Controlling Sweat and Body Odor With Essential Oils

body odor

Sweat is a natural part of life. Some people naturally sweat more than others. Some people struggle with sweat because they are constantly in hot environments or they exercise a lot. For others, food, or even stress, is a major trigger for perspiration. Everyone sweats, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if you work around people all day and don’t want visible stains on your shirt, or you are worried about body odor, then you might want to find some ways to reduce sweating.

Excessive sweat is known as hyperhidrosis, and you can go to a dermatologist to get it treated. There is an innovative treatment known as iontophoresis that can be used to reduce sweating. With this, an electrical current will shut down the treated sweat glands, but the treatment is only temporary.  Another pharmaceutical option is botox injections which will kill off the sweat glands, but again these are only a temporary solution. The glands can grow back over time, and the injections can have side-effects, including temporary muscle weakness.1

Natural Ways to Eliminate Sweat

The good news is that most people don’t need to go so far as to ‘shock’ or ‘poison’ their sweat glands. You can reduce sweat with some natural remedies and some habit changes:

Natural Deodorants

There are two kinds of ‘sweat fighting’ product. Deodorants and antiperspirants.  Deodorants will mask the smell of sweat, while antiperspirants actually try to swap the sweat. A lot of commercial and antiperspirants contain aluminum and parabens, and there is some controversy about how safe those products are. Most sciences agree that the skin barrier itself is sufficient to prevent any aluminum entering the body.2 However, it is understandable why some people may want to err on the side of caution and use natural deodorants instead.

It is surprisingly easy to use essential oils to make your own deodorant blend.  Whatever oils you decide to use will need diluting with a mild carrier oil such as coconut or sesame oil.  Add five to ten drops of your chosen oils into carrier oil to produce a deodorant that you can apply to your underarms. Some good oil choices include:

  • Lavender:  Sweat smells because of the action of bacteria on your skin. Lavender is antimicrobial so it can stop the bacteria from breaking down substances in your sweat, and keep you smelling sweet.3 As an added bonus, lavender is very relaxing too.
  • Clary sage: This is another essential oil that is known to have antimicrobial effects, and it makes a great day to day scent to wear as well because it has been found to increase oxytocin levels.4,5 Oxytocin is a powerful feel-good chemical that helps people bond with each other.
  • Bergamot: Bergamot is also an antibacterial agent, and it is also known to have a calming effect which can be particularly helpful for people who are struggling with feeling anxious or depressed.6,7

To be fair, most essential oils are antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial to a degree, so you can choose any essential oil or combination of oils that you like to make your own deodorant.

Stress and Sweat

Some sweating is natural and is not something that you should worry about. The challenge comes when people sweat excessively or during inappropriate situations. Sweat can be caused by environmental heat, or by physical activity, or it can also be caused by stress.

If you are someone who sweats when you are stressed, then you may want to try getting a massage, doing some yoga, or even just carrying around a lavender-infused piece of jewelry to help reduce the amount of stress and anxiety that you feel.8

There is some evidence to suggest that sweat which is caused by stress is likely to smell more than sweat that is caused by overheating. So, if you sweat a lot and you are self-conscious about it, try not to be. Worrying about sweating may actually make it smell even more! Accept that it is a natural thing, and try to find ways to relax.

Your Diet Matters

Another thing that you may want to consider is your diet.  Make sure that you are getting enough of the B vitamins, because these can have a significant impact on your state of mind.9 Try cutting back on caffeine too, because caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can have an impact on your sympathetic nervous system and cause you to sweat.  If you are an athlete who is worrying about sweating, foregoing that bottle of pre-workout could be the solution.

Making A Deodorant Body Splash

If you don’t want to use carrier oils, then you can still make a nice water-based deodorant body splash. Try the following recipe:

  • 4 oz vinegar
  • 2 oz of witch hazel or alcohol
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops rosemary
  • 5 drops bergamot
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 2 cups of waterYou can add a few extra drops of another essential oil of your choice to dominate the scent if you wish. Blend the oils together first, and then mix in the witch hazel and allow it to sit. Next, add the vinegar, and again let the mixture sit for about an hour. Decant the mixture in to the water, shake, it, and pass it through a coffee filter. You can splash the mixture onto your skin whenever you wish to freshen yourself up.

Pre-Bed Body Fresheners

Another popular home remedy for body odor and perspiration is to use apple cider vinegar, or lemon, before you go to bed. Rub the apple cider vinegar, or lemon, onto your armpits. When you wake up the next morning take a shower as normal then apply either your deodorant of choice or the essential oil of choice.

