How to Really Keep Sweat Under Control

Here, three easy steps to avoiding B.O. this summer—and beyond.

exercise-sweat
Photo by Sam Edwards/Getty Images
  1. It seems obvious, but good hygiene is key. Using soap, thoroughly wash underarms and other sweat-prone areas daily. Also, resist the urge to re-wear your clothes; they could have leftover bacteria or sweat components on them. “Sweat itself doesn’t smell, but when it interacts with the bacteria that is already on your skin, it can lead to the unpleasant odors,” says Marina Peredo, a dermatologist in New York.
  2. Another surprising way to reduce body odor? Shaving. It can help to cut down on body odor compared to washing alone because it “helps to remove the bacteria from the skin, as well as, the hair around which the bacteria grow,” explains Peredo.
  3. Swipe the right stuff.
  • If your primary concern is odor, opt for a deodorant, which works to mask any unpleasant scents by cutting down on the amount of bacteria on skin. Formulas like Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Deodorant ($7.60, drugstore.com) also have ingredients that release scent over time to keep you smelling fresh throughout the day.
  • If you tend to sweat a lot (hello, pit stains!) and are concerned about staying dry, stick to an antiperspirant, which uses aluminum salts to form temporary plugs in your sweat glands to prevent perspiration from escaping altogether.
  • If you prefer natural products, “look for a deodorant with essential oils like tea tree, lavender, lemon grass, bergamot, or rosemary to help neutralize any odors,” advises Gary Goldfaden, a dermatologist in Florida. We like Soapwalla Deodorant Cream ($14, soapwallakitchen.com), which also uses superfine vegetable powders and clays to absorb excess moisture.