Everyone has a unique body odor. Sometimes your scent smells pleasant, and other times, it can be a little stinky. Body odor is a normal part of life but can also be connected to a more significant issue.
Your scent can cue you into your body's overall wellness. Therefore, paying attention to your sense of smell and body odor is important. We are going to go over what causes body odor and how you can prevent it.
What Is Body Odor?
Body odor comes from sweat, bacteria, and dirt on your skin. The bacteria on your body is natural, but if you let the mixture build up, your body odor will start to smell. Your sweat doesn't have any scent, but when combined with bacteria, it creates that B.O. smell.
Bacteria thrive in moist environments, which is why your armpits sometimes smell. The sweat breaks down the bacteria into proteins and acids, which is what stinks. Your body odor could also be from certain health conditions, but it mainly has to do with your sweat glands. You have two different kinds of glands, eccrine and apocrine glands.
These glands are all over your body. The eccrine glands can be found in the dermis layer of your skin. They are responsible for regulating your body temperature through sweat.
The sweat that comes from your eccrine glands is made up of mostly salt and other electrolytes. It doesn't contain any fats or other compounds that can produce odor.
The apocrine glands are connected to your hair follicles. Your hair follicle is the small cavity where your hair grows. These follicles can also emit sweat. You can find apocrine glands on your head, armpits, groin, and pubic area.
These glands remain inactive until puberty. During puberty, the apocrine glands start producing sweat, and that's why it's a popular time for adolescents to have an issue with body odor.
Why Do You Develop Body Odor?
When your body odor smells off, it generally is from these three things: diet, stress, and/or a medical condition.
Your diet can affect your body odor. New odors can occur from the metabolic processes that result in volatile compounds. When these molecules evaporate, they can cause odor.
Think of it as food-induced B.O., which can come through your sweat. It often occurs when your body struggles to break down certain compounds in your food. Foods with high sulfur, like onions, garlic, and cauliflower, can cause body odor.
Your big work project, relationship woes, or family drama may also be causing that funky smell. Stress is a common reason people can experience a change in body odor. When your anxiety kicks into high gear, your apocrine glands follow suit. The extra sweat combines with the bacteria to make a smell.
As previously mentioned, certain medical conditions can affect your immune system and cause a change in body odor. However, health problems are rarely the reason for a strange smell emanating from the average human body.
A rare genetic condition prohibits the body from breaking down certain chemical compounds in fish, soy, and cruciferous veggies, affecting a person’s scent. It results in an all-over fishy smell in anyone with the condition.
Other rare inherited disorders can cause you to develop a bad scent. One of them is triggered by artificial sweeteners, and you end up smelling dirty. Other medical conditions that are more common can leave you with bad-smelling breath and sweat.
However, these health issues are still pretty rare, and you should discover them from other signs and symptoms before you ever realize a difference in your scent. Consult your doctor if you notice a body odor you don't recognize. It may also be from something like menopause and not from a health problem.
How To Treat Body Odor
Body odor can be embarrassing, and no one wants to be the person who smells bad. If your body odor is a concern, there are things you can do to correct it.
You can shower once a day with soap or body wash. Make sure you thoroughly clean areas where you develop body odor. A Spongellé body buffer can help wash away sweat, bacteria, and dirt.
Try the Apple Blossom body buffer. It is infused with extracts of yuzu, edelweiss, and vetiver and will leave you smelling of citrus, red apple, and soft patchouli. You may need to shower twice a day if you exercise or live in a hot or humid area.
Adress Your Underarm Area
Your armpits are one of the main areas body odor can develop. By wearing the right underarm product, you can help nip the smell in the bud. There are two types of products for this, deodorant and antiperspirant.
Deodorant helps fight bacteria and masks body odor, while antiperspirants block your sweat glands to keep you dry. If there's no sweat, there's no moisture for bacteria to feed on and create a bad smell. You can get products that combine deodorant and antiperspirant.
You may also want a product with higher amounts of active ingredients. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting a prescription antiperspirant/deodorant if over-the-counter products aren't working for you.
Wear Breathable T-Shirts and Undies
It can be easy to get sweaty and smelly during the hotter months. Try wearing breathable fabrics, like cotton, instead of polyester, nylon, and rayon. Any clothing made from natural fibers will be less likely to trap sweat. Other types of fabric can trap sweat and create a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
Change Your Diet
If you think food may be the culprit to your body odor, you can remove or reduce pungent foods from your diet. Avoid foods with spicy peppers, garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and onions. You may also want to avoid drinking. Alcohol doesn't just cause bad breath but can also affect your body odor. Try consuming less of these foods and see if you notice an improvement in body odor.
Medical Treatments for Body Odor
We've gone over prescription antiperspirants/deodorants, but there are other solutions your doctor may recommend.
- Antibiotics: Topical or oral antibiotics may help reduce the bacteria on your skin.
- Botox: Smallinjections into your underarms can help prevent your sweat glands from producing sweat. Botox is not a permanent fix. You'll have to get it every few months to keep the effects.
- Medication: Certain prescription medications can prevent sweating. However, your doctor may warn you about using these since sweating is vital to regulating body temperature.
- Surgery:In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to remove sweat glands. They stop your nerve signals from reaching the sweat glands in your underarms.
- Electromagnetic treatment: If surgery isn't an option, there is a hand-held device that can damage the sweat glands under your arms. It works by emitting electromagnetic waves that destroy the glands.
Natural Treatments To Get Rid of Body Odor
There are more natural treatments you can try before going to the extreme. Consult your doctor about some of these remedies.
- Baking soda: You can try balancing the acid on your skin with baking soda. Create a paste using water and baking soda, apply it to your underarms, and allow it to dry. Rinse it off and enjoy odor-free armpits.
- Green tea: Green tea can help prevent your pores from sweating. Place green tea bags in warm water and then put them on your armpits. Allow them to sit for several minutes.
- Apple cider vinegar: The acid found in vinegar can help kill bacteria. Make a mixture using apple cider vinegar and water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray it on your armpits just like you would a spray deodorant.
- Lemon juice: Similar to vinegar, the citric acid in lemons can kill bacteria. Mix lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and apply it to your underarms.
The Best Products for Fighting Body Odor?
Many products can leave your skin smelling incredible. We have a few suggestions if you want your body to smell fruity, woodsy, and floral instead of like B.O.
Geranium Body Buffer
The Spongellé Geranium body buffer will leave you smelling of geranium, rosehip, green tea, and hibiscus. The buffer features a time-released lather that cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin.
Freesia Pear Body Lotion
After your shower, hydrate your skin with Spongellé's Freesia Pear body lotion. It is made with lemon, grapefruit, pear, freesia, peony, and amber. The lotion is also formulated with shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin e. You’ll notice a difference in your skin the first time you use it!
Black Orchid Private Reserve Eau De Toilette
Finish by misting Spongellé's Black Orchid Private Reserve Eau De Toilette over your body. It captures the scent of bergamot, mandarin, and black orchid. It will leave you smelling amazing. Plus, the small bottle will make it easy to take with you to freshen up throughout the day.
The Final Takeaways
Everyone's body naturally produces odor. You won't be able to get rid of every bad smell forever. However, many different products and treatments can help. Spongellé products will leave you smelling amazing with soft, nourished skin.