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South Williamsport, PA
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How to Beat the Sweat

There is so much to love about summer, the smell of freshly cut grass, the smell of outdoor grilling, the smell of sunscreen. What smell I’m not so crazy about in the summer is body odor. Of course, everyone sweats, and it’s hard to keep your cool on those scorching days. However, if you are

There is so much to love about summer, the smell of freshly cut grass, the smell of outdoor grilling, the smell of sunscreen. What smell I’m not so crazy about in the summer is body odor. Of course, everyone sweats, and it’s hard to keep your cool on those scorching days. However, if you are prone to heavy sweating and subsequent heavy smelling — or just want to prevent possible intense perspiration, there are a few measures you can take to try and beat the sweat. Here’s a rundown of some basic (and not so basic) tips and tricks for staying fresh this summer.

First, try using antiperspirant before bed. Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat ducts so that the sweat can’t reach the surface of your skin. Wearing it at night gives those sweat-preventing ingredients time to create the block over the sweat duct. For best results, make sure your underarms are clean and dry before application. This may not work immediately, but if you stick to this routine for a few nights, you’ll see drier results in the following days.

During those days, wear clothes in breathable fabric with good ventilation to reduce sweating. Wearing lighter colors that reflect the sun rather than absorb it can help keep you cool, reduce sweat, and smelling fresh.

Of course, it’s tricky with lightly colored clothing. If you aren’t able to reduce sweating, then you may find yourself with sweat stains, which can be both embarrassing and unsightly. If you are concerned with visibly damp sweat spots, then opt for darker pieces still rendered in breathable fabric. Or try sweatproof undergarments like tanks, undershirts, and underwear in moisture-wicking material.

A few lifestyle changes can also reduce sweating and odors over the summer months.

Drinking water on hot days is vital for lots of reasons, the least of which is reducing order-causing perspiration. Your diet can also impact how much you sweat. Foods with lower fiber content force your body to work overtime to break them down. Too much sodium will also cause increased sweating, as well as foods with higher fat content. Instead, shift your eating habits toward foods that won’t tax your digestive system. Fruits and vegetables with a high-water content like watermelon, cantaloupe, and bell peppers will keep you hydrated and less likely to break a sweat during mealtime.

Even though it pains me to suggest it, since I’m a regular 1-2 cups of joe a day lady, reducing or eliminating caffeine will, in turn, help reduce and eliminate sweat. The fact is, caffeine DOES stimulate the nervous system and increases sweating. It can also cause your blood pressure to rise, which raises your heart rate, and then kicks your sweat glands into high gear. Plus, hot drinks will also raise your body temperature and can induce some mid-morning sweats, especially on a sticky day. One compromise for java-lovers is decaf iced coffees during the summer months or restricting the time of day, when it’s not as hot, for coffee consumption. For me, I’ll just keep changing shirts and slathering on deodorant because the only way you can take my cold brew is when you pry it from my clammy, dead hands.

Speaking of deodorant, it’s important to note that deodorants don’t prevent sweating but instead aim to mask the smell that’s produced by bacteria when we sweat. If you are not a fan of antiperspirants, which are made of metallic salts called aluminum chloride, then, by all means, reach for deodorant. Or try to keep cool in general.

Obviously, if you don’t have AC, that’s easier said than done. For those without central air, place a bowl of ice in front of a fan. Keep curtains and blinds drawn during the day to keep the sun from overheating your rooms. I’m a big fan of storing moisturizers, misting sprays, and sunscreen in the fridge. Put these on before you walk out the door, which will help keep you fresh, and be sure to seek shade whenever outdoors.

These are just a few ways to reduce sweating, mask its scent, and hide its effects. In the end, sweating is completely natural and serves a purpose. You may not be concerned with how much you sweat; hey, it’s summer; go out there and have some fun. However, if you feel you sweat too excessively and these tips and tricks are not helpful, you may want to consult your doctor.