It’s not as wild as it sounds. I’ve been using acid as deodorant for roughly a month now; I started a few days into the “enhanced community quarantine.” It’s partly because I ran out of my favorite deodorant but also because I’ve been meaning to try it for quite a long time.
First, the acids.
What I mean by acid is acid exfoliants or chemical exfoliants. These are broken down mainly into two categories: AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids). (But there’s PHAs or poly hydroxy acids now too). Both of these acids work great in sloughing off the dead cells on the skin. They also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. BHAs are particularly great as anti-acne remedies too.
There are seven types of AHAs used in products, according to Healthline. They are glycolic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, hydroxycaproic acid and hydroxycapyrilic acid. Meanwhile, the most commonly used beta hydroxy acids are salicylic acid, beta hydroxybutanoic acid, tropic acid and trethocanic acid.
Okay, so how does acid work as a deodorant?
The pH level of armpit skin is said to be usually around 5.5 to 6.5, which is a ripe environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive. Acids work well as a deodorant because they have a pH level of 3 to 4. Lowering the pH level can help decrease the bacteria on the skin or the bacteria’s ability to cause odor. Sounds like good news, right? Well, yes and no. Like anything related to skincare, your mileage may vary. It depends on the product you’re using as well as your, uh, smell.
I’ve taken to showering at night and applying the Pixi Glow Tonic after. While this toner has 5% glycolic acid, I found that it’s actually quite mild for the underarms; I don’t feel any stinging when I apply it. If you have the option to start with a lower concentration, though, definitely consider it especially if you’re new to acids.
Now, of course, you’re here for the results. Well, I’m happy to report that it’s true; it really does keep odor at bay. I do have some tops that make me smell mustier than usual but other than that I’m confident to use the acid as deodorant daily; I’ve done so for quite a while now, doing a bunch of different activities.
Other acids you can try using as deodorant
But you have to remember that it’s a deodorant and not an anti-perspirant and you will still sweat. In some cases, they say the sweat may wash away the effect of the acid but I’ve found that it’s still effective for me even though I do perspire in that area quite a lot. Aside from that, my underarms are smoother than ever; the bumps I used to have are no longer as pronounced. My skin has become lighter too. Yup, I’ll definitely continue using an acid as a deodorant. Will you try it?
Jorj is an editor by profession, a b/vlogger on weekends, and a wife to Yop and mom to Cadence always. She's powered by curiosity and is in the process of becoming her best self.