1. Lemon Juice
I’m not saying you should steal the lemon wedge out of your glass of water and sneak off to the bathroom (unless you’re desperate, of course). But applying lemon juice to your underarms in the morning may help stave off smells by killing bacteria. According to Laura Moss on MNN.com, “The citric acid in lemon juice can kill odor-causing bacteria , and there are people who swear by the lemon deodorizing method.”
Just remember that this is for deodorizing only. It’s not an antiperspirant, so you’ll still sweat. But at the very least that sweat will (hopefully) smell lemon-y fresh.
2. Hand Sanitizer
If you ran to work without deodorant and need something to cover your stench ASAP, then consider applying a squirt of antibacterial gel under each armpit. As Joanna Goddard noted on CupofJo.com, “Hand sanitizer will save the day. The alcohol kills the bacteria and neutralizes the smell .” Sure, you’ll smell like rubbing alcohol for a few minutes, but it should keep smellier smells at bay.
3. Baking Soda & Corn Starch
This is one you can concoct in your kitchen, which I highly recommend since it can get a little messy. According to Moss, “Using baking soda as a deodorant is a simple way to combat body odor without subjecting your pits to a variety of chemicals. Try mixing 1/8 of a teaspoon of baking soda with a little bit of water — don’t dissolve it — and rub it under your arms. You can also create a baking soda and cornstarch mix to fight odor and help prevent wetness. Simply mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch and dust a little on your underarms.”
The good thing about this method is it will get rid of smells and moisture, so it’ll act more like your regular stick deodorant.
4. Essential Oils
If you aren’t so excited about smelling like baking soda or hand sanitizer, then essential oils might be more your thing. Look for antibacterial varieties, such as lemongrass, thyme, lavender, and rosemary , and then go to town creating your own unique scent.
Of course, none of these are going to work as well as commercial brand deodorants, but you can reapply them all day long without worrying about any side effects. As Caryn Anderson noted on LiveStrong.com, “… using an all-natural formula is typically gentle on your skin, which means that you can apply it frequently without irritating your skin, and you can tailor the ingredients to suit your exact skin care desires.” Sounds good to me.