Recently in one of the newsgroups I follow, there has been a discussion of what to use for a natural deodorant.
So as I was writing a few suggestions to submit I thought that maybe many of our readers and customers would like some ideas too. (Some of you are on the same groups).
First thing is to try to figure out what might be causing the odor. There are several things that can cause body and foot odors. Number one in most folk’s minds is that it is caused by bacteria.
It is true that most of us all have a lot of bacteria on our body and feet. And there are times when the normal flora and fauna (naturally healthy bacteria and yeast) may become altered.
When this occurs a ‘bad’ strain of either may get a chance to proliferate and often times these are the ones that are causing the odor.
Although body and foot odors can come from other sources. You will need to be your own ‘detective’ to discover what is causing the odors.
Foods you may eat;
Medications you may be on; If you are a man or a women and your age – hormonal changes in various stages of life can cause your body to produce various odors;
Your life style – stress can produce a strange odor that may not be very pleasant;
Sexual responses produce various odors;
Unknown or undetected disease or health problems i.e. kidney & liver disease, diabetes and so on.
Once you have figured out the cause of the odors you may be able to use essential oils to help. Realize in some of the causes you may not be able to eliminate the odor, but you will be masking it.
This is especially true if the cause of the odor is from foods or medications. You may have to create your own fragrance or scent that will help to cover the odor.
Although you may be able to change your diet, medications are another issue (you might need to discuss this with the medical professional for alternatives).
If the odor is being produced is due to a lot of stress in your life you certainly can use and find essential oils that may help you feel more calm and relaxed.
Stress hormones are released in you body sweat. This along with any unwelcome bacteria can produce a very unpleasant odor.
This leads us into the most common cause of body odors – bacteria and fungi (specifically yeast).
It cannot be stressed enough that the best way to combat germs is by bathing, thoroughly rinsing and completely drying the skin daily. For a few folks they may even have to shower or wash more than once a day.
We suggest using an unscented natural bar of plain soap. Soap is very good at removing and destroying many germs and washing away dead body cells provided you use a wash cloth or sponge. Just using a bar of soap and nothing else won’t help much.
Rinsing the soap and residue off is very important too and of course, last but not least, drying off using a clean towel. (I know many people reuse their bath towels for several baths/showers, but if you have a problem with body odors and the cause is bacteria or yeast – we really suggest a new clean towel each time)
After you are completely dry then you can apply any number of essential oils blended in either a base of distilled water, witch hazel, aloe vera liquid or even our Body spray base.
The suggested percentage would be around ½ to 1% dilution. Rarely would you need stronger than this.
Once blended, shake well and apply to the underarms. You can use a cotton ball or put in a spray top bottle and spray this area. Before dressing, let dry well and apply a powder if desired.
Preferably do not use corn starch or any plant based powders as this is a carbohydrate and is a food source for bacteria and yeast. You don’t need any survivors after your bath to get fed and start to multiply again!
Some folks use talc, other use a clay powders or baking soda. Many people do not need to use a powder but others feel like controlling the moisture/sweat helps to slow the odor producing germs.
Please note that if you make your deodorant spray/solution using distilled water or aloe vera liquid you will need to keep it in the refrigerator and discard and make fresh every 10 days to 2 weeks. There is no preservatives in this type of base and bacteria and mold could possible grow.
Again, keeping your feet clean and dry is so important. Following is a foot cleaning regimen that I have used for foot infections, namely athletes foot complicated by bacterial infection and a yeast infection (yes all three).
Please note that diabetics and other folks with abnormal blood sugar levels appear to be more susceptible to having fungal and yeast infections, especially of the feet and toe nails. Getting your weight and blood sugar levels under control is very important for folks that have known fungal infections.
To Start: You will need to soak your feet nightly in the following.
- Warm water with 1 cup salt (Epsom is fine alone but Sea Salt and Epsom Salt is better) and 1 cup vinegar (distilled white is fine). Soak for a minimum of 15 minutes. 30 minutes is better.
Yes you are ‘pickling’ your feet. Well, not really, but you are soaking them so you can scrub the dead cells off. Now don’t really ‘scrub’ your feet when you are done, just rub them with a wash cloth. Then rinse them and dry them.
Next: you will apply several drops of the following blend to your feet. Mix this ahead of time and have it handy.
(especially if a fungal infection is also present)
Tea Tree- 20 drops
Lavender - 10 drops
Myrrh - 10 drops
Geranium - 8 drops
Peppermint - 8 drops
Oregano – 8 drops
Thyme ct Linalol - 5 drops
Grapeseed oil - 2 tablespoons
Tamanu oil – 2 tablespoons
Mix essential oils in a PET plastic bottle, then add the Grapeseed oil & Tamanu oil. Shake well.
