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Life with Hyperhidrosis: Surviving Summertime

I always dread summertime. It seems to be everyone else’s favorite season, but I can’t stand it. I already have to manage my hyperhidrosis year-round (likely due to my high anxiety levels) so the addition of high temperatures and humidity to the mix makes me ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE. Over the past couple of decades I’ve discovered methods and products that help me to better manage my Sweaty Life, so if you or someone you know also suffers from hyperhidrosis, this post may be helpful to you / them. If you’re interested in reading more about my Hyperhidrosis Journey, I have a super in-depth post about it here.

It doesn’t translate well in this photo, but my hands are soaked in sweat here.


METHODS:

Drink LOTS of Water: This one may seem like a given, but I feel like I have to include it anyway. Hyperhidrosis causes my body to dehydrate at such a rapid rate that I need to drink a lot more water than the average person. This is only exacerbated during the warmer months when my sweating seems to kick into overdrive so I have to really make a conscious effort to drink lots of water (which also plays a part in cooling me down if the beverage is nice and icy cold). In order to make my water more interesting (and therefore trick myself into drinking more of it) I like to add a little bit of flavor. My favorites ways to do this are: adding a splash of my Skinny Syrups, using a Crystal Light packet, adding some fresh fruit / herbs (such as: strawberry / basil OR lemon / rosemary, etc.), creating fruity ice cubes that slowly melt into my drink, or even just having an “essenced” sparkling water such as La Croix or Bubly.

Wear Breathable, Loose-Fitting Clothing: Another “of course”, but it needed saying; optimized maximum air flow and minimal fabric-to-skin contact are crucial for staying cool. Breezy dresses are my personal go-to, but even just wearing clothing made from fabrics that are light and airy (like linen blends or tencel) will be helpful – more on this in a later section. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Take Cooler Showers: Now, I don’t mean on the actual “Cold” setting, but instead of taking a super hot shower I recommend bringing the temperature down a bit so that it’s closer to lukewarm. I always find this to have a wonderful cooling effect when it’s super hot outside (especially since we don’t have a pool).

Submerge Your Body in Water: Putting your feet in a tub of cool water (such as your shower / bathtub, in a personal foot spa, or whatever vessel you have available) will help to bring your internal temperature down. Additionally, if you are lucky enough to have a pool, you should definitely make a point to submerge your whole body in the cool water as often as you can manage.
Also: #jealous (I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been tempted to order this for my tiny backyard — pools are the ONE thing that I miss about Florida life).

Allow Your Hair to Air-Dry: I follow this loosely because my natural wavy hair pattern is crazy so I have to dry the roots of my hair at least a little bit as well as initiate the drying process on the rest of my hair, but then I like to let it air-dry the rest of the way. Obviously, this isn’t going to be possible for everyone every morning before school / work, but I certainly find that it helps to avoid heat styling tools whenever I can manage it (especially on the really hot days).

Wear Long Hair Styled Up: If you have medium length to longer hair, this is crucial. I am personally a huge fan of wearing my hair down, but to stay cool it’s important to keep fabric and hair off of your neck whenever possible. Wearing topknots / buns or even braids will allow more airflow on your neck and help to prevent overheating. I always have a hair tie with me in case I need to put my hair up on the fly, but there are so many cute summer hairstyles outside of the “messy” topknot — something fun to practice during quarantine!

Keep a Small Cloth w/ You: I like to keep a small washcloth in my bag for times of excessive sweating. I have ruined so many of pairs of pants from wiping my palms on my thighs so I started carrying a washcloth with me to wipe my hands on instead. A cute bandana or kerchief would totally work too; I personally like the absorbency of a washcloth, but it’s way less chic.


PRODUCTS:

Carpe: I rely heavily on my Carpe lotion products to help me with my sweat management. I am religious about my daily applications and always keep a spare packet in my wallet just in case I ever need to reapply while I’m out of the house. These products are my not-so-secret weapon against excessive sweating and they’ve totally changed my hyperhidrosis life — I honestly can’t recommend them enough! These products are on my MUST list if you’re dealing with excessive sweat (note: the more consistently you use them, the more effective they are so don’t give up 3 days in because you’re not seeing dramatic results — keep using as directed and I promise that you won’t be disappointed!). I share more about this product in my Hyperhidrosis Journey post.

Foldable Hand Fan: This hand fan is easy to carry in most medium purses / backpacks, is super lightweight, and a great way to create your own breeze when there isn’t one. You can read here on how this tool came to be and how it has been used for centuries; there’s a reason why it’s been able to stand the test of time. I own two that I split between purses; they’re so chic and I love that they fit almost anywhere. Great for any outdoor events from casual al fresco picnics to garden weddings — you’ve gotta add one to your summertime purse “essentials”.

Equilibria: I also take CBD supplements daily to help manage my anxiety. There isn’t a noticeable difference in the way I feel when I am taking it, but I can always feel the stress creeping back in when I forget to take it. Overall, it just helps me to feel more balanced; I’ve shared my experience in more detail here.

Megababe: Hello, my name is Natalie and my thighs touch. ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ I dealt with thigh chafe (aka “chub rub”) for years until I discovered MegaBabe. Their thigh chafe stick is a total gamechanger! If you have experienced the horrors of “chub rub” too, you’ve gotta try this product; it’s SO much better than using a deodorant stick — trust me.

