Social media is full of life hacks these days, and TikTok is no exception. There are thousands of videos claiming that acids we normally think of for facial cleansers, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, can also work as an effective natural deodorant.

The idea is that these acids can get rid of body odor by killing off the bacteria that makes you stink. It sounds too good to be true! While it’s not quite that simple, there may be some truth to this trick.

As someone interested in green beauty and natural wellness, I was curious to dig into the science behind using acids as deodorant. Here’s what I learned about the potential benefits and risks you need to know before trying it yourself.

First off, let’s look at why body odor happens in the first place…

So you’ve probably seen those TikToks claiming glycolic acid or salicylic acid are magic bullets against body odor. I was skeptical, so I did some digging into the science behind it.

Turns out, it’s a little more complicated than the videos make it seem. Don’t get me wrong – these acids can help reduce odor. But will they totally eliminate BO? Probably not.

See, body odor happens when sweat and bacteria get together. There’s a specific skin bacteria that feeds on our sweat and creates stinky byproducts. Gross, I know.

Using acid products lowers pH levels, making it tougher for odor-causing bacteria to grow in your pits and other sweaty spots. The acids also exfoliate away dead skin cells, giving bacteria less to munch on. Helpful for sure!

But the true culprit is the sweat itself. No matter how much you kill the bacteria, sweat will still smell when it mixes with your skin. For heavy sweating and serious BO issues, you really need prescription strength anti-perspirants or medical treatments that reduce sweat production.

For milder cases, trying an acid product could provide a nice extra layer of odor protection. Dermatologists say it’s reasonable to give it a shot if BO isn’t already a major problem for you.

So acids aren’t a magic cure – the hype goes too far. But as part of your daily hygiene routine, they may help keep smells at bay. I’d say give it a try, but lower your expectations from what you see on TikTok!

If trying acids for odor control, take it slow at first. More isn’t necessarily better with skincare acids. Start with a low concentration and work your way up gradually if needed.

Look for acid cleansers or body washes you can rinse off, rather than leave-on products. Dermatologists recommend washing with them in the shower, since anything you apply under your arms just sits there all day.

Some acid deodorants combine the acids with antiperspirant protection. Mandelic acid tends to be gentlest if your skin is sensitive.

Now a word of caution – these acids can definitely irritate sensitive skin. And the thin underarm skin is especially vulnerable. Reactions like burning, itching, peeling and pigmentation issues can happen. Not fun!

So patch test carefully, and stop use if any irritation develops. Don’t expect miracles – acids help reduce bacteria but won’t shut down sweating. For heavy perspiration, prescription antiperspirants are more effective.

The TikTok hype makes acids sound like a cure-all. But they’re just one potential extra step to help control mild BO as part of your daily routine. Proceed with realistic expectations, and of course, check with your dermatologist if you have any concerns!

More resources:

Leave A Reply