Antiperspirant in new and unusual places!
November 28, 2016 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Is it advisable to put antiperspirant on my head? If so, do you have a suggestion for a specific brand that will work under makeup and won't gunk up my pores?

I have always been a sweaty gal, but as I've gotten older, the problem has gotten worse. I've finally managed to find the right combination of products for my underarms and inner thighs, but now the problem has spread. I live in the deep south, where it is hot pretty much all the time, but truthfully I sweat regardless of temperature. Mild activity (walking down the street to the bar, for example) makes my forehead sweat profusely and turns my bangs into a wet mop of fringe over my eyes. Not cute.

So, I've been experimenting with antiperspirants on my forehead, way up into my hairline. I've had varying degrees of success, but all the brands I've tried so far have caused some combination of a) my makeup to flake off, b) white flakes all up in my hair like the world's worst dandruff, and c) minor forehead breakouts. I have not yet tried the super strength overnight roll-on stuff (Certain-Dri) on my head because it can burn like hell on other parts, but I'm getting desperate.

I'm looking for specific brands/products that would work for my sweaty head. Any suggestions?
posted by tryniti to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Sorry that this isn't a direct answer to your question, but have you considered a headband/sweatband? I just tried googling "cute sweatbands" and got a wide variety of interesting results.
posted by ejs at 6:49 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think antiperspirant literally works by clogging your pores.
posted by mikek at 6:57 PM on November 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

Have you tried a makeup primer? Monistat's anti-chafing gel gets recommended a lot as a cheap, effective substitute for Smashbox's primer.
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

You're looking for a makeup primer, possibly in conjunction with a setting spray. The exact combination is going to vary for you--if you can get to a Sephora, start asking for samples.
posted by padraigin at 7:04 PM on November 28, 2016

As a sweaty gal myself, I know this feel. Maybe talk to a dermatologist about hyperhidrosis?
posted by sevensnowflakes at 7:27 PM on November 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

I understand Botox prevents excessive sweating, and was an approved treatment for hyperhidrosis in 2004.

Don't put antiperspirant on your forehead.
posted by ananci at 7:56 PM on November 28, 2016 [8 favorites]

as I've gotten older,

Could this be a hormonal issue, that could be treated?
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2016

I have had luck with Sweat Block. It is not officially cleared to use on the face, but a lot of chronic sweaters swear by it (I heard about it from another facial hyperhidrosis sufferer). I will say it stings like crazy for me when applied, but the effects last about a week. Since the face doesn't use much and these are wipes, you can cut it in half to get twice the use out of it if you wrap it back up tightly. I got mine on Amazon.
posted by cecic at 8:42 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Nth talking to your doctor. I take Ditropan for a bladder issue, but it's primarily prescribed for overactive sweat glands. I barely sweat at all now. There are options out there - definitely talk to your doctor or a dermatologist. I know Ditropan has low side effects and is cheap - one of many options depending on your specifics, I'd think.
posted by jrobin276 at 10:05 PM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Agree that maybe a doctor could help if this is at the truly excessive deodorant-on-face-stage, but I will say that my relatives who live in tropical climates put baby powder EVERYWHERE and carry handkerchiefs and use them liberally.
posted by athirstforsalt at 11:51 PM on November 28, 2016

certain-dri goes on the night before you need it, and it works on foreheads too.
posted by zippy at 1:31 AM on November 29, 2016

Certain-dri is a godsend in the tropics but when my forehead was sweating so much that my sunscreen kept dripping into my eyes and stinging, I did swipe it on. Weirdly, it caused my lips to chap so I never tried it again.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:25 AM on November 29, 2016

Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I definitely plan on trying the Sweat Block, and I may dare to swipe some Certain-dri on my head and see what happens. I do wear sweat bands when I'm running, but I can't see myself donning one on say, a date. :)

I'm only 37, so I hadn't considered hormone issues, but I'll definitely talk to my GP at my next physical about both that and the hyperhydrosis.
posted by tryniti at 7:14 AM on November 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

(I don't want to sound facetious, but please take care not to overheat. If you are in a hot climate, doing physical activity and chemically suppressing all your natural sweat, you could give yourself heat stroke.)
posted by richb at 7:59 AM on November 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think this is happening BECAUSE you're effectively suppressing sweat at the standard sweaty body parts. If your body thinks it needs to sweat to cool down, that sweat is gonna come out somewhere, y'know? This is probably not what you want to hear, but could you try using non- antiperspirant deodorant elsewhere on your body?
posted by ostro at 10:22 AM on November 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

I too live in the deep south and fought the sweaty metabolism battle for a long time. Here's some (non-chemical) related tips that have improved my life, anywhere from a tiny bit to significantly, I'm a guy so I don't have the *exact* same issues re makeup and hair styles but maybe you'll see something you can run with. These things have actually led me to downgrade from the strongest OTC anti-antiperspirant that I can (Mitchum's Gel seemed to be the strongest in my neck of the woods) find to the salt blocks and/or something kinda healthy by Tom's.

-- Shorter hair styles. Again, may not work for you but it certainly helps.
-- Shaving in places that some guys don't normally shave in.
-- Wool underwear. I shit you not, Merino wool is like a magic material. MsEld has a piece or two as well and she says it's good as well. Avoid synthetics, they stink (literally).
-- Linen material seems to help as well, drapey is better.
-- Drink cold beverages. Consider avoiding spicy food that will cause sweat to pop out on your brow.
-- Cold water bottle for car trips or wherever you can manage it feasibly. Get the non-cheapo ones off amazon. Bonus points, they double as hot water bottles whenever that comes up, much better than an electric heating pat IMHO.
-- Witchhazel and/or baby powder liberally applied. There is a bit of a discussion to be had regarding the latter regarding talc vs cornstarch versions and some potential health (hormone? I forget) issues with talc based ones but I think it's mostly minor and maybe not worth worrying about. I do find the talc based ones work better, others disagree.

Good luck!
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:19 AM on November 30, 2016

Oh, and I second what ostro says. If you put antiperspirant everywhere it's just going to cause more/different problems because your body will still need to cool down...

-- I also wanted to mention that managing your stress, doubly so if it's a vicious stress cycle where you stress about sweating leading to more sweating and so forth, will help with keeping things manageable as well. I don't know what to tell you here but if you can be cognizant of it then you can at least know your enemy.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:22 AM on November 30, 2016

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