It doesn't take much for my armpits to get swampy, but I know it's really hot when my underboob area starts to drip like a faucet. On a recent sweltering day that left me desperate for relief from all that sweat, I took my antiperspirant and rolled it right under my boobs. I was grateful to see how well it worked, but I couldn't help but wonder: Was it safe? According to Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Miami, the answer is a resounding "yes." And that same A-OK goes for repurposing your deodorant everywhere else on your body.
"Antiperspirants contain aluminum salts which are ingredients used to block the sweat glands and reduce sweating," says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. "Most antiperspirants also contain ingredients to eliminate or mask odor too, but the primary aim of an antiperspirant is to reduce sweat." She adds that it's totally use your regular antiperspirant on your arms, legs, chest, stomach, and wherever else you may need it—the only exceptions are your face and your intimate areas.
"If there is any concern about irritation, consider formulations created specifically for sensitive skin, like Dove Sensitive Skin Antiperspirant ($10)," says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. "I recommend this antiperspirant for my patients and it is well tolerated on areas on the body like the chest and legs."
For your face, Dr. Woolery-Lloyd recommends the SweatBlock Daily Antiperspirant Face Wipes ($20). "They Aluminum Chlorohydrate which is known for its antiperspirant properties," she says. Dr. Woolery-Lloyd also recommends the Carpe Sweat Absorbing Face Lotion ($25). Though it doesn't use aluminum salts like traditional antiperspirants, "It uses ingredients like silica microspheres and colloidal oatmeal to absorb sweat," she says.
To prevent sweat, it's important to use antiperspirant instead of just regular deodorant, because antiperspirant blocks sweat while deodorant on its own simply masks odor. Just avoid wearing white while using this trick, because yellow sweat stains occur when the aluminum salts in antiperspirant mix with your body's natural oils. Otherwise, feel free to swipe away.
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