Tik Tok has done it yet again. Another skincare trend has swept over the platform and internet:
Glycolic Acid as natural deodorant.
I don’t usually pay much attention to Tik Tok, but this time my curiosity piqued. Many claimed that The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner could be used as a deodorant instead. It supposedly helps with body odor, perspiration, discoloration, and ingrown hairs.
Looking at the unused bottle of Glycolic Acid toner in my cabinet, I decided to use the toner for an experiment. In this post I’ll talk about:
Different Opinions of this Trend
Glycolic acid is a type of “Alpha-Hydroxy Acid” or AHA. AHA’s serve as chemical exfoliants that can address skincare problems with skin hyper pigmentation, dullness, acne, wrinkles, removal of build up, and more.
Many Tik Tokers claim that after using Glycolic acid (The Ordinary Glycolic acid toner) for their underarm, they’ve had no body odor (for up to 3 days), less sweat, less pigmentation, and no ingrown hairs!
When I research the science behind this, I found no real evidence that Glycolic acid had the ability to reduce sweat levels. But, the high pH of it could kill odor-creating bacteria and make the environment inhospitable for it to grow. This is just a theory of skin experts, however.
Also, since Glycolic Acid is an exfoliant, the product would work to help quicken cell-turnover and help reduce hyper-pigmentation over time and help reduce ingrown hairs. Though, if you have sensitive skin or over-exfoliate too much with this product, it could cause flakiness, dry skin, or irritation and further worsen the pigmentation in the underarms.
My Experience Using Glycolic Acid
As a skincare junkie, I had to try this trend.
A while ago, I had gotten The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toner during one of those ventures with my best friend. But I still pretty much had the full bottle.
When I had first used the product on my face, I first noticed the strong acidic smell. It was also a light yellow color, though I couldn’t figure out if the toner had dye in it. The product ended up being too harsh for my face, and when mixed with other products I would get light chemical burns on my cheeks.
Using it on my underarms has been a different experience, though. I apply it one of two ways: spraying on onto my underarms directly or using a cotton pad once a day or every two days. I’ve definitely noticed less ingrown hairs, and the skin has lightened over-time. These weren’t immediate changes, but it occurred over a few weeks, which is faster than what most products take to start showing positive effects.
But as for the smell and sweat… For me at least, the product did nothing to block/prevent sweat. This is understandable since the product doesn’t have any aluminum-based compounds to block sweat pores in the first place. And for the smell, the only reason I didn’t get the “sweat” smell over the day is because the acidic smell of the product was so strong that it covered up everything else. When then, the sweat smell was only evaded for the day at most, not for multiple days.
Now, I don’t use the product as frequently. I’ve found the strong acidic smell too strong for me, but I still use the toner every once in a while on the weekends for the other positive effects of no longer having ingrown hairs or dark underarm skin.
If you’re planning to use glycolic acid as deodorant, I’d recommend starting off with light use until you can build up. Make sure to assess you skin type too: do you have sensitive skin? Skin that is dry?
If so, definitely be more cautious when trying skincare trends from Tik Tok. Everyone’s skin is different!
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