Thanks to a strong El Niño that is now winding down, we’re in for a series of heat waves throughout June, July and August.
Dr. Marie Jhin, a San Francisco/San Carlos-based dermatologist and author of “Asian Beauty Secrets,” is here with a few tricks to keep up your sleeve when the temperature jumps (if you want to keep that sleeve as free from pit stains as possible).
Clinical strength antiperspirant can work wonders, and you don’t have to keep it relegated to your armpits. Jhin suggests using a separate stick on other parts of your body that sweat, such as your feet, hands and hairline.
“If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors,” Jhin said, “opt for a cool and breathable fabric like cotton or linen.” Clothes that wick away moisture, such as synthetics, do well to keep you dry, also.
And here’s a bit of bad news: Jhin advises that you avoid drinking caffeine or eating spicy foods during the summer as they can activate neurotransmitters called acetylcholine, which can sometimes affect the glands that cause sweating.
And for some peer-tested and approved advice from long-term summer sufferers, we asked the folks in our newsroom how they deal with their sweaty selves, and here’s what they had to say:
How To Deal With Pit Stains
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Pit stains are the worst. In addition to using a clinical strength antiperspirant, Minou Clark recommends wearingtank tops that are “cut low in the armpit area so that if you sweat, no one will know.”
Christina Anderson says, “Pantyliners in the pits of dresses and shirts absorb all manner of evils.”
After you have stained the pits, “Stock up on OxiClean and vodka, which both work like a charm when it comes to getting pit stains out of white and light grey shirts,” Curtis Wong says.
Wipe some antiperspirant on the top and bottom of each foot (a different stick than the one you use on your armpits, in case you have bacteria on your feet). Justin Block forgoes socks altogether and wears breathable shoes. “To prevent everyone from smelling my sock-less feet, I put baby powder in my sneakers and on my feet before putting my sneakers on,” he said.
Damon Beres adds, “If you don’t want to go the baby powder route, old coffee grounds are actually really effective at absorbing bad smells. Put some in your shoes overnight and then dump them out. Bonus: Your feet will kind of smell like coffee, maybe.”
Pack your bag, recommends Noah Michelson. “Ihave a pair of ‘traveling shorts’ and an extra T-shirt that I change out of and into when I get to and leave the office.”
“I like to keep a few extra shirts and maybe a pair of pants at the office(for when I walk to work in shorts).” says Adam Glucksman.
Extra Layers Can Hide Your Sweat
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Wearing a light, breathable blazer, or an extra layer over a blouse, will hide your pit stains, Beres recommends.
“A nice, breathable blazer over a dress shirt might make you somewhat warmer when you’re walking around outside, but it will also mask your horrible sweaty pits and make you more presentable if you have a meeting with the boss coming up,” he says.
Dab Your Face
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“I always try to carry a handkerchief in my pocket or bag so I can dab myself upon arrival at the office or wherever else. Like I’m Aretha Franklin,” says Joseph Erbentraut.
“I blot my face with those oil-absorbing sheets all day,” says Caroline Bologna.
“A handkerchief sounds classy. But I just keep a straight up paper towel in my purse, for when I started to glisten,” Amanda Duberman says. As for makeup, “don’t bother putting it on before you get to the office. The suited-up professional of your dreams looks just as gross on the 6 train as you do.”
“Hair ties = lifesavers,” Ramirez says. “Use them to keep hair off your neck (duh), turn your long top into a crop top, or tie the hem of a long skirt to the side, creating a shorter, airer style.”
“I buy plain white undershirts in bulk online and pretty much just wear those all summer long,” Michelson says. “White T-shirts look great with everything and are great for hiding sweat, and if you do get pit stains, they only cost you a buck or two, so you can just tear them up for rags or throw them out.”
Kim Bellware recommends wearing “‘performance undies'(often just labeled as ‘running underwear’) to prevent the dreaded ‘Swamp Ass.'”