Is there anything quite like that first bead of summer sweat rolling down your back? It’s that subtle reminder that you will be uncomfortable for the next four months. WELCOME TO HELL!
I am NOT a summer person. I prefer layers, freezing cold, and hibernation. My people come from deepest darkest (and coldest) Russia and freaking Scotland, so the Sun and I are mortal enemies. I always think, “This summer will be different! I’m going to find a way to do this season right!” I’m always wrong…
I’ve been cursed with a pretty severe case of hyperhidrosis. Sexy right? I’ve learned to (pretty much) deal with it, but it has been a freaking hard road to get here. I can’t even begin to describe how hard it hit me when I was going through puberty… Just imagine the usual growing pains, heart-crushing awkwardness, and add a heaping helping of visible sweat! Those sure were some fun times… JK. You couldn’t pay me enough to re-live ages 10-17!
So, now that I’m a grown-ass lady, I’ve found some ways around my teeny-tiny lil’ affliction. Most of it comes from acceptance, but there is a great deal of smoke and mirrors involved too. I’m not into expensive “cures” (Botox for your pits?!) or invasive surgery (just cut out those pesky glands…You sure won’t miss them!), but I am into time-tested ways around my over-active endocrine system…
I wasn’t born a summer goth, I became one out of necessity! Black clothing is the easiest way to mask those rapidly expanding sweat stains. Anyone who has work a light blue or gray shirt in August knows what I’m talking about here. I had to learn from years of summer camp and sweaty dressing rooms, that there is no real way to hide. Once a drop of moisture gets on pastels, all bets are off. Black clothing is the answer! Now, wearing black in the summer comes with its own set of issues, but none of them are as bad as the alternative!
I love thrifting, but I have had to learn that synthetics are a no-go. My heart breaks anytime I find an especially gaudy double knit polyester number from the 1970′s because I know I will NEVER survive wearing it. Cotton is a must. If you are a fancypants, I hear linen is great too. I can’t get onboard the linen train because I refuse to adhere to special washing instructions and I hate visible wrinkles. Cotton is easy. Most of the time it is cheap too.
Parasols and Fans. Be a less sweaty fancy lady!
Now, don’t laugh at me here. I’m 100% serious. A hand-held fan has saved my life on numerous occasions. Just picture a crowded NYC subway platform, in the middle of August, complete with smelly hot garbage and no moving air. I almost fainted from these exact conditions and, let me tell you, swooning on a subway platform isn’t the best feeling. So I went to Pearl River Mart (RIP) and bought half a dozen sequined plastic fans. It may look weird, like I’m trying out my best southern debutante impression, but these little miracles are the answer! Fans are mini breeze machines and I love them.
A parasol seems like a joke, right? Stay with me… I am already the palest person on the planet. Seriously! I’ve been color matched for foundation at Sephora and, until recently, they didn’t have a shade pale enough for me! My all-time favorite vampire shade is (Kat Von D’s Lock-It Foundation in Light 41). The struggle is real…. A parasol matches my vampire-aesthetic and you carry around your own shady ecosystem. I bought mine at the same Pearl River Mart in NYC (RIP!) and I love it. BTW, don’t even think about using an umbrella here… It may seem like a pretty close dupe, but you will look even more foolish and the whole part of this is to have fun. Parasols are for fancy fucks, while an umbrella will make people feel bad for you. Slap on some red lipstick and lean in! You are a vampire princess who is gracing these mortals with your presence.
Sunscreen (a necessary evil)
When I was little, my mom used to chase me around with an economy sized bottle of SPF 50. I remember that sunscreen as being the grossest thing in the world. It was slimy, greasy, stinky, and you were never able to rub it in all the way. I had to be slathered with that shit on the regular or else I got those blistering sunburns that I anticipate will be giving me cancer-scares down the line. Sweating, unfortunately, is exasperated by sunscreen. It has been my duty to find a workaround, since I can’t go outside without it. My first discovery was spray sunscreen. I like the Neutrogena SPF 100 spray. Yes, before you even bring it up, the high SPF does make a difference! This miraculous chemical concoction doesn’t plug up your pores as bad as the lotion-based sunscreen does. I like applying it bare-ass naked before letting it dry and getting dressed. This way, it has time to soak in and I don’t end up with any missed spots. I’ve had some terribly hilarious partial sunburns in my day and it isn’t a good look.
What to avoid
Here is the interesting part… This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is hard-earned info that I’ve literally had to sweat through to procure. AVOID THE FOLLOWING:
- Lotions/oils/extraneous body products. If you want to moisturize, do it at night!
- Daytime showers. I recommend bathing at night because a shower or bath seems to open up the flood gates and it is hard to stop the flow when this happens.
- Heavy foundation. You will sweat, but it won’t be clear… It will be skin colored and you will look like you are a melting candle. Stick to spot concealing.
- Eyebrow pencil and eyeshadow. You will sweat that shit off so don’t even bother.
- Heat styling. Stay away from blowdryers! Hot things are, duh, HOT!
- Spicy foods. I hate that this one is a real deal issue. I adore spicy foods, but they can send emergency-response signals to your sweat glands and they won’t stop pumping until the zesty offender is digested. Bummer town.
- Skin on skin contact. Sweaty thighs sticking together is no fun. I wear bike shorts under skirts/dresses and longer length shorts.
- BANGS! These never hide the sweat, they just draw an arrow to your sweaty-ass forehead. Not cute.