For most, that’s a pretty great feeling, but for those of us who have trouble with excessive sweating, it just means that we’re going to be limited as to what colour T-shirts we can wear out in public – not ideal. When the sun’s blazing and everyone’s enjoying themselves, the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about sweat patches.
So, how can we fix it? Let’s take a look to how to stop sweating…
There are hundreds of antiperspirants on the market, all claiming to offer some sort of miracle fix. Some even have the audacity to have things like “72-hour protection” written all over the packaging, but as you’ve probably worked out for yourself by now, that is demonstrably bullshit… or so we thought.
“The biggest reason antiperspirant isn’t working — even the most expensive ones — is that many of us are running around in the morning,” explains dermatologist Dr Jessica Wu to The Huffington Post. “We take a hot shower, we jump out of the shower, we barely towel off, and then we put on our antiperspirant.” This, as it turns out, is not doing us any favours in terms of keeping the dreaded sweat at bay: “The antiperspirant doesn’t have enough time to do its job. It gets rinsed off of our skin as soon as we start sweating,” Wu continued.
So, actually, what we should be doing to allow our antiperspirant to work to its full potential is applying it in the evening.
“Wait until night-time, take a cool or lukewarm shower, wait at least 15 or 20 minutes for your skin to dry,” Wu says. “Then take a blow-dryer on the cool setting and blow-dry your underarms. Apply the antiperspirant, and blow dry again.”
However, everybody is different and what works for one of us may not for another. Luckily, there are other ways of staying dry in the warmer months if your antiperspirant is still leaving you high and… wet.
Naturally, your clothing makes a big difference to your temperature and in turn, the amount of sweat you’re producing. Obviously, you’re not going to be walking around in the height of summer in a parka and long johns, but there are certain materials you should be staying away from.
“Avoid wearing synthetic fibres that don’t allow sweat to evaporate,” advises television Dr Chris Steele. “Try natural fibres like linen instead.”
Steer well clear of fabrics like polyester, which will trap heat and won’t allow your skin to breathe – you might as well go out in the sun wearing a bin liner. Instead, try to wear cotton whenever possible. It’s light, breathable and absorbs moisture rather than repelling it. If you manage to bag yourself a date and are worried about the inevitable sweat marks on your shirt, remember to wear a cotton T-shirt underneath to help soak some of it up.
In addition to refining what fabrics you keep in your summer wardrobe, sweating can also be combatted by altering your diet. Certain foods and drinks can have you sweating like a pig and to be honest, most of them are probably worth cutting down on anyway.
“Coffee, alcohol and even some medications can make you sweat,” said Dr Steele. Spicy foods are also best given a wide berth if you have trouble with excessive perspiration. Caffeine is particularly bad because A) it’s hot and B) it stimulates your sweat glands, which (surprise, surprise) makes you sweat more. Stick to cool, decaf, low-sugar drinks.
So, ditch the polyester, switch your routine around, invest in a hairdryer, refine your diet and you can be dry and great smelling all summer.