Underarm odor is in the top five embarrassing body odors.
Before I get into the goodness of keeping things fresh in the armpit department, let me touch on something pretty important. Pits are a detox pathway. They have a lot of active sweat glands. Sweat is a good thing. It is the body’s way of getting bad stuff out. Sure, it might not smell like sunshine and rainbows and yes, it is wet, but it is a natural process that everyone experiences on a daily bases.
You really are doing yourself a disservice when you slap on chemical laden antiperspirants.
I know, I know. “But Jennifer – I don’t want sweat rings on my work shirt and smelling like the inside of a fish tank isn’t what I want to be known for.”
Here’s the thing. If your body is acting normal, you don’t have underlying heath issues, you eat clean, and you are giving it the opportunity to release those toxins, you shouldn’t smell awful. You might smell a little musky but it really shouldn’t be offensive. Basically, there should be little to no underarm odor.
By way of chemicals in the form of synthetic fragrances, we have trained our olfactory glands to dislike anything that isn’t fragranced a certain way. Musky was a normal, natural, pleasant scent up until about 100 years ago. Then perfume and toilet water and all these expensive body-odor-masking products came onto the market and our noses forgot what “real” actually smells like. And today, we think that “real” stinks.
Let’s switch gears and talk about poop for a minute. Stay with me. Would you intentionally withhold a bowel movement if you had the opportunity to let loose? You are at home, watching t.v. and feel the urge to go. But instead of heading to the bathroom, you squeeze tight and think to yourself, I don’t want to create an odor therefore, I will keep everything in thank-you-very-much. How long would you last doing something this ridiculous? And what would happen to your overall health if you kept your waste that wanted out, in?
It wouldn’t be pretty. In fact, you might end up like my sister-in-law and have a back-up all the way into your lungs. Awesome x-ray image, horrible health issue.
Do you see the analogy here? You wouldn’t hold your bowels just for the sake of not stinking up the joint right? Why discourage an important toxin release process like sweating then?
Ok, since I am clearly winning this argument with my logic, let’s talk about how to get rid of armpit odor!
The most important thing you can do to keep the underarm odor from setting in is to wash your pits properly.
Pit hygiene isn’t complicated but we tend to overdo things in an effort to remove any lingering odor. First, ditch the soap. No soap. Hear me? No soap! Instead, scrub your armpits with water and a washcloth. Yep- that simple. No soap. Just a good scrub down with water and a washcloth. Soap strips the pits (even really natural ones) and can even trap odors in. You don’t want that obviously.
The only exception I have found to the no-soap rule is this probiotic body wash. Their products DO work well as pit-stink-removers and do not create an environment conducive to odor build up. The reason they work so well is because they remove the biofilm in your armpit that traps in and breeds odors.
Once or twice per week, use a mild sugar scrub with some essential oils mixed in. Sugar scrubs for this purpose are not complicated. Just grab a little oil (coconut oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil) and mix it with some organic sugar. You don’t want it oily but you don’t want it too dry either. 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil is a good balance. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (see my favorites below) in a sugar scrub and massage the scrub into your pits for 60-90 seconds. Rinse and pat dry.
If you want an exact recipe I have a great underarm odor removing scrub recipe here.
Do not use harsh, chemical laden deodorants or antiperspirants. Deodorant is easy to make yourself or you can choose to use a more natural one. You can grab my favorite recipe here. It includes a super powerful probiotic which really helps knock out odor.
If you find yourself in need of a mid-day touch up, you might consider carrying cotton balls and a small container of lemon juice or vodka. Rub your pits with a little bit of lemon juice or vodka and it takes the smell away. Apple Cider Vinegar works well too but I find it to be a bit irritating.
Another way to keep the stinkies at bay is to let your non-mainstream flag fly and grow those lochs. Yep – let the pit hair grow. Hair wicks away moisture so bacteria does not have a chance to grow on your skin. Bacteria = stink. Also, shaving creates chaos and imbalance in your delicate skin ecosystem. Stop shaving and your sweat glands won’t freak out so much.
This should be obvious but wash your clothes. If they stink, they will transfer that odor onto tucked away areas like the armpits.
What do you think? Am I on to something here? I think I am considering my pits really do smell like sunshine and rainbows. Test a few of these methods out and let me know the results. Here’s to happy, healthy pits!
What essential oils do I use and love? Several brands actually.
1. My hands down favorite brand is Rocky Mountain Oils (also known as Native American Nutritionals). These are seriously the BEST brand I have ever used. They are strong. And I mean strong. I have seen some amazing things happen when using this brand.
2. GEO carries a great line of essentials oils and I have always had success with their oils. They are adding new blends frequently and are definitely worth a look!
3. I am really enjoying Plant Therapy essential oils as well. They are easy on the budget as well as being a high quality oil.