Collage of Alicia Lartey and Kosas Chemistry Serene Clean Deodorant

Pretty Damn Good: the exfoliating deodorant this influencer uses to treat underarm hyperpigmentation

Welcome to Stylist’s Pretty Damn Good, a weekly series in which different women share the one product – across hair care, skincare, make-up, body and fragrance – that remains a forever staple in their beauty routines.

For some, an experience with a complex skin condition can be the catalyst for a relationship with skincare.

As a teenager, Alicia Lartey developed keratosis pilaris on her arms. It was originally misdiagnosed as eczema and, while educating herself on the topic, Lartey developed a passion for the science of skincare. From here, she went on to begin a degree in biomedical science and is currently finishing up her third year.

Using her knowledge in science and skin, Lartey, who is also a training esthetician, has set up Alicia Lartey Skin. Clients can sign up for a series of sessions, including a skin consultation, in which Lartey will help you develop a custom routine with product selections, and skincare coaching, to tackle complex skincare concerns. Each session is focuses on breaking through the overwhelming and confusing volume of information and making skincare more accessible.

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Lartey also uses her Instagram page  to share refreshingly honest review on the latest product she has been trying. Her community (which is growing fast) also turn to her for useful advice covering a wide range of topics, from how to prepare for a laser hair removal appointment to finding effective body care products.

So, as somebody who tries lots of products and uses their knowledge to make trusted recommendations, what’s the one product Lartey finds has transformed her own routine? Here, she tells us.

Alicia Lartey

“I first discovered Kosas Chemistry Deodorant in Serene Clean, £14 around three months ago. I was coming to the end of my old deodorant and looking for something to help with the pigmentation caused by excessive shaving on my underarms.

“Whenever I am looking for a new product, I typically search for specific ingredients that work in conjunction with my desired product function. For this product, I was on the look out for an ‘exfoliating deodorant’.

“This is not my first run in with an exfoliating deodorant, however, this is the first time I have found one that is easily accessible to me and also contains lactic and mandelic acid. Unlike other deodorants I have tried in the past, this particular one is clear which makes it easier to rub in.

Using AHAs on my underarms is not something that is new to me but it is fairly difficult to get a product that contains both lactic and mandelic acid. These are my AHAs of choice for the underarm area as mandelic acid is gentle while also being great for pigmentation. I’m currently undergoing laser hair removal and this is still gentle enough to use after laser and leaves behind a fresh scent.

“The underarms are often a neglected area and most of the time that’s because there are limited options for products. A lot of natural deodorants tend to be powdery but this definitely isn’t. It was honestly a breath of fresh air as I searched through deodorants and my underarms have never been smoother!

“The packaging is a green squeezable tube but I do wish the tube was not opaque and instead frosted or clear. After a shower, I pat my skin dry and evenly coat the area, giving myself two minutes before wearing my clothes. Your underarms are not the only place that may have an odour while sweating, so, I like to use Serene Clean on my sternum, too.”

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Main image: Alicia Lartey/brand