Hypochlorous Acid Spray: Meet The Viral £2 Skincare Product That Will Stop You Breaking Out On Holiday

Can this skincare hack really prevent breakouts on holiday? TikTok thinks so

hypochlorous acid tiktok

by Sameeha Shaikh |
Published on

There are ample beauty trends that make the rounds on TikTok at any given time, but few get the seal of approval from the experts. One that has recently managed to do just that doesn't revolve around a single product, but rather an acid that promises to save you all the hassle of breaking out while on holiday – or anywhere else for that matter, according to the swarms of videos that are currently speaking out in favour of hypochlorous acid.

TikToker @tatlafata first took to the app earlier this year to answer the question many of us fear ahead of our next holiday: 'How do you not break out when you travel?' Her answer is to douse her skin in generous spritzes of hypochlorous acid spray every hour on the hour before leaving the house, during the flight, on arrival, and being diligent while on her travels. 'Every hour of travel, I’m flooding my face in hypochlorous acid or else I’ll arrive with 9 blemishes,' she notes in the video's caption which has amassed 5.2 million views so far.

Her video has since inspired countless similar stories, all pointing to hypochlorous acid spray as the little-known skincare secret that can help keep things in check. The experts have weighed in, too, dissecting the acid to prove whether or not it's really worth its salt.

What is hypochlorous acid?

This acid is unique in that it is naturally occurring in our bodies. Produced by our white blood cells, it targets bacteria and helps to reduce inflammation and promote healing. 'Hypochlorous acid spray is an acid with a low pH level; it is classified as a "weak acid" and is best known for its strong antimicrobial (bacteria-fighting properties)', explains GP and aesthetic doctor Dr Raj Arora.

While the disinfectant can be commonly found in surface cleaners, pool cleaners, and facial care products, there is a difference between each. Hypochlorous acid in facial products is diluted to a safe level so it can be applied to skin.

Why is hypochlorous acid spray going viral?

It's all down to the soothing properties of the product and its acne-fighting rep. 'Hypochlorous acid sprays are effective in killing bacteria on the skin and doing so gently. It has the ability to reduce redness, calm breakouts, strengthen the skin's barrier and even work well with dry and sensitive skin types. Acne can be caused by a bacteria called p.acnes, and therefore sprays like these can also help target the acne-causing bacteria,' says Dr Arora.

But is it worth the hype? According to Dr Arora, as well as plenty of other dermatologists online, yes, if used correctly. 'Hypochlorous acid has been around in skincare products for several years and is absolutely worth the hype because it can help to manage many different skin conditions. The anti-inflammatory properties are great for irritated, compromised skin and for wound healing. In clinic, I use it on the skin after carrying out injectables, microneedling and radiofrequency to help soothe the skin and to reduce the risk of post-treatment infections.'

How can hypochlorous acid help while travelling?

Low air pressure and dry cabin conditions can wreak havoc with skin when flying and low humidity levels can sap skin of its moisture, Dr Arora points out. 'Hypochlorus acid can help keep the skin feeling cleansed, it can kill acne causing bacteria on the skin’s surface and therefore helps prevent breakouts whilst adding moisture to the skin.'

The right way to use hypochlorous acid

While @tatlafata confesses to using her spray 'every hour', Dr Arora recommends using it twice a day. It can be used to prep your skin ahead of make-up application and can also be used to treat an area of inflammation or breakouts. That said, while most people can tolerate hypochlorous acid, some may develop an allergic reaction, so if you're prone to allergies, Dr Arora advises against its use. 'Overuse can also be an issue as you may disrupt the normal flora of your skin, and this can lead to redness and irritated skin,' she adds, so while it may be tempting to slather yourself with the stuff, remember everything in moderation.

Dermatologist Dr Aamna Adel makes another important point: 'If you're using a hypochlorous acid for breakouts like the viral Tower 28 Spray and you're applying it immediately before applying the rest of your skincare routine then you are deactivating all the other actives,' that includes your vitamin C, retinol and so on. Instead, coat your skin with the spray and let it completely dry down before applying anything on top. Dr Adel advises waiting at least 30 minutes before continuing with the rest of your routine.

SHOP: Hypochlorous acid spray

While some dermatologist-recommended hypochlorous acid sprays like Clinisept, Hypo21 and Hyclo are available to buy in the professional clinic marketplace, meaning if you are registered with a clinic, you can pick one up post-treatment, there are a few formulations available over the counter, too. TikTok has been quick to identify them, including one intended for babies, which is available at Boots for as little as £2.49. Keep scrolling for the most-rated.

This spray is currently all over our FYPs and has been well-loved for its ability to soothe irritated skin and defend against daily damage. Wear it under or over make-up throughout the day to benefit from its cult favourite formula which strengthens skin barriers and bolsters its natural renewal process with the help of hypochlorous acid and balanced pH of 4.5. Your skin will feel calm and fresh, long-term, too.

Another key contender in the hypochlorous acid arena is this family-friendly sanitising water. Intended for babies, it was created to help parents quickly sanitise anything on-the-go, from soother to bottle, surfaces and yes, skin. TikTok has caught on to the 100% natural game-changer, claiming it works wonders for adults, too.

Main image: TikTok @tatlafata

Sameeha Shaikh is Grazia UK's Beauty Writer, working across all categories to bring you insights on the latest trends, industry news and the products you need to know about, viral or not (most probably viral).

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