How to Reduce Body Odor
Imagine you’re at an interview for your dream job. You’ve been preparing for days. Getting ready to make a good first impression and nail the interview. Ensuring your grooming is up to par and that your appearance is top-notch. You go in, you do your best, and you feel confident that you’ve landed the job.
What you didn’t know is that your body odor made a terrible first impression.
Bad BO is no good for your personal or professional life. But it’s not always easy to manage. Some guys struggle with strong body odor all their lives.
How can you reduce and stop body odor? What are the best ways to get rid of body odor naturally? How can you control excessive sweating and stop body odor from encroaching on your best life?
We've got the answers for you.
What Causes Body Odor?
First, let’s admit that body odor is totally natural. Bacteria on your skin feed on your sweat and produce waste that smells like - you guessed it - BO. But beyond that, there are lots of genetic and biological details that determine your exact level and severity of body odor.
What Causes Onion Body Odor?
If you've noticed that your body odor smells like onions, you may wonder what causes it. This sulfuric smell is actually quite common. But it's not your sweat that smells bad.
Bacteria living on your skin break down your sweat. As part of this process, thioalcohols are produced. These compounds then evaporate and leave behind a rather nasty, sulfur-like smell. So if your body odor smells like onions, that's probably why.
This is nothing to worry about, just a natural part of being human. You might not be able to stop those bacteria from creating a stink, but you can manage the situation with the right deodorant.
Do I Sweat Too Much?
Ever feel like you’re pouring sweat while everybody else is sitting pretty? Don’t stress too much. Sweating is perfectly natural, as is the variation between individuals and their levels of perspiration.
Some interesting research shows that being sweaty is related to being in shape. Tony Musto of the University of Miami explains that “the more fit you are, the more efficiently your body sweats.” Research conducted on male long distance runners found that “habitual long-distance running results in up regulation of the peripheral sweating mechanisms in humans.”
What does that mean? The more efficient an athlete you are, the faster and greater amount you tend to sweat. It’s about your body’s ability to cool itself.
So the next time you’re stressed about being too sweaty, be proud. It’s a sign you’re in shape and that your body is functioning at its peak.
Some health problems can also lead to excessive sweating. Hyperhidrosis is one that affects about 2% of Americans. There are two types - one is genetic, the other is a side effect of other diseases, conditions, and medications.
If you think you may have hyperhidrosis, talk to your doctor so that they can treat you properly.
Does Excessive Sweating Cause Body Odor?
How much you sweat is not directly related to how strong your body odor is. You can be dripping in sweat without having much BO at all. Or you can be sweat-free but quite stanky. It all depends on your body and its microbiome.
How to Reduce Sweat
Botox has become one of the most popular and effective ways of treating excessive sweating. That’s because it blocks the chemical signals that nerves use to activate your sweat glands. The effect is temporary - one treatment can last as long as 8 months - and it’s a rather extreme way to deal with sweat.
Some people turn to prescription strength antiperspirants, but they often contain aluminum-chloride. This blocks the production of sweat but is not the healthiest option since it exposes your body to potentially dangerous chemicals.
Looking for a healthier way to manage excessive sweating? Here are some ways to deal depending on what your triggers are:
- Spicy Foods - Be careful about what you eat and avoid anything spicy when you’ll be in important social settings soon after.
- Stress - Learn deep breathing and relaxation techniques you can use anywhere to quickly calm down and reduce your stress levels.
- Come Prepared - Keep an extra set of clothing at your office or in your car. Always have a handkerchief or small towel with you to deal with excess sweat. Don’t leave these things up to chance if you know this is a regular struggle for you.
- Cool Down - Give yourself ample time to cool down after each workout. If you know it takes extra long for your body to stop sweating, schedule that time into your fitness routine.
3 Ways to Deal with Strong Body Odor
These three methods have helped many guys control their body odor and reduce their anxiety over how they smell. Depending on your situation, one or all of them may help you manage your body odor effectively.
1 - Fight Bacteria with Vinegar
The real cause of body odor isn’t sweat. In fact, your sweat doesn’t smell at all. It’s the bacteria that feed on your sweat that cause foul odors.
