How To Get Rid of Underarm Odor Naturally? Super Effective Tips and Home Remedies
Saddled with underarm odor? In this article, Beauty and Tips takes a look at why it happens and what you can do to get rid of it.
We all know that sweating is a natural human process. We also know that, occasionally, a person experiences underarm odor. Sometimes, we can let it slide – but a lot of the time, we can’t. Underarm odor, especially when it’s potent, is a cause for alarm because we know that people are going to assume we have hygiene issues. Whether we’re out with friends or on a date, underarm odor can make us super uncomfortable, because we know other people will be able to smell it. It’s unpleasant and can really affect our self esteem.
What Causes Underarm Odor?
Many of us assume that sweat is the culprit behind underarm odor. After all, it’s only when we sweat that we start to smell, right? Actually, sweat is odorless because it’s composed mainly of salt and water. It just doesn’t smell.
Instead, underarm odor is caused by accompanying bacteria that finds its way over to your underarms because you are sweating. Bacteria LOVES sweat!
We all have two sweat glands. Our eccrine glands open directly on our skin’s surface. For example, sweat comes from our eccrine glands whenever our palms sweat. The second type of sweat gland we have is our apocrine glands, which secrete a thicker sweat in hairier areas, such as our underarms. Because our underarms are confined and, at times, hot and sticky, bacteria gets attracted by the moistness and causes all that horrible body odor. Not cool.
Sometimes, a person might suffer from extreme body odor. This generally happens in hairier areas during a bacterial breakdown, but eccrine sweat is also known to lead to extreme odor.
There are certain health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, that cause extreme odor, too, because they encourage more bacterial growth.
What you eat can contribute to nastier odors as well. For example, hot chili, onions and garlic can exacerbate body odor.
Body odor is also commonly encountered in children, due to various factors, such as precocious puberty, fish odor syndrome, or such medical conditions as diabetes, hyperhidrosis or phenylketonuria.
Some Tips For Eliminating Underarm Odor:
1. Keep Your Underarms Dry
As mentioned, bacteria is attracted to moist areas, such as sweaty underarms. The more you sweat, the likelier it is that bacteria will find its way to your underarms and cause that unpleasant smell.
The best thing to do, then, is to keep your underarms as dry as possible. Keep wet wipes with you throughout the day and wipe your underarms whenever you feel yourself perspiring.
2. Shower Every Day
If you don’t shower every day, it could be the reason bacteria is consistently finding its way to your underarms and causing an odor. Make it a point to shower each day. If possible, shower twice daily and especially make sure take a shower after a workout. Regular showering should effectively kick underarm odor to the kerb pretty quickly.
3. Find a Way To Eliminate Bacterial Breeding Grounds
Bacteria will keep appearing and it will keep smelling if you keep creating grounds that it’s attracted to. In order to eliminate bacterial breeding grounds, you need to shave your armpits regularly. This is important because hair keeps bacteria trapped – especially the ones located in your underarms.
4. Wear Fresh Clothes
We get it. Sometimes, we wear the same shirt or sweater for two consecutive days. We know it’s kinda naughty, but if we’re just staying indoors it’s not like anyone is going to notice!
Other people might not notice us wearing the same shirt for two consecutive days, but bacteria will certainly notice. If you don’t change your clothes each day, you’re creating a very potent bacterial breeding ground.
The best clothes to wear right now are cotton, wool or silk. It’s important that you stick to natural fibres to help you banish bacteria, as they will allow your skin the chance to breathe. In turn, this will reduce the amount of sweat you produce.
5. Stop Smoking
If you smoke and need a strong enough reason to quit, the knowledge that your bad habit could be causing your body odor might be the big push you needed.
Smoking causes our body to produce more free radicals, which cause excess bacteria, which then produce underarm odor. It’s a chain that you need to break.
6. Drink More Water
Water is life but most of us don’t drink anywhere near as much as we should. From now on, you should aim to drink at least five glasses per day as water can eliminate underarm odor. How? Water flushes nasty toxins out of your body, thereby removing a major cause of bacteria. Water also hydrates your skin and helps to keep it nice and healthy.
7. Eat Better
If you’re struggling with underarm odor, it’s important that you improve the way you eat. Primarily, you need to eat more foods that contain probiotics. What are they? Probiotics are so-called healthy bacteria that your gut needs to help your body control how much bacteria is in your system. The best sources of probiotics are buttermilk and yogurt. Just one cup per day can be enough to see positive results. You should aim to eat more green vegetables, too, because they contain an odor-absorbing substance that can kill underarm odor.
Eating better also means that you need to avoid foods that can contribute to body odor. Fatty foods are public enemy number one, as are spices like onions and garlic. Coffee can also be problematic for some people, as can asparagus and alcohol.
8. Use a Natural Anti-Perspirant
If you dislike commercial deodorants, the next best thing to use is a natural anti-perspirant. There are plenty of good products out there and they can help you banish odor.
As well as implementing the above tips to help you banish underarm odor, there are also home remedies you can use. Let’s look at some of them…
Home remedies to get rid of underarm odor:
Grandma swore that apple cider vinegar is a great way to treat practically anything and your mom agreed. And as you get a bit older, you’ll probably start finding yourself agreeing too.
Apple cider vinegar isn’t quite magical – but it isn’t far off! Its antibacterial properties are wonderful and can help to kill bacterial growth, thereby prevention underarm odor.
