Most of us know the routine: shower, towel off, apply deodorant or antiperspirant, get dressed and head out to confidently tackle the day ahead.
I’ve been doing it like this for years, haven’t you? The truth of the matter is, this simple (usually effective routine) doesn’t work for everyone! Despite their best efforts, many individuals struggle with excess sweat and odor despite having good hygiene practices.
It’s more common than you might think! IN fact, according to Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University, around 7.8 million Americans suffer from excess sweating.
So if you or any friends have a bit of an issue with excess sweat or underarm odor, you may want to consider the following information.
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
Let’s first discuss the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants. Although both can be found in the same aisle at your local big-box store, they serve very different purposes.
The difference is right there in the names. Antiperspirant means its primary goal is anti perspiring. It stops sweat at the source, typically by blocking your sweat glands with aluminum.
Deodorant, on the other hand, is a “deodorizer”, meaning its primary goal is to reduce or hide odors caused by sweat and bacteria, but not reduce the amount of sweat itself. Ingredients in deodorant are often tailored to attack odor-causing bacteria, covering the scent instead of preventing it.
For the average individual, a deodorant is all that you’ll need, although hot summer days and physical activities may warrant the use of an antiperspirant as well.
For those who tend to sweat excessively, or for those that live in areas of regularly high-temperature, deodorant often is not enough. That’s where antiperspirant comes in. Antiperspirant not only reduces sweat, but it can also help to prevent embarrassing and unsightly sweat stains on your clothing.
Both deodorant and antiperspirant come in a wide range of formulas, with many being combinations of the two into a 2-in-1 formulation.
Shift Your Morning Routine to the Evening
One of the first recommendations from many dermatologists is to change up the way you apply your antiperspirant. Remember the routine from the introduction? Turns out, that’s the wrong way to go about starting your day.
The main active ingredient that makes antiperspirant so effective is aluminum. Aluminum, as it turns out, needs a clean, completely dry surface to work with.
The answer? Make your “morning routine” into an “evening routine”. Consider taking your shower at night, waiting about 15-20 minutes, and then applying deodorant. Some people like to put their hairdryer on ‘cool’ and blow-dry their pits for extra reassurance. And, don’t worry: you can still take a quick shower in the morning if need be.
Try Different Formulas
Everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently to various formulas. Strengths of antiperspirants also range from regular to clinical, with a myriad of options to choose from in-between.
Make Sure your Soap is Antibacterial
Remember, it’s the bacteria that causes the odor. If you’re having an issue with scent as opposed to wetness, take a look at your other hygiene practices and see if they are actually helping.
When Switching from Aluminum to more ‘natural’ Ingredients, Give your Armpits Time to Adjust
A lot of consumers are making the transition to healthier hygiene products made from natural ingredients such as lemon and mint oils. Although aluminum is one of the most common metals in the Earth’s crust, it has to go through a process of refinement to be used. Many consider this too synthetic and opt for products without aluminum. Others don’t like the idea of blocking their sweat glands and/or have other health concerns about aluminum.
Whatever your reasons for switching, give your body time to adjust before determining how effective (or ineffective) your new all-natural antiperspirant is.
Take a Closer Look in your Closet
Certain fabric blends are notorious for poor ventilation, trapping heat and leading to increased sweating. Naturally weaved cotton, linen, and bamboo usually allow more air and odor to pass through rather than becoming trapped.
The fit of your clothing can also have an impact on your propensity to sweat. Tight, fitted shirts are more likely to cause friction and trap odors as well as increase body temperature and soak up sweat immediately as it comes out of your pores.
Another option is to look into sweat-proof clothing, like what we offer at Sweatshield Undershirts. Our crisp, comfortable clothing options protect your confidence by keeping you dry every day.
Relax and Destress
We know, it’s absolutely shocking that stress causes sweat. Humor aside, this is true: stress hormones can affect the potency of sweat and odor as well as affect how your antiperspirant performs.
If you can find ways to reduce stress, you might have your answer. Although easier said than done, consider eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and incorporating exercise, meditation, and other relaxing activities into your daily routine.
Talk to your Doctor About Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes extreme sweat despite normal factors like heat, environment, stress, and exercise. Some cases lead to sweat dripping from hands or soaking through clothes, but not all.
If you have trouble finding anything powerful enough to help with your sweat and odor, consider asking your doctor about hyperhidrosis; you are not alone, and it is treatable. Sometimes there is an underlying health condition that causes hyperhidrosis, but not always.
You don’t need to hide away in an apartment or replace stained shirts every few weeks. Help is available. It’s time to step out and enjoy life again without having to worry about excess sweat.