With summer fast approaching, you’re probably looking forward to balmy days outdoors. Whatever lifestyle you favor, you’ll enjoy feeling the sun on your shoulders as you spend time with friends and family.
But like lots of men, the new season may also mean that you’ve got several sweaty months ahead of you. Sweating is your body’s natural air conditioner, helping you to keep cool when the temperature rises or during exercise and other forms of exertion.
Sweating is usually easy to manage, but for some guys it can become excessive and uncomfortable. If that sounds like you, stay here for some advice for dealing with this common complaint – including the advantages of armpit shaving.
So, Does Shaving The Armpits Reduce Sweating?
Shave your armpit hair and you’ll feel noticeably drier – and suffer less body odor as a bonus. Shaving won’t reduce the amount that you sweat, but with less hair the moisture won’t be absorbed so readily and bacteria won’t be able to thrive so easily. Along with shaving, reduce your discomfort by taking frequent showers and wearing loose-fitting, natural fibers like cotton and silk.
Why does your body sweat?
Sweat glands are embedded underneath the skin in most areas of your body. Their function is to regulate body temperature. Your sweat glands secrete sweat almost constantly, but you’ll only notice it when the volume markedly increases.
In response to rising environmental temperature or body temperature (for instance caused by exercise or stress), the glands secrete sweat onto the surface of the skin. When this moisture evaporates, it provides a cooling effect to the body.
What about the stink…?
So sweat glands are vital to the body’s ability to regulate temperature. That’s all well and good, but what about the funk that wafts from your body during those sticky summer months? Sweat itself is odorless, but bacteria in your armpit metabolizes it and leaves by-products that cause the typical gym-locker aroma.
Many of us get a little funky under the arms when it’s hot outside, or when we’ve been delivering a high-stakes presentation at work, or simply when we’ve been getting active. For the most part, you can address this minor irritation with some everyday remedies.
Don’t panic unnecessarily if you’re bothered by sweaty armpits or embarrassing body odor. There are a number of simple and straightforward tips you can follow to eliminate or reduce the problem:
Even if you’re not usually in the habit of daily showering, it may be worth introducing it to your routine for at least the duration of the summer months. A cool shower once or twice a day can make a big difference to your overall comfort and make sweating much less bothersome.
If you’ve spent any time in the close confines of the subway in August, you’ll have wondered how often people wash their laundry. You may be able to get away with wearing the same shirt for a couple of days for the rest of the year, but during those peak summer months make a point to change your clothes more regularly.
While you’re at it, give some thought to what you’re wearing day to day. You’ll find that sweating can be more of a problem if you’re wearing close-fitting clothes that hug the body and don’t allow air to circulate.
Try mixing up your wardrobe a little by adding looser items that are made from natural fibers that allow the air to flow (such as cotton and silk).
You’ve probably been using some type of deodorant since you were a teenager, but if underarm sweating has become a problem it may be time to revisit the drugstore and look for something more effective.
In particular, if you haven’t already done so it’s worth switching to an antiperspirant. Here’s the difference: a deodorant only masks the scent of your sweat, while an antiperspirant actively reduces your sweating. With the latter, you’re effectively fighting sweat at the source.
Antiperspirants work by harmlessly blocking your sweat glands with ingredients like aluminum chloride. If you’ve already been using an antiperspirant and not getting the results, try finding an alternate brand with a higher concentration of blocking salt.
Many antiperspirants also include an antibacterial agent that combats the bacteria that lead to body odor.
What if my armpits need a little extra help…?
If you’ve given the typical remedies a serious chance and you’re still not happy with the results, it’s time to take things up a notch:
How you use your antiperspirant can be almost as important as the type you use. For one thing, the product should be applied to a clean, dry armpit. This will maximize the exposure of your skin to the ingredients of the antiperspirant and give them the best chance of doing their work.
You may be surprised to find that the best time to apply your antiperspirant isn’t in the morning after your shower. Actually, by applying it at night before you go to bed you’re allowing the active ingredients a big chunk of time to get to work clogging up your sweat glands.
Don’t worry about washing the product off in the shower. Even if your soap or shower gel wipes away the surface layer, the sweat glands will still be blocked beneath the surface. Check your pits at the end of the day and you may find that you’re much drier than usual.
If excessive underarm sweating and odor have been a problem, shaving your armpit hair will offer some advantages. Contrary to popular opinion, shaving your armpits is unlikely to make a difference to how much you sweat. That’s because shaving doesn’t affect the glands under the skin that produce and secrete sweat.
Having said this, there are still a couple of ways in which shaving your armpits can address your particular complaints. For one thing, the hair fibers under your arm absorb and retain much of the sweat that you’re producing. By pruning your pits, you’re giving your sweat less chance to accumulate.
And this gives you an effective double-whammy: by offering less hair to absorb your sweat, you’re also minimizing the available moisture for your bacteria to act upon. This means less wetness and less odor.
When’s it time to call in the professionals?
In typical cases, the above measures are often enough to make a difference to the degree of sweating and the body odor that it causes. In more extreme cases, you may still find that you’re troubled by these symptoms and need extra advice.
By consulting a trusted dermatologist, they’ll be able to recommend a number of other treatment options that may be helpful. These include clinical-grade antiperspirants and electrophoresis devices that use an electrical current to block the sweat glands.
Hi, I’m Theo, and I started Shaving Parlour to help men everywhere get the best shave of their lives. Check out my popular guides on Safety Razors, Shaving Cream, Shaving Brushes, Beard Oil, and more!