People are using toner on their armpits to reduce body odor, and it’s actually working

Sweating can be super annoying—there’s no nice way to put it. Although a good sweat sesh while working out can be refreshing, generally speaking, sweating sucks. It seems to happen at the worst times—when you’re nervous on a first date, when you’re giving an important presentation, or when you’re shaking hands with a stranger and the clammy palm befalls you. Arguably even worse than the look and feel of sweat is the smell. No one wants to stink, and armpit sweat can create a nasty body odor. If your deodorant just isn’t cutting it and you want to try a different strategy to combat the dreaded body odor, toner might be your answer.

That’s right: People are using toner on their armpits to reduce their body odor, and it’s working.

Although toner is mainly known as a must-have skincare product for maintaining a clear complexion, it’s slowly becoming a favorite solution for battling armpit stink, too.

Uh, what’s toner?

In beauty language, toner is a product used to remove any excess gunk from your skin after cleansing. Dirt, dead skin cells, oil—toner removes it all and allows other products to better penetrate your skin, and therefore absorb more effectively. Toner is most beneficial for those with oily or acne-prone skin, but everyone can benefit from using it.

So, how does toner help reduce body odor?

When it comes to using toner on your armpits, it targets the same goal it does on your face: Cleanse and remove any bacteria in the area. Contrary to common belief, body odor doesn’t actually come from your sweat—it originates from the bacteria on your body. So, using toner on your armpits will give the area a deep clean that your body wash or soap just can’t accomplish in the shower and will help remove odor-causing bacteria.

Next, we need to talk about pH. The pH scale is what determines how acidic a solution is, on a scale of 0–14, with 0 being the most acidic, and 14 the least. Typically, our skin naturally falls around a 5 on the pH scale. Sweat, on the other hand, is less acidic and brings your pH level to a more neutral level. When this happens, bacteria can find its way into our armpits more easily, creating an unpleasant smell—not cool. The way to combat this? Use an acidic toner.

When our skin’s pH level is either super high or super low, it becomes inhospitable for bacteria. In other words, it tells bacteria to GTFO.

Traditional deodorants are slightly acidic, so in turn, they slightly lower your pH level. Add in an acidic toner before your deodorant, and your pH level will be far too low for bacteria to thrive, blocking out that pesky cause of B.O. Mission accomplished.

How to use toner on your armpits:

Using toner on your armpits is no different from how you use it on your face. Pour a bit of liquid toner onto a cotton pad, and then sweep it over your armpit. It should dry quickly and feel weightless. Then, you’re ready to layer on your deodorant.

Pro tip: Avoid using toner on your armpits directly after shaving, because the acid might cause a burning sensation on freshly shaven skin. Another bonus of using toner on your armpits: regular exfoliation helps prevent ingrown hairs, which nobody wants. It also works to lighten any hyperpigmentation under your arms causing you to have an armpit shadow, which again, nobody wants.

Best toners for armpits:

1Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic

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Shop it Target

This toner uses soothing aloe vera in its formula, which makes it a great option for those with sensitive skin.

2InstaNatural Organic Rose Water, Alcohol Free Toner

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Shop it Walmart

Best for those with dry and sensitive skin in need of a soothing formula, this toner gives a lightweight hydration to your skin with gentle rose water. Bonus: It can also be used on your hair.

3The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution

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Shop it Sephora

With continued use, this glycolic acid-based toner improves the appearance of skin texture and dullness. Watch out everyone, sexy armpits are about to hit the town!