How? Well, your armpits smell because the bacteria that are feeding off your sweat and oil glands are producing waste (aka odor) — not the sweat itself. But a swipe of face acids may act like a weather change to the bacteria, causing a low pH environment so they can’t survive.
The 30-second beauty routine
After applying acid products like alpha hydroxy acid exfoliants to your face, swipe a thin layer over your armpits as well. Pixi Glow Tonic and Paula’s Choice 2 percent BHA liquid are good products for this.
Bought a cult product that was way too harsh for your face? Try it on your pits! As a bonus, these ingredients may reduce ingrown hairs as well!
Note: This trick only works to reduce odor. Acids won’t be able to stop sweat like an aluminum-based antiperspirant product, since it won’t block the ducts of your sweat glands. There’s also not a lot of current research on this topic.
Make sure to start with small doses or percentages, just like you would with your face. Low pH products can irritate the skin.
If you’re unsure if your product falls in the acid category, check out our guide to face acids. And, as always, stop use if your pits turn irritatingly red or painful.
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Michelle explains the science behind beauty products at Lab Muffin Beauty Science. She has a PhD in synthetic medicinal chemistry. You can follow her for science-based beauty tips on Instagram and Facebook.