Now that we’ve traded sweater weather for straight-up sweat weather, you’ve probably been stocking up on deodorants. But if you’re in the market to try something more natural when it comes to warding off odor, we compiled a list of natural remedies to reduce body odor and even keep sweat at bay during the sweltering summer months.
Regular deodorant can protect your pits from odor and antiperspirants block your sweat glands by way of aluminum. The myth that aluminum antiperspirants can cause breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease has been disproved. But, still, some of us desire to return to nature to cure our ailments — including smelly underarms!
So here are eight natural, at-home remedies that will keep you feeling fresh even if the heat has you feeling, well, not so fresh.
1 Remember that baking soda + cornstarch = ultimate sweat buster
You know how people put a box of baking soda in their refrigerator to absorb foul food odors? Well, it can work the same miracle for your armpits.
Mixing equal parts baking soda and cornstarch and applying the concoction to your underarms will eliminate wetness, kill bacteria, and ward off body odor. Plus, this mix is long-lasting and can keep your underarms dry for several hours.
2 Tap into your inner witch with witch hazel
Everyone has a bottle of witch hazel hanging around their bathroom. Some of us may not even be sure what it’s used for. Witch hazel is an astringent, which means it helps your skin and pores contract. The smaller your pores, the less sweat you produce.
Dabbing witch hazel under your arms can also prohibit odor-causing bacteria because witch hazel lowers your skin’s pH, making it hard for bacteria to survive. You can even put a little witch hazel in a spray bottle to use as a traveling toner spray for your armpits and face.
3 Make yourself a hydration station
No matter which method you use to remind yourself to drink water — set an alarm, stick post-its on your computer, glue a water bottle to your hand — really make sure you are actually drinking water. We’re sure you’ve heard this piece of advice before, but drinking water can help reduce body odor.
Water flushes out bodily toxins, and when toxins go, so does body odor because toxins cause odor. It’s a simple science equation. And if you’re sweating, drinking water is of vital importance to make sure your body functions normally.
4 Don’t forget about apple cider vinegar, all day every day
Apple cider vinegar is good for your entire body, inside and out, because it balances pH and eliminates bacteria. Use it on your hair every once in a while to remove buildup and act as an alternative to a clarifying shampoo. Dab it under your arms a few minutes before showering each day to naturally balance out your armpit pH. Yes, armpits also have pHs! You can even add apple cider vinegar to your daily bath and soak your whole body to restore balance to your skin.
And obviously, adding apple cider vinegar to foods or drinking it stirred into lukewarm water before each meal can greatly benefit your insides, which, in turn, benefits your outsides!
5 Make a lemon and baking soda underarm paste
Similar to the apple cider vinegar remedy, mixing together lemon juice and enough baking soda to form a paste and applying it to your underarms before a shower can greatly reduce odor. Lemon’s acidity lowers your skin’s pH, making it hard for odor-causing bacteria to survive. And as we learned earlier, baking soda is an odor-buster in and of itself.
Lemon works great for those with sensitive skin, and this concoction can be used daily. If you don’t have time to whip up a paste before you shower, try using the lemon juice as a natural deodorant post shower. (Note: lemon can cause stinging if used after shaving.)
6 Make yourself a tea tree oil toner spray
Tea tree oil is a super potent essential oil that acts as a natural antiseptic and astringent. It’s so powerful that it must be diluted with water or else it may cause an uncomfy reaction on your skin. Those who have sensitive skin may want to avoid tea tree altogether.
But dilution (two drops tea tree oil to two tablespoons water) gives you a great excuse to make your own tea tree oil toner spray that you can use on your face, underarms, chest, back of the neck, and really anywhere that might be in need of some sweat relief — that is, anywhere that isn’t super sensitive. Keep this out of your eyes and away from your “bikini area,” if you catch our drift.
7 Put your faith in herbs
Sage and rosemary can do a lot more than just jazz up a bland roasted chicken. You can concoct your own all-natural deodorant by mixing five drops of sage essential oil, five drops of coriander essential oil, five drops of lavender essential oil, and 2 ounces of distilled witch hazel in a spray bottle. Shake it up and spray under your arms!
Or, if rosemary is more your style, grind up some dried rosemary into a powder. Use this like the baking soda and cornstarch mix by applying to your armpits to keep you fresh all day long.
8 When all else fails, take a tomato bath
If you’re a dog owner, you may have heard of bathing your dog with tomato juice when your poor pooch gets sprayed by a skunk. Tomato juice works to rid humans of stink as well! The acidity of tomatoes kills odor-causing bacteria, and similar to witch hazel, tomatoes can shrink pores as well.
Juice about 7 or 8 tomatoes and mix the juice into your bathwater. Tomatoes are part of the deadly nightshade family. Plants belonging to the nightshade family contain glycoalkaloids which are natural pesticides. These glycoalkaloids are responsible for killing the bacteria and viruses on your skin and are even said to act as antibiotics in some cases.