Imagine you walk into that owambe party with your aso-ebi and gele (head gear) on point, only for people to take a step back, squeeze their noses in and turn away from you like you are a plague to avoid.
That is what body odour does.
Truth is, whether it is a group of family members, friends or strangers; nobody likes a foul smell and it can be really embarrassing.
But not to worry, something can be done about it – and that’s why I’ve written this post. But first, let’s discuss what causes body odour.
What Causes body odour?
Knowing exactly what causes that foul smell is the first step in getting rid of it.
Most people think that body odour is caused by sweat. After all, the foul smell pops up whenever you are sweating.
However, it is not the sweat that causes it. Whenever you sweat, there are bacteria that try to break down the sweat. It is this process of breaking down the sweat that produces the bad smell.
If you have noticed, body odour does not come from every part of the body. This is because it is only the parts of the body that contain the apocrine sweat glands that produce this foul smell. Usually, these glands can be found in the armpits, genital areas (private part), eyelids, and breasts.
Body odour usually starts during puberty, when the body starts to mature. Anybody could be a victim if they don’t take proper care of their body. For some people, it is mild, while some others are stuck with a stronger smell.
Body odour can also be as a result of illnesses like diabetes, thyroid and kidney or liver dysfunction.
The good news however is; body odour not caused by illness can become a story of the past. Let’s go through some things you can do to help.
How to Get Rid of Body Odour
There are several ways to get rid of body odour, but I’ll be sharing just 6 here. And they are:
Ensure Proper Hygiene
Here are a few ways to ensure proper hygiene:
Wash your body daily
Take a proper bath, at least twice in a day. Make sure you wash with soap and a sponge and scrub every part of your body. Pay attention to sensitive areas of the body like armpits, genital areas and any area where you have a fold in your skin.
Rinse your body well after washing
Rinsing your body well is equally important. You do not want soap suds left on your skin. It can irritate your skin and be a breeding ground for infections. And infections only worsen that body smell.
Take a bath after any activity that makes you sweat
This is really important. Whenever you decide to work out or after a long day at work, it is important to take your bathe.
Also, during the dry season when the sun is scorching, it is advisable you take your bath thrice in a day. The rule is immediately you feel sweaty, take a bath.
Use an antibacterial soap
Anti bacterial soaps help to fight bacteria on your skin. And this helps to reduce body odour because the number of bacteria swimming in your sweat decreases.
2. Use antiperspirant and deodorants
Though antiperspirant and deodorants might seem to perform the same function, they don’t.
Antiperspirants reduce the way your body secretes sweat from the sweat glands. Deodorants do not reduce sweating. Instead, they overshadow the foul smell and no matter how much you sweat, you still smell nice.
Most antiperspirants however contain some components of deodorants so that they do not only reduce sweating but also make you smell nice.
It is essential to find out which works well for you.
Try different products until you find the perfect one.
If you’re using an antiperspirant, make sure to rub the fluid on your underarms before you start sweating. This is so it can be absorbed into your skin. This way, it is more effective.
3. Watch what you eat
What you eat goes a long way in determining whether or not your body produces a mild or really nasty foul smell. Here is a list of foods you should run away from:
- Spices: such as curry, onions and garlic. When you eat them, you digest sulphurous gases (which stink) and this leaves your body through your skin pores.
- Oily foods: especially fried foods, pastries, etc. Not only do they make you fat, they contribute to body odour.
- Red meat: They contain proteins that are hard to digest. Usually, they stay in the intestines for days and eventually ferment. This causes your body to smell bad.
- Alcohol: Too much alcohol intake makes your mouth smell. When alcohol mixes with the chemicals in your system, it produces acetaldehyde which has a strong bad smell.
- Sugary foods: especially candy and sweets. Bacteria feeds on sweet and when they ferment, it creates an unpleasant smell.
- Foods that contain sulphur: such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. When you eat them, your body absorbs sulphur (which has a foul smell), which finds its way out through your sweat glands.
4. Shave regularly
Bacteria survive well in moist environment and hair in your armpits can make your armpits a really moist environment for bacteria. It also makes sweat evaporate slowly and traps in the odour.
When you shave the hair in your armpits, it makes it hard for bacteria to accumulate in your armpit. Less hair in your armpit also equals less sweat, which in turn reduces body odour.
5. Change your wardrobe
You need to start wearing loose clothing.
More so, silk, cotton and wool are the ideal fabrics to put on. This is because they are naturally derived and are breathable fabrics. Unlike synthetic materials like polyester and the likes, they absorb sweat within them. This helps to reduce sweat retained on your skin, thereby reducing body odour.
6. Try Out Home Remedies
Here are some home remedies you can try to remove body odour:
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps to destroy bacteria in the body. Without bacteria, body odour cannot occur.
Coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of citric acid powder and a cup of water
Mix citric acid powder and water. Rub on armpits and other sweaty areas just before you leave the bathroom. Rinse off properly. Dry your body and apply coconut oil on your armpits. Do this daily.
Apple cider vinegar
The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar makes it able to kill bacteria in the body. It leaves your skin clean, fresh and free from bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar and cotton balls
Use the cotton ball to apply apple cider vinegar to your armpits and other areas. Do this daily.
Epsom salt is an antioxidant. It helps to relieve stress and this reduces sweating. It also makes the body secrete a hormone called serotonin, which helps the body to relax.
Epsom salt and warm water
Get your bathtub filled with warm water and add 3 cups of Epsom salt. Get in the bathtub and soak for about 20 minutes.
This should be done at least thrice in a week.
It serves as a good antiperspirant. Not only does it kill bacteria, it absorbs sweat and reduces the effect of whatever foul smell might be produced.
Baking soda and water
Mix baking soda and water together to make a paste. Rub paste on sweaty areas of your body. Wash after 15 minutes.
Do this daily for a month.
Lemon is acidic so it is able to reduce your body’s pH level. This makes it rather difficult for bacteria to live on your skin.
1 lemon fruit and water
Cut lemon into two, extract juice and dilute with water. Rub on sweaty parts of the body. Rinse off with water after 5 minutes.
So you see, body odour can become a thing of the past. You no longer need to walk in a room and turn the atmosphere sour. Try out these tips and you can confidently walk around with your body fresh, clean and odour-free.