It can be difficult to find an antiperspirant that works for you. Perhaps the ones you’ve tried don’t keep you dry, or maybe they cause skin irritation. Or you might be worried about the safety of certain ingredients. Either way, you still want to get your sweating under control.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what will stop sweating and what won’t, as well as what’s safe for you to use on your skin.
As a hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) sufferer myself, I went through dozens of hyperhidrosis treatments, including too-good-to-be-true natural remedies — plus the painful and expensive procedure of having botox injections in my underarms, which only gave temporary results.
After trying everything without much success, I developed Duradry, a simple 3-step system that has helped 97% of our customers achieve full dryness within one week.
At the end of this post, I’ll explain our 3-step system in more detail. But first, I want to spend some time discussing 5 of the most popular home remedies you may have heard of, and I’ll dig into why they’re not the solutions the internet wants you to think they are.
5 Home Remedies for Sweating Underarms That Aren’t What They Claim
1. Rub Potato Slices on Your Skin Every Morning
Remedy Rating: Impractical, Misguided, and Ineffective
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? In fact, the idea of putting potato slices on your skin to help with sweating is not completely pulled out of thin air — though it’s also not effective or practical. (Who has slices of potatoes ready to go in their bathroom?)
Potatoes are rich in Potassium, so the idea behind this is that the Potassium on the potato will transfer to your skin and help keep you drier.
We did some research into the origins of this myth, and believe it comes down to the antiperspirant qualities of Potassium Alum. Normally used as an astringent (a chemical that constricts body tissue), Potassium Alum is a naturally occurring form of Aluminum Salt that’s sometimes compared to Aluminum Chloride (which is the active ingredient we use in Duradry).
But Potassium Alum molecules are too large to be absorbed by the skin. They are useful for trapping body odor as you sweat (in fact, the Duradry Body Deo Spray contains Potassium Alum), but due to the fact it can’t penetrate the pores, these molecules won’t prevent excessive sweating from happening. You’ll need the support of a specially designed antiperspirant.
Put simply, if you’re looking at slices of russet potatoes in the kitchen to solve your body odor issues, you’re better off using a real deodorant containing Potassium Alum. And if you’re considering potatoes to prevent heavy sweat, you’re better off using a robust antiperspirant.
2. Drink a Glass of Tomato Juice a Day
Remedy Rating: Misguided and Ineffective
Some online blogs recommend drinking tomato juice — or even applying tomato juice to your underarms — to help control how much you sweat.
The logic is this: the vitamins and chemicals in tomatoes can actually shrink your pores and lower your internal body temperature.
So while we understand where these blogs are coming from, they’re confusing a few things.
First, smaller pores don’t necessarily mean less sweat, as much as it means smaller droplets of sweat. If you’re sweating out of your sweat glands, that sweat has to end up somewhere. And second, if you’re an excessive sweater, internal body temperature doesn’t necessarily have any impact. In fact, you may often sweat when you’re not even hot.
In short, we couldn’t find anything that supports the claim that a glass of tomato juice has any bearing on your sweat levels.
3. Use Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Remedy Rating: Misguided
Baking Soda (officially known as Sodium Bicarbonate) is often found in natural antiperspirant-deodorants because it can absorb some sweat and trap odors. So Baking Soda can be semi-effective to treat normal levels of underarm sweating (it doesn’t have anywhere near enough strength for heavy sweating) but while it’s “natural,” it’s not without its risks.
Two things to consider before using Baking Soda as a home remedy for underarm sweating:
- Baking Soda isn’t getting deep into your skin when it’s applied, which means it’s not going to help people suffering from sweating heavily. Sweat originates from sweat glands, and you need an Aluminum compound that can plug that duct when it comes into contact with perspiration. Baking Soda simply doesn’t cut it, and;
- Baking Soda will often lead to dry, itchy, scaly skin. This is because it disrupts “good” bacteria on your skin — which is there to fight off breakouts, dry skin, and infection.
Baking Soda being harsh on the skin isn’t an industry secret — sometimes companies say this skin reaction is part of a “detox” by moving away from Aluminum-based compounds to Sodium Bicarbonate, whereas other brands make “sensitive skin” deodorants that are Baking Soda free.
But here’s what’s not up for debate: baking soda can sometimes treat a normal sweating condition, but does come with an increased risk of unpleasant side effects like skin irritation.
