ASK THE EXPERTS: HOW TO TACKLE SUMMER SWEAT
The weather’s getting warmer by the day, and naturally so is your body, meaning one certain thing – sweaty, clammy skin.
I once again spoke to family GP, cosmetic doctor, and skincare enthusiast Dr Kay to discuss the best ways of handling sweat during the summer.
Why do we sweat?
“Sweating is natural,” says Dr Kay. “It’s your body’s way of cooling you down and stopping your body from overheating.” The doctor says when you sweat, it evaporates and takes heat away from the body. “Sweating is also another way through which our bodies get rid of toxins.”
Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant
“There are no specific rules about which one you should use. It all depends on how much you sweat and your needs,” says Dr Kay. While deodorant reduces the odour associated with sweating, antiperspirant reduces the amount you sweat by blocking sweat glands. “If you don’t sweat excessively and just want to smell fresh, you may find that a deodorant is all you need,” she says.
But if you struggle with controlling underarm wetness, Dr Kay says you might want to look for antiperspirants. Tropic’s Feel Fresh Soothing Deodorant and Antiperspirant Cream uses naturally-derived aluminium salts that are safe to use. It’s found to be the most effective ingredient in preventing sweat from reaching the skin’s surface by temporarily plugging the sweat duct, making your underarms sweat-free. “And make sure to towel dry your underarms, as the antiperspirant won’t work as well if applied to damp skin,” says Dr Kay.
Should we apply antiperspirant before bed?
While there is no specific time to apply antiperspirant, Dr Kay says it all depends on what you feel comfortable doing. “If your sweating is minimal and easily controlled, then you can still apply it in the daytime if that’s all you need,” says Dr Kay.
However, if you struggle to control underarm wetness, the doctor suggests you might want to think about switching to applying antiperspirant at night. “This is because your sweat glands are less active at night and can absorb the products better,” she says. Doing this will reduce the amount of sweat during the day when you wake up.
What should we be wearing?
Dr Kay says natural, breathable, woven fabrics like cotton and linen are best. “You can also look into moisture-wick clothing and underwear that aims to move sweat away from the body – allowing it to evaporate more rapidly and keep your body cooler,” says Dr Kay.
Stay hydrated and cool
It's also important to stay well hydrated throughout the day. “When you sweat, you lose water, so you want to maintain adequate hydration,” says Dr Kay.
“Sweat is our body’s way of cooling us down, so we can help mother nature along by trying to control our environment,” says Dr Kay, who also says we can help by avoiding ‘excessively’ hot temperatures, if reasonable to do so.
Shave your armpits
While shaving your underarms doesn’t reduce the amount of sweat your body creates, and certainly shouldn't be done as a result of any kind of social pressure to do so, Dr Kay says it can help to reduce odour and the surface area for odour-causing bacteria to latch on to. “Having hairy underarms can also prevent antiperspirants from reaching the skin, making them less effective in stopping sweat,” says Dr Kay.
Don’t let it hang around
“It’s best not to let sweat linger and dry on the skin, as it’s more likely to lead to blocked pores and breakouts,” says Dr Kay. After a workout or sweating in hot weather, the doctor says to try and shower within ten to fifteen minutes ,but not immediately – allow your body to cool down first.
After your body cools down, use Tropic’s Clear Skies Cleansing Powder all over your face to break down spot-causing impurities like sebum and excess oils. While the Body Wash will not only get rid of sweat, dirt and dead skin, but it will also maintain your skin’s pH balance with it’s SLS and ALS-free formula.
Wait between showering and dressing
“It’s a good idea to wait a few minutes after showering before getting dressed, especially after a hot shower,” says Dr Kay. This is so any excess fluid can dry/evaporate from your body and allows your body to regulate your body temperature, minimising the amount of sweat produced.