When I was pregnant with my son, I noticed that my hormones were out of control….and so was my stench. Happily, CodeNameMama wrote a post on the very thing called “I Stink.” I thought, well this sucks, but I guess it will be over after the baby comes.
Well, as too many unfortunate people can attest, it has not gone away.
What I have noticed since having my son, even though it’s only been 8 months, is that I am most likely forever changed. It could simply be awareness, but I cannot eat wheat and sugar and drink caffeine the way I used to. Even (cow) dairy seems to be a possible trigger. (Sugars?)
Whatever it is, at times I am left feeling embarrassed and horrible for all the people in my community and out and about that have to deal with me and my stench. (My family can deal, but still….)
Over the years, I have tried all the natural deodorants on the market that don’t stink to high heaven themselves (like that Kansas coming out in me?). I have found temporary success with tea tree or lavender oils or baking soda, but nothing lasts. When it’s 100 degrees (which it seems it’s been all summer), I come out of the shower smelling.
Now, one caveat here is that in addition to wanting to address this smell of mine, for the good of all humanity, I also want to go no soap. Everything I have read tells me this is not good (for me). In fact, I believe it could be part of the problem. The little time this summer I spent not eating wheat and such and resisting soap usage were some of my least stinky days.
It’s hard not to resort to the temporary solution of soap when I want to fix the issue. Right now, though, I’m in limbo using other things while I figure this out more clearly. Those things, mostly tea tree and such, are hard for me to apply, though I have in mind a spritz bottle concoction of my own.
More than those quick fixes, I want to know what is going on with me that I smell when everyone else seems to be ok with their odor. (For all I know someone else may have this problem and be masking it with conventional remedies, but for right now I feel pretty alone and frustrated.)
Well, enough moaning, here’s what I’ve come up with after thinking and researching for a while:
Some Potential Problems
- bacteria (from sweat)
- toxins in the body (or diet–”studies” show red meat consumption can contribute….obviously that’s not applicable to my dilemma….)
- deficiencies of magnesium and zinc can cause odor
- blocked lymph glands
- too much garlic, onion and curry. (I’m Indian, after all!)
Some Potential Solutions
- apple cider vinegar (1 tbsp up to 3 times per day)
- chlorella (How? Didn’t find out, but I put it in smoothies when I don’t mind a bit of a … thick-textured feeling.)
- grapefruit seed extract (Added to water)
- baking soda
- tea tree oil/lavender oil
What I tried immediately: Apple Cider Vinegar
I saw the most comments from folks on ACV. I liked that I can take it internally (which I plan to try). However, the fact that I could put it right onto my pits appealed to me.
Skeptically, I wet a cloth with some ACV and rubbed each armpit.
While the commenters mostly said to rinse with ACV, wait at least a few minutes and then rinse with water when showering, I had to forgo that part. Life happened, and I found myself out and about running around a park with a toddler while babywearing an 8 mo in the sun.
I was sweating as usual, so surely I would stink when I did a quick sniff check…….but I DIDN’T!
Seriously, I rubbed on some ACV around 2 pm and by bedtime my pits still didn’t smell at all. Mind you, this is only Day 1 of the experiment, but wow. If I hit on this one so early in my research, I feel much more hopeful that I can rejoin society confidently soon enough.
To all the folks who have smelled me and chosen to stay away, I apologize. To all of you who have smelled me and chosen to stay around, I am grateful. To all the folks who find themselves around me in the future, I hope you have no idea that I battled body odor this way.
Did you smell in pregnancy? Has your smell shifted over the years, perhaps with hormones? What has worked for you?