Keep your cool
From clinical-strength antiperspirants to Botox, how to stay dry this summer
Whenever your nervous system goes into overdrive—whether it's due to exercise, sweltering temps, raging hormones or public speaking—you'll feel perspiration underneath your arms and, perhaps, hands and feet. You also may feel damp during meals, since alcohol, caffeine, spices and garlic are all known to be sweat-inducing.
Just how much you perspire often depends on genetics. "Some women are just born with fewer sweat glands and won't produce as much wetness," says Ricanati. But regardless of how sweaty you get, everyone is bothered by the resulting odor: When the salty armpit excretion mingles with your skin's natural bacteria, it creates a smell that can make even the most confident person self-conscious.
With complex chemical ingredients and words like clinical, an antiperspirant label can be a bit difficult to decipher. Let's start with the basics: "Antiperspirants are regulated by the FDA and contain aluminum. That ingredient keeps you dry by blocking the opening of the sweat glands," says Susan Biehle Hulette, Ph.D., senior scientist of product development for Secret. (Although there's been some debate about the link between aluminum-containing products and breast cancer, you can rest easy. The National Cancer Institute has found no correlation between antiperspirants and the disease.)
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