WHILE heatwave conditions bring a welcome burst of sunshine, they also bring unwelcome sweat.
Like it or not, hot weather makes us sweaty and as temperatures are set to soar this week it's important to know why we sweat and how you can stop sweating so much.
You may think it's gross, but it is actually your body's way of regulating your temperature.
Sweat patches can look a bit gross and can be annoying, especially if the clothes you are wearing show up huge pools of sweat.
Why do we sweat?
Laurie Hooper at The Natural Deodorant Co explains: "First things first, we need to sweat. It plays an important role in maintaining normal health and helps our bodies regulate body temperature, eliminate toxins and maintain the balance of salt levels."
Despite what you might think, sweat doesn't actually smell. It's only when it is mixed with bacteria on our skin that it starts to give off that pungent body odour scent. Making sure you wash regularly and wear deodorant can help reduce your very own natural perfume.
How can you stop sweating so much and avoid sweat patches?
Parts of Britain are set to be hotter than Athens this week as temperatures reach a sizzling 30C.
The mercury climbed to 27.1C in Wiggonholt, West Sussex, on Sunday, and things are set to get even warmer for the first week back at school.
Temperatures will hover around the mid-20s in many parts – but highs of 28C are predicted in London today and 29C tomorrow.
Forecasters say this could even climb to 30C on Tuesday and Wednesday – smashing the 25C expected in the Greek capital.
As the temperatures remain high, here's a few things you can do to stop yourself from sweating so much.
1. Ditch curry
Ever noticed you sweat a lot after you eat a spicy curry? There's a reason for that – your body reacts to spicy food in the same way it reacts to hot weather, by sweating to cool you down.
So if you combine the two you are sure to sweat more than you want to. Caffeine is also a bad idea if you sweat a lot.
That's because it stimulates the central nervous system, triggering adrenal glands to go into "fight or flight" mode. When your adrenaline gets going it can make you sweat more.
2. Run it off
We all know we sweat when we exercise. But doing more of it can actually reduce how much you do. Yes, while you are exercising you will be sweaty, there is no way around it.
But afterwards you will feel less stressed because of the boost of endorphins a workout gives your brain.
Those endorphins lower your cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress, and therefore the unwanted side effects that come with being anxious, like sweat.
3. Dress for the occasion
It goes without saying, if it's hot outside you need to wear cool clothing.
The hotter you get the more you are going to sweat. So if you are wearing jeans and a shirt made from a thickly woven material you are just setting yourself up for a sweat-related disaster.
Opt for lose fitting clothes made from a breathable material that will allow some airflow around your body.
It'll keep your temperature down and help you avoid wet patches under your arms. And stay away from dark clothes because they tend to make you hotter – lighter coloured clothes reflect the heat of the sun.
4. Let's get clinical
In most weather you might find your usual deodorant is working just fine. But in hot weather like this you are probably going to sweat more, and you'll probably be left smelling less than desirable. That's where clinical strength antiperspirant deodorants come in.
You might not have realised it, but not all deodorants are antiperspirant. But a clinical strength deodorant is specifically designed to fight off sweat, leaving you dry all day.
Look for ones that are 12 per cent or more aluminium chloride, as that is the key ingredient to fight sweating.
If you still can't stop sweating speak to a GP because you may have hyperhidrosis – an excessive sweating problem.
What deodorant is best for me
Here Laurie explains what deodrant you should be using and why
Antiperspirants: Work by blocking sweat.
- They do this by entering through the pores and swelling up in the gland to form a barrier. If the sweat can’t escape, the bacteria can’t get in
- In order to create this pore blocking effect antiperspirants use aluminium compounds such as aluminium chloride, aluminium chloralhydrate and aluminium zirconium chloralhydrate complexes
- They may be listed in ingredients as “natural mineral salts”, “natural rock salts”, or “potassium alum” (potassium aluminium sulphate)
- You cannot wash antiperspirant off. It takes time (sometimes up to two weeks) for the antiperspirant gel that has formed over the sweat glands to be expelled
Deodorants: Still allow your body to sweat with is a normal function but reduce odour
- Work by killing bacteria living on the skin.
- They allow you to perspire naturally, but killing the bacteria means the sweat has nothing mingle with to create that pong
- Most deodorants use alcohol to kill bacteria (not ours!), but this process eradicates the good bacteria along with the bad and can lead to imbalances in skin pH
- The antibacterial ingredients found in deodorant range from simple alcohol to essential oils and mineral salts such as sodium bicarbonate.
- Ingredients like alcohol, however, can cause irritation to delicate underarm skin post shave
5. Sleep on it
We've talked a lot about sweating in your day to day life, but you sweat when you sleep too. In fact, your antiperspirant deodorant is more effective if you apply it at night.
That's because the active ingredients take time to build up a barrier against your sweat.
You should also make sure your underarm is clean and dry before applying and you get a good amount over your entire underarm. And don't give up if it doesn't work the first time, it will eventually.
6. Chill out
You know how we mentioned that your stress levels can impact how much you sweat? Well, if you are stressing about sweating you're only making it worse for yourself.
Try not to worry about it too much and apply the tips above.
It's also a good idea to know what your stress triggers are and manage them before they become a problem.
Things like mindfulness and breathing techniques can help control your stress levels. And keep your body temperature down – think swimming or cool showers – because then your body won't feel the need to sweat as much.
Can you leave work if it gets too hot?
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