We've all been there: the overwhelming smell on a bus or a colleague sitting next to us. It can affect relationships and affect our self-confidence. "Body odor is caused by a bacterial reaction with sweat, mainly in areas that are not exposed to air, such as the armpits or inner thighs," says Dr. Shireen Furtado, Dermatologist Consultant, Aster CMI Hospital, Bengaluru. While it is normal to have a slight smell while sweating, a strong smell may be due to an underlying health condition. "In such cases, seek medical help instead of trying to control the smell," she says.
Most of us use deodorants to mask the smell. But these products generally do not come from natural sources. “They contain aluminum, parabens, glycol, sulfate and chemical fragrances. This can cause skin allergies, ”explains Dr. Deepika Lunawat, Consultant Dermatologist, Fortis Malar Hospital and Mahi Clinic, Chennai. He adds that the use of natural oils, shea butter, baking soda and arrow root powder can control sweat. "It is important to test the patches of any product that you apply on your skin."
Staying clean is the first step in keeping body odor at bay. Bathe regularly, changing clothes every time you do it, and wear loose clothing that allows the skin to breathe. “Drink lots of water, exercise and eat healthy foods. A balanced lifestyle helps eliminate toxins from the body, ”says Dr. Furtado. Eating half a teaspoon of crushed fenugreek seeds daily can also help. "It has antioxidant properties and will help eliminate toxins and control bacterial growth," says Dr. Jaishree Sharad, Medical Director, Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic, Mumbai.
The aroma of the oils
Making natural deodorants is easy and cost effective. After a bath, mix two drops of lavender essential oil with a teaspoon of water and apply it throughout the body. Ylang ylang oil is also good. Add a few drops to the rose water, says Blossom Kochhar, who practices aromatherapy, in Delhi. These mixtures should be reapplied when necessary.
Baking soda is a gentle cleanser and helps maintain the skin's pH level. Mix a serving of baking soda, cornstarch and coconut oil. Transfer it to a container and store it in the refrigerator overnight to set it up. Apply it in areas prone to sweating. "Experiment with the proportions to discover what works best for your skin," says Dr. Shireen. You can also help a mixture of a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with two drops of lavender essential oil. "It also helps to lighten the skin of the armpits," says Blossom.
Of the nature
Dilute the lemon juice in water and store it in spray bottles. Use this when necessary. "This makes you feel fresh and also cleanses your armpits," says Dr. Shireen. Mix a pinch of epsom salt with aloe vera. Apply this in sweat prone areas. Let it dry for 10 minutes and rinse. "Epsom salt cleanses and prevents the overgrowth of bacteria in the folds of the body," says Dr. Jaishree. Neem leaf paste (neem leaf powder is available at Ayurvedic stores or online) applied in the armpits also controls bacterial growth. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash it.
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