Glassware with a Grip: Nothing stresses me out more than holding a beverage in a glass during the summer because I always feel like it’s going to slip right out of my hand (cue more sweating from anxiety ๐Ÿ˜† ). I try to prop the glasses up by placing my pinky finger underneath them, but depending on the glass it doesn’t always help. I personally like to have reusable cups and glasses with a no-slip grip on them; this one has been my favorite recent discovery.

Reusable Water Bottle: This minimalist reusable water bottle is so pretty it would inspire me to drink more water throughout the day and make sure that I always have water readily available. Really gotta work to stay hydrated during the summer (see Method #1)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ice Roller: Your head and feet regulate your temperature so I have found that using an ice roller on my face and neck really helps to cool me down when I find myself getting too toasty in the summer months. Weirdly, I often wake up and immediately start cranking out sweat for no reason? No bad dreams, not overheating under blankets, no conscious stress, just… awake and then BAM! SWEAT (does this happen to you too, or is it just me?). Using this tool on my face in the mornings reduces any puffiness, promotes lymphatic drainage, wakes me up, and helps to cool me down; such a random discovery, but it’s so inexpensive and has been super helpful!

Office Fan for Your Desk: No one can ever agree on the “correct” temperature in an office, amirite? In order to gain control, I recommend buying a little desk fan to help regulate your temperature while at work (or even in your home workspace). I bought one for myself last year and it’s been a lifesaver when I’m at the office.

Oscillating Standing Fan: Falling asleep when you’re hot and sweaty is basically impossible… try adding some air flow with a stylish standing fan in your bedroom! This option would be a splurge, but well worth it because it will last forever and also functions as an air-purifier.

Keep a Pouch of Wet Wipes: They’re not just for babies! I like to keep a little wet wipe pack in my purse for days when I am wearing sandals and my hyperhidrosis makes mud with any dirt / dust I may encounter while outside. I hate having to wait until there is a [public] bathroom opportunity to use wet paper towels to clean my feet (only to find that they use eco-friendly hand dryers instead of paper towels… ๐Ÿ˜”). These come in so clutch for any days spent at the park or beach.


CLOTHING:
(I know that I mentioned these shoe brands in my previous hyperhidrosis post, but they’re definitely worth mentioning again)

Rothy’s: Durable, washable, eco-friendly stylish shoes – I don’t think I need to say much more than that. I have two pairs (Spotted Loafer and Cinnamon Mary Jane) and always find myself wanting more. I talk about my love for these shoes all the time and even wrote a post about how I care for them here. Such an innovative brand that is always coming up with new products, colors/patterns and styles so you’ll never get bored. There are no male-specific styles, but the Sneaker and the Lace Up are pretty unisex and there are a couple of Kid styles available too!

Native: Durable, easy-to-clean rubber shoes — I personally love the Jefferson and the Audrey styles (they brought the big bow style back this year and also added an adorable mini bow style!). So chic! Unless you look closely you can’t tell that they’re made entirely of rubber. I absolutely love these shoes and wear them constantly (especially the Audrey style for a #datenight; pre-COVID, of course). Also available for Men, Boys and Girls.

SeaStar Beachwear: I just discovered these flat espadrilles that are created with neoprene and are made to get wet (basically fancy water shoes)! I have two pairs in my cart right now — I’m torn between classic white and the striped design! There are also Mens’ and Kids’ sizes / styles available… a great option for everyone.

Clothes made with moisture-wicking fabrics: These are especially essential if you’re going to be spending any amount of time outdoors (and let’s be real… this is the most popular time of year for outdoor fun!). This is a great (albeit outdated) list of cute clothing pieces that are moisture-wicking. Since the list is from last year the pieces are likely sold out, but that doesn’t mean that the companies have stopped carrying items made from the same material! You’ll just have to do a bit of searching / shopping (and I personally love a good hunt; it makes the reward so much sweeter!).

Clothing made with Cotton / Linen: These fabrics are sooo perfect and breezy for the summertime so be sure to reference the tags inside each piece while you’re in-store (or the product info if you’re shopping online). I’m personally in the market for some airy items to wear around my house – some pieces I am looking at are: this loose-knit beach sweater, this cotton v-neck t-shirt, these linen [blend] pants, and this linen short-sleeved henley. (Top Tip: I’ve always been a big fan of J.Crew, but knowing that their search bar allows you to browse by material makes me love them even more!)

COVID-19 related: I also found this guide on how to deal with wearing a mask during the summertime which I thought would be helpful for those with excessive head or face sweat (psst! my reusable mask roundup can be found here). I also found this blogger’s post about how to heal “maskne” to be helpful (yes, this is a thing now ๐Ÿ˜ญ).

If you have anything to add that’s been helpful for you to manage your sweat during the summer or if you have additional questions, please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s conquer summer together!

xx, Natalie

Comments

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  1. Thanks for sharing my post! I run on the sweaty side so really enjoyed reading this – I too swear by the Ice Roller and Megababe Thigh Chafe stick!

    • Natalie in the NW on

      Youโ€™re one of my favorite new follows, Meghan! Thanks for putting the maskne post together because I think itโ€™s going to be increasingly helpful as time goes on and we continue having to wear masks. ๐Ÿ’— Appreciate you reading! xx

  2. […] Tips on how to properly clean your mask for maximum efficacy here and guidance here for wearing your masks during sweaty summertime. […]

  3. […] which is basically a 24 / 7 battle (read more about my struggles, plus tips for staying cool here!). That being said, one of the things that I actually do enjoy about this time of year is the […]

  4. […] Other Summer Essentials suggestions here. […]

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