I have a love-hate relationship with aluminum-free deodorant. I love that they allow my pits to breathe, but I hate that most do nothing for my body odor. Deodorants generally use fragrance to mask BO (as opposed to antiperspirants, which use aluminum to stop you from sweating altogether), so if I get smelly, I'm rocking a blend of lavender and my own natural musk. I've tested a lot of aluminum-free options on the market, but The Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Spray is the only one that keeps me smelling fresh all day long.
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The Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Spray ($18) works by attacking stench from three different angles. It uses glycolic acid to lower the pH under your arms, making the environment inhospitable for odor-causing bacteria; It reduces the sebum oil deposits on your armpit skin; And it works as a gentle exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and other pore-clogging elements. And this, says Alicia Zalka, MD, the board-certified dermatologist who founded the brand, creates an odor-fighting triple threat.
"The glycolic acid acidifies the skin and keeps the pores unplugged, taking care of some of the oils that can lead to odor when they're paired with the high pH [from your sweat]," says Dr. Zalka. "If you're taking some of the oils and sebum away as well as removing the plugged pores and acidifying the skin, there's no odor." Because glycolic acid on its own can be harsh on the delicate skin under your arms, Dr. Zalka also included a soothing postbiotic called lactobacillus ferment in the formula. There's also a dash of eucalyptus to add a bit of fragrance.
With this product, you'll still sweat. But sweat is only smelly when it mixes with the bacteria on your skin, so when you kill the bacteria with glycolic aid, your sweat won't stink. "Your body wants to sweat," says Dr. Zalka. "Sweat is intentional, but odor is preventative." Plus, you won't have to worry about yellow sweat stains on clothes, which usually come as a result of your sebum interacting with the aluminum salts in an antiperspirant.
Dr. Zalka notes that two spritzes per pit should be enough to do the job. Hold the bottle one inch from your body and spray directly in the armpit. Though the spray is generally well-tolerated, you may want to do a spot-test before applying it to your pits, and be sure to avoid using it immediately after shaving to avoid stinging. If you're concerned about irritation you can apply a bit of lotion or body oil to the outer rim of your armpits to act as a barrier. Just be sure you don't apply lotion directly to your armpits (that "outer rim" directive is important), because it may mess with the pH of the product and decrease its stench-beating efficiency.
Bonus: You can also use this spray on your feet. "You may use a few more pumps for your foot, and then you just pat it dry so you don't slip around," says Dr. Zalka. Snag it now before it sells out again.
Learn more about this product from Dr. Zalka:
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