The ‘Magic Eraser’ for Body Odor Is Here To Make Your Summer Fresh

Photo: Getty/Thomas Barwick
After months of winter, the sweatiest season is almost upon us. And with the success of vaccination programs allowing life to open up more and more as we inch toward summer, it's likely that we'll actually be in semi-close proximity to other human beings for the first time in a year. As such, we may start to worry about the whole body odor situation once more (with apologies to those with whom we sheltered-in-place, and for whom we rarely showered).

But despite the fact that we, you know, sent men to the moon many decades ago, clean-yet-effective deodorant remains a somehow elusive dream. Which is why innovations in the space are always exciting, and the realization that acids could potentially stand-in as effective armpit deodorizers has been a big one. They work by lowering the skin's pH, which creates an inhospitable environment for odor-causing bacteria to grow and proliferate. People have been testing this hypothesis by using their (probably pricey) facial acids in their pits, but there's another option: Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads, which work for the stinkiest parts (read: armpits and feet) of the bod, but are safe for all over.

The dermatologist-created product is powered by a patent-pending blend of fruit-based glycolic acids, which address that aforementioned pH problem. The brand’s founder Alicia Zalka, MD, chose glycolic acid because it works on three levels: “It creates a more acidic skin environment to offset the alkaline pH often caused by soaps, which makes it inhospitable for bacteria related to odor-causing skin flora to take hold,” she says. “It also reduces sebum oil deposits on the armpit skin, which further reduces the odor process, and then it also works as a gentle exfoliator to remove dead skin cells and other clogging elements.”

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The pads also contain probiotics, so you're not just wiping out your microbiome (as can happen with traditional antiperspirants and deodorants) but rather eliminating bad bacteria and replacing it with the good stuff. This further helps to tame bad bacteria growth while also reducing inflammation in (and therefore, irritation to) in the skin.

In other words, these pads offer a more holistic approach to odor management that not only preserves your body's natural processes—meaning it doesn't stop you from sweating—and actually offers benefits that go towards making your skin healthier overall. And if you're thinking, "But, we're in the midst of a climate catastrophe, and pads are bad for the environment," fret not, as they babies are biodegradable and come in fully recyclable packaging.

In anticipation of a (s)hot girl/boy summer, might I suggest you try a swipe any and everywhere you, well, smell?

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