Wait — can this fruit really substitute deodorant?

With the natural beauty trend still going strong, it seems like more people are tossing aside brand name deodorants in favor of chemical-free alternatives. If we’re reaching inside of our pantries to find natural beauty remedies, like coconut oil as moisturizer and baking powder as shampoo, there’s gotta be something in there to get rid of our pit stench, right?

After trying to convince followers to use diaper cream as a face mask and rubbing onion on eyebrows to increase growth, Beauty vlogger Farah Dhukai’s latest DIY tip is of the deodorant variety. With a very simple fruit — one that we commonly use in our beverages —Farah shows off an amazing natural deodorant hack. Which fruit is it? LIME.

“It’s so hard to find a deodorant that keeps me dry and odor free all day without reapplying (leeetssss be honest — I love curry and you are what you eat? more like you smell like what you eat lol #iaintsorry) THIS DIY DEODORANT not only kept me EXTREMELY DRY in this hot and humid Miami weather, it kept me smelling FRESH all day!” she wrote.


Farah then listed out the steps needed to get your pits smelling citrus-fresh: “Cut the lime into small little pieces and store in the fridge OR you can juice the lime and use it with a cotton round. Apply the lime juice DIRECTLY to your underarm AFTER showering.” Farah also warns not to apply it to underarms right after shaving. It will STING. 


So, is there any science to back up Farah’s claims? A quick Google search brings up a lot of bloggers praising the benefits of lime or lemon juice as a go-to deodorant. In a 2015 article from Mind Body Green, a writer tested out the lime trick and said it totally worked. “The citric acid in lime juice helps reduce sweat production and lowers the skin’s pH level, making it difficult for odor-causing bacteria to survive,” they wrote. They also suggested using bottled lime juice to make it more convenient.


In an article from Allure from that same year, cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer weighed in on the effects of lemon juice. “Lemon juice has mild astringent effects that mimic the pore-closing effect of antiperspirant actives,” said Hammer. “And the lemon scent is also useful for covering malodors — look at how many different cleaning products are lemon-scented.” However, another expert warned against using other fruits — particularly lime. Ellen Marmur, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center explained other citrus fruits, like mangos and limes, are known to be photoallergic triggers.


In Farah’s caption, she says to avoid sun exposure or tanning, but does not explain why. When lime juice comes in contact with the sun, the area will become photosensitive, which may result in a scary, rash-like condition called phytophotodermatitis, also known as “margarita dermatitis.” It is NOT pretty

Hmm, on that note, it might be safer to stick to a normal, natural deodorant and leave the limes to the cocktails.