By Shea Ki
What is a common problem that my clients often have a hard time talking about?
Armpit sweat that visibly leaks onto their professional clothes.
It may sound superficial or maybe even vain to be concerned about this, especially if you are one of the few people who has never experienced this problem. But for many, this challenge can sabotage confidence during important career moments.
Perhaps you are as annoyed as I am that our society often conditions us to see sweating as a negative. This normal, physical reaction to feeling under pressure is one of the most clever things our body does to regulate its temperature. But instead of noting the positives, advertisements tend to emphasize the backlash that happens when armpit sweat shows up in professional moments.
For example, I recently saw a Secret deodorant commercial where they showed a woman in the bathroom looking so uncomfortable while she used the hand air dryer for her underarm area. Her sweat had leaked through her blouse. The commercial shames her for not using the "clinically strong" deodorant.
Seeing that ad gives me mixed feelings. It is awful how commercialism puts in our heads that we should be embarrassed about sweat marks on our clothing.
I don't want to feed that fear-based negativity.
There is also the valid point you might be thinking that "if someone doesn't hire me because I obviously sweat, then I wouldn't want to work for them anyway!"
But yet this question about how to deal with perspiration
marks under our arms comes up again and again in my client coaching sessions.
Whether it's right or wrong, sweat showing through our clothes can really affect our first impression and confidence during an interview and other career performances.
Often, those marks on your shirt not only cause stains on your fantastic clothes, but they distract the interviewer as well. It's a hard thing not to notice. Even the most compassionate interviewer can't deny that some of their focus gets interrupted when your armpits are noticeably getting wet. Those are moments that instead they could be fully tuning into your amazing skills and success stories.
This blog post shares some natural options for greatly reducing sweat marks on clothes that I have heard work for clients, friends, and family. I am not affiliated with any of these products.
I also opted out of including any super harsh chemical products or drastic surgery options that often make celebrities seem sweat proof. I believe the more natural of a remedy you can use for this common problem, the better for you and the environment.
Small Tricks That Often Make A Big Difference
I was recently helping a new, small business owner who was preparing her nerves to deliver her first keynote speech. She had given big speeches before to small crowds and noticed how this pressure activated her sweating to a larger amount.
Choosing to wear a black suite jacket certainly minimized the ability for others to notice, but she hated how uncomfortable the sensation under arms was making her feel. It was distracting her and increased the risk that she wouldn't be as effective with her speech.
I am so glad she let me know so I could help problem-solve this with her. No singular solution seems to work for everyone. But when I hear this problem, I often share one of my favorite tricks---cloth underarm guards!
This used to only be super bulky or not very useful options. Fortunately, the science and design of absorbent, cloth underarm guards continues to get better and better.
Right now, these two brands carry some of the most useful and comfortable items you can wear underneath your professional clothes.
Kleinart Absorbing Shields + Clothing Products
Thompson Tee Sweat Scoop Undershirts
Other Temporary, Natural Solutions Are Possible
I hope you recognize that you are not alone on this journey to finding what works best for you so less sweat shows on your clothes.
It's obviously a common ailment for many. But it becomes a bigger challenge, if like me, you prefer to use products that are as natural as possible and still powerfully effective.
We sweat. We need to. It helps our body cool off and do its many other jobs.
But when you have an interview or other stressful career situation coming up, these tips will help you reduce your sweat marks:
1) Avoid foods that cause an increase in sweat.
2) Using essential oils, black tea or apple cider vinegar are worth exploring.
2) Anything you try needs to be complimented with learning how to reduce your stress before and during interviews or other high stake career performances.
3) The guidance in these links to other resources can provide you more control of the when and how often it happens:
More resources to reduce armpit sweat:
Video: Acupressure Points To Reduce Sweating
Home Remedies For Excessive Sweating
9 Resources To Naturally Stop Sweating
Best Natural Deodorants
Control Excessive Sweating With Essential Oils
Be sure to keep your conscious consumer hat on during your treasure hunt of what will work best for you. Do not invest in anti-sweat products that are overpromising or may be harmful.
If your sweating seems overly excessive, be sure to discuss this with your doctor or other medical care provider to possibly rule out any other underlying causes or disease.
Most of all, believe in yourself.
I'm Shea Ki and I am an Interview Coach for spiritually minded women. I regularly send my subscribers monthly tips and resources to help you shine in the hot seat. Make your future at work do a happy dance by signing up to receive Upgrade My Interview™ tips here.
I also contribute practical and intuitive interview tips for several online publications, forums, and groups. Do you have a podcast, online publication, career program, or other project that you see us collaborating together on? If it means I can help more women attract work that lights them up, email me and let me know more.