It’s getting hot How you don’t sink into a sweat despite the heat

The next few days will be summery! Sweating is inevitable, because that’s the best way for the body to cool down. Our tips on how to feel fresh and not drown in a sweat.

It’s that time of the year again when the anticipation of a refreshing shower in the evening is great. Finally wash away the sweat and feel fresh again – if only for a short time.

“Sweating is a whim of nature,” says Uta Schlossberger, a dermatologist in Cologne. And one that doesn’t happen that often. “People sweat and a few animals, such as gorillas or horses.”

Sweating means that the body’s air conditioning system is running

The mechanism behind sweating is pretty clever. Dermatologist Schlossberger describes it as the body’s air conditioning system. If the ambient temperature rises, the sweat glands in the skin produce a secretion of water, common salt, fatty acids and other substances. In short: sweat.

It evaporates in the heat, which cools the surface of our skin. “Sweating helps keep the core temperature in the body stable,” says Schlossberger. If this mechanism did not exist, we would get fever.

Sweating is based on an infrastructure of around four million sweat glands, which are located in the skin and transport sweat through the pores to the surface.

“The secretion they form doesn’t actually smell,” says Schlossberger. If it weren’t for the fungi and bacteria that naturally colonize our skin. “When they sit on it, it starts to smell.”

Musty, rancid, sour: That’s why the sweat smells

The fact that sweat is not only noticeable through stains on the shirt, but also through an odor is therefore a completely normal process. The only problem is that its breakdown products – such as ammonia and amino acids – smell musty, rancid and sour and “we’re getting on our environment’s nerves,” says Schlossberger.

These tips will keep you feeling fresh

1. Use deodorant

So it’s good that you can roller, spray and cream for a little more freshness – with deodorant. However, this is of little use if you apply it to sweat that already smells. “The deodorant basically seals it. You have none of that,” says Schlossberger.

2. Wash in between

But this problem can be easily avoided: simply wash your armpits with water – and only then roll, spray or lubricate. You literally feel fresher in no time.

3. Pay attention to the outfit

What also influences how much sweat runs is the clothing – more precisely: fabric, cut and colour. What does the perfect outfit for hot days look like, which at best also works in the office?

“Cotton and linen are typical summer fibers,” says Stefan Thumm from the Association of the Bavarian Textile and Clothing Industry (VTB). They score points on hot days because they are breathable and absorb moisture well.

“You don’t smell as quickly in it as when you sweat in polyester,” says Thumm. However, cotton tends to stick to the body more than linen.

According to the textile expert, viscose, modal and lyocell – all synthetically derived natural fibers – are also comfortable to wear on hot days. By the way: If an outfit is to be suitable for high temperatures, the fiber of the underwear also counts.

From the fiber to the colour: It is best to choose light tones, for example white or pastel tones. “Dark colors charge more in the sun. White, on the other hand, reflects the heat,” explains Thumm.

And the cut also counts: “It should be as loose clothing as possible,” says dermatologist Schlossberger. The fact that “airy” clothing is often mentioned here hits the nail on the head: If the body is in loose clothing, there can be more air exchange – this means that the skin is cooled down better.

Aluminum deodorants: good or bad?

Especially when you sweat a lot under your arms, deodorants with aluminum salts work well, according to dermatologist Schlossberger. Then you have to deal with so-called antiperspirants. They constrict the sweat glands, so you sweat less.

Aluminum in deodorant, wasn’t there something? In recent years, antiperspirants with this ingredient have at times been criticized. The suspicion: aluminum that enters the body through deodorant could increase the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s.

In 2020, however, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) gave the all-clear: “Health impairments from aluminum absorption through the skin are unlikely,” said a statement. Background: Antiperspirants cause less aluminum to enter the body than was assumed a few years ago. Studies have shown that.

According to the magazine “Öko-Test”, if you still prefer not to use aluminum in your armpits, you can use deodorants with baking soda (issue 6/2022). It can be found on the list of ingredients under the name «Sodium Bicarbonate». Especially natural cosmetic deodorants are based on this ingredient.

With bleach against sweat stains

Even in the best outfit, sweating cannot be avoided – and sometimes leaves traces in the form of yellowish spots. The advice of the Industry Association for Personal Care and Detergents (IKW) to get rid of them again: washing powder with bleach.

If this method doesn’t work, it’s best to soak the garment in hot water and add a stain remover or gel with bleach along with detergent.

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