Body odour is something we all struggle with at some point and it can get embarrassing to deal with.
Sweat is generally blamed for this unpleasant odour but the truth is that your sweat is actually odourless. What causes the unpleasant smell is the bacteria that builds up on your sweaty skin and reacts with sweat and oils to grow and multiply when sweat reacts with bacteria on the skin. These bacteria break down proteins and fatty acids, causing body odour in the process.
And the solution most of us turn to is using deodorants, antiperspirants and perfumes to mask the smell.
But most deodorants and perfumes that are available contain harmful and toxic chemical ingredients that are proven carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. These products don't just stay there when applied on your skin, they enter your bloodstream without being metabolised and cause a slew of diseases. Some compounds used in deodorants also get absorbed in fat cells which are prevalent in the underarm area.
Ingredients like parabens interfere with estrogen regulation and may promote the growth of cancer cells. Aluminium is another widely used ingredient in antiperspirants and causes gene instability and is linked to breast cancer. Triclosan is another such ingredient that has been linked to unusual hormone activity and impaired thyroid function.
But that doesn't mean you have to live with body odour and drive away all your friends. There are some simple, natural and sustainable solutions that can help prevent body odour.
- Wear natural, breathable fabrics
Synthetic materials like polyester and rayon can trap moisture on your skin and increase the production of bacteria and sweat. Natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo help keep your skin dry and sweat free.
- Use natural soaps and body washes
You may have noticed that even after taking a shower, you still cannot keep sweat and body odour at bay. There are many soaps that claim to be anti-bacterial but contain harmful ingredients like triclosan, parabens and sulphates. These soaps strip your body of its natural oils and create excess sebum and sweat production. This also kills the good bacteria that is required to kill unpleasant odour.
Myra Veda's Handcrafted Activated Charcoal Soap contains pure essential oils and activated charcoal that draws out toxins from your pores, prevents excess oil production and has antibacterial properties. This soap nourishes your skin and is completely free from parabens, sulphates, aluminium, triclosan, and other typically used harmful chemicals.
- Use a natural deodorant
Most deodorants prevent sweating, completely clogging your pores as a result. Look for deodorants that are free from parabens, aluminium, triclosan, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. These ingredients are proven carcinogens and have been known to cause reproductive issues, disrupt estrogen and androgen function and affect brain development.
Myra Veda's Natural Ambrosial Deodorant does not have antiperspirant properties but balances the bacteria production on your skin and keeps you smelling fresh all day long. The composition is at par with your skin's natural flora: it contains delicate notes of safflower, jojoba and coconut that give you a soothing effect and radiate a pleasant aroma.
- Clean up your eating habits
Like for all other things, our diet plays an important role in balancing your body's natural bacteria. You should include foods like fruits, vegetables and probiotics like yoghurt. Try to avoid excessive consumption of spicy foods, red meat, processed foods, foods with garlic and onion, and excess caffeine and alcohol.