Where does body odor come from?
Why do we smell from different parts of our body but especially from our armpit? Does everyone smell? How to prevent body odors with DIY natural deodorant?
Human sweat is odorless. Surprising, isn’t it? It can be as we often associate sweating with bad odors. However, it is not the sweat that smells but the chemical reaction it provokes when it comes in contact with bacteria present under our armpit or other part of our body. These bacteria break down the sweat into acid and by doing so, they contribute to release the bad smell.
The sweat glands come from Apocrine glands present in armpits, ear, genital area, eyelid and breasts. In the ear for example, they are responsible for the earwax.
A gene called ABCC11 was discovered and seems to determine whether or not people produce dry or wet earwax. People who produce dry earwax do not have body odor as they lack the chemical in their armpits bacteria feeds on and causes the bad odor. Some populations In East Asia carry that gene and as a result do not suffer from body odor.
Moving away from harmful options
For the rest of us, the ordeal is real. So because we tend to smell after exercising and after a long day, we have come to use deodorant and antiperspirant as part of our daily personal care routine. Deodorant aims at rendering the skin more acidic, preventing the proliferation of bacteria.
Meanwhile, the antiperspirant will block the sweat, preventing the breakdown process of it by the bacteria leading to bad odor.
However, in recent years, studies are raising concern about antiperspirants containing harmful ingredients, such as aluminum, which may be the cause of breast cancer or prostate cancer. Studies are still ongoing but the search for natural and healthier options increased with the awakening and the raise of conscious and healthy living lifestyle.
Better informed, we seem to have come to an age where we are more sensitive to the products we use, we eat and we surrounder ourselves with. It is increasingly important to be conscious about what we put in and on our body. Deodorant is one of them.
Options for more natural solutions are available. Some work and some don’t. One thing for sure they can cost up to 4 or 5 Times the price of your usual deodorant. So why not do one yourself?
Below you will find the list of ingredients you can pick from and a couple of recipes to serve as a reference for your own creativity
How to prevent body odors with DIY natural deodorant?
In order to have a winning combination, you should pick ingredients that are at least antibacterial, moisturising and gentle to your skin. On top of that scent is another criteria to be adjusted to your liking.
The ingredients to choose for a homemade deodorant:
They all have their specific properties and scent. Try the ones that suit you best
Lavender antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic. Speeds up the healing of wounds and burns. Full of antioxidants,
Clary Sage: Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and oil regulating properties. Also strong antiseptic, antibacterial, has great and fresh scent, increases oxytocin level
Bergamot: Antibacterial, calming effect, help against anxiety, powerful fragrance that stops odors
Clove leaf: Anti-inflammatory and germicidal properties. Contains compound Eugenol, which reverses cellular oxidation (slowing down aging process). Active agent in soap making and been used for many years in dentistry and
Eucalyptus: Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It heals wounds, prevent odors and infections
Lemongrass: Skin healing properties. Astringent and skin toner. Antibacterial and antifungal. Has a fresh and clean scent. Energy booster
Mandarin: Cell-regenerating properties and helps heal scars, marks and wounds faster. Provides calming and comforting effect helping with reducing stress
Peppermint: Antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. Contains menthol providing fresh and cooling effect. Also effective in cleaning, soothing inflamed skin
Rosemary: Antimicrobial, oil regulating properties. Tone and balance the skin
Tea Tree: strong antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Help eliminate bad odor
Thyme: Antioxidant properties, slow down aging and give skin a glow. Eliminate body odor and naturally balances hormone levels in the body
Parsley oil: Neutralises body odor. This Essential oil has also astringent, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties
Other essential oils ideas to explore further and use for men and women alike
- Cypress – Minimise sweating and tighten pores. Antiseptic which also acts as an antiseptic
- Cedarwood – antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
- Balsam Fir – Disinfecting and calming properties – Detoxify the body
- Frankincense – Stress and anxiety reliever
- Sandalwood – Great Scent with calming and relaxing properties
- Patchouli – Antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory
- Vetiver – Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
- Sweet Orange: Anti-fungal, and antibacterial
Use essential oils with caution and after reviewing their properties extensively. Some are more potent than others and can cause skin sensitivity, irritation or photosensitivity. Quantity/dosage is also important. If you are testing, start with small quantities first and go from there. Research about combinations as well before letting your creativity go wild. Safety and health must come first, even with natural ingredients A maximum of 20 drops of Essential oils or 2% maximum of the overall is a good rule to follow. Perform a a test on a skin patch prior to full application and respect instructions and dilutions methods
Base ingredients to use:
- Coconut oil: Contains fatty acids and antimicrobial properties. Great moisturizer agent
- Shea butter: Anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It softens the skin as well as tone it thanks to its high concentrations of fatty acids.
- Aloe Vera: Antimicrobial and gentle on the skin
- Arrowroot or organic corn starch: absorb wet and binding agents
- Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade): Odor eliminating properties, antimicrobial, and PH neutral
- Baking soda: Prevent bacteria growth (Warning as it can irritate sensitive skin so do you research and skin test. The reason for that is because of its high PH which is almost double compared to our skin PH. Make sure to test your tolerance, and decrease dosage if needed or stop usage all together. Again testing on small patch of skin is highly recommended )
- Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia): Balances skin PH and is gentle on sensitive skin
- Witch Hazel: Great carrier for essential oils, and effective alternative to deodorant
- Grapefruit Seed extract fight fungus and candida overgrowth, and great carrier for essential oils
- Tapioca starch – can be used as an alternative to baking soda and acts as an wet absorber and thickener
- Castor oil – Natural moisturizer as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal
- Beeswax – Natural moisturizer, antibacterial and antifungal and here will serve as a stabiliser
Recipes for DIY deodorant
DIY Deodorant with coconut oil and shea butter
- ¼ cup Arrowroot starch or organic corn starch or Diatomaceous earth
- Beeswax (optional but it is a stabiliser so will prevent the solution to melt)
- 3 tbsp of coconut oil
- 3 tbsp of shea butter
- 1 tbsp of castor oil
- 1 tbsp of baking soda
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 6 drops of clary sage
1- add coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil in a glass bowl and place it in a saucepan with water, enough to surround the bowl but not overflow it
2- Boil the water to let the mixture melt and blend together by stirring
3- add in the arrowroot starch, the baking soda and the essential oils
4- Place in smaller jar and allow it to cool down either at room temperature or in the fridge
Direction for use:
1- use a spoon or spatula or popsicle stick to take some out of the jar
2- Use your hand to rub in onto your armpit skin
Due to the coconut oil and the shea butter this deodorant will change consistency depending on the temperature. On warm days, the deodorant will liquefy so a good option would be to place it in the fridge between each usage. On colder days, place it in the bathroom, by the shower to allow the steam to warm it a little before application.
DIY Deodorant spray with witch hazel
You will need a spray on bottle for this recipe
- 50 ml of witch hazel
- 12 drops of Lavender oil
- 10 drops of Sweet orange
- 10 drops of grapefruit see extract
1 – Mix all the ingredients together
2- Pour into the spray
Direction for use:
Spray onto your armpit daily
Now that you have an interesting list, let your creativity and your senses explore the options. We hope you will find your own alternative solution on how to prevent body odors with DIY natural deodorant.
Don’t forget to come back and share in the comment section!