Why You Should Consider Using Glycolic Acid On Your Underarms

Glycolic acid is a household name in the skin care department. It is a direct acid that can protect collagen, unclog your pores, and help fight against acne. It is an ingredient popular in cleansers, serums, toners, and chemical peels. But now, skincare enthusiasts are dapping glycolic acid onto their armpits. The TikTok hashtag #glycolicacidasdeodorant has over 24 million views on the platform, and influencers are specifically using The Ordinary's 7% Solution and throwing regular deodorant out the window.


Armpits are now getting the same treatments as your face. If it gives you magazine cover pits, then it might be worth a try, right? There is definitely no risk of gunky paste ruining your clothes. However, not everyone is a fan of this solution. One content creator claims that using glycolic acid made her underarms darker than before, while another swears by it for eliminating odor. But what do the experts say?

How glycolic acid works for your underarms

Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator, and therefore it can brighten your underarms. The acid helps to break down and remove dead skin cells, leaving you with a fresh epidermis, so say goodbye to discoloration from shaving and ingrown hairs. The exfoliating properties will also even out texture, much like it would for your face. Not only can it brighten and smooth your armpits, but it can take the place of deodorant's odor-blocking properties.


Dermatologist Dr. Marisa K. Garshick told Today, "By exfoliating away the dead skin cells and lowering the skin's pH, it may also help to prevent body odor by preventing buildup and making it less likely for bacteria to lead to foul-smelling odors." However, the skincare expert added, "Applying glycolic acid will not reduce sweating."

It does not have any of the worrisome aluminum-based compounds that define antiperspirants, so you might smell fresh, but also be dripping sweat. It is an alternative to traditional deodorant that can give you model pits, but it doesn't come without risks.

The best way to use glycolic acid for your pits

The underarm is sensitive. It has little cushion and consists of many glands and soft tissue, so being gentle is important. A high concentration of glycolic acid or applying it too frequently can reverse the positive effects. Dermatologist Dr. Fatima Fahs told Nylon, "The axillary skin is prone to irritation and can be quite sensitive so using a toner to this area can result in over-exfoliation and even burning."


To apply glycolic acid to your armpits, just use a cotton pad and swipe it on. However, to avoid over-exfoliation or irritation, only use this method twice a week. Plus, the lower concentration of glycolic acid, the lower the risk for your sensitive underarms.

It is best to opt for a product tested for the underarm area with this magic ingredient instead of using pure glycolic acid. Stainky's Pit Prep deodorant is a spray that can be used daily and has glycolic acid as an active ingredient. Boscia's body deodorant is a cream designed for underarms as well as other areas where the sun doesn't shine. And if you want something for on-the-go, Surface Deep's Anti-Odorant Pads are travel-friendly.