Are you tired of hiding underarm sweat stains and managing your armpit sweat day in and day out?
Embarrassing, visible sweat marks can lower your confidence and hold you back in your career and social life. Sometimes underarm sweat can be so bad that it leads to anxiety and depression.
Fortunately, you’re not powerless in the battle against sweat. Let’s talk about how to stop armpit sweat and how to prevent underarm sweat stains from ruining your life.
Tips to Stop Armpits sweat
1. Wear Antiperspirant Correctly
You slather on antiperspirant as part of your daily routine. But are you using the right product? And more importantly, are you using it correctly?
Antiperspirant is the easiest, most common go-to solution for controlling armpit sweat. It’s important that you use antiperspirant (and not deodorant) to defend against sweat. Deodorant is made to combat body odor and doesn’t necessarily work for keeping sweat at bay.
To get the most out of your antiperspirant and prevent armpit sweat, you need to:
- Keep yourself clean: Don’t mix antiperspirant with sweat or dirt on your skin — this can cause irritation and stinging. Shower or bathe daily with antibacterial soap to keep odor at bay.
- Apply to dry armpits: Avoid swiping on antiperspirant right after a shower. Dry your skin thoroughly first — even a tiny amount of water can prevent antiperspirant doing its job.
- Apply at night: This allows the active ingredients more time to seep into your skin and be more effective the following day.
- Get dressed after the antiperspirant dries: When you slide your shirt over damp antiperspirant, it can rub off and become less effective. Wait a few minutes after applying or use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to air out your armpits before dressing.
- Apply consistently: You probably won’t see an improvement after one application. Apply your antiperspirant at least three to four nights in a row to start seeing results.
Antiperspirants contain aluminum compounds which block your sweat ducts, making you perspire less. But not all antiperspirants are created equal — different brands have different percentage levels of aluminum.
That’s why it’s important to wear an antiperspirant that’s strong enough to stop your level of armpit sweat.
For heavy sweaters and those with hyperhidrosis, a prescription or specialty antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride might offer the best results. Look for antiperspirants with an aluminum chloride concentration of 10 to 15 percent to prevent excessive armpit sweating.
2. Sweat Proof Your Wardrobe
Stick with wearing colors that are better at concealing sweat, such as black or navy blue. Light or bright colors are notorious for putting your pit stains on display.
More importantly, make sure to arm your wardrobe with sweat proof clothing and items made of natural, lightweight materials that absorb moisture.
- DO wear fabrics made of natural, breathable, water-loving fibers like cotton, linen or rayon from bamboo.
- DON’T wear synthetic, water-resistant fibers like polyester, rayon or lycra-cotton blends.
Buyer beware: Avoid clothing advertised as “sweat-wicking” or “moisture-wicking”. These clothes are made of synthetic fibers that actually repel sweat away from your skin (and onto your clothes) instead of soaking it up and absorbing it.
Instead, shop for “sweat proof” clothing and natural fibers. These soak up moisture and prevent armpit sweat from reaching your outer layers and causing pit stains.
3. Shave Your Armpits
Shaving your armpits technically doesn’t stop underarm sweat. However, hair retains moisture, so having armpit hair might not help your case, especially if you sweat a lot.
Try shaving or waxing your underarms to improve effectiveness of antiperspirant and make it easier to apply. You might find that this helps reduce sweat stains on your shirts and makes you feel more comfortable and dry.
4. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Or the Big Stuff)
We know life can be hectic. But stress is a major catalyst of underarm sweat.
To make matters worse, worrying about embarrassing sweat marks can signal your body to sweat even more. It’s a vicious cycle — but you can stop it.
Learning how to manage stress can help you avoid sweaty armpits (and improve your mood).
To clear your mind and reduce stress sweat, try:
- Acknowledging feelings of stress: Understand your triggers so you can address stress, nervousness and sweat at the source.
- Creating actionable to-do lists: Get clarity on tackling your tasks at-hand, so you can stop worrying.
- Getting into daily routines that help you feel calm and collected: Deep breathing, relaxing music and meditation techniques can ease stress and stress sweat.
- Exercising: Believe it or not, exercise can reduce sweating through the release of endorphins, which lowers your stress levels and helps you relax.
If you feel a bout of stress coming on, take deep breaths and remind yourself that everything will be OK. You can also prepare for unexpected stress sweat by:
- Keeping a fan handy to help you cool down when tensions get high
- Stashing antiperspirant, a sweat proof undershirt or an extra shirt or blouse in the car or at the office
- Avoiding sweat-inducing foods before a presentation or meeting (more on this below).
5. Watch Your Diet
Your diet can affect how much you sweat. Some foods and drinks can make you sweat, while others can cool you down. To prevent sweaty armpits, avoid these foods:
- Stimulants like alcohol and caffeine: Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages increase your heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure, causing you to sweat.
- Hot foods, such as soup: Naturally, your body temperature increases from the inside out, triggering a sweat response.
- Spicy foods like hot sauce and jalapeños: Capsaicin, a chemical that naturally exists in spicy foods, stimulates nerve receptors in your mouth and tricks your body into thinking it’s hot, making you sweat.