Body odor becomes noticeable when the bacteria on our skin breaks down the sweat and turns it into acids. The pH of the apple cider vinegar and the lemon will help to stop that process and will therefore keep you smelling fresh for longer.10

Using Essential Oils to Reduce Sweatbody odor

Tea tree is a very popular essential oil that is often used by athletes who are struggling with skin infections. It is antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antibacterial, and it can eliminate many fungi and bacteria. It won’t stop sweat, but it will buy you some time to help to reduce the odors.

If you really want to ‘stop visible sweat’, then your options are a bit more limited. Sweat is an important part of keeping your body healthy. It is used to regulate your body temperature and it does flush some toxins out of the body. You can stop sweat temporarily but it is not something that you should be trying to do long term.

One natural option for stopping sweat is baking soda.  For some people, it is enough to just pat some baking soda onto the skin of your under-arms directly. For others, you might need a more powerful option. Mix up a spoonful of baking soda with a small amount of warm water and a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil. This should create a thick gooey paste that doesn’t look great, but does smell very nice! Rub the paste onto your armpits and then let it dry for 15 minutes.

If you are going to wear a thick shirt that you don’t care about, you can leave the mixture on your skin for the rest of the day. If you don’t want to get any ‘powder’ on your shirt then you should rinse off the mixture and pat dry.  There will still be a little bit of residue left, and that should be enough to keep your skin dry for the rest of the day.

Day to Day Tips for Sweaty Teens

Sweating is something that everyone does. Teens tend to sweat more than other age groups because the hormones that are produced during puberty cause the sweat glands to produce more moisture.11 Rather than worrying about stopping sweating, the best thing to do is to consider ways to reduce the amount of sweat, and to keep control of the smell. Small changes to your habits such as making sure you wear loose fitting and breathable clothing will go a long way towards managing sweat.

Remember that sweat will soak into clothing and the bacteria that were on your skin will still be active, so the clothing will start to smell rather bad rather quickly. Wash sweaty gear (such as gym clothing, socks and undergarments) regularly. Don’t leave sweaty clothes to fester in your bag or even in the laundry basket. You can use many of the essential oils mentioned above in your laundry to revitalize sweaty clothing. Tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender can all help to kill off nasty smells and replace them with much more pleasant aromas. Just add a few drops to your rinse cycle and your clothing will come out of the washing machine smelling like new.

Sweat Less And Reduce Body Odor With Essential Oils

It is quite natural to sweat when we are heavily involved in a physical activity. Sweating is a natural function of the body and it has real health benefits. The problem is when we either sweat excessively or at times where it causes embarrassment, especially when the sweating is combined with increased body odor. Here we’ll take a look at how you can sweat less and reduce body odor with essential oils.

Does Sweat Stink?

It is important to understand that sweat on its own doesn’t stink. When our bodies sweat it contains proteins and our skin has bacteria on it that feeds on these proteins. When the bacteria begins to feed on the protein in the sweat, then it creates a chemical process that causes the odor.

This bacteria is found more commonly in areas that promote it such as under the armpits and other folds of the skin and this is why odor typically emanates mostly from those areas. When it comes to controlling the issues around sweating there are two approaches. One approach would be to eliminate the bacteria that ultimately causes body odor.

When the bacteria is removed then there will not be any odor even when someone is sweating. This is often sufficient for the average person. But if someone suffers from excessive sweating it can be a great embarrassment. Their clothes may get stained and they may even leave sweat marks on furniture when they sit down and this excessive sweating can be a big source of shame.

When someone is sweating excessively then they may want to try the second approach which is to reduce the actual amount of sweating that they are doing. This is especially true when the person is sweating in a work-related situation where perhaps they are nervous or even under the best of circumstances they sweat excessively. In the modern world, we are often judged by our appearance. If we are unable to control excessive sweating it can do more than just embarrass us, it can actually hold us back in advancing at work and can even affect our social lives with friends and with finding love.

body odorWhy Does Stress-related Sweat Stink More?

Typical sweat is only water and sodium. But when we sweat because of stressful situations it contains proteins and lipids that interact with bacteria on the skin and ultimately lead to foul odor. This is why that this type of sweating is so problematic and uncomfortably smelly. The good news is that once we understand what’s happening it gives us an opportunity to address it in a way that can reduce or eliminate the problem.

Because excessive sweating is often caused by uncontrolled stress which then leads to increased body odor, it is important that we try not only to reduce the sweating and the body odor but also the root cause of the excessive sweating. Essential oils can be used to help reduce sweating, they can be used  as an antibacterial which removes the bacteria on the skin that feeds on the protein and lipids in the sweat and causes body odor, and they can be used as a way to help you relax and relieve stress.

Reduce Emotional Stress To Reduce Excessive Body Sweat

One of the most effective and safest ways to combat emotional stress is with the use of essential oils. When you deal with the underlying problem that is causing the excessive sweating and the foul odor associated with it, then you will reduce those conditions because you are reducing the underlying problem. The use of pure essential oils has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and have a direct impact on the emotional center inside the brain.

