When it comes to fighting summer skin care woes like acne, oiliness, sweating, and chafing, we don’t mind doing things that are a little out there—as long as they work. That’s why we scoured Reddit to find the tricks users swear by, and then ran them by dermatologist to discover the ones that will actually keep your skin clear, glowing, smooth, clean-smelling, and happy. Here are the odd (but effective) tips we picked up.
1. Fight B.O. With Acne Wash "Stinky armpits no matter what you do? Use acne face wash under your arms. It kills the smelly bacteria. I actually don't use deodorant now and I smell pretty great."—earthworms
Why this works: “An antibacterial cleanser [with ingredients] such a benzoyl peroxide can help reduce the bacteria that lead to underarm odor,” says dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, M.D., clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Dermatology. “It’s easy to just keep in the shower and use a bit every day.”
2. Use Tea Bags for Under Eye Puffiness [For puffy allergy eyes] “Make a cup of tea (green or black, something caffeinated), let it steep awhile, hold the bag to your eye/undereye once it's cool enough.”—kadikadikadi
Why this works: “Caffeinated tea bags contain natural diuretics that can reduce puffiness,” explains Los Angeles-based dermatologist Christine Choi Kim, M.D. Plus, the cooling factor feels great on a hot day!
Why this works: Our derms say anything that’s meant to calm and soothe chapped skin—including diaper cream—will help any thigh-rubbing issues you might have. The go-to for Sue Ann Wee, M.D., dermatologist for the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City: Vaseline.
4. Try Deodorant to Combat Bikini Irritation "On a whim, I followed the advice of the stripper that had an AMA [Ask Me Anything session] and was asked the question about how she keeps her lady parts free of irritation after shaving. She said she used just a regular scent-free [Lady] Speed Stick after each shave and she would never get irritation. I thought it was a joke until women started responding that they do the same thing and it really works." —DanPaladin
Why this works: “Antiperspirants block sweat glands and reduce moisture production, so it is possible that this can reduce friction and irritation in the bikini area and other shaved areas,” says Dr. Papantoniou.
5. Use Honey to Ban Acne “[I] use this one crazy trick.... just kidding, no really! For acne use raw honey! Lather it on and let it sit for 20 minutes.” —Kireji
Why this works: “Honey is loaded with active enzymes and is naturally antibacterial,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “Applying a thin layer to the skin will help to gently exfoliate, reduce bacteria, and smooth out your complexion.”
6. Use a Hair Dryer on Your Pits "Run a hair dryer on cold on [the creases of your body] after applying antiperspirant. This ensures that your skin is dry and so, there is a better chance of the antiperspirant staying on." —DeLickcious
Why this works: Dry skin actually does absorb antiperspirant ingredients better, according to Dr. Kim, but she says, “it makes more sense to dry your skin before applying your antiperspirant.”
7. Use Hand Sanitizer to Get Rid of Smells “Stinky pits in the middle of the day? Rather than splashing them with water, use hand sanitizer”—wtfjen
Why this works: “If you are out and need to freshen up, you can definitely use a little hand sanitizer to reduce bacteria, and then apply some deodorant over the area,” says Dr. Papantoniou. Just think of this as a last-resort since the alcohol in these gels can dry out and irritate your skin.
8. Try Face Oils to Minimize Oily Skin "This might sound crazy, but one way to combat oily skin is by using oil products on it. This is because oil attracts oil so it is supposed to reduce it. There are several kinds of oils and oil [based] washes. I know it sounds like the last thing you would wanna do, but do a bit of research on it and see what people's results are!"—monikamoon
Why this works: “Your skin is meant to have a balance of oils, and if you strip it with an oil-reducing cleanser it can cause your skin to produce rebound oils,” says Dr. Papantoniou. But using oils on your skin does the opposite, keeping your own production down. “This is not crazy at all—it is just so contrary to popular belief and media,” she explains. Just stick to non-comedogenic oils like argan or jojoba.
9. Use Panty Liners to Block Sweat Marks “Get the thin [panty liners] for ‘light flow.’ Place them sticky-side down inside your T-shirt, right where your pits would normally contact the shirt. Then layer on top of that. In summer you can wear unbuttoned light, short-sleeve button-downs over a light cotton tee and no one will be the wiser. But forget about just wearing a T-shirt and nothing else—you will look like you're doing exactly what you're doing.”—thatvoicewasreal
Why this works: The absorbent stick-ons will act as a buffer to keep your shirts dry in the underarm area. But Dr. Wee says if you’ve hit this level of sweat to talk to your doctor—you might be eligible for Botox injections for hyperhidrosis (the medical condition of over-active sweat glands).
10. Use Wet Wipes to Fight Body Odor [For dealing with body odor] "Wet Wipes I found to work great in [smelly armpit] situations—especially scented ones."— gravytown
Why this works: “Moist towelettes in general are great for many quick on-the-go needs, such as washing hands without a sink nearby, removing sweat and makeup after working out, and even freshening up body odor in a pinch,” says Dr. Kim. You can grab some of the individually wrapped ones and stick them in your purse. Added bonus: they come in a variety of formulations, including antibacterial, sensitive skin, and even organic, so you can choose ones that fit your needs.
11. Beat Shine With a Toilet Seat Cover “This is a ridiculous but insanely effective and cheap method of blotting: Toilet seat covers. I swear I'm always disappointed when I enter a bathroom and they don't have a dispenser. They are fantastic at absorbing oil, and they leave your face looking more natural than if you'd patted powder on. And they're free!”—drpennypop
Why this works: “This paper will work just like rice papers sold for blotting,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “If you can get past the gross factor and realize they haven’t been used, they’re great if you’re in a bind.”