Let's have a chat about that thing no one likes to talk about. 

Bad body odour (BBO) comes in many forms and it doesn't just happen to people who are too lazy to wash properly. The ugly truth is that there are other factors you may be unaware of that cause this undesired phenomena. 

Among others it can be caused by your diet, your genes, the amount of body hair you have, stress, and even what you wear.

A lot of women really struggle to find products which are tailored exactly for their specific needs. But just because your body chemistry may be a little out of your control, doesn't mean you have to be stuck with this unwanted problem forever.

Here are five steps towards feeling and smelling fresher if you have a BBO problem:

1. Try an antiperspirant

While showering regularly is the obvious thing to do, not everyone always has access to washrooms during the day. And you also need to take water restrictions into account - many areas of the country are often affected by drought and you can't really expect people to be showering twice a day while remaining below the 87 liter per day mark (which is the current restriction in the Western Cape.)

The point is, if you're a shower-once-a-day type of person who is quite active and struggles with body odour, you should be opting for a relatively strong antiperspirant rather than ordinary deodorants.

2. Whatever you do, don't miss laundry day

If you know you sweat heavily (even during the cooler seasons) it's best you don't re-wear your clothes without washing them first. Wear it once and chuck it in the basket, even if it was spotless when you took it off.

The fresher the clothes, the less severe the odour. This also plays a huge part in combating other unpleasant smells like smoke, pets and cooking odours. 

3. Watch what you eat

Don't let "offensive" foods be the reason you feel offended when no one takes the seat next to you when commuting to/from work.


Shape.com revealed that there are people who cannot actually metabolise certain foods such as eggs, fish, liver and legumes, as they contain a lot of choline. This causes those who cannot metabolise this nutrient to give off a "fishy" smell.

4. Go natural

Some women have found that the deodorant they're using actually makes them sweat more, thereby aggravating their BO problems.

If this is you, Shape.com reports that some doctors suggest that you wash only with plain water. But if doing the bare minimum makes you feel a bit uneasy, you can dilute lemon juice with water or apple cider vinegar and use the mixture to clean under your arms and prevent bacteria from growing.

5. Wear the right fabrics

Apparently natural fabrics such as linen, wool and cotton absorb sweat from your skin, allowing it to evaporate unlike the likes of silk, nylon and polyester which don't allow for evaporation. (How could the silk blouse betray us like this?!)

Also, loose-fitting clothes don't trap bacteria, so even when you sweat you won't necessarily develop bad body odour. Yay, because the oversized/boyfriend look is still in anyway.

-W24.com