3 Simple Deodorant Alternatives That Actually Work

Just because “summer” is over doesn’t mean that it’s any less hot outside. As soon as the temperature peaks over the 70 degree mark, you can bet I am sweating, and with sweat comes stink. I run through deodorant much faster in the warmer seasons than the colder ones, but with all the nasty chemicals in deodorant like aluminum that are known to be awful for your body, I wanted to see what other options were out there. There’s aluminum-free deodorant, but that ends up being like when you try to spray Febreze after your morning visit to the bathroom post-coffee—the nice scent just mixes with the bad scent. I needed something that was going to kill the stink, and the only way to do that was to kill the bacteria that makes the stink. Here are three alternatives that I tried that actually helped beat BO.

Glycolic Acid

If you are on TikTok, you’ve seen people going crazy over glycolic acid, especially the one from The Ordinary. Glycolic acid is usually used to kill the bacteria on your face that causes acne, but it turns out you can also use it on your armpits to kill the bacteria that causes body odor. It was quite effective for me, and I was shocked how there was no smell at all after using it. The only drawback is that you should only use it 1-2 times a week, since it is abrasive. It’s not a complete swap-out for deodorant, but it did significantly cut down on my need for it. 

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a valuable and necessary resource for killing germs and keeping ourselves healthy, and in a pinch, it can be used to stop the stink. When I tried it, it was really effective in stopping and preventing BO throughout the day; however, the smell of alcohol lingered for a little bit longer than I would have liked. My friends swore they didn’t smell it on me, so it might have just been a me thing, but it still didn’t make me feel totally comfortable. I would definitely use it in a Hail Mary situation, though. 

Lemon Juice

This idea came from my girlfriend’s mom who swore by it. The citric acid in the lemon juice changes the pH balance in your armpits, which stops the bacteria from being able to thrive. I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but just as I was told, it kept me fresh. Because I was most skeptical about this one, it was the one that surprised me the most. But just like the hand sanitizer, I had a faint lemon-y smell on me for most of the day.

So if you are trying to cut down on the ~summertime scent~ that you get from enjoying the warm weather, add one of these to your hygiene routine. Your nose (and the noses around you) will thank you.