If you’ve ever wondered how to stop sweating, I’m here for you. I know the grind: while everyone around you celebrates the summer weather, you fixate on one thing: I’m going to be a sweaty, soggy sourpuss for the next few months. I know because I’m one of you. I keep those blinds drawn in summer, I sleep with a fan on full power, I use real deal antiperspirant.
That last part is just the tip of the iceberg, in fact. I can’t change the weather or our genetics, but there is an entire arsenal of products and clothing that can mitigate the moisture, and prevent things like chafing, swamp ass, body odor, fungal infections, and more.
Here is your plan of attack, broken down by the five most annoying problems caused by heavy sweating.
In the summer, all that sweat and rubbing starts to wear on the skin, and can end up blooming into a painful red rash. Instead of treating the chafe after the fact, you can prevent it with a friction-minimizing cream or roll-on stick, to create a dry, protective barrier atop the skin. This nourishes your skin while preventing moisture accumulation at the surface, preventing any in pain or redness in turn. Just apply it before putting on your clothes.
2. Swamp Crotch
The most aggravating of all sweaty situations is when you get swamp crotch from just sitting. If you relate, you need a pair of moisture-wicking underwear, which help draw the sweat away from your skin so it can dry on the other side of the material.
Secondly, find yourself a reliable body powder, and sprinkle it into your underwear before you zip up for the day. Make sure it’s coating your sweatiest spots so that it soaks up any moisture as it appears. There have been some health scares around old-school talc, so we prefer a tapioca- or corn-starch based powder like Hiki.
3. Jock Itch
A swampy environment provides optimal conditions for the fungus tinea, which can grow in the crevices around the butt, genitals, and thighs. That’s the formal name for jock itch, and is far more common in warm months. If you’re already suffering you should talk to a dermatologist or pick up an OTC antifungal. To head it off before it flares up, heed the advice in step two to minimize moisture, then pack some body wipes in your work or gym bag to cleanse and deodorize the skin as needed.
4. Soggy Pits
It’s fallen out of fashion to use antiperspirant, since its active sweat-stopping ingredient aluminum. And while it seems clear that aluminum does not cause breast cancer, it does stain your shirts armpits yellow. But sometimes you have to pick one bad thing to counter another bad thing. So, antiperspirant it is—it's the proven way to stop sweating.
It’s hard to maintain clear skin any time of year. In the winter, the dry air dehydrates the skin. But in the summer, all that extra sweat threatens to clog pores. Any sweat from your scalp brings hair product down across your face, which only further aggravates things. Your best prevention plan is a lightweight, SPF-packed moisturizer that doesn’t suffocate the pores, and a few face wipes to cleanse and hydrate the skin after it gets too oily and sweaty.
As for hair product, avoid dense stylers in the summer, like putties and waxes. Try a lightweight cream for medium and longer styles, or a texturizing spray for tousled, wind-swept looks. Neither will weigh down the hair nor melt down your face in the heat; they’ll preserve your style without increasing the odds of a breakout.
The hippie stuff just doesn't work for everyone.
Originally Appeared on GQ