So you’ve got a hot date coming up. You’ve booked a great restaurant, got your suit lined up and you’re picking her up at 7. You should be feeling great, right? Yes, you should, but you’re starting to break into a sweat. And that’s not cool.
A few nerves are normal; unfortunately, there are very few things worse than feeling self-conscious about sweating, of all things. To make matters worse, feeling anxious about your perspiration levels often compounds the problem!
Ways to Keep Sweating to a Minimum
Sweating is both an aesthetic and a health problem. When you sweat, bacteria feel “refreshed” and have a better chance of breeding. And don’t get me started on sweat stains – definitely not something you want for a date! So, here are four helpful ways to help you keep your cool when it counts.
1. Wear natural fibres
Dress yourself in light, breathable, natural fibres to allow your skin to breathe. This allows sweat to evaporate from your skin effectively rather than staying trapped on the skin, causing those terrible pit-stains. In winter, wool or cashmere is a good option as they provide warmth while still allowing air to circulate close to the skin. You might love your polyester shirts for their crease-free qualities, but when you need to be cool and sweat free, opt for your favorite cotton top.
2. Avoid hot or spicy food
Got an important meeting over lunch? Skip the hot food – and by “hot”, I’m referring to both temperature and spices. Some people react to hot or spicy food like someone else would to running: they start sweating buckets. Hot food may also contribute the most to facial sweating. That’s not a good look when you’re trying to close that deal as all the confidence you think you have definitely won’t show behind that layer of sweat.
3. Opt for antiperspirant
A deodorant tackles body odour by masking the smell with a more pleasant fragrance. On the other hand, an antiperspirant works by stopping the moisture caused by sweating. Subsequently, the bacteria that cause body odour don’t get a chance to settle in, resulting in your being both dry and odour-free. These days, many products, for example the rexona men range, combine both antiperspirant and deodorant qualities. This gives you both dryness and a choice fragrance.
The active ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminium chloride or some other form of aluminim salt, usually at low concentrations. Hyperhidrosis sufferers need a much higher concentration. You may need a visit to your doctor to get proper instructions for using a clinical-strength anti-perspirant. (If you don’t use it properly, the chemicals can irritate and “burn” your sensitive underarms!)
4. Visit your doctor
If your sweating is really getting you down, pay a visit to your GP. They can refer you to a specialist who may suggest Botox injections, which paralyse the sweat glands. This treatment is most effective for small areas such as the armpits, hands, and face (go easy on the face, though). To tackle odour, laser hair removal for your underarms may be an option, as less hair means less of a home for bacteria to breed and a less smelly you.
The day of your big date, there’s no better way to shake off the nerves by hitting the gym and getting your heart racing, with the adrenaline pumping to build your confidence! Follow this with a cold shower, and apply an antiperspirant-deodorant (or you can apply clinical-strength antiperspirant the night before, then wash it off in the morning). You’ll find yourself feeling cool, calm, and ready to enjoy the rest of your day.
Dr. Stef dela Cruz is an Academic Excellence Award recipient at her university. She is both a licensed nurse and doctor. She maintains a health blog during her spare time. Connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.