Underarm wetness is an embarrassing problem, but a quick swipe of antiperspirant keeps sweat at bay. Aluminum-based antiperspirants help stop sweat by temporarily blocking pores. It's effective, but some research suggests that these products aren't good for the body's health. Aluminum compounds may cause estrogen-like hormonal changes, according to the National Cancer Institute. The aluminum in antiperspirants also reacts with sweat to cause unsightly yellow armpit stains on clothes. If you're ready to toss your antiperspirant, don't worry about wetness -- you have other sweat-stopping options.
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Keep your underarm hair shaved or trimmed short. Armpit hair might make sweating and body odor worse.
Use a natural, aluminum-free deodorant or antiperspirant. Opt for a product that contains clay minerals or natural powders, such as arrowroot. They absorb underarm sweat effectively.
Dust armpits with zinc-oxide based body powder after applying deodorant or antiperspirant. It stops sweat and prevents odor. The powder can get messy, though, so you may not want to use it if you're wearing nice clothes.
Dab underarms with a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel, alcohol-based toner or another astringent. These products evaporate sweat and constrict pores to ward off moisture.
Steep a black teabag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Moisten a washcloth with the tea, then swipe your armpits with it. Alternatively, wipe your underarms with the used teabag. Repeat nightly for two weeks. Tea contains tannins that reduce sweat production.
Brush your underarms gently with a dry natural-bristle skin brush or washcloth before showering. In the shower, blot armpits with a hot, wet washcloth. Wash with a natural soap, then rinse. Repeat daily or whenever you shower. This helps loosen built-up deodorant and keeps sweat away.
Cut back on spicy or caffeinated foods. Both of these activate a neurotransmitter in the brain called acetylcholine. When it's stimulated, it can affect the glands that control sweating.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Cosmopolitan: Four Ways to Prevent Smelly, Sweaty Pits This Summer
- Men's Fitness: Do You Sweat Too Much? 6 Ways to Stop Excessive Sweating
- Care2: 6 Alternatives to Toxic Deodorants
- National Cancer Institute: Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer
- Good Housekeeping: The Nine Best Natural Deodorants