BUSTLE posted "5 Ways To Stop That Dreaded Boob Sweat" and features Visha Skincare founder, Dr. Purvisha Patel's expert commentary on the skin and sweat, including situations in which sweat can make you uncomfortable.
You’ve seen it (or felt it) before: Those patches of moisture that gather under your breasts and sometimes soak through your shirt. This phenomenon is what’s known, rather aptly, as underboob sweat. And it can strike at any time.
Sure, sweat under your boobs is way more likely to form on hot days when you’re stuck on a steamy subway or after a workout. But board-certified internist Dr. Soma Mandal, M.D. says perspiration can occur whenever skin creases or folds. “The skin under the breasts also isn't exposed to air,” she tells Bustle, which is another reason why moisture tends to accumulate in this area.
You’ll know you’ve got a case of underboob sweat if you feel moisture, experience a light trickle of perspiration running down your stomach (yes, this happens), and/or notice a patch of wetness on your clothing beneath each breast — just like you’d see under your armpits. There’s also a chance you experience a boob sweat smell, says Mandal, as well as visible stains from the perspiration. But those aren’t the only side effects.
According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel, M.D., the situation can also make you uncomfortable. “When skin is on skin and it gets warm and moist, there can be an overgrowth of microbes that normally live on the skin,” she tells Bustle. “There can be a breakdown of the top layer of skin and yeast can even flourish, which can result in itching, redness, and inflammation.”
Whether you have one, two, or all of these symptoms, it’s totally understandable why you’d want to look for ways to prevent the annoying situation. Thankfully, there are ways you can deal — here, experts share their top recommended solutions for boob sweat.
How To Treat Underboob Sweat
The first method for getting your underboob sweat under control — and perhaps the easiest — involves digging through your underwear drawer and checking the labels on your bras. You’ll want to avoid wearing ones made of synthetic material, like polyester or rayon, especially on hot days.
“Natural garments like cotton are recommended since they allow the skin to aerate better,” Mandal says. You may also want to steer away from bras that have an underwire or padding, she adds, since they have a tendency to trap moisture against the skin and make sweating worse.
While the right bra can catch wetness before it forms a sweat stain, going braless is another way to keep the underboob area breezy and cool. There are also plenty of products — some of which you might already have — that can clear up the issue. And, if all else fails, ask your doctor about a medication called glycopyrrolate, which is what folks with hyperhidrosis (or excessive sweating) typically apply to their armpits to keep wetness in check. “This is now available in cream form and can be used under the breasts,” Mandal tells Bustle. See below for the underboob-quashing products you can turn to.
Products For Underboob Sweat
1. Bras & Bra Liners
More Of Me To Love
First up, you can use a bra liner, which Mandal says helps pull excess moisture away from the skin. This one in particular from More Of Me To Love is made of a naturally antibacterial bamboo fiber that absorbs sweat and aids in keeping odor at bay. Just slide it on underneath your bra for added protection.
These 100% cotton, reusable pads are designed to create a barrier between your bra and your skin to absorb sweat and prevent chafing. (Bonus: Protecting your bras from perspiration means you don’t have to wash them as often!)
Ivory Bianca Bra
You can also pull on a sportier bra that’s literally meant to absorb sweat, like this one from Girlfriend Collective. It’s extra-comfy, and works for both low-impact workouts and lounging around. Since it’s double-lined and made with sweat-wicking material, you’ll be kept dry. Plus, it’s really cute.
Freedom Natural Deodorant
The cool thing about antiperspirant is you can put it anywhere on your body, including under your boobs. This one from Freedom is aluminum- and phthalate-free, which is nifty if you’re trying to avoid potentially harmful ingredients or have sensitive skin.
“Some people can develop a rash or contact dermatitis to chemicals in antiperspirants,” Dr. Malini Fowler, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, tells Bustle, which is one reason why some brands leave them out.
Secret Clinical Strength
Mandal recommends Secret Clinical Strength antiperspirant, which is a good choice if you’re feeling extra sweaty. This one has aluminum in it, which actually blocks your pores from sweating and decreases odor.
You can take the power of antiperspirant on the go with wipes like these, which can easily be thrown in your bag. “They are great if you are an avid sweater,” says Patel. Pro tip: “It may be beneficial to double-dip into the antiperspirant during the day,” she adds.
Sweat Absorbing Breast Lotion
This fast-absorbing lotion can be applied under your boobs to absorb sweat. According to Patel, powdery materials like corn starch (as this formula has) — as well as arrowroot, tapioca, or baking soda — absorb water before it has time to pool on the skin. Combine that with the cooling effect of aloe, and you’re destined to have the driest underboobs around.
Fresh Body Fresh Breasts Lotion
Another lotion is this one, which actually turns into a powder once it’s applied. The magic’s in the antiperspirant, its star ingredient, so your skin stays dry.
It’s also unscented, which is perfect if you aren’t a fan of perfume-y breasts and/or if you have sensitive skin. This is a definite plus for any area of the body where the skin folds, Patel says, as that makes fragrance absorb faster, leading to extra irritation.
4. Body Powders
Up&Up Talc-Free Medicated Body Powder
The great thing about body powder is it absorbs moisture and often offers a cooling effect, Mandal says, which is perfect whenever humidity has got you all sticky and sweaty. This one contains menthol to do just that.
It’s also free of talc, a mineral that has been linked to cancer. “Talc has never been a regulated product,” Fowler says. “Most companies are aware of the talc controversy and most have removed it from their products.”
Megababe Body Top-To-Toe Powder
Megababe also makes a perpsiration-quashing powder that helps prevent your sweat from seeping through your clothes. It’s free of talc and aluminum, and contains lavender (a natural antibacterial), corn starch (to absorb moisture), and aloe and chamomile (two skin-soothers).
5. Argan Oil
PURA D'OR Organic Moroccan Argan Oil
You could also turn to a lesser-known beauty hack for underboob sweat: Apply some argan oil to the area. The extract is found in countless skin care products, and that’s for good reason — it’s a natural fatty acid, which nourishes your skin, it’s anti-inflammatory, and it’s anti-bacterial, which can help in your quest against breast perspiration.