When Hollywood actor Cameron Diaz recently turned up for the New York premiere of her last film, she attracted the shutterbugs' attention not only for her star persona, but also because of the sweaty patch underneath her arm, visible through her white sheer top.
The fashion police went crazy talking, blogging, criticising Diaz and even creating online albums of all 'sweaty' celebs. But isn't sweating a genuine problem that we all face?
Sweating stains clothes, ruins romance, lowers confidence, and yet it seems like that there's nothing you can do! But, there are definitely ways to tackle the problem. Here's how:
Inculcate healthy habits
When granny asked you to take a bath daily, you probably ignored, but that's one habit that can actually benefit you. Also, never repeat sweaty clothes, as it can amplify your body odour.
Always use a good quality talcum powder. You can even go for a medicated talc. "Use an anti-bacterial talc instead of a heavily scented one. The latter can cause skin rashes," says Dr Vandana Chatrath, dermatologist. Wear airy garments made of natural fibres such as cotton. Use disposable dress shields to avoid obscene sweaty patches appearing in the underarms.
Avoid eating pungent foods such as onion and garlic. "Detoxify by drinking lots of fluids including plain water and fresh fruit juices. Herbal teas also make sweat glands less active," says Dr Aftab Ahmed of Apollo Hospitals.
Sweat is odourless. It is only when it's infected with the surface bacteria that it causes body odour. "Use medicated topical lotions or anti-bacterial gels to cure infection," says Dr Chatrath. Finally, always use a deodorant. If it doesn't work for you, go for an anti-perspirant spray that blocks the pores temporarily by transforming the sweat into gel.
Some smart tips
Mix one cup vinegar with 30 drops of an essential oil in an airtight container. Shake and set aside for a week, away from direct sunlight. Shake the bottle once every day. After one week, pour three to four tablespoons of the liquid into your bathing water. This will not only control sweating, but body odour as well.
The right makeup:
If you sweat a lot, avoid heavy makeup. "Ditch the compact and go for a liquid foundation, as compact may create creases on your face when you start sweating. You can also go for a tinted moisturiser. Use a primer before applying makeup, and go for a waterproof mascara," says beauty and makeup expert Komal Guha.
Get rid of sweat stains:
Make a paste of four tablespoons of baking soda and 1/4 cup of warm water, and rub it on the stain. Leave it for a couple of hours, let it dry and then wash off.
For stubborn yellow stains, you could use a scrub of equal amounts of vinegar or lemon juice and water.
If the problem persists
When nothing seems to work, you have the option of going for a Botox treatment to correct overactive sweat glands. It's a painless 30-minute treatment costing about Rs 20,000, and can give you relief for up to nine months. Contrary to the myth that these injections close your sweat glands, the treatment simply decreases the secretion of the glands in reality.