contaminated food and objects, or skin-to-skin contact. We don’t need them.
8. Avoid Anti-perspirants: they block our sweat glands, and can actually cause us to stink more and more over time.
Anti-perspirant is another product that’s been marketed and advertised as safe, but the contrary is true. It may also prevent odour temporarily, but as I said, the body needs to sweat. And while lots of research being done, there are only two epidemiological studies that have been conducted to address the issue of underarm cosmetic use and breast cancer. The second study even indicates an association between antiperspirants (and other personal care products) and cancer at a younger age.
Here is a another very thorough article that we found very interesting: Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer. Deodorants are different, they exist to mask, modify or prevent body odour by fragrance as well as antimicrobial agents. We don’t want the toxins staying inside of us. As a result of daily anti-perspirant and conventional deodorant use, we become dependant on the product and if we stop using it, we sweat and stink more. Ingredients such as coconut oil (an antibacterial), kaolin clay and baking soda ( both absorbs odour) are fantastic. Make sure they are in your natural deodorant.
If you’ve been using conventional Antiperspirant and deodorant, you many need a period of cleansing or detox. A lot of people say they start to stink more after making the switch. While many (um, most) natural deodorants are ineffective, there are some out there that work really well, without harmful toxins. So, if you still smell while using a natural deodorant, chances are you have a build up from years of antiperspirant use, your current diet or lifestyle. There are people out there who’ve actually stopped using antiperspirants and deodorants all together. It is possible to cleanse, eat pure, clean foods and not have any body odour. This is encouraging! But if you’re not quite there yet, it’s great to know there are healthy alternatives. This is an important message for anyone in your life who may suffer from excessive sweat or body odor. If you feel moved to share this with your world, someone in your life may need it.
Author: Margaux Khoury