4. Cut Out Caffeine
Remedy Rating: Misguided
Cutting caffeine out of your daily diet may be the right choice for you, but it’s not necessarily a sure-fire way to stop your underarm sweating.
There was a study on a group of ballet dancers to see if ingesting 400mg of caffeine (daily maximum recommended by the FDA) before a recital led to an increase in sweating. It did not.
It’s easy to see the logic, though. Caffeine excites the nervous system, it can lead to higher levels of anxiety and can make you exert more energy. All of these variables can lead to sweating (click here to read more on the relationship between excessive sweating and anxiety).
But remember that when we’re discussing a sweating problem — i.e. excessive sweat that can occur when you’re just watching TV — cutting out caffeine may help, but it won’t keep you dry.
5. Eat Grapes
Remedy Rating: Ineffective
There’s a lot of information online about foods you should eat (and ones you should avoid, like spicy foods) to help with your sweaty armpits. For example, some sites recommend you eat a handful of grapes every day to curb your sweating problem.
Grapes are water-dense fruit (and increasing water intake is also recommended for heavy sweaters). The idea is that eating a handful of grapes helps you stay hydrated while also being a good source of fiber — which eases digestion, thereby putting less stress on your body.
This is ineffective because it doesn’t treat sweating at the source— i.e. your sweat glands which are producing sweat. No matter how many grapes (or watermelon, or kiwis, or pears) you eat, that doesn’t change the fact that you'll be producing sweat.
You might have already spotted the pattern here. The home remedies above (and elsewhere online) don’t do anything to actively work against sweat as your body creates it. To understand how sweating works, and what ingredients are required to stop it, keep reading.
Why Excessive Sweaters Need Aluminum-Based Antiperspirants
Excessive sweating is a medical condition, and while it can often occur on the hands, feet, forehead, and lower back, it’s more commonly concentrated in the underarms.
The only FDA-approved ingredients (read: safe and proven) for topical over-the-counter antiperspirants are Aluminum-based compounds. These Aluminum compounds are applied to the skin and seep into the sweat ducts. And when you start to perspire, the perspiration causes a chemical reaction — creating a plug, or blocker, that fills your pores so sweat can’t escape.
That’s how all antiperspirants work, but only some of them are strong enough to stop excessive sweating. What changes is which specific Aluminum compound is being used, at what concentration it’s used, how it’s applied to your skin, and what other ingredients are in the antiperspirant to keep your underarms dry — without leading to skin irritation.
Introducing Duradry’s 3-Step System — an Effective Remedy for Underarm Sweating
Duradry’s simple 3-step system contains a strong antiperspirant you apply 2-3 times a week before bed, a body wash that makes sure your underarms are clean, and a daily antiperspirant-deodorant that helps you keep you dry all day.
Note: All our products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and full of natural ingredients.
Step One: Apply Duradry PM Before Bed
Duradry PM is an unscented gel antiperspirant that can be easily applied to your underarms before you go to bed. Because it’s a gel, it’s easy to cover the whole affected area without missing a spot.
You only need to use Duradry PM 2-3 a week for the best results.
It uses Aluminum Chloride as the active ingredient (which research shows as the best Aluminum compound to stop sweat)at the most effective and safest concentration.
Step Two: Wash Your Underarms with Duradry Wash
Duradry Wash (packed full of natural vitamins) thoroughly cleans your skin to prepare it for your antiperspirant.
Step Three: Use Duradry AM at the Start of Your Day
Duradry AM is an extra-strength daily antiperspirant-deodorant. It has a pleasant, gender-neutral scent, so you can stay dry and feel fresh throughout the day.
Our 3-step system can be purchased from our online store. Each purchase is delivered directly to your home (in discreet packaging) and comes with a 100-night money-back guarantee.
Final Thoughts: How to Actually Stop Underarm Sweat
In this post, we covered 5 different home remedies and discussed why they aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. And actually, we’re just scratching the surface because there are dozens (if not hundreds) of other home remedies you can find online. These include things like apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cornstarch — and the list goes on.
But before you start rubbing potato slices on your skin or buying gallons of tomato juice, take a look at how each home remedy is supposed to work. Is it in any way actively working to plug your pores and reduce the flow of excessive underarm sweat?
According to the FDA, the only ingredients that can do this job effectively (and safely) in topical antiperspirants are Aluminum-based compounds. At Duradry, we use the best science, the purest ingredients, and supportive natural ingredients to make sure you stay dry every day.