We’d like to think that we smell like a bed of roses 24/7, but let’s face it…
sometimes delicate and sweet scent are the farthest things from how we really smell.
From body odor to bad breath (to even not so pleasant smells “down there”), we’ve all been there…and been surprised by it.
To boost your confidence in your scent, we’ve compiled simple home remedies to easily and naturally improve your body’s scent.
4 Tips to Improve General Body Odor
Sweat itself doesn’t have a bad odor, until it mixes with the bacteria on your skin. At this point, the originally odorless sweat can become a cornucopia of unpleasant scents.
Tip: Controlling Bacteria
The simplest way to combat body odor is to remove as much of that odor-causing bacteria from your skin.
Showering daily and after any strenuous activity can help to achieve an odor free body—and make sure that when you shower, you’re thoroughly scrubbing down with soap.
Of course, you can apply an antiperspirant deodorant to help ward of sweat and odor. But if you’re looking for a more natural alternative, you can instead soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and swipe it under your arms to ward of bacteria and stink.
Tip: Controlling Sweating
The amount of sweat your body typically produces is based on things like genetics, but there are small lifestyle changes you can do to make sure you’re not adding any extra sweat to the party.
Try avoiding spicy foods, hot beverages and caffeine, all of which make you sweat more. Some pain medications like aspirin and acetaminophen are also known to cause excessive sweating, as can hormonal imbalances and thyroid disorders.
If you’ve tried everything and still aren’t making any progress, your doctor can treat you with medications such as Botox injections that temporarily stop sweat gland production.
Tip: Avoid Body Odor Causing Foods
If you’ve got your sweating under control and still smell something funky, there’s a good chance it might be your diet. Foods that can contribute to body odor are:
Veggies that are great for your health such as broccoli and cauliflower can actually leave you smelling a little off when your body breaks them down into sulfur-like compounds.
Red meat is also a culprit of body odor. When your body breaks it down, it often stores the amino acid carnitine from the meat in your intestines, which mixes with enzymes and releases a not so sweet smell.
Eating fewer carbs may be great for your waistline, but it’s pretty bad for your body odor. If you’re going low carb for a few days, you may notice that your body scent is off—this is because your body is breaking down fat instead of calories, which is quite the odorous process.
Fish can often cause you to omit a “fishy” smell after eating it. Fish that contains choline, like tuna and salmon, are some of the biggest culprits.
Fortunately, any odor caused by a food might last about six hours, so don’t give up that healthy broccoli and salmon just yet!
Tip: Foods that Improve Your Scent
Just as there are foods that will make you smell unfortunate, there are also those that help to improve your natural body odor.
Try adding herbs such as peppermint, parsley and rosemary to your diet. Not only do they smell wonderful, but these herbs also contain chlorophyll, which works to naturally neutralize many food and body odors before they are emitted from your skin.
2 Tips to Combat the Smell “Down There”
The smell that everyone’s curious about, but is too afraid to bring up: vaginal odor. Certain less than pleasant smells are normal for the area (no, it’s not supposed to smell like a daisy), and for some, the natural aroma can be more than just mild.
Tip: The Proper Way to Freshen Up
To freshen up “down there,” our experts stress that you need no more than to just shower daily and simply wash the area with water. Steer clear of the douches and cleansers lining the feminine hygiene aisle. Dr. Bollman explains that by using douches and other sprays or cleansers, you are removing the natural, “good” bacteria from the vagina, leaving it prone to infections and irritation.
If any new odor suddenly occurs out of the ordinary, is accompanied by discharge or irritation, and does not after a fresh shower, get it checked by your doctor. “An abnormal vaginal odor usually indicates an infection, most commonly bacterial vaginosis (BV),” explains OB/GYN Charles Bollman, MD.
Certified sexuality counselor and nurse-midwife Evelyn Resh adds, “BV is not a sexually transmitted infection but comes from some over-growth of vaginal bacteria that then causes malodorous discharge.” It sounds scary, but the good news is, it’s easily treated with a round of antibiotics.
Tip: Foods to Avoid
If the odor is fairly new and has only occurred for a few days without any other symptoms like irregular discharge or irritation, it might be a smell stemming from your diet. Resh says that garlic, asparagus and onions are among the foods that may cause an offensive odor in your nether regions for a few days after you’ve consumed them, but that this will pass quickly.
2 Tips for Smelly Feet & Shoes
When your feet are trapped in the confines of shoes all day with little air, they often become sweaty. This damp environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, and when the sweat mixes with it, voila: you’ve got odor (odor that not only lingers on your feet, but also on your shoes for much longer).
Tip: Proper Cleaning
Combat foot odor by thoroughly scrubbing your feet with soap when you bathe, and as soon as you get out of the shower/bath, dry them completely.
Or, try soaking your feet in apple cider vinegar to help kill the bacteria, then rinse and dry them completely.
Tip: Reducing Feet Sweating
To help prevent sweating on your feet (and combat odor before it starts), you can also dab on a little moisture-absorbing powder—like baby powder. You can even apply antiperspirant to your feet before bed so that it absorbs into your skin and can be effective the next day.
Also choose natural materials for your footwear, which will help your feet to breathe—think leather shoes and cotton, wool or silk stockings or socks.
3 Tips for Bad Breath Tip
Tip: Breath-Freshening Foods
Of course, you’ll want to avoid bad-smelling foods like onions, garlic and fish to prevent bad breath. But also incorporate foods that actively improve your breath. To improve bad breath, nosh on herbs like peppermint and parsley; eating celery can also improve breath by clearing out foul-smelling bacteria.
Tip: Cleaning Out Food Particles
When you don’t properly brush and floss your teeth and food particles are left behind, bacteria starts to break them down, and it leads to bad breath. Brush your teeth and tongue (especially the back) at least twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove plaque and keep your mouth healthy.
If you don’t have time, although more of a quick, short-term fix for bad breath, dentist Marielaina Perrone says the best type of gum to chew for bad breath is one containing xylitol. “Xylitol has properties to clean our teeth and stave off tooth decay,” she explains.
Tip: Drinking Lots of Water
Drinking plenty of water can also promote fresh breath because it helps increase your saliva production. Saliva works to cleanse your mouth by removing food particles and other odor-causing bacteria. If you’re not properly hydrated, you’ll produce less saliva, which in turn contributes to bad breath. Stay hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water per day and keep bad breath producing beverages such as sodas and coffee to a minimum.
Also check out some great home remedies to whiten teeth.
A Word on Pheromones
Pheromones are odorless chemicals your body omits as a way to attract a mate. Though the exact science is not yet known, it’s thought that pheromones signal positive evolutionary qualities, attracting a mate to reproduce with you for strong offspring. The good news is, pheromones are already present, working to enhance your natural scent and you don’t have to do anything.
And studies show that when women are ovulating, they emit more powerful pheromones that make them even more attractive to mates.
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