Remember that sweet, miraculous smell you inhaled when you held your precious newborn for the first time? Hang on to that fragrant reminder and bottle it in your memories because when your kid enters the “teen zone,” all bets are off. They will likely smell more like a farm animal than that bundle of cuteness you cuddled all those years ago.
The human body is amazing in so many ways. It's the vehicle through which we're allowed to experience so many wonderful journeys. When we take care of it, though not guaranteed, we have a pretty great chance of enjoying many healthy adventures. But even when we do nurture and love it, there are some downsides. Let’s be frank—the human body doesn’t always smell so great.
If you or any of your loved ones have bodies that are in a bit of a “funk,” here are ten tips to freshen things up.
10 Ways to Help Your Stinky Teen
- Wash Daily
- Use Apple Cider Vinegar for…Problem Areas
- Change Your Diet
- Remember: Lemons Aren’t Just for Lemonade
- Try a Homemade Deodorant
- Soak Clothes
- Use Rubbing Alcohol
- Wear Breathable Cotton Clothing
- Add Herbs to Your Diet
- Drink Wheatgrass
Let's explore each in a little more detail.
1. Wash Daily.
It may seem ridiculous to point out that daily bathing and showering is key when helping to control body odor, but it is so important and can sometimes be pushed aside by those always in a rush to get out the door. Throughout the day, bacteria and dirt accumulate on our skin and cause bad odor. Bathing daily gets rid of all the sweat, grime, and bacteria on your skin. Don’t forget all those nooks and crevices where bacteria can snuggle in and hide. And be sure to wash well under your armpits so as to remove your old deodorant—where bacteria love to lurk.
2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar for…Problem Areas.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a natural remedy that can be used for treating body odor. Simply pour some ACV in a bowl and soak a cotton ball in it. Apply it under your underarms and wait for 2–4 minutes. Then take your shower to get rid of the body odor. You can also fill a small spray bottle with ACV and spritz on problem areas if you don’t have time to shower. Drinking ACV will flush out toxins from inside the body and help relieve foul body odor too. Mix one tablespoon of raw ACV and a little honey in a glass of lukewarm water. Stir well and drink. Continue drinking 2-3 times a day before taking meals.
3. Change Your Diet.
You’ve heard it said many times, “You are what you eat.” When it comes to foul body odor, sometimes you can stink from what you eat. According to an article from Men’s Journal, 8 Foods That Make You Stink, “Eating foods with certain chemical elements can seriously intensify that odor to an almost unbearable level.” Some of the foods included on this list are red meat, alcohol, spicy foods with garlic, curry and onions, and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cabbage. (Hard to believe too many teens dine on brussel sprouts and cabbage regularly!)
4. Lemons Aren’t Just for Lemonade.
Just as apple cider vinegar can have a dramatic effect on curbing body odor, nature’s very own lemons are also a wonderful, natural alternative.
Homeremediesforlife.com shares several ways in which lemons can help keep B.O. at bay. One idea is to create a Lemon Juice Spray:
- Squeeze out the juice of two lemons.
- Mix it with one cup of water.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Use it as a substitute for deodorants and apply it to your underarms whenever it stinks.
5. Try a Homemade Deodorant.
If your store bought deodorant isn’t doing the trick, here’s a great DIY deodorant that both athletes and fashion models are currently talking up—coconut deodorant. This DIY deodorant will create a soft bar that can be applied to your underarms daily. You can fill a small jar or refill an empty deodorant container for easy application.
- 6 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 Tablespoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- Essential oils (optional)
- Use an old bowl and a fork or spoon to mix baking soda and cornstarch (or arrowroot).
- Add coconut oil and mash until mixed well.
- Add essential oils a drop at a time until you have a fragrance you enjoy.
- Place in a small jar or deodorant container and refrigerate for a few hours until set.
6. Armpit Stink Left in Clothes?
Soak your clothes in white vinegar and water for a few hours, then wash. Removes the BO smell and won’t leave you smelling like a pickle.
7. Rubbing Alcohol.
Place rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle and spritz your arm pits. It dries quickly and helps absorb those bad smells.
8. Wear Breathable Cotton Clothing.
If you have a family member who really tends to sweat, wearing the right fabric can help tremendously. Polyester clothing exacerbates body odor and doesn't help those with excessive sweating issues. Synthetic fabrics don't allow the skin to breathe well. Cotton is breathable and won’t trap odor causing bacteria.
9. Add Herbs to Your Diet.
While natural foods like garlic and onions can contribute to body odor, certain herbs can help deflect it. In 7 Foods that Combat Body Odor, parsley, cilantro, celery, mint, leafy greens, and aromatic herbs (oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.) can help freshen things up.
10. Drink Wheatgrass.
Many people swear by the remedy of drinking a daily dose of wheatgrass to keep their body stink away. This might be the most potent of all the remedies suggested here, because it definitely is an acquired taste. The recipe can be found here for those willing to try a bolder route.
Image of teen holding her nose © Shutterstock
All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.