- Pungent foods and spices like curry, garlic and cabbage: These foods won’t necessarily make you sweat more, but they release an odor through your sweat when you digest them.
Are there any foods that help reduce or control armpit sweat? Try consuming foods and beverages that regulate your body temperature and promote digestion. Look for these ingredients and minerals:
- Water, calcium or potassium: Stay hydrated. Water cools you down and calcium and potassium regulate the flow of fluids through your body.
- Fiber, magnesium or vitamin B: Ease digestion. Your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down these components. Alternatively, if your body has to work harder to metabolize certain ingredients, your internal temperature will rise and you’ll sweat more.
6. Try Natural Sweat Solutions
There are natural solutions and home remedies you can try to stop armpit sweat. Here are a few:
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV can close your pores and reduce sweating. Apply to your underarms with a cotton pad before bed to give it enough time to seep in.
- Tomato juice: Consume a glass every day or apply it to your skin to reduce sweat.
- Green and black tea: Drink a glass of green tea every day to promote digestion and minimize perspiration. Apply black tea directly to your skin to shrink your pores.
- Cornstarch and baking soda: Both of these ingredients absorb water naturally. Mix two parts cornstarch and three parts baking soda to create a natural antiperspirant deodorant powder.
- Potatoes: Eat potatoes, which are high in potassium and very absorbent. Or, rub a raw slice of potato on your armpits every day to feel drier.
- Lemon: Lemons contain citric acid which constricts sweat glands and lessens perspiration.
Natural deodorants are also a popular option, especially for those with sensitive skin or those who prefer to stay away from chemicals found in many antiperspirants.
You can even go the extra mile and try making your own natural deodorant. Common household ingredients like baking soda, lemon juice and rubbing alcohol can help combat odor and wetness.
7. Use Underarm Sweat Pads
Underarm sweat pads, also known as garment guards and sweat shields, attach directly to your armpits to absorb sweat. Some sweat shields adhere directly to your skin, while others fasten around the torso, or clip onto a bra.
If you need extra sweat protection during a presentation or interview, sweat pads are a good temporary solution. But if you suffer from excessive underarm sweating or you have sensitive skin, underarm sweat pads are not recommended. They’re also bulky, uncomfortable and easily visible through your shirt.
8. Talk to Your Doctor About Prescription Drugs for Hyperhidrosis
If your underarms sweat excessively without warning, you may have axillary hyperhidrosis. If you’ve tried everything to stop armpit sweat with no success, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They can prescribe prescription drugs to prevent armpit sweating, such as:
- Anticholinergics: Drugs that block chemicals that allow certain nerves to communicate with one another, reducing body sweat
- Beta Blockers: Medications that impair nerve impulses that cause sweating
- Qbrexza: A new anticholinergic treatment from Dermira that comes in wipe form
Warning: the side effects of hyperhidrosis medications can be serious. Make sure you evaluate your options and try other solutions first, such as home remedies or prescription-strength antiperspirants before taking sweating medications.
9. Consider Other Procedures To Prevent Underarm Sweating
Some turn to cosmetic procedures and surgeries in hopes of a more permanent sweat solution. But few have complete, long-term success with these treatments, and they’re not guaranteed to be effective for everyone.
The list of doctor-recommended surgeries and procedures for armpit sweating have changed over the years. Current available procedures to prevent armpit sweat include:
- Botox: Chemical injections that block sweat gland activity
- Iontophoresis: The application of mild electrical currents to your underarms to disrupt nerve transmissions that cause sweat
- miraDry: Microwave technology that destroys your sweat glands
- Laser treatment: A procedure that heats your sweat glands until they become inactive
- ETS surgery: An invasive, surgical destruction of nerve endings responsible for sweating. This procedure is irreversible, and usually reserved for very severe cases of hyperhidrosis.
Invasive surgeries and procedures should be your last resort — only if you’ve exhausted all your options and still struggle with excessive armpit sweat.
Surgeries like ETS can cause compensatory, or “phantom” sweating, heart problems and neuralgia. Compensatory sweating is when the body compensates for lack of sweating in one area by sweating more somewhere else, such as the face or chest. Studies show about 60 percent of patients experience compensatory sweating after ETS surgery.
Be sure to do your research and talk to an experienced physician, dermatologist or hyperhidrosis doctor before you make the call on any of the above options.
A Safe and Effective Way to Prevent Underarm Sweat
When it comes to sweat prevention methods, it’s important to remember that everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for you. Start with the simplest solutions first, and work your way through the above list for best results.
Sweat proof undershirts are one of the safest, natural and non-invasive ways to stop armpit sweat from ruining your clothes and your confidence. Thompson Tees are the only patented sweat proof undershirts on the market, made with Hydro-Shield technology that soak up sweat and allow it to escape as vapor.
Thompson Tees are made with natural materials, are highly absorbent and will help you stay dry throughout the day. Stop yellow stains and sweat marks from seeping through to your outer layers so you can extend the lifespan of your clothing.