Today it’s 32°C / 89.6°F and I just got back from a hike in the woods with my dog. You can bet I’m feeling the heat - it's summer after all. And going from the hot and humid outdoors to my air conditioned apartment makes me feel temporarily like I’m surrounded by the atmosphere of a rainforest.
We all sweat. Many of us use underarm deodorant daily, even in winter, to prevent moisture and odour. And we’re not really surprised when a hot day or extreme exertion makes us sweat more than usual. But boob sweat? Well, we don’t talk about how to deal with that quite as often...
Is Boob Sweat Normal?
The reassuring news is that boob sweat is completely normal. After my hike, I hopped in the shower. My t-shirt, bra and underwear were all damp with sweat. It’s nothing to be ashamed or surprised by. Our bodies sweat. Our underarms sweat. Our lower back sweats. Our boobs sweat too. It tends to be worse in summer.
Women with larger breasts may feel this more keenly as there’s more boob surface to sweat from. Plus, moisture can more easily become trapped beneath or between the breasts.
Sweat in itself is not something to worry about. It’s part of an active life, really. But it can cause:
- Irritation / infection
… and that’s when you’ll want to do something about it.
How to Manage Boob Sweat
As much as we want you to understand that sweating and boob sweat is normal, we also understand that there are times when we all want to keep it under control. Here are some to minimize boob sweat:
Choose the Right Bra
You might be tempted to think a sports bra is a great option if you’re experiencing sweaty boobs. After all, they’re designed for activities that make you sweat. This is true. But they’re also designed to keep your boobs from moving about during high impact activities.
This means they can be very constrictive to wear (indeed they’re not recommended for normal wear for this reason). Moreover, the fabric of sports bras is often thicker than a normal bra. So they can also make you feel hotter. Again, another reason to keep them for sports…
Instead, opt for a light-fabric bra in a moisture- and sweat wicking or natural fabric. Also, make sure your bra fits. Chafing will be exacerbated if you’re wearing the wrong size bra.
Change Your Bra Often
One thing that can lead to increased odour and irritation is wearing the same bra continuously. On sweatier summer days you might want to change your bra more often and make sure you wash your bras regularly.
Keeping the skin clean and dry is key, so make sure your bra is clean too and once it gets damp, into the laundry it goes. Bonus: This will also help you bra last longer as sweat can degrade the material of your bras.
Use Wipes to Stay Clean and Dry
We get it: Hopping into the shower isn’t always an option. You’re on the go, out and about, in the office, on the town. Carry some wipes in your purse and give yourself a little wipe down in the ladies room. Again, sweating itself isn’t a problem, but moisture can become one. So if you can keep your skin clean and dry, hopefully you will protect yourself from chafing and irritation.
Wear Natural Fabrics & Loose-Fitting Clothes
Workout clothes are often tight and synthetic, made of high-performance moisture wicking fabrics. And they work.
But tight, synthetic nylon or poly-blend fabrics can also be your enemy when it comes to sweat. Instead, allow your skin to breath with loose fitting, natural fabrics. Just as linen bedding can feel cool and crisp on hotter days so can a loose linen or cotton dress or shirt.
Be Gentle with Your Skin
Don’t let the fact you’re sweating send you into overdrive with harsh soaps and products, excessive scrubbing or aggressive towel drying. You still want to care for your skin and agitating it may make matters worse. Use mild soaps and light, unscented moisturizers and lotions to keep your skin clean, calm and healthy.
Try Powder Products
There are a few different powder products on the market that are specifically marketed as solutions for boob sweat and being anti chafing. Lush Cosmetics Silky Underwear, Megababe Bust Dust, Fresh Body Fresh Breasts are just some of the powder products we’ve discovered. (Note: we haven’t tested these, so sharing these as resources to research rather than recommendations).
You could also try products not specifically aimed at boob sweat, like Gold Bond No Mess Powder Spray or baby powder.
A possible down-side of powders is that they can cake (form a paste with sweat) and stain darker coloured fabrics. So don’t apply too liberally and if you do start to sweat excessively, you should still clean, dry and reapply another light dusting.
Consider Deodorant / Anti-Perspirant
Deodorant or antiperspirant doesn’t have to be just for your underarms. That’s right; you can apply it beneath your breasts too.
Now, we realize that many women are trying to make the switch to natural deodorants and here we come giving you another use for anti-perspirant. Don’t fret: You can try your natural deodorant here too.
In fact, there’s a line of deodorants called Boobalicious aimed at your breasts (again, sharing as a resource, not an endorsement).
If the internet is reliable for one thing, it’s for a lot of opinions around what works. While we definitely recommend going with the suggestions above, we want to share some other popular approaches
- Putting panty liners in your bra: While we can see this working, it also creates a lot of environmental waste.
- Applying foot cream: While it depends on the brand, foot cream is often cooling and anti-fungal so it makes sense that this is a popular recommendation.
- Moisturizing with argan oil: Some beauty insiders swear by this as a way of healing chafing and even preventing sweat. A few drops and you get the bonus of moisturization. There’s nothing wrong with trying this as argan oil has many excellent properties.
Talk to Your Doctor or Dermatologist
If all of these solutions sound small fry compared to what you’re dealing with, it might be worth chatting with your doctor about excess sweating (hyperhidrosis).
Some of the more advanced solutions for hyperhidrosis include,
- Medication that reduce sweating
- Treating the areas with a weak electric current passed through water or on a wet pad (iontophoresis)
- Having botox injections for sweating under the armpits
- Surgery, for example, removal of the sweat glands
However, these are more extreme solutions and such decisions should be made in close consultation with your healthcare provider.
But to come full circle: There’s nothing wrong with sweating. It’s a natural by-product of an active, healthy life, or hotter weather. It’s how our body regulates its temperature.
Outdated perceptions may linger that it’s not “ladylike” to sweat, but you know they were probably the same people (uhm, let’s face it: men) who said women had to ride sidesaddle… so let’s just call it a day on such baloney. For the most part, we say “sweat it and forget it”.