Apply just a few drops to both feet and massage in. This is a very strong blend at near 6%. So you do not need more than a couple drops per foot. It is important for you to massage it in.
If you prefer, you can increase the amount of Grapeseed oil and Tamanu oil by doubling the above listed amounts to dilute it further (so you can have a 3% blend).
This will let you apply more than just a few drops so you can give yourself a nice foot massage.
Concentrate on and around your toenails beds and where your toenails are as this is where you need to get the fungal infection under control.
At first it is possibly going to sting and burn, especially if you have any raw or opened areas on your feet.
After a few days, as your feet begin to heal this discomfort should disappear.
This is a strong blend but should work NO matter what is going on – if it is any kind of fungal or bacterial infection.
If you are using this blend because of fungal infections (and they can take a long time to get rid of) you will need to follow the above regimen for at least 2-3 months or longer!
AND Once you see normal healthy looking toe nails – you will need to continue for at least 1 more month!! Fungi like to be ‘sneaky’ and let you think things are gone and then they attack again!
I know that is a long time for treatment but if you have toe nail or other nail fungus and if your doctor would be treating you with a prescribed medication you would be taking it for a whole year (and the Rx) could cause liver damage.
Using essential oils is MUCH SAFER!! Any fungal infection can take a long time to be eliminated no matter what is used to help combat it.
Now once the above soaking is complete and your feet are rinsed and dry - wait about 20-30 minutes and apply a small amount of sorbolene or Penny’s Crème De la Cream.
These are good overall cream for all skin. Both creams are good to use year round. We have many folks that love how wonderful both will soften the skin.
This should be all you need to do. But you do have to do it all – and be faithful!
Oh I almost forgot – how to treat your leather shoes and sandals. Cotton shoes can often times just be cleaned in the laundry and dried there too, but if not then follow the suggestions for leather.
There are a couple things you can do. Just mix some Tea Tree and Oregano (yep) with some Rubbing Alcohol. Shake well and spray your shoes. This blend is NOT FOR USE ON THE SKIN!! It is for shoes only!!
I suggest a strong mix at 10% essential oils so – for every ounce of Alcohol mix in 2ml of each the Tea Tree and Oregano.
Like I said do not even think of using this near your skin as it is too strong for that. Anyway, spray it on the insides of your shoes and sandals and let them dry for 24 hours before wearing them.
Setting them outside in the sun too will help. You need to kill the fungus that is living in the leather of these shoes. (Replace your shoes if you can afford to but if not be sure to use the spray).
IF your shoes are plastic or rubber – you cannot use the above spray. You will need to wash them in a solution of detergent with added bleach in the water and let them dry again, in the sun preferably, before wearing.
Essential oils can disintegrate certain types of plastic and rubber will become a “blob of goo”.
If you have just a mild odor to your feet you won’t need to follow the above regimen. We have lots of suggestions throughout our website for wonderful foot soaks that include essential oils.
And since most essential oils are antibacterial and antifungal to varying degrees, then may be all you will need to use.
You can also just soak your feet in a sea salt water bath. Salt is a natural antibacterial and antifungal. Soaking your feet in salt water rinsing and drying well may be all you ever need to eliminate minor foot odor. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oils will be a welcoming addition to your foot soak!
We hope these suggestions will work for you. If you have something else that has worked for you and you are willing to share, please send us an e-mail.
We have suggested this same regimen to several folks that have all had good results and were well pleased that we were able to help them.
Tea Tree– 10 drops
Lavender - 10 drops
Peppermint – 6 drops
Thyme– 3 drops
Talc Powder - 2 ounces
Baking soda – 2 tablespoons
Blend essential oils together then add to a cotton ball. Insert the cotton ball into the bottle with the Talc and Baking soda.
Shake well and let stand for a couple days. Then apply to your feet and inside you’re your shoes as needed.
Bay rum – 3 drops
Clove bud – 1 drop
Allspice – 1 drop
Body Spray Base – 2 oz
Add the above essential oils to the Body Spray Base Shake well and Spray into underarms.
(Men – make sure you do not use any other product in your under arm area as the two scents may clash) You can also use the above essential oils in the Soothing Lotion to compliment your personal care.
Lavender – 3 drops
Rose Otto – 1 drop
Neroli – 1 drop
Body Spray Base – 2 ounces
Add the above essential oils to the Body Spray Base. Shake well and Spray into underarms.
You can also use this as a full body spray as a perfume, if you like the scent!
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