The smartest health and beauty hack so far in 2024? Using benzoyl peroxide for underarm freshness. The best news? It actually works!
What is Benzoyl Peroxide?
So, how does it work? Benzoyl peroxide is an FDA-approved prescription medication and over-the-counter antibacterial skincare ingredient frequently used in the preparation of products designed to treat acne, pimples and other minor skin complaints.
What Is That Smell?
So how can your spot treatment help you to stay shower-fresh all day? Here’s how the awesome hack works! Contrary to widespread belief, your sweat has no odor. The smell that people associate with body odor is actually from the bacteria on your underarm skin mixing with perspiration.
How Benzoyl Peroxide Gets to Work
Back to benzoyl peroxide. The hack theory goes that using a benzoyl peroxide solution body wash when you shower will take out the odor-causing bacteria. It makes sense – as we mentioned at the top of this blog post, benzoyl peroxide is antibacterial. It targets the problem by attacking the cell wall of the bacteria on your underarm skin and oxidizing it.
“Antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide target odor-causing bacteria that live in our underarms. By incorporating benzoyl peroxide into your hygiene routine, you can effectively reduce body odor.”
Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, FAAD
Sweet Smelling Naturally
With consistent use, benzoyl peroxide can diminish body odor by helping to reduce the number of bacteria present on the skin that contribute to the problem.
It’s worth experimenting with what approach works for you: using a body wash and leaving the product on your skin for a couple of minutes before rinsing clean or using a creamier face wash for a gentler experience.
Figure Out the Right Concentration for You
One point to note – don’t go straight in with a concentration of 10%, as it may be too strong. Start off with a lower concentration of 4%, and gradually increase the percentage concentration if necessary.
It really works – most people will notice a significant difference in their body odor, whether or not natural deodorant is also worn. Bear in mind that benzoyl peroxide is not an antiperspirant, so you will likely still experience some wetness from sweating, but with no bacteria to trigger odor, you should still smell good and fresh! If you want to stay dry as well, then use a separate, suitable antiperspirant for your skin.
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