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I’m a VERY sweaty person – I refuse summer handshakes and dread stinking of BO, but a £9.99 Amazon buy changed my life

BEAUTY Editor Tara Ledden is a self-confessed sweaty girl, but she’s found an unexpected – and affordable – solution to her pit problems . . . 

While the majority of Brits are rejoicing at the heatwave that’s currently sweeping the UK, soaring summer temperatures are my worst nightmare. 

Sweat patches plagued Tara for years – but now there’s a solution
Tara’s saving grace was AHA deodorants, which change the pH of the skin on contact, killing the BO-causing bacteria[/caption]
Tara knew she needed to be in black, white, or a pattern to disguise the dreaded wet patches[/caption]

Let me explain. 

As a beauty editor, people expect me to be perfectly preened at all times. And with endless products at my disposal and free treatments offered on a daily basis, I understand why you would come to that conclusion. 

But the reality couldn’t be more different. 

Far from being glam 24/7, I’ve been harbouring a dirty little secret — I sweat . . . A LOT.

At this time of year, I can’t walk into a room without first apologising for being clammy. No hugs or handshakes, please — that will be unpleasant for everyone involved. 

I’ve lost count of the number of times someone’s  given me a  SULA — sweaty upper lip alert, the catch phrase coined by Emma Roberts’ character, Poppy, in teen flick Wild Child. 

And my “dewy” skin means make-up marketed as “luminous” or “radiant” is a no-no.

But it’s BO that has been my biggest beauty paranoia for over a decade. I’m so scared of smelling sour, that I keep a deodorant in my desk drawer and I don’t own a single item of grey clothing for fear of sweat stains showing. 

I know I need to be in black, white, or a pattern to disguise the dreaded wet patches. 

Over the years, I’ve tried anything I could get my hands on in a bid to stop the sweat — gels and creams that claim to last 72 hours, anti-bacterial aerosols that supposedly kill BO-causing bacteria and even products targeted towards men, as the fresh scents seemed to last longer. 

Smelling horrendous

While there have been countless studies into the pros and cons of the pore-blocking aluminium ingredient in most anti-perspirants, none of them have found a causal link to cancer — so I’ve eagerly layered roll-on antiperspirant gels and sprays every day. 

And I’ve tried   supplements such as sage, magnesium and Vitamin D that claim to curb sweating, swapping my clothes to breathable natural fibres, sticking pant-liners to the armpits of my white shirts and carrying a handbag-sized fan at all times.

But none of them did the job. 

No matter what I tried, I felt like I was getting sweatier — and I’m not the only one. According to recent research from Unilever, we  are buying more deodorant than ever.  In the last seven days alone, Google searches for “best deodorant to stop sweating” have risen by 170 per cent, while searches for “anti-sweat pills” have shot up 450 per cent in the UK.

But searches for “non-aluminium deodorant’ and “natural deodorant that works” are also on the up, growing 140 per cent and 50 per cent in the same period. 

When natural deodorant started to gain popularity in early 2021, I gave the idea short shrift. 

If the heavyweights couldn’t keep me dry, how would so-called “clean” alternatives? 

Lockdown gave me time to experiment — that, and the safety of knowing no-one else would be able to smell any funky results. 

After unsuccessfully trying a few wax-based options — and smelling positively horrendous when their natural scents mixed with my natural odour — I realised I needed something that prevented BO, not disguised it.

Enter my saving grace — AHA deodorants, which change the pH of the skin on contact, killing the BO-causing bacteria and any lingering smells instantly. 

It was love at first sight with GoBo, £9.99 at Amazon

You use it like an average roll-on deodorant, so it doesn’t take any extra time or require getting your hands dirty (compared to some I’ve tired, where you had to dig it out of a jar, or apply to wet pits). 

There’s no tingling or discomfort, and the only noticeable difference to roll-on antiperspirants I’ve used before is that it takes slightly longer to dry. 

Unlike antiperspirant which often just masks any funky smells, it instantly neutralises odour and prevents it returning all day. 

It comes in five different scents, all of which are lightly floral but barely noticeable once applied. 

It took about three months for me to realise I was actually sweating less than I had been with the heavy-duty options, when  I stopped worrying about sweat patches in white T-shirts. 

