What’s the Deal With Acids in Deodorant?

Based on this insight, AHA deodorants may not be the best choice for folks who are prone to excessive sweating. Additionally, as Dr. King explains, excess sweat can dilute or wash AHAs away entirely. This makes it difficult — if not entirely impossible — to reap their benefits. 

Which AHA deodorants should I try?

Ready to take the AHA plunge? We’ve rounded up a few of the AHA-spiked deodorants on the market beloved by both Allure editors and our experts, below. 

Necessaire The Deodorant Gel With 5% AHA

According to Dr. Green, the mandelic and lactic acids found in Necessaire’s The Deodorant Gel are “are amazing at preventing odor, smoothing bumpy skin, and even reducing the appearance of dark spots.” This noncomedogenic formula also features vitamin B3 (aka niacinamide), which the dermatologist credits with strengthening the skin’s protective barrier.

Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads

If traditional stick deodorants aren’t your thing, consider the Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads. According to Dr. King, these biodegradable pads are formulated with fruit-based glycolic acid and probiotics to stop odor-causing bacteria in its tracks. The sulfate-, paraben-, and phthalate-free pads are especially ideal for sensitive skin. Even better? These won’t stain or leave behind any greasy residue.


Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Pads

Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant

Dr. Green is a fan of Kosas Chemistry AHA Serum Deodorant for its innovative formulation, which features a blend of AHAs (lactic acid, mandelic acid, and shikimic acid). “Shikimic acid has added exfoliating and active antioxidant properties that fight against premature aging,” she explains. According to the dermatologist, the mandelic and lactic acids in this formulation are “helpful in preventing bacterial growth, which causes odor while simultaneously brightening the skin.” The deo is also spiked with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to soothe and hydrate the skin.

The Chemistry Brand Inhibitif Deodorant

Dr. King especially loves that The Chemistry Brand Inhibitif Deodorant “contains menthyl lactate, a synthesis of menthol and lactic acid[s], for a cooling effect. Lactic acid is both an AHA and a humectant, so it helps to hydrate the skin, too” she says.


The Chemistry Brand Inhibitif Deodorant

Lume Natural Solid Deodorant Stick

“This deodorant is unique because it prevents odor whereas many other deodorants just mask the smell,” Dr. Green says of the Lume Natural Solid Deodorant Stick. The product — which can be used anywhere on the body, from your armpits to your feet — is enriched with mandelic acid, which can help “regulate sebum (oil) production and unclog pores.” Even better? It offers a 72-hour wear time.

Drunk Elephant Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream

According to Dr. Green, the mandelic acid and arrowroot found in Drunk Elephant’s Sweet Pitti Deodorant Cream are “a powerful duo that kills odor-causing bacteria while keeping you dry.” She also notes that arrowroot — which contains zinc, iron, and vitamin B6 — can help alleviate dry skin and irritation. Other ingredient highlights include marula, mongongo, and baobab oils, “which contain critical antioxidants such as omegas 3, 6, and 9 as well as vitamin E.”

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