All you need to do is take a bowl and fill it with apple cider vinegar. Then, dip a cotton ball in the bowl and dab it onto your underarms. This will lessen your skin’s Ph, which in turn will eliminate odor.
Another option is to mix apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spray it under your arms just like you would with your regular deodorant.
Bet your grandma never told you about this one?! Lettuce is a great way to reduce armpit smell. The magic is in the juice, which you can extract from the lettuce by crushing its leaves. Take the juice and rub under your arms and leave it overnight, and then, wash off in the morning. We recommend doing this after bathing, as it will get you the best results.
Alcohol makes us feel a bit giddy, and it’s a great accompaniment on a night out. Who’s up for a party?! However, calm down – we’re (unfortunately) not asking you to drink a glass of wine to eliminate body odor! Instead, alcohol should be rubbed under your arms if you want to get rid of that unpleasant smell. How does alcohol work? It closes your pores, evaporates fast and gets rid of the nasty underarm odor.
Another option is to mix alcohol with water before dipping a cloth in the mixture and rubbing under your arms.
Another home remedy that grandma swears by is baking soda. It cures lots of various ailments and works well when it comes to underarm odor.
Take a tablespoon of lemon juice and mix it together with a tablespoon of baking soda before applying to your armpits. Leave it to stand for a few minutes before rinsing off with water. Alternatively, you could mix baking soda with a smidgen of cornstarch before applying to your armpits, as this can absorb any excess sweat.
Another option is to mix baking soda with water to form a paste. Take a shower and apply the paste to your underarms, gently massage and wash off.
Lavender Essential Oil
Love the smell of lavender? Then you’ll love this remedy! Take 10 drops of lavender essential oil and mix them with 2 teasoons of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of cornstarch. Then, store away for a few days (preferably in a pantry or somewhere equally dark).
After a few days, the mixture will turn into a natural deodorant powder that you can apply to your armpits daily. It works because lavender oil stops bacteria from growing. Even better, lavender oil smells absolutely gorgeous and when combined with the baking soda and cornstarch, it helps to keep your skin nice and dry.
If you can get hold of walnut leaves, you totally should because they’re a potent way of eliminating underarm odor. All you need to do is crush the leaves with eucalyptus to make a paste. Then, apply the paste to your underarms instead of deodorant.
Pour up to three cups of epsom salt into a bath before climbing in and relaxing.
This luxurious treatment should be done two or three times a week for effective results. It works because epsom salt itself is a known antioxidant that detoxifies our system.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary gives our meals a bit more taste, but because it contains anti-bacterial properties, it’s also a really effective underarm odor killer.
Take a few dabs of rosemary essential oil and apply it to your armpits. Or, you could pour 10 drops of it into a mug of water before stirring and applying the mixture to your underarms.
Either way, you should be onto a winner.
Potato juice can also be effectively used to fight underarm odor. Simply grate a slice of raw potato and extract the juice, then apply this juice directly to the previously cleansed underarm area, leave it on during the day (you can also apply your regular deodorant on top of it), and see underarm smell disappear. Potato juice has wonderful antimicrobial properties, which will help kill the bacteria and it also has whitening effect, which can be a double win.
Tea tree oil or witch hazel works like a dream for remedying underarm odor and you can use either. Both of them are natural anti-septics, which lower your skin’s pH. And when your skin’s pH is lowered, bacteria can’t survive. Awesome.
All you need to do is apply witch hazel directly onto your skin and it will work just like a normal deodorant. If you sweat a lot, wipe your arms a few times per day and then apply more witch hazel.
To use tea tree oil for fighting underarm odor, just mix a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil with some baking soda and use it instead of deodorant.
Vinegar can be used to treat all kinds of everyday problems, from wasp stings to underarm odor. Whether you use white or apple cider vinegar, vinegar works because it contains anti-bacterial properties that lower your skins pH level.
Bacteria simply can’t survive when vinegar is around. Before long, both your odor and the smell of vinegar will disappear.
The best time to apply vinegar is when you leave the shower. Splash some under your arms but don’t do this if you’ve just shaved your armpits because your skin mustn’t be broken. If you apply vinegar to broken skin, it could enter your bloodstream.
Vinegar can also be quite volatile, so it’s a good idea to test the waters first by applying a tiny bit to see how your skin reacts.
Like a lot of remedies we’ve already covered, coconut oil is extremely versatile and can be used to treat many everyday issues. It contains lots of lauric acid, which has been proven to eradicate bacteria.
To treat underarm odor, take a few drops of coconut oil and rub them into your armpits. Then, mix a teaspoon of citric acid powder with a cup of water and use it to rinse your underarms as you leave the shower. Dry yourself with a towel and apply more coconut oil to the area. Do this each day until your underarm odor disappears.
Aloe Vera Gel
Natural Aloe Vera gel also can help fight underarm odor, thanks to its antibacterial activities and antioxidant capacity. Simply apply Aloe Vera gel, extracted directly from the leaves, under your arms, leave it on for about an hour and wash off with lukewarm water.
This final one is easy. Take some sage essential oil and dilute it with water, in proportion 1:1. Then, pour the mix into a sprayer and spray under your arms.
Alternatively, you can soak dry sage in a bowl of hot water before cooling. Then, apply to your armpits.
Do you have other tips on how to get rid of underarm odor? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.