Why People Use Glycolic Acid as Deodorant

When it comes to beauty tips, TikTok has them aplenty: some are downright clever (like the clever SPF layering trick and the viral one-minute messy bun trick ), others are downright questionable.

Last year, some of the app's beauty fans ditched deodorant and instead applied glycolic acid toner to their underarms. They claim this stops the flow of sweat, prevents body odor and minimizes pigmentation.

As people spotted the trend, the hashtag #glycolicdeodorant racked up 27.2 million views, with The Ordinary's Glycolic 7% Toner (£11.50) emerging as the most popular product. But does it really work? More importantly, is it


What is glycolic acid and how does it work? Whether you're a skincare fanatic or not, you've probably heard skincare experts recommend using glycolic acid on your facial skin because of its many benefits.

It is recommended to use a relatively low percentage (such as 5% or 7%) once or twice a week as part of your evening skin care routine.

"Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and is a chemical peel also known as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)," says Dr. Ana Mansouri, cosmetic medicine physician and skin specialist. "Its small molecule size makes it powerful and

allows it to penetrate deeply into the skin layers.

It essentially works by breaking the bonds between dead skin cells, which helps bring the top layer of skin back to the surface (or Smoothing). With long-term use, glycolic acid helps lighten pigmentation and can improve rough

skin texture. Therefore, people with spots left by acne or uneven, dry skin like to incorporate them into their daily skin care routine. Glycolic acid is great on paper, but there are potential side effects and things you should know before using it. Best used at night, in a relatively small amount, once or twice a week after cleansing and before moisturizing.

Because your skin reacts so sensitively to the sun, it's especially important to wear sunscreen during the day. Also worth noting is how often you use it.

“Overuse can lead to over-exfoliation, which disrupts the skin’s barrier function and leads to irritation, dryness, and breakouts,” says Dr. Anna. Is glycolic acid a good alternative to deodorant?

According to countless TikTok videos, beauty enthusiasts use glycolic acid as a deodorant, mostly because they're looking for natural alternatives and evaluating multi-purpose products. According to Dr. Glycolic acid is said to

"lower the pH of your armpits

creating an inhospitable environment for odor-causing bacteria," which explains why so many TikTok users love it, says Priya Verma, medical director of Nova Aesthetic Clinic. However, said Dr. Anna says this is just a theory and

has not been proven to reduce odor.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Priya There is little evidence that glycolic acid reduces sweating. "Sweat actually neutralizes glycolic acid, reducing the benefits of using the acid," she says. In other words, all benefits are

based on anecdotal evidence.

One thing glycolic acid can do to improve underarm pigmentation. (Of course, body pigmentation is completely normal, but some people may want to voluntarily have it removed.) "Because glycolic acid exfoliates the skin promoting

faster cell turnover and reducing skin thickening that can cause underarm pigmentation Hyperpigmentation,” explains Dr. Priya. "If used correctly, it can be effective in reducing unwanted pigmentation. Dr. Anna adds that there

are better options in the underarm area." Is it safe to use glycolic acid as a deodorant? Since glycolic acid can irritate facial skin, this may also occur with underarm skin. "Underarm skin is inherently sensitive due to

constant rubbing and rubbing, as well as a moist and enclo sed environment," says Dr. Anna, shaving may make your skin more sensitive. Do you feel a slight tingling sensation when you apply glycolic acid toner to your face?

Freshly shaving your armpits can be extremely painful. PhD. Priya adds that if you're having laser hair removal in the underarm area, a glycolic acid toner won't be suitable at all. "Glycolic acid is not suitable for everyone,

and more sensitive skin types may experience adverse reactions.

Overuse of glycolic acid (daily use) can also lead to over-exfoliation, which can damage the skin's protective barrier," she continues. This can cause redness and flaking. "This is highly undesirable in the hot and humid

environment of the armpits."

While glycolic acid is said to reduce hyperpigmentation when used correctly, if used too frequently and in too high a concentration, it can cause irritation that can worsen hyperpigmentation. "I prefer to limit the use of AHAs

to the face, since that's what your product is designed and used for," adds Dr. Anna added.

What happens if you use glycolic acid as a deodorant? Beauty In A Tik is all about testing trends and techniques, so I couldn't help but give it a try. I made sure to wait a few days after shaving to avoid the horrible stinging

sensation and put a little glycolic acid on a cotton pad and rub it into my underarms, but it still stung. It felt a bit sticky upon first use and I can definitely say it didn't help prevent sweating throughout the day. In fact,

the stickiness lasted all day and put me in a really bad mood. I decided to test the supposed odor reducing effect on a long walk; unfortunately, it didn't hold up as well as I had hoped. The smell wasn't as strong as I expected,

but I still noticed it at the end of the day and couldn't wait to jump in the shower.

I love using The Ordinary's Glycolic Acid Toner on my face (it's unique in helping to fade blemishes and smooth out uneven skin), but I wouldn't recommend using glycolic acid on your underarms - if there are many excellent ones

out there I don't recommend using deodorant. PhD. Anna supports this. "I'm not a fan of this trend at all and would definitely recommend sticking to tried and tested deodorant or antiperspirant formulas that are backed by


Skin care should be based on science, not fads." What is the best deodorant or antiperspirant? Many TikTok videos warn that aluminum in deodorant is "hazardous to health," but Dr. Anna debunks the myth. "Contrary to popular

belief, there is no clear evidence that aluminum chloride is actually harmful," she said. PhD. Priya adds, "Keep in mind that aluminum-free 'natural' deodorants contain acids and don't prevent sweating, they just eliminate odor."

After trying hundreds of deodorants on the market, nothing beats the Mitchum Powder Fresh Antiperspirant Roll-on, £2.99. It doesn't let a drop of sweat pass through, eliminates odor, and truly lasts all day long.

The Shower Fresh version is equally great, and there's an aerosol version if you prefer a quick-drying spray. Also try Fussy brand's refillable deodorant (£12), which uses skin-friendly probiotics to neutralize odor. They've

partnered with a top fragrance company to produce four scents ranging from tropical to citrus, but there's also an unscented option. If you like natural deodorants, you might like Evolve Pure Prebiotic Roll-On Deodorant (£11), which eliminates odor-causing bacteria to keep underarms fresher for longer. How to get rid of armpit sweating? First of all, sweating is completely natural. PhD. Anna agrees that there are many topical antiperspirants that are more effective and far less irritating than glycolic acid. However, if you're still struggling with excessive sweating, she recommends seeing your doctor or dermatologist, who can prescribe treatments to combat odor-causing bacteria. "Botox is another option for temporary sweating, although it's expensive and laborious," says Dr. Anna. “I absolutely love the miraDry treatment, it actually permanently reduces underarm sweating so my patients don’t even need to use deodorant after surgery.” Experts agree that glycolic acid should be used on the face, not the underarms. Sorry, TikTokers, this hack doesn’t deserve the hype.

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