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So, Here Are 12 Proven Ways To Sweat Less This Summer

It's hot out here. This will keep you from perspiring quite so much.

Beauty & Fashion

Sweating is natural. Although some of us do it more than others, whenever perspiration transpires, it's simply our body's way of cooling our system down whenever our body temp begins to rise. While some people believe that sweat can also rid us of toxins, many health professionals say that is basically a myth; that things like alcohol, mercury and other stuff that can ultimately "pollute" our system typically leave us via our kidneys and liver.


Anyway, since summertime is the season when it is the hottest outside, of course, this means that we're going to sweat more than usual. And while this is a reality that is basically unavoidable, there are a few things that we all can do to keep us from dripping in our clothes or simply feeling ickier than we want to. Are you ready to be cool and drier — at least drier than you were last year — this summer? Here are 12 ways to make that happen.

1. Wear Natural Fabrics

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When it's super hot outdoors, most of us would like nothing more than to tear off all of our clothes. Since that's not the um, smartest thing to do, make sure that you put on clothing that is made out of material that's considered to be a breathable fabric. That way, you'll be able to get some good ventilation going on, so that you're not feeling all hot 'n sticky. As far as breathable fabrics go, (organic) cotton, polyester, rayon, nylon and linen all make the list.

2. Take Your Drawers Off

Even though you'll need to put some clothes on when you're in public, if you want to go commando, no one has to know that but you. And here's the thing — when your "girl" (wink) isn't trapped up in tight panties, that makes it easier for any sweat that may be going on down there to evaporate more quickly. This ultimately means less moisture, less odor and oh, less chaffing too. If going throughout your day with no drawers on happens to be a no-no for you, make sure that the panties you do wear are a lighter hue and that you opt for cotton fabric the most. Again, because of the breathable factor thing.

3. Eat Less Spicy Foods

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For the most part, when it comes to this particular point, it's peppers that you should scale back on. The reason why is because they have a chemical in them called capsaicin. While on one hand, it's able to do things like speed up your metabolism, keep your insulin levels balanced and even relieve a low-grade level of topical pain, peppers also trigger nerves in your body that produce a warming effect; one that can sho 'nuf cause you to sweat if you eat too many spicy foods. So, you might want to push the plate back…just a little bit.

4. Drink Less Caffeinated Drinks Too

I know. Some of y'all probably feel like you would just die if you didn't have a tall glass of iced Coke, Pepsi or even — wait for it — sweet tea.

The reason why you've gotta watch this though is caffeine is a stimulant, right? Well, when you consume it, one thing that it does is stimulate your nervous system which can get your body all excited which can lead to excessive sweating.

If this seems far-fetched, try going a couple of days without any caffeine and see if you feel a little drier because of it. I'd be surprised if you didn't.

5. Do Stay Hydrated, Though

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On the flip side, definitely make sure that you get a lot of non-caffeinated fluids into your system. Aside from the fact that it will keep you from becoming dehydrated, remember that a big part of the reason why we sweat when we're hot is it's our body's natural way of cooling our system down. The more fluids you take in, the easier it is for your internal cooling system to work properly. Of course, water is the best route to take; however, green tea can be beneficial too. While it does have some caffeine in it, the benefits help to offset that on a few levels. Aside from the fact that it's loaded with antioxidants and bioactive compounds, the high amount of Vitamin B and magnesium that's in this particular kind of tea will actually help to constrict your sweat glands which means less sweating. Iced green tea, anyone?

6. Add Some Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Regimen

Definitely something that everyone should have in their possession is a couple of bottles of apple cider vinegar (the kind that has "the mother" in it because that means it's as unfiltered and unrefined as possible, so that you are able to get the most out of it). As far as your skin goes, apple cider vinegar is dope because it's high in anti-inflammatory properties and it has acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid in it too. These things work together to unclog pores, balance pH levels and exfoliate your skin. Since apple cider vinegar is also a strong astringent, applying it to places like your underarms can safely close pores and reduce sweating. As a bonus, if you put it directly on your armpits, it can lighten the skin (if it happens to be dark under there) over time. Just make sure to dilute it with one-third amount of water. Apple cider vinegar can be pretty potent and could irritate your skin if it's applied "full throttle".

7. Apply a Mixture of Baking Soda and Cornstarch

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OK, so let's talk about baking soda and cornstarch, as it directly relates to your skin, for a moment.

As far as baking soda goes, it contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that are great when it comes to soothing skin irritation, reducing pimples and even speeding up the healing process of bug bites. Plus, since it has an alkaline base, baking soda is also able to fight the bacteria that's found in sweat and decrease the odor that oftentimes comes from it. Cornstarch is great for soothing sunburn, relieving itchy skin and absorbing body odor. In fact, that's why both baking soda and cornstarch are top ingredients in a lot of deodorants.

To get rid of some of the sweat and odor underneath your arms, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of cornstarch, three tablespoons of coconut oil and a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil scent. Mix it all up until it turns into a thick paste; then apply directly. It's a natural remedy that will help to keep you dry for hours on end.

8. Try a Lil’ Bit of Salt and Lime Juice

Hey, it might sound crazy, but a lot of people are huge fans of this combo. Since sea salt is able to absorb the sweat that comes out of your pores and lime juice has a natural acid in it that is able to reduce excessive sweating, applying both the sweaty spots (avoid your genital region or anywhere you may have a cut; it could sting like nobody's business!), can cause you to sweat (and smell) a lot less.

9. Workout in the Mornings or Evenings

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This is probably the most "duh" tip out of all of the ones that I've shared. Still, it's kind of amazing how many people will opt to workout during their lunch break when that happens to be the peak of the day as far as heat goes. If you want to sweat less while you're outdoors, try exercising early in the morning or during the evening hours. The sun will not be so high, so you won't be as hot.

10. Pick Up a Cool-Midst Humidifier

Vaporizers are something that many people who sweat a lot tend to have in their possession. That's because vaporizers add steam to the air which can keep your skin moist and you feeling comfortable. If you want to sweat less, though, get a cool-mist humidifier. It does just what it says — adds a cool temperature midst into the air that's around you. Places like Walmart and Target carry them at a pretty affordable price.

11. Reduce Your Anxiety

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Hyperhidrosis is a medical term for people who sweat excessively. The interesting thing about this particular condition is that it can be a side effect of anxiety (especially social anxiety). So, if for some reason you're restless, anxious, nervous, irritated or agitated and you're noticing that you're also sweating quite a bit, even if you're indoors, your anxiety levels could be why. An article that could help you out a bit is "Feeling Anxious? These 12 All-Natural Hacks Can Calm You."

12. See Your Doctor

It really can't be said enough that sweating is natural. However, if you feel like you are sweating more than normal or that you can't seem to stop, no matter what you do, it can never hurt to make an appointment with your physician. If they do determine that you've got hyperhidrosis, they might decide to put you on a mild antidepressant, give you a deodorant that requires a prescription or put you on a Botox regimen (which will block the nerves that trigger sweating), so that you can feel more relaxed and get back out to enjoying your summer season to the fullest!

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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