“You smell good” is a compliment that never gets old. In some way, it speaks highly of your hygiene efforts. However, it is important to note that sometimes, body odour can still be a problem, even for those with pristine hygiene routines.
Scent plays an important role in perception during first impressions and can significantly affect confidence. It is a unique part of each person. Your natural scent differs from the next person’s based on different factors ranging from genetic determinants to diet choices. Sometimes, it is not a matter of poor hygiene but the products you use and how you use them. This is why it is important to create hygiene routines with products that prevent body odour.
Certain ingredients target body odor treatment. From in-shower products, such as body washes, scrubs, and body conditioners, to out-of-shower hygiene essentials, such as deodorants and body toners, it’s important to be aware of such ingredients. Today’s list gathers the 12 best products to fight off body odour.
What You Should Know
Sweating is a normal body process controlling temperature. You may notice it in situations like exercise or hot summer weather. Sweat has no odor, but you can blame bacteria on your skin for how you smell after sweating. Depending on diet, medical conditions, medications, genetics, or poor hygiene, this can be unpleasant.
While two glands are involved in sweat physiology, apocrine glands sweat is thicker and located in areas with hair, such as the armpits and groin, which tend to contribute to unpleasant odor. Some areas with eccrine glands, like your feet, can also emit unpleasant smells. As indicated before, this is because of the bacteria that break down in those areas when you sweat.
Products That Target Body Odour
Now that you have a general understanding of the possible root of the issue, there are things you can incorporate into your routine for body odor treatment. Here are a few of them, including why they’re helpful.
In-Shower Body Odour Treatment
As an antiseptic, it has antimicrobial and some antifungal properties. When applied to the skin, Chlorhexidine Gluconate attaches to bacterial cell membranes and changes the structure of specific proteins in the cell wall, disrupting bacterial function.
Since bacteria on the skin contributes to body odour, reducing their presence is one of the best ways to reduce unpleasant smells. This antiseptic also works outside the shower because the post-shower residue creates a shielding layer on your skin that keeps this ingredient active for 24 hours. This can be a beneficial underarm odor treatment or foot odor treatment.
Tip: This is an antibacterial agent, and there are also good bacteria on the skin, so limiting use to 1-2 times a week while using other body odour products will be best. Use it as instructed by your physician if you’ve consulted with them before using this product.
Although this product is marketed for acne, it also works effectively for body odour because of the active ingredient, benzoyl peroxide.
If you’re looking for how to reduce body odour with a product with long-term properties, benzoyl peroxide is your friend. It does not have bacterial resistance; therefore, it can be used for prolonged periods if needed.
It has bactericidal properties, which means that once it meets your skin, it goes through a series of processes in which it is metabolized and releases oxygen, which oxidizes bacteria on the skin.
Aside from its antiseptic activity, benzoyl peroxide is anti-inflammatory, allowing it to reduce pore clogging. Getting rid of anything that can lodge in your pores is also necessary to prevent body odor.
Post-Shower Body Odour Treatment Products
Noticing smelly armpits even with deodorant is not shocking since deodorant only masks odor and doesn’t target the root. Antiperspirants, or an antiperspirant-deodorant combo, are better when dealing with body odor.
The Almay antiperspirant is a good choice if you’re easily irritated and have sensitive skin. It is a fragrance-free antiperspirant and deodorant combination that effectively reduces sweat on the skin and helps you maintain freshness.
Another way to get rid of odor is by reducing moisture. Sometimes, you need products for sensitive areas, and the Burt’s Bees Dusting Powder is perfect. It contains cornstarch extracted from corn plants and has excellent absorbent properties. You can use it in areas of your body where you experience excessive moisture, from your pits to your feet.
Adding antiperspirants to your hygiene routine can be a game changer. Antiperspirants temporarily prevent you from sweating. Think of it as a plug telling your sweat glands to hold off sweating all day or for hours. So, no sweat, no contact with harmful bacteria, and no unpleasant odor. This isn’t a substitute for your showers, so ensure that you still have good hygiene routines so this works as efficiently as possible.