Then last year, as a natural deodorant convert, I switched to Kosas (£14, Sephora) when it launched in the UK. The formula is slightly thicker so it stays put better, keeping BO at bay for around 24 hours.

It also dries faster, and I prefer the scents they have too.

When you stop using antiperspirant, it can take  two to four weeks for the body to regulate sweat production.

But with an exfoliating acid-based deodorant like GoBo and Kosas you can put nasty smells to bed from day one. 

Danced night away

This is now my third summer going natural and my wardrobe has started to change. I wore an orange dress to a friend’s wedding recently and danced the night away without a single worry.

A few years ago you wouldn’t have caught me dead in anything so sweat-patch risky. 

I’ve also stopped reapplying setting powder to my face multiple times a day as the switch to natural deodorant has made me sweat less in general.

It’s even holding up during the current hot spell. 

Granted, I’m still sweaty, but far less so than I used to be. 

Botox will sort it out, no sweat

Botox in the armpits is a legitimate treatment to stop sweating

DEODORANT? No thanks, I’ll just have some Botox in my armpits. 

I’m not even joking – it’s a legitimate treatment that stops sweating for up to nine months and I’ve been doing it for years.

If you’re thinking, “Hang on, I thought Botox was for wrinkles”, you’re right.

But botulinum toxin A (Botox, to you and me) is a versatile drug with many uses. 

Injected into the muscles that create frown lines, it blocks the nerve signals that tell muscles to contract. 

Injected just underneath the skin, it similarly blocks the nerve impulses that are telling your sweat glands to sweat.

People worry it is not safe, but it’s a recognised treatment for a condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating. 

If your problem is sweaty palms, or a forehead that runs with sweat, you can have those bits treated, too. Treatment is even available on the NHS.

I can’t claim to have hyperhidrosis, but I sweat a good deal when I get nervous. 

Sure, I could use anti-perspirant, but I much prefer not to have sweaty armpits in the first place. 

The treatment is popular with models, who don’t want to ruin the fabulous designer clothes they’re showing off. 

Chrissy Teigen is a fan, saying she can now wear silk shirts without soaking through them.

Treatment is pretty straightforward – you lie on the couch with one arm behind your head, and your practitioner swabs your armpit with an alcohol wipe and then administers between 15 and 20 tiny injections across the whole area. 

Does it hurt? May be a  bit, but you can always use numbing cream beforehand. 

 It takes around 15 minutes and costs around £500, because it requires much more Botox than you would need for frown lines in your face.

Potential side effects include swelling and bruising at the injection site. 

I find the pinpoint injection marks take a few days to  disappear – and you need to know that it takes up to ten days for the treatment to take effect. 

People worry whether it is  a  bad thing for your body not to sweat and whether the sweat from your armpits just goes to somewhere else.

But don’t worry about this, it doesn’t, because it’s only stopping sweating on a small part of the body’s overall surface area.

Your body just isn’t creating sweat in that area while treatment lasts. 

Four of the best natural deodorants

Mitchum Natural Power Cedarwood[/caption]


Mitchum Natural Power Cedarwood, £5, Boots

Pros: It’s the cheapest I’ve found that actually works. 

Cons: It’s free from aluminium, but only 96 per cent natural. Targeted at men, but works better than the women’s version. 

Kosas Chemistry Deodorant, £14[/caption]

BEST FOR: Undetectable protection

Kosas Chemistry Deodorant, £14,

Pros: The serum texture is lightweight and dries quickly. It’s been my go-to deodorant for over a year. 

Cons: It’s pricey, but worth the price for peace of mind. 

AKT The Deodorant Balm, £21[/caption]

BEST FOR: Long- lasting coverage

AKT The Deodorant Balm, £21,

Pros: Created by West End performers to stand up to hot stage lights. A little goes a long way. 

Cons: It can be hard to squeeze it out of the tube as the paste is quite stiff. 

GoBo Deodorising Fluid, £9.99[/caption]

BEST FOR:  Sensitive skin 

GoBo Deodorising Fluid, £9.99,

Pros: Free from potentially irritating aluminium, alcohol and essential oils. Suitable for all skin types. 

Cons: It’s quite runny and you have to wait a while for it to dry before dressing. 

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