Shocker: there are more bacteria under your arms than there are humans on Earth. So your goal should be to fight bacteria and keep the bad, odor causing variety off your skin.
Vinegar - highly acidic - creates an environment that is no good for stinky bacteria. Having trouble managing your BO despite your best efforts? Try a splash of vinegar on your armpits after you get out of the shower. It won’t irritate your skin, but it will help discourage the growth of bacteria.
One word of caution: if you shave your pits, don’t do it at the same time you apply vinegar. That will lead to some severe irritation.
2 - Use Natural Deodorant
First, make sure you understand the differences between deodorant and antiperspirant. Most packages list both. That can make it hard to understand what a particular product is actually doing for your BO.
Deodorant masks the bad smells caused by bacteria. It does not eliminate the bacteria itself or remove the smell's source.
Antiperspirant uses chemical ingredients to clog your sweat glands and prevent you from sweating.
Unfortunately, there are lots of questionable chemical ingredients in most deodorants and antiperspirants. That's why we developed our Natural Deodorant, made with safe ingredients that won't irritate your sensitive underarms but still fight body odor effectively. Its gentle formula includes coconut oil, vitamin E, arrowroot, and shea butter.
What if you’ve been through several different deodorants and still can’t manage your strong BO? Speak with your doctor. They may be able to identify the cause of your particularly gnarly body odor. And they might choose to offer you a prescription strength approach to odor control.
3 - Absorb Sweat with Body Powder
Even though your sweat doesn't cause body odor on its own, it's a major contributor to the final product. That's because bacteria that live in your armpits (and other dark, sweaty parts of your body) feed on your sweat and then produce compounds that evaporate and stink. You can minimize your body odor (and chafing and general swampiness) by using body powder to absorb and reduce sweat.
Our Stay Fresh Body Powder is talc-free and instead formulated with corn starch, provitamin B5, and aloe vera. Use it anywhere you get excessively sweaty to keep your skin cool, calm, and dry. It relives itch, reduces irritation, soothes your skin, and keeps you chafe-free.
Does Shaving Your Armpits Reduce Odor?
Is shaving your body hair - your armpits, for example - the answer?
Could be. It depends.
Researchers from the Czech Republic looked into this very question. They found only a “transient effect on perceived body odor pleasantness” from shaved armpits.
In their studies, they had men shave one armpit and leave the other all-natural. They collected scent samples from both for women to smell. After multiple experiments over the course of several weeks, they determined that “axillary hair shaving has an impact on body odor quality and intensity. However, the effect is relatively weak and was not observed in all experiments and also not when the hair was relatively short.”
So shaving your armpit hair might help, but it's likely going to be a minimal change, if at all.
The research shows that body hair by itself is not a cause of bad body odor. But everyone is unique. Some guys report smelling better after their shave their armpits, body hair, or pubes. They feel that it makes them sweat less and smell better.
Are they wrong? Not necessarily. And what matters is how you feel and how others perceive you. So if shaving works for you, great. But don’t feel obligated to do it for scientific reasons.
How to Shave Your Armpits
Most guys have years of experience shaving their face. But that doesn’t mean they’re doing a great job. Many men suffer from ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and itchy irritation.
Now imagine taking those problems and applying them to your chest. Or back. Or armpits. Or pubes. Not a pretty picture.
Whether it’s your face or your body, make sure you’re shaving the right way.
Always wash the area before shaving.
To reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, exfoliate. Our Exfoliating Body Wash removes dead skin cells and lifts hairs away from the skin, helping ensure a smoother shave.
Follow with our Smooth Brushless Shave Cream - a soothing, lotion-like shave cream that keeps your skin safe from your blade.
Finally, always finish up with a calming natural aftershave. Choose one that leaves your skin relaxed and hydrated, like our alcohol-free Instant Relief Aftershave.
How to Stop Body Odor
You may not be able to eliminate body odor entirely, but you can stop it from making you self conscious and extra stressed. Stay on top of your hygiene routine, which includes your skincare and grooming habits. Use our Natural Deodorant and Stay Fresh Body Powder to control odor and stay dry without irritating your skin or exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals. And remember that everyone sweats and gets BO - so instead of being ashamed, be proactive and keep yourself smelling fresh.