The Certain Dri Everyday Strength is a combination of antiperspirant and deodorant, so you keep the sweat away, and you’re left smelling great as well. Depending on how much you sweat, this brand also offers an extra-strength version.
The problem you’re experiencing can come from the clothes you wear. Fabrics, such as synthetics, can hold on to odor, which can linger even after a wash cycle. Even if you’re washing your clothes, the odor can remain attached to them if you’re not using suitable detergent formulations. Wearing these clothes can further irritate your skin and emit that same odor. So, while you think you’re experiencing body odor, you may need a better laundry detergent. Odoban disinfects your clothes and odor-causing bacteria, so your clothes are cleaned efficiently during the wash cycle.
Pro tip: Turn your clothing inside out before washing so the area in contact with the skin gets cleaned better.
A possible contributing factor to body odor is buildup that clogs the pores. These buildups can be a mix of debris, bacteria, and oil. When you sweat, and it mixes with this buildup, it can emit an unpleasant odor. A great way to prevent this is by using exfoliating agents.
Using salicylic acid for underarms and other areas of your body prone to clogging reduces buildup, and you’re less likely to deal with body odor. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, which allows it to get into the pores and remove buildup.
Here is how you should use it for body odour:
- Use it after the shower.
- The skin should be dry before application.
- Apply on a cotton pad and gently dab on the skin.
- 1-2x a week is fine. If directed otherwise by a healthcare professional, follow their advice. Remember to always pay attention to your skin to avoid irritation.
- Apply an antiperspirant after it dries.
Sweat can interfere with your daily activity, whether out having fun or in professional settings. Wipes are a great way to keep fresh when on the go. Antiperspirant wipes are especially helpful when you need a quick refresh in the summer. These wipes work similarly to solid forms of antiperspirants, reducing sweat production in the areas where you’re applying the products.
Witch Hazel is composed of a few elements that contribute to its activity. The main ones are polyphenols (Tannins – which have antioxidant and astringent properties), catechins, which have anti-inflammatory activity, and flavonoids (gallic acid – which has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties). As you can see, witch hazel is packed with goodies.
While many people use witch hazel because of the vasoconstrictive activity of Tannins, it can also be used in the case of body odor. With its astringent properties, you can use witch hazel to control sweat production. Additionally, the antibacterial gallic acid in witch hazel is a bonus to eliminate bacteria that can contribute to odour.
- Use on clean skin.
- Apply after thoroughly drying your skin.
- Avoid overuse.
- Let dry before applying antiperspirant.
Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA) known for its exfoliating skin benefits. As an exfoliant, it removes dead skin cells that can contribute to unpleasant smells when sweating. Additionally, glycolic acid can reduce the skin’s pH, making it difficult for bacteria to survive. So, this is a fantastic product to consider when reducing odor-causing elements like bacteria and dead skin cells.
While using this product, keep in mind that you should use it a certain way to avoid irritation and for it to work effectively.
- Use it after cleansing your skin.
- Completely dry the area before application. So, you should be applying it to dry skin.
- Avoid excessive wiping to reduce irritation. A light pass on the areas you’re targeting is enough.
- Avoid overuse. Daily use is not recommended, as it can lead to irritation.
- Apply an antiperspirant after the toner dries.
Socks are used for a variety of reasons, from protection to warmth. Because of the enclosed environment, your feet are in, socks can contribute to moisture retention in that area, which can lead to odour. In addition to washing your feet with the antiseptics recommended above, using antiperspirants on your feet, and keeping your feet moisture-free, you can also use wool socks. The fibers used in Merino wool are lightweight, breathable, and have anti-bacterial properties, keeping your feet dry and odor-free.
Another way to target body odour is through antifungal treatments. You can experience unpleasant foot odor if you’re dealing with fungus. If your feet don’t have room to breathe often due to closed-toe shoes, adding an antifungal treatment, like the Zeasorb AF, to your routine can significantly reduce the smell. Remember to clean between your toes while you shower, dry your feet properly, change your socks often, clean your shoes, and wear breathable socks.
The recommendations and information provided in this article do not constitute medical advice. They are for general information purposes and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining professional or medical advice. If you’re experiencing a medical condition, it is always best to contact a medical professional.