This Brilliant Hack Saved Me From Sweating Through My Clothes All Summer
Last week, I walked to a coffee shop near my apartment. The sky was blue, birds chirping, air warm, and my T-shirt—totally covered in sweat. And it wasn’t just the underarm sweat you’d suspect. I looked down and saw sweat spots down the front of my T-shirt. I tried to hide them with my tote bag as a guy walked by me and kept it there until I was safely indoors and taking an iced coffee to the face.
This wasn’t exactly a surprise. I sweat—a lot. A shower is a nonnegotiable part of my workout routine, and even so, I usually continue to sweat even after I finish drying off. It drives me crazy. As Rodney Ruxin of The League would say: “Forever unclean!” Let’s not even get started on the heatwave currently assaulting New York City. I can’t even make it from my apartment to the subway without feeling that telltale trickle of sweat slide down from my chest.
This week, I decided I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I was going to beat the sweat the best way I knew how: Antiperspirant! Obviously.
I’ve waxed poetic about my love for natural deodorants before, but I knew they couldn’t (and wouldn’t) stand up to my current sweat situation. So I called in the big guns: A spray-on antiperspirant. Even though they’re often considered interchangeable, antiperspirant and deodorant are two different things; the first counteracts sweating, while the latter neutralizes B.O. Why the spray-on? Clearly, I have a lot of area to cover, and the idea of swiping a deodorant stick all over my body is, um, unappealing.
I arm myself with not one but two cans of Dove Cool Essentials Dry Spray Antiperspirant ($7, drugstore.com). Off the bat, I love the way it smells. There’s a hint of cucumber, and it makes me feel clean and fresh even though there are already small beads of sweat on my upper lip. Another bonus: I don’t feel it at all on my skin. It’s totally imperceptible. So I spray it everywhere, focusing on my underarms, my chest, and stomach, and then try to aim it at my back and totally miss. I hope my bathroom enjoys its new coating of antiperspirant. This is technically off-label use, but rules were made to be broken or something, right?
In the afternoon, I walk through the 90-degree sunshine to the coffee shop, because a $4 cold brew is cheaper than running my AC at full blast all afternoon. It’s so hot and humid that I feel like I’m wading through soup—which is why I’m actually shocked that my shirt isn’t fully soaked by the time I get there. I’m seriously impressed (and also grateful). I reward my own ingenuity with a mini croissant stuffed with Nutella.
Naturally, I decide to push my luck. The next day, I have a drink date with a friend downtown—like, 60-plus-blocks-away downtown—and figure I should walk it. Even though it’s late in the afternoon, the air still feels balmy and heavy. Like this isn’t bad enough of an idea, I decide to wear a white T-shirt. Maybe the heat had gone to my head.
Halfway there, I realize that this is a worse idea than the time I painted my cell phone with pink nail polish (I was in eighth grade, in my defense). But it’s not really my front that’s the issue. It’s the back. And by the time I get to the wine bar, I feel—and probably look—like Jack Black. “Be honest with me,” I tell my friend. “On a scale of one to Jack Black, where am I?” I turn around to show her the back of my T-shirt.
She gives me a long, solemn look. “I don’t know why this is the first name that came to mind…but I’m getting Anthony Kiedis,” she says. Anthony Kiedis is the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I don’t know whether this is a good thing or a bad thing—but I have my guesses, and I don’t like any of them. But it doesn’t matter. I’m finally comfortable in an air-conditioned room with a glass of cold rosé in hand, so I move on.
I’d say my sweat hack worked, even if only under reasonable circumstances. And while it won’t make this heatwave go back to the circle of hell it came from, it definitely makes it easier for me to go out in public without packing a change of clothes. No sweat.
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