Ah, the power of scent. A good cologne, perfume, body wash, deodorant, or aftershave does more than just make you smell nice. As Elizabeth Svoboda of Psychology Today notes, part of sexual attraction happens to be the way that we smell. This isn’t just the fancy products that you use, but your real, natural, unadulterated scent.
What if you don’t walk around reeking of a dozen roses though? Perhaps you’d describe your scent as less than savory. You may go through life permanently masking your natural smell because to you, it’s more stinky than sexy. There are plenty of problem areas throughout the body that can produce excess sweat and that unwanted odor, and we’re not just talking about the armpits. From your scalp to your lady or man parts below the belt all the way down to your toes, these can leave others plugging their noses around you.
While personal hygiene will always be the best way to combat unwanted stenches (but, as you’ll see, not all of them), sometimes you don’t have time to shower, like if you forgot all about that big date or job interview until just this moment. At this point, you have two options. You can bathe yourself in cologne and perfume or you can try something a little more unorthodox.
You may very well be surprised by some of the more unique and inventive ways of keeping your body fresh and stink-free. You probably have a lot of the supplies that you need at home already, preventing the need to spend money. Cologne and perfume can be very expensive after all.
10. Use Baby Powder
One of the most common body parts that tend to succumb to those less-than-pleasing smells, it’s no wonder that some people are shy about their feet. Whether you wear sandals all day or keep your tootsies in socks and boots, once you get home and the shoes come off, you end up breathing in a toe-riffically bad aroma.
If you know what shoes that you’ll wear tomorrow, grab some baby powder and gently apply some to the insoles. It’s okay to have the powder pile up. Go to bed, and the next day, shake out any excessive powder. Your shoes will have a better scent and so will your feet. Try this for sneakers, boots, and even open-toed shoes. Now you know.
9. Clean up After a Shower
All sorts of body parts, ranging from your feet to your breasts to your armpits, can start off stinky the second you get out of the shower. Wait, what? You just showered, so how can this possibly be the case? It’s not the bathing per se that’s leading to the stench. It’s what you do once you turn the water off.
If you’re the type who takes their time to dry themselves with a towel, this doesn’t apply to you. However, if you’re in a rush and just barely run the towel over your body, ignoring the parts obscured by folds of skin, sweat and bacteria are going to have a field day, making you smell awful.
8. Don’t Skip the Shampoo
There are so many conflicting opinions out there about washing your hair. After all, your parents probably raised you to clean and shampoo your locks on a daily basis. However, you’ve often heard that doing so every single day removes the natural oils in your hair and so it’s perfectly okay to wait a day.
Maybe you can afford to go 24 hours max, but more than that and your hair—yes, your hair—can start to smell sweaty, fishy, and just plain gross. Okay, so really it’s your scalp that’s affected, but your strands do indeed suffer the scent consequences. It’s as simple as this, really: don’t skip shampooing for more than a day. Dry shampoo totally counts, you know.
7. Look for Antiperspirant
You just don’t get it. You put on deodorant, perhaps multiple times a day. You always try to stay as fresh as possible. However, you can’t go most days without accumulating unsightly pit stains. Isn’t deodorant supposed to prevent this sort of embarrassment? Actually, not really. Don’t be confused. Deodorant can only do so much.
If you have a deodorant in your bathroom that smells great and prevents sweat, that’s probably because it’s a combination stick with antiperspirant too. That word alone just gives you a good feeling about combating pit sweat. If all you have is deodorant, get an antiperspirant stat. These can even be unscented or lightly scented if you don’t want your underarms to smell like a meadow.
6. Brush Your Tongue, Too
Halitosis. This fancy medical term just means bad breath, and boy does everyone try to avoid it like the plague. Sure, morning breath is one thing; everyone expects your mouth to smell like a dragon then. But throughout the day? No. The problem is there’s many reasons why your breath may be in a funk, and your tongue could be one of them.
Your dentist always told you to floss and brush your teeth daily. Many people do just that, scouring the toothbrush over their chompers and nothing else. However, your tongue also tastes and savors whatever you eat and drink that day. Shouldn’t it get some cleaning too? Yes, actually. You don’t even need toothpaste. Just gently rub the brush over the surface of your tongue.
5. Skip the Gum
Breath mints are splendid, but what do you do when you run out? Reach for the gum, of course, especially the strong, minty sticks that make your breath feel icy cold. However, if you pass on the sugary, fruity flavors because you thought that you’re doing your mouth a favor, you’re actually not. Surprisingly, gum can lead to some unpleasant smells.
We’re not just talking about your mouth. Yes, you’ll banish bad breath, but too much sorbitol in your system from sugar-free gum (which gives this candy the taste without the extra sweetness), upsets your large intestine. This results in gassiness, which is never pleasant. If you chew enough sugar-free gum, you could have diarrhea as well. Better keep those breath mints handy instead.
4. Rethink That Swim
When summertime arrives, if you’re fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard or apartment complex, of course you’re going to want to spend as much spare time as possible there. You know how when you come in after swimming that your skin smells very strongly of chlorine? That’s actually not so good for certain parts of your body, namely your vagina. Men can stop reading here.
The vagina may cleanse itself on its own, but it’s still very delicate. If you manage to disrupt the fragile pH that’s naturally occurring, you’re probably going to end up with a yeast infection. As you can imagine, that strong dosage of chlorine that your landlord just added to the pool probably isn’t so good for your vajayjay. Even if you stay itch-free, things could smell a little weird down there. While you don’t have to skip the pool entirely, dive in sparingly.
3. Trim or Shave
We’ve already talked about how women can keep their southern parts happy and odor-free, so now it’s time to discuss the men. Of course, these tips apply to anyone with pubic hair. While keeping the fuzz completely comes down to personal preference, maybe those people who don’t mind going bare are on to something. It could go a long way towards preventing the stench from rising up from your waistband.
Just like the hair on your head, your pubes can totally capture those nasty scents lingering on your pre-shower bod and keep them sticking around for longer than you’d want. You’re also more likely to sweat down there with that extra hair than you are if you go without. If you’re scared of shaving everything, try trimming instead. It has the same effect.
2. Eat Those Carbs
You always hear that a healthy diet is one with minimal carbohydrates. After all, candy, potato chips, sugary cereals, pizza or other bread-based foods, cakes and pies, cookies, and pretty much anything seriously delicious probably is loaded with carbs. Why would you want to suddenly change that and start incorporating more carbs into your life? Two words: Your breath.
Yes, that’s right. A lot of diets that cut the carbohydrates, including the popular Paleo diet (in which you’re only supposed to eat foods that are natural as well as avoiding sugars, legumes, and more), leave something to be desired in your mouth. You’ll notice an acidic taste that doesn’t seem to go away. Gradually add more carbs until this breath killer vanishes.
1. Try Watermelon
Yes, watermelon is a fantastic summertime treat. You’ve probably never thought to do more than eat the fruit by the slice or perhaps even incorporate it into a beverage, alcoholic or otherwise. If you notice that your pits smell like, well, the pits because you sweat a lot, watermelon juice is about to become your new best friend.
You don’t have to start adding it to your regular diet. Actually, you should squeeze out some juice and pulp and then use it as a type of natural deodorant. Seriously. If you repeat this process at least twice daily, you’re going to smell fruity and you’ll feel clean. While this method is certainly out there, don’t knock it until you try it.