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9 Easy Ways To Improve Your Body Odor (Beyond Deodorant)

Updated June 14, 2019 17.6k views9 items

It’s hard to make friends IRL these days, but that problem can be made a lot worse by not smelling your best. If you are washing regularly, using deodorant, and still find yourself smelling like you rubbed yesterday’s trash all over yourself, try these unlikely tips on how to improve your body odor naturally, and watch as friends flock to your side.

From eating more garlic to soaking your feet in salt, these methods for B.O.-improvement are entirely unexpected, and just might cure you of that lingering aroma that makes your prissy co-worker wrinkle her nose when you walk past.

Remember—rubbing your underarms with witch hazel is no substitute for adhering to basic standards of hygiene, and these tips are to be tried in conjunction with taking showers and washing your clothes regularly. So wash up, ya filthy animal!

  • Eat More Garlic

    A paper published by scientists at the Charles University, Prague, and the University of Stirling, UK details a study involving 42 men who wore “axillary pads” to collect body odor after consuming either some garlic, a lot of garlic, or no garlic. The pads were rated on the “pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity” of their odors.

    Out of 82 females rating the male “odor donors,” most felt that those who consumed a lot of raw garlic had a “significantly more pleasant, attractive and less intense” odor.

  • Drink Less Coffee

    Photo: Miramax

    Your morning cup could be doing more than waking you up. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which can signal to the body that it needs to sweat. And if you prefer hot over iced, the heat from the drink can raise your internal temperature slightly, triggering your sweat ducts. Bottom line: if you don’t want to show up damp, stick to iced at the very least.

  • Be Sure To Dry Off After Showering

    The nice thing about your skin is that it is naturally a bit acidic, which makes it an inhospitable environment for bacteria - unless your skin is even slightly wet. If so, the damp, warm environment becomes an ideal breeding ground for smell-causing bacteria. The upside: you can avoid most odorous bacteria simply by drying off enough after a shower!

    Find that you are toweling off thoroughly and still getting funky? Try setting a hair dryer to cool and drying off anywhere that might trap water—i.e. under your arms and between your toes.

  • Don’t Stress So Much

    We all know you can get sweaty palms before a big presentation or a date, but even low-level stress can trigger the sweat production in your body. To avoid stress try meditation, breathing exercises, or sage leaf tea. Sage contains antiseptic compounds that may act to calm you down. Sip it throughout the day for a refreshing calm-tonic, and as a bonus, every time you have some, try a mindfulness exercise.

    To make the tea, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of coarsely powdered dried sage leaves in hot water and leave covered for 10 minutes.