Gone are the 19th-century days where it was socially acceptable to shower once a month. The world is now a very populated (and very plumbing-friendly) place, and you need to know how to smell good all day if you’re going to stand in that overcrowded subway train on your commute to work. At this point, it’s a delicate societal balance of “I’ll keep myself smelling fresh if you keep yourself smelling fresh,” and this way, no one’s nostrils have to suffer.
That being said, great personal hygiene is a very slippery slope. We’re constantly bombarded by advertisements and articles about how hard it is to keep your body clean, and suddenly, your bathtub rim is filled with five different types of soaps, ten haircare bottles, and a whole slew of sponges and exfoliants. In reality, though, your body has tons of systems in place to keep itself smelling fresh and clean, and those things cluttering your shower might actually be making things worse. That’s why it’s imperative to reach for products that support your body’s natural functions instead of inhibiting them. Here are some great all-natural products and habits that help you to smell good all day, no matter what.
1. Tea Tree Can Keep Foot Fungi And Bacteria In Check
Feet are one of the most common locations for lingering smells, and that's because the bacteria on the skin breaks down the sweat, which has a very distinct smell as it decomposes. Odors also accompany things like fungi and athlete’s foot. This Oleavine Antifungal tea tree soap can be used on the whole body, but it’s especially great for feet, because it uses natural and gentle ingredients like tea tree and neem to control bacteria, infections, and fungi, leaving a fresh scent all day.
2. Exfoliate The Dead Skin On Your Back That Traps Bacteria
If you’ve got a build-up of dead skin anywhere on your body, it can trap the type of bacteria that causes odor. Exfoliate all those hard-to-reach places (like between your shoulder blades and behind your knees) with this Aquis exfoliating back scrubber. The double-sided fabric buffs away old skin and dirt, while the handles on either side allow for easy control, and reviewers love it because it’s extra long and extra high-quality.
3. Keep An Eye On Your Stress Levels
The sweat that your body produces when you’re overworked or nervous actually smells worse than the normal temperature-regulation sweat. Heightened cortisol and adrenalin levels cause sweat to excrete from particular glands, and bacteria totally love to feed on this stuff. According to Susan Biehle-Hulette, Ph.D, this stress sweat might have a specific evolutionary function: “When a lion is chasing you, you want to smell bad so they don’t eat you.” Consciously learning to switch from fight-or-flight to parasympathetic mode (through affirmations, massages, or breathing techniques) might help to keep the odor in check.
4. Cleanse Away Build-Up To Prevent Smelly Hair
Hair can start to smell when there’s a build-up of products or pollutants, but harsh shampoos often add more chemicals into the mix and strip your hair’s natural defense systems. Just Natural's vinegar rinse cleanser uses an all-natural formula to completely remove residue build-up, leaving your hair feeling silky smooth and extra clean. It’s also great for hair loss, or for scalps that tends to get oily really quickly.
5. Skip The Alcohol-Laden Mouthwash — Use Probiotics Instead
According to D.D.S. Thomas P. Connelly, mouthwash with alcohol isn’t doing you any favors. Your mouth might feel clean afterwards, but the fresh feeling is short lived, since the drying tendencies of alcohol inhibit the salivary flow that’s needed to wash away bacteria. I Clean Your Teeth mouthwash uses probiotics to keep your breath fresh, which are the good bacteria that keep the odor-causing ones in check. Reviewers say that their mouths have never felt cleaner, and their teeth look whiter, too.
6. Ear Wax Actually Has A Distinct Smell
Most people don’t think about ear wax having a distinct smell, but apparently, the combination of sweat, skin cells, and the waxy substance can create a particularly pungent odor. Reviewers are all about this Elephant Ear Washer bottle system, as it’s an easy and hassle-free way to clean your ears at home better than you ever have before. It’s ideal for removing hard wax deposits, and it works really well with plain water or a mixture of diluted hydrogen peroxide.
7. Mineral Salts Can Prevent All-Over Body Odor
For an all-natural way to smell fresh wherever you are, there’s this crystal body deodorant travel stick. It’s made with natural mineral salts, which can be rubbed anywhere on the body (including underarms) to create an invisible layer of protection over odor-causing bacteria. Best of all, it won’t leave any sticky residue, and reviewers say it’s beyond reliable.
8. Soak Up Moisture And Freshen Skin With Body Powder
A great body powder like Ora’s herbal natural body powder has tons of different uses, from keeping underarms dry and fresh to making your shoes smell clean all day long. It’s made with a combination of absorbent talc-free clay and essential oils, which leave behind a pleasant scent wherever you put it.
9. Your Diet Comes Out Through Your Pores
Everything you put into your body has to come out one way or the other. According to Julia Zangrilli, professional perfumer, when food is broken down in your body, some scents seep through your pores. A natural diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and clean proteins is way more likely to give you a fresh scent, and a diet that’s heavy in processed foods will do the exact opposite. Don’t forget the water, either — hydration is necessary for detoxification.
10. Clean Gentle Areas (Like The Bellybutton) With Probiotic Spray
Most people forget to clean their bellybuttons, but they’re actually loaded with more than 60 kinds of bacteria. The bellybutton is home to lint, dirt, and build-up from skincare products, but it’s also a very sensitive area that (if cleansed with harsh soaps that upset the balance) can actually get yeast infections. This Dermatic probiotic spray can be used all over, but it’s especially great for areas that need gentle cleansing, like the belly button. It uses millions of strands of healthy bacteria that fight for skin health, and against infections, eczema, dry skin, and odor.
11. When Possible, Go All Natural
Your body has natural functions in place to keep you fresh and odor-free, like healthy skin flora and detoxification systems, but chemical-laden soaps, perfumes, and shampoos can get in the way of these natural functions. When possible, reach for organic ingredients and natural remedies to keep your body smelling fresh all the time.
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