Can I use Glycolic Acid as Deodorant?

Can you use glycolic acid as a deodorant against sweaty armpits or to lighten dark under arms?

There are alternatives to traditional deodorant that don’t involve you smelling like onions or squeezing lime in your pits.

Glycolic acid is traditionally used as a chemical exfoliant in skin care products for skin texture and dealing with hyperpigmentation or dark areas.

You can read about how to use it in your skincare routine on our beauty page.

However, it has been an increased trend on Instagram and Tik-Tok with several people trying it as a deodorant.

So the million dollar question – Does it actually work and how do I use it?


Glycolic Acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) from sugarcane which has risen dramatically in its use by skin care enthusiasts to fade dark spots.

how to lighten dark under arms glycolic acid as a deodorant

It is one of the lightweight acids and absorbs extremely quick and deep into the skin layers.

So how does it work as a deodorant?

Glycolic acid has a PH that ranges from 0.08 to 2.75. A quick throwback to science class would remind you that the PH scale ranges from 0 to 14, 0 being extremely acidic and 14 being extremely basic.

Sweat doesn’t have a smell, what makes you smell musty is bacteria active in your sweat through the day.

What traditional deodorant does is just block sweat all together or put a heavy fragrance to mask the musty smell.

Hence why you re-apply everyday.


Glycolic acid – due to its acidic nature lowers the PH of your under arms to an unfavorable environment for microbial activity.

You get a 2 for 1 in that even you sweat you don’t smell and it exfoliates and can lighten dark underarms.

Imagine that!


  • Get a concentrated Glycolic Acid Toner

My recommendation is The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution; Available in department stores or online.

the ordinary glycolic acid as a deodorant

Available on Deciem for $8.70 and on Jumia for N5000

It is great to use as it comes with a nozzle applicator and is one of the more concentrated glycolic acid that you can get over the counter solutions.

  • Soak a moderate amount on a cotton pad
  • Swipe cotton pad on your under arms and let it dry down

Do note that glycolic acid could be irritating on broken and sensitive skin so definitely try in small patches before fully swiping on your under arms.

Do not mix glycolic acid with your normal deodorant for usage as it could cause irritation.

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use glycolic acid as a deodorant maybe 3 – 4 times a week instead of everyday as its effects are long lasting.


I use glycolic acid on my under arms – mainly when I just shaved and don’t want to use deodorant or I’m wearing something sleeveless,

To avoid deodorant stains when I lift my arms up, and without fail, I smelt fresh through the day even though I sweat heavily under my arms.

It genuinely smelt like air – NOTHING for the whole day and the wear lasted from 24 hours to 36 hours.

It also really helps to lighten dark under arms and repeated use of glycolic acid could smooth under arm texture.

And that’s it!

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. Create an account and join the VICTORIA SHO FAM to leave a comment.

Let me know below if you’re looking to try or have tried glycolic acid as a deodorant or used it to lighten dark under arms and how did it hold up.

Till Next Time. Ciao!

Leave a Reply