Using Apple Cider Vinegar as Deodorant
Many people today are interested in using more natural products instead of conventional deodorants or antiperspirants. And the reasons for this move are varied, but primary, people are becoming more concerned with the use of chemicals and compounds that could, over time, cause harm to the body.
In particular, the use of aluminum in antiperspirants has raised a lot of red flags for those who are concerned about how it could affect your health over time. Other people simply do not like the strong scents, harsh ingredients, or other side effects of using these products.
We use deodorants to help deal with the smell of body odor, which naturally occurs because of bacteria that grow in the moist, warm environment of the armpit. While antiperspirants block the release of sweat in this area, deodorants are meant to prevent or cover up the offending odors that can develop under your arms.
How is Body Odor Formed
To understand why apple cider vinegar is a good choice as a deodorant, it is helpful to know how body odor is formed. When you sweat, the liquid that comes out of your body is odorless. When the sweat stays trapped in areas like your underarms, it mixes with the hair and natural skin oils that are in these areas.
While we sweat from exertion, you can also perspire because of stress, anxiety, or hormone shifts, and these processes cause the apocrine glands in your armpit to also release additional fluids that contain various fatty acids, natural steroids, and proteins. Mixed with sweat and sebum from your skin, this becomes the perfect breeding ground for yeasts and bacteria to grow.
The most common of these are staphylococcus and Corynebacterium, and a natural byproduct of these microbes is a foul-smelling scent that we know as body odor. This is due to the propionic acid that these pathogens secrete.
If you are like many people joining the natural personal care product bandwagon, you may be seeking alternatives to commercial deodorants that will leave you smelling fresh while also protecting you from unnecessary pollutants and chemicals.
Why Use Apple Cider Vinegar as Deodorant?
So, why should we turn to vinegar as a way to prevent body odor? Well, it turns out that apple cider vinegar is an excellent, natural antibacterial substance that can help control the microbes that lead to body odor. By killing the bacteria that cause body odor, apple cider vinegar can prevent foul smells before they form, leaving you fresh and smelling clean.
Because apple cider vinegar has a pH of 4.5, which is close to your body’s own natural pH of 5.5, it makes a desirable choice for use on your skin. Having a more acidic skin surface will inhibit the growth of bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is better than other forms of vinegar because it is slightly more acidic. Most people prefer to use organic, raw apple cider vinegar, which is considered to be the strongest and least processed of this type of acid.
Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar is effective at killing several types of microbes, including several types of fungi and bacteria. It is widely available and inexpensive, which makes it an excellent choice for many of your health and beauty needs.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar as Deodorant
Some people have noted that apple cider vinegar has a strong scent on its own, but most people find that this aroma fades once the liquid dries on your skin, leaving you without any noticeable odor. If the smell of this vinegar bothers you though, we have included some ways to mask or improve it in our directions below. We have offered you a few different options for how to use apple cider vinegar to control your body odor, so experiment to find the one that works best for you or create your own.
Some people have noted that cotton balls absorb too much vinegar for this application, so you may want to use a simple cotton square or round. Dib your cotton into the apple cider vinegar and squeeze out any excess liquid. Swipe the cotton under your armpits and allow the area to dry briefly.
If the acidity of this solution bothers you, you can also dilute your vinegar with equal parts water. Some people also like to dab cornstarch, arrowroot, and/or baking soda under their arms after applying the vinegar.
If you find that your activity level of stress is causing you to develop odors later in the day, try keeping an additional soaked cotton square in a baggie in your bag or purse to use later in the day as needed.
You can use an empty and clean roll-on bottle to apply apple cider vinegar, as well. Some people prefer to add a few drops of their favorite essential oil to the vinegar before applying it to your armpits. This can help mask the odor if it bothers you.
For those of you who like taking baths, add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bathwater and soak for ten minutes to kill any lingering bacteria and help eliminate body odor.
You can use a spray bottle to spritz straight or diluted apple cider vinegar directly to your underarms. To make an effective, homemade deodorant spray, try adding one-quarter of a cup of apple cider vinegar to one-quarter of a cup of distilled water. To this add one-half of a teaspoon of salt and several drops of your favorite essential oil. Be sure to shake the bottle thoroughly before using. You also apply this mixture using a cotton square, if you prefer.
Precautions & Side Effects
Using vinegar on your skin can lead to irritation or dryness, which is why you may want to dilute the apple cider vinegar before applying to sensitive skin like your armpits. If you have never used this remedy on your skin, do a small patch test on your arm or leg before using it under your arm. Most people are okay with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water, but you should use what is more comfortable for you.
Yagnik, D., Serafin, V., & J Shah, A. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports. 8(1), 1732.