Using essential oils in the morning before leaving to work and in the evening when you return home can create a lifestyle where you are more relaxed and more capable of handling stressful situations. Essential oils such as ylang-ylang can calm stressful feelings and provide more positive and uplifting emotions and is a great way to relax after a stressful day. You can place a few drops of this essential oil in a diffuser and allow its aroma to fill the room.

You would then want to sit in a relaxing chair and just take time to breathe and relax. You might also put on some relaxing music if that is something that helps you reach a state of calmness. Taking 20 or 30 minutes out of your day to enjoy this essential oil and to relax will begin to have an impact on your overall emotional state and this will help control stress-related sweating.

Another great idea is to place a few drops of this essential oil into a hot bath. Water and spending time in a relaxing hot bath is great to wash away the days stress and adding in this essential oil will allow it to soak into the skin as well as to fill the air with its aroma and this will bring about the desired result.

Before you begin your day it’s recommended that you take a little time to start it in a relaxed state. A great way to do this is to use lavender essential oil which can help you start your day in a calm and relaxing emotional state. This will carry through during the day. You can even now get portable diffusers which would allow you to benefit from this essential oil during the day to help maintain a state of calmness.

It’s easy to overlook the benefits of achieving a state of relaxation but the fact is that while sweating is normal when heavy activity is involved, excessive sweating due to stress is abnormal. Dealing with the root cause of your excessive, foul-smelling sweat, will greatly reduce the symptom of foul-smelling excessive sweating.

Can Essential Oils Really Help Reduce Stress Related Sweating?

Essential oils come from plants and they are very concentrated. A single drop of peppermint essential oil is similar to the consumption of 20 cups of tea.12 These essential oils have a compounding effect that combines antibacterial properties along with an astringent and the ability to help calm a person’s emotional state. These all work together to manage the body’s switch that turns sweating on and off.

Because essential oils can be used as an astringent it will actually help constrict the body’s pores. When the pores are smaller, less sweat can come out and this reduces excess.  The antibacterial properties are able to kill the bacteria that interact with the protein and lipids in the sweat and this reduces the foul odor caused by stress sweating. The calming effect that these oils have reduce the underlying problem.

Use Sage Essential Oil To Reduce Excessive Sweating

Astringent properties in this oil can help reduce the amount of sweating that you do. It also has antibacterial properties that can reduce body odor. Another benefit that this essential oil has is to help regulate hormonal imbalances that may be causing stress and other factors that are promoting the excessive sweating. This can be used on the body if applied together with a carrier oil. Placing two or three drops of sage in with seven or eight drops of carrier oil can then be safely applied to the body.

It is important to remember that this is a very strong and powerful essential oil and you don’t want to overuse it. If a woman is pregnant she may want to consider an alternative to this choice. Ultimately, however, for most people, this will be a great choice because of its ability to both reduce the amount of sweating and to eliminate the causes of body odor.

Use Clary Sage Essential Oil As A Deodorant

You may be using this oil already and not even know it. The reason is that it is found in a number of commercial deodorants.13 This oil is a very good antiperspirant. It’s also great for regulating hormonal imbalances and bringing about positive emotional states.

Whenever possible get a hundred percent pure essential oil.  Sage has sclareol and other components that make it a perfect antiperspirant. Like other essential oils, it also has antibacterial properties and is an antiseptic. It will stop bacterial growth on the skin and this stops body odor.

There’s no doubt that this oil is one of the very best that you can use to reduce excessive sweating. That along with its other properties that help reduce body odor make it the perfect choice as an antiperspirant. To use this as an antiperspirant you simply take several drops together with an appropriate amount of carrier oil mixed together and then simply apply to the areas of concern.

In Conclusion

It is common today for the average person to run to the drugstore or supermarket and grab commercial grade deodorants that have a number of unwanted chemicals that can clog up our skin and cause irritation. The use of natural remedies such as essential oils to reduce excessive sweating and body odor is a perfect alternative that we should all use. MONQ’s Happy MONQ R personal diffuser will be the first thing people smell around you, and is a great neutralizer of any extra scents.

PhotoCredits: forma82/shutterstock.com, g-stockstudio/shutterstock.com, AfricaStudio/shutterstock.com, NewAfrica/shutterstock.com, Rawpixel/com/shutterstock.com, WAYHOMEStudio/shutterstock.com, HBRH/shutterstock.com, 5PH/shutterstock.com, aslysun/shutterstock.com


Taylor James

By Taylor James

Taylor is an aromatherapy enthusiast who’s favorite use of essential oils is through a portable diffuser created by MONQ. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying nature whether it be on a lake or in a forest.

Favorite MONQ blend: Forest

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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