If you are a Sweater, I feel your pain. I can still recall the awfulness I felt in middle school when I sat down in Spanish class and discovered a round, wet, mushy spot on my homemade brown bag book cover from where my sweaty little hand had been holding it. The horror! Years later, a friend and I would bond over our mutual ability to wreck white t-shirts after one day and our seeming deafness to any sort of alarm clock. The latter would prove to be very problematic when we became roommates, at least until he got an alarm used by truck drivers.
But the sweating. Yuck. Pre-internet, this friend and I were known to troll the aisles of various Walgreens and Duane Reed stores looking for any new innovations to give us a bit of a reprieve. I still remember the day he showed up on my porch proudly holding out two plastic roller bottles of something called "Certain Dry"...and it actually worked! Well, for awhile anyway. Keep in mind, we were both drinking fairly often and smoking at the time so our BO was especially problematic. I was not above buying those awful armpit pad things or, in dire circumstances, shoving wadded up tissue in my pits. The intensity of my sweating was sporadic and I eventually just learned to live with it and work around it. Admitting all this is giving me a very "Chunk" moment and I'm imagining that a Fratelli brother has a gun pointed at me.
Sometime after the birth of my third son I felt like the sweating came back with a vengeance. And now I wasn't smoking, rarely drank, drinking tons of water and eating well...so what gives? I swear that for every book on a shelf extolling the virtues of motherhood there could be another tome dedicated to the unintended side effects and by-products of child rearing. It would be titled, More Shit the Kids Broke: A Handbook for Living in a Stranger's Body. So now, even though I lived very healthy, I didn't smell great. And I was exhausted from having three kids. I had long ditched the Certain Dry in favor of other, natural solutions, including my own homemade deodorant but none of those were a match for my hormone related sweatiness and I sometimes imagined the headline when I was found dead - "Local Mother Drowns in 3-Inch Pool of Flop Sweat. Authorities Claim She Was Too Tired to Swim Out."
Around this time I started to notice that I had some major reactions to caffeine, specifically coffee, and had to eliminate it. Once I totally cut out coffee the sweating lessened, which I found to be highly unfortunate, even though it did help fill in a large piece of the puzzle. Over the last year I've made a conscious choice to start drinking regular coffee again and I wanted to take some preemptive measures to reduce the sweaty grossness I knew it would bring. I started trying out lots of different natural deodorants and although I really like the Primal Pit Paste products and scents, they didn't work great for me. The search continued. It really wasn't until I heard about a morning chlorophyll cocktail that I started to find a protocol for protecting against sweat that really worked. So, years of trauma and embarrassment have brought me here, to this moment, when I can say, "Go. Go buy the white Everlane t-shirt of your dreams. It will be safe."
What you need:
- Fresh, organic lemons or organic lemon juice, cranberry juice (unsweetened) and liquid chlorophyll - Liquid chlorophyll is known as Nature's Internal Deodorant and while there don't seem to be definitive studies vouching for this, anecdotal evidence was enough to make me try it. I highly recommend the liquid over the capsules and notice a big difference in my skin and sweat when I run out or don't take it.
- A strong deodorant containing activated charcoal, such as PiperWai.
- A good stick deodorant that travels well - I like Native Deodorants.
I originally started trying this as part of the protocol in a Healthy Hormones group. While I didn't love the group overall, the few nuggets I got from participating have been really helpful. FIRST thing in the morning, I stumble out of bed and pour two tablespoons of liquid chlorophyll into a mug along with a splash each of lemon juice and cranberry juice. I pour hot water 1/2 of the way and then add filtered water to top off. I drink pretty quickly as I'm not one for really sweet or sour things right when I wake up. From there, I apply my stick deodorant. Then I move on with my day and enjoy my coffee.
At night, I apply the activated charcoal deodorant, allowing it time to absorb. The logic here is that it's pretty pointless to try and combat sweating and body odor once you're already a soggy mess. And yes, I definitely still sweat. And I hate it BUT, I think of it as my very annoying reminder to drink lots of water, limit my coffee intake and move consistently throughout the day. If I know I'm going to be running around a lot, I'll bring extra deodorant with me.
If you're also a recovering Sweat Monster and have suggestions I would love to hear them. I get the feeling it's an arsenal that constantly needs replenishing.
** Disclaimer: Sadly, I am not a doctor. I'm just a girl in her kitchen dropping granola down her shirt. My recommendations come with the best of intentions and personal success but that never replaces the counsel of a trusted doctor, nurse or health care provider. Always use common sense and ask questions, especially in the treatment of illness for babies and children. **