Underarm odor is very unpleasant for the person who has it as well as for those around. When the weather is hot or humid, our body regulates the temperature by sweating. The sweat itself is odorless, but it is a breeding ground of bacteria that multiply rapidly and create the nasty smell.
Read on to find out how to naturally get rid of underarm odor without using commercial deodorants (that may contain toxic ingredients)
Underarm Odor and Why Commercial Deodorants are Harmful
Bacterial growth, as well as poor air circulation are the main reasons that eventually result in underarm odor.
What we usually do is apply deodorant or antiperspirant to prevent underarm odor. While the deodorant itself doesn’t prevent sweating but rather masks the smell of the sweat, antiperspirant contains chemical substances that reduce sweating. Many antiperspirants also contain a deodorant to combine the advantages of both products.
Commercial deodorants and antiperspirants often contain potentially harmful chemicals such as aluminum and parabens that could damage your health.
The research on this is ongoing, but a mere look at the ingredient list rings alarm bells. I’ve already written about it in my article about the neurotoxin that may be contained in your deodorant.
I’ve also written about in my previous article on why it is important to detox your armpits and how to do it, and you can also get more information on how to detox your body from harmful toxins in my e-bookThe Detox Guide.
In this article I’m going to show you natural ways to get rid of underarm odor.
Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Underarm Odor
1. Coconut oil and baking soda
Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Baking soda is a natural deodorizer. It kills the bacteria that causes body odors, so it can be effectively used to your underarms. While many times baking soda is used by its own, it can cause skin irritation for people with sensitive skin, so why not combine the power of these two to prevent underarm odor?
Use these two ingredient to make your own deodorant – find the full recipe in my article on how to easily make your own natural coconut oil and baking soda deodorant.
2. Witch hazel and essential oils
Here you can use the properties of witch hazel and essential oils to prevent underarm odor.
Witch hazel is an extract from the leaves and bark of the North American shrub Hamamelis virginiana. It soothes irritated skin, helps to lock moisture into skin and helps to maintain skin softness and elasticity. It also has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Witch hazel reduces underarm odor by lowering the skin’s pH so the odor-causing bacteria cannot survive.
Lavender and tea tree essential oils are commonly used in natural deodorants. They have anti-bacterial properties. These essential oils are versatile and you can read more about them in my previous articles about the top 10 uses for lavender essential oil and top 5 medicinal uses for tea tree oil.
If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-bookMagical Aromatherapy which will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.
Here is an easy recipe for a homemade deodorant. This recipe also contains vegetable glycerin which is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oil. It is used in the cosmetics industry and in many moisturizing skin products due to its excellent moisturizing properties. It helps to make the skin smooth and soft and also acts as a non-chemical preservative. It is also a component of glycerin soap, which is often used by people with sensitive skin.
4 tbsp. each of witch hazel extract, aloe vera gel and mineral water
1 tsp. vegetable glycerin
A few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils
Put all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to blend. Spray on as needed.
3. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has anti-bacterial properties and has versatile uses which you can read about in my article about the 11 amazing uses for hydrogen peroxide.
- Take 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide and mix with 1 cup of water.
- Soak a cotton cloth in the hydrogen peroxide-water solutions, squeeze out the excess, and wipe your underarms with the solution.
4. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
ACV reduces underarm odor by lowering the skin’s pH so the bacteria responsible for the underarm odor cannot survive.
You can use ACV to help kill off the odor-causing bacteria by making a solution of 1 part ACV and 3 parts water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray on your armpits (don’t apply the solution a short time after shaving your armpits) and wipe your skin dry.
ACV is very strong and may cause a skin irritation for people with a sensitive skin. It is therefore recommended to do a small patch test before using this ACV solution.
5. Lemon juice
Lemons are so versatile and can be used in many ways to enhance your health. The acidic properties of lemon juice helps lower the skin’s pH level, which makes it difficult for odor-causing bacteria to survive.
Swipe your armpits with a sliced lemon (but don’t apply lemon juice to recently shaved armpits) and wipe your skin dry.
Since undiluted lemon juice can irritate sensitive skin, you can dilute the juice from half a lemon in one-half cup of water and apply it to your underarms using a cotton ball or a spray bottle.
6. Rose Water
Rose water is a very soothing remedy to remove underarm odor. Applying rose water under your arms will deodorize the area and will give a long lasting effect of rose fragrance throughout the day.
Mix 3 parts rose water with 1 part ACV, spray your underarms after shower or as needed, and add a pinch of baking soda if desired. Or pour 100-150 ml of rose water into a spray bottle and add several drops of tea tree oil. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use to mix the oil and water.
You can also add a few drops of rose water to your bathtub for a long-lasting freshness.
Rosemary is used not only in cooking, but can also be used to treat a variety of ailments. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center rosemary oil appears to have antimicrobial properties (killing some bacteria and fungi in test tubes). Also its fragrance works like a deodorant to keep off the bad odor.
You can add rosemary essential oil diluted with a carrier oil to your bath to prevent and kill unpleasant odors. Or steep about 1/2 cup of dried rosemary leaves (double the amount if using fresh rosemary) in 4 cups of water and add to your bath.
For your armpits add 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary leaves (or 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary) and let it boil in water for 15 minutes. Use this water to rinse your underarm after a shower everyday. Or put 8-10 drops of the essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil or water and apply underarm. If you use water, make sure to shake the bottle before each use to mix the oil and water.
Chlorophyll supplements are thought to act as natural deodorizers, and can help to keep you from getting smelly throughout the day. Dietary supplements are sold in tablets, capsules, powders and drinks.
You can also get chlorophyll through the food you eat, such as dark leafy greens, wheat grass and barley grass, and algae, such as spirulina and chlorella (which have other amazing health benefits). Read more about chlorophyll in my article about the powerful healing properties of chlorophyll.
Wheat grass contains a lot of chlorophyll that has a deodorizing effect and also helps eliminate toxins.
Mix one or two tablespoons of wheat grass juice in one cup of water. Drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. Do this on a daily basis until the body odor is gone. As time goes on, increase the quantity of the wheat grass juice, as it has a very strong taste and you want to start with it gradually.
More Tips for Preventing Underarm Odor
Shaving your armpits regularly will help reduce the bacterial growth and can reduce sweat and odor as hair absorbs odors easily.
Keep your underarms dry. Bacteria like moisture and will struggle to breed in dry areas of the body. So whether your armpits become moist from taking a shower or sweating, it is important to dry off your skin.
Wear breathable fabrics like cotton or silk, as many synthetic fabrics don’t breathe very well and trap sweat and moisture.
Change your diet. There are certain foods, such as fatty foods, or strong-smelling foods like garlic, onions and curry, that can leak through your skin and cause body odor.