This week’s unfortunate beauty incident came in the form of a very embarrassing sweat patch.
Despite my tendency to perspire like a hog, I wore grey sweat pants (oh the irony of that name) to the gym and only avoided looking like I’d weed my pants in public because I had a jumper to tie over it.
Sweating is a necessary evil – it is uncomfortable, it smells bad, it and it rules out wearing numerous colours and fabrics for me during the summer months, but we need it to regulate our body temperature and remove toxins and waste products.
I sweat a lot, more than the women at the gym with full make up on because they wouldn’t bother if they were dripping like Niagara falls after ten minutes like I am.
For me the bad points of sweating far outweigh the good:
- It smells and if you are small in stature, like me, you are at the perfect height to be thrown face first in someone’s sweating armpit on public transport
- Sweat patches suck. If you are unlucky they spread from your arms to your back and crotch and they require careful outfit selection on summer days
- Those of us who are not size zero will all have experienced the rawness of chaffing when two areas of sweaty flesh cause some friction
- As well as making us smell and feel sticky, excessive sweating can also lead to tomato face, which is when your whole head perspires and goes bright red
- The reaction between most deodorants and sweat causes stains on clothing which are almost impossible to remove – chalky white on dark or grotty yellow on pale clothes
What would happen if we didn’t sweat?
I have consulted the internet for some top-notch science on this and apparently you could overheat, have a fit and die which seems like a fair enough reason for putting up with all the downsides.
But there are ways to beat the sweat monster, keep cool and avoid being a sweaty animal when the sun comes out (even though you are one):
Choose light fabrics – Cotton and lightweight linen are the best for keeping cool. Stay away from anything light blue, green or grey if you are exercising or out in the sun.
Try not washing or shaving – Seriously, hairy unwashed armpits should smell less because the fuzz keeps the moisture away from the skin and it is chemical reactions from using soap that cause BO.
Use Vaseline – If you are running or walking long distances, rub some Vaseline between the tops of your thighs and where the underarm makes contact with your torso to avoid chaffing.
Mini deodorant – It may be the cause of stains and bad vibes, but anti-perspirants are available in travel sizes which slot in your handbag and are perfect for sports, holidays or nightclubbing.
Sweat Pads – These are self adhesive disposable pads that come in multi packs and stick to the armpits of your clothes to absorb the sweat and prevent wet patches. Not very environmentally friendly but good if you have a one-off event like a job interview which could lead to stress sweating.
Botox – Muscle paralysis should always be a last resort but people have been injecting it into their armpits for longer than they have been sticking in their faces. It is used to treat Hyperhidrosis, a rare condition that causes people to sweat excessively.
For someone that sweats a lot I have a phobia about other people’s sweat. It is a sticky nasty and often smelly business that is best kept to oneself. Sweating is unavoidable but there are ways to ease the stress of a soggy situation. Leave blue and grey for winter months, squirt yourself with scent frequently and plan ahead for extra sweaty situations or just accept that nature is the enemy of glamour and when you look sweaty you also look hot.