Ah, summertime. But is the living really easy? As much as we adore longer days, basking in the sun, and breaking out our favorite summer fashions, there are a few things us ladies dread when the season turns.
Here’s our top five summer beauty peeves—and some solutions to make sure you can focus on having fun!
1. Underboob sweat is a thing…and it’s not great
Most anyone with breasts knows that #booblife isn’t always as glamourous as it seems. Neck, shoulder, and back pain; uncomfortable bras; and heat rash are just a few uphill battles women face—and whether you have a larger bust or a small handful, sometimes having breasts is pretty darn uncomfortable.
Hot, humid weather brings along with it one of the worst side effects of breasts: underboob sweat. What may seem like a minor inconvenience to the non-mammary-wielding populations of the world can actually be a special kind of torture for some.
- Visible sweat lines under the breast
- General, damp discomfort
- A funky odor
- Heat rash, breakouts, and inflammation, oh my!
- Powders. Some women swear that a little well-placed powder can help keep things dry in addition to reducing chafing. However, powders absorb excess sweat and oils and can bead up, so don’t count on this quick fix unless you have minimal underboob sweat.
- Antiperspirant/deodorant. There are a number of anti-perspirant, deodorizing products marketed specifically for use under the breasts, but some say to skip the extra fee and stick with your regular old deodorant.
- Bra inserts. Whether you buy a product made for your bra or fabricate something out of tissue or a spare sock, having a physical barrier may help wick away sweat throughout the day. Be warned: many who have tried say the inserts can move around, so you may want to perpetually check on them.
- Argan oil. OIl? Really?!? Well, apparently it works. A well-endowed member of Bustle’s team tried just about every underboob sweat solution and found argan oil is the best.
2. Constant shaving + all the gnarly side effects
If you’re all about smooth legs and a sleek bikini line, summer fashion requires quite the commitment. Shaving, painful waxing, plucking, and burning dillaptory creams can start to feel like an inconvenient necessity of everyday life.
- $$$! Waxing and hair removal products can add up quickly
- Ingrown hairs
- Razor burn (OW!)
- The pure amount of time shaving takes…particularly when you’re doing it daily
If you demand nothing short of silky, soft, hair-free skin 24/7, it may be time to ditch your cabinet full of de-furring products and consider something longer-lasting. Laser hair removal can help rid you of unwanted hair on the face and body with just a few sessions.
While the initial price tag may seem high, and laser treatments can be slightly uncomfortable, those who’ve had the procedure love their results. And it often pays for itself within a year or two, depending on what methods you use to remove hair—or how much time you waste shaving.
3. The torture of thigh chafing
While not everyone experiences it (big love to thighs of all sizes!), thigh chafing is brutal and can scare you away from wearing sundresses and short shorts. Not only can it be unbearable as it’s happening, more severe cases can lead to pain and discomfort for days after.
If you’ve ever wondered how to stop thigh chafing, read on.
- Slick, sweaty, unclean feeling
- Chafed, inflamed skin
- Relief gels & powders. Monistat now offers a Chafing Relief Powder Gel that can tackle any sweat-prone zones, such as the bikini line, derriere, breasts, and thighs—and users swear by it.
- Special underclothing. From bike shorts with rash guards to cute lace barriers called bandelettes, clothing manufacturers are taking note and designing products specifically to prevent chafing. Like the boyfriend look? Boxer briefs can be a cheeky surprise under your skirt and will likely offer the same results.
- Anti-chafing sticks. “Friction defense” products often marketed to athletes, like BodyGlide or Secret Shield, can help keep your skin dry so your thighs glide harmlessly together. Take note: you may run into separate products for men and women from the same manufacturer. Both typically work the same, but you may pay a lady tax for versions with prettier packaging and a “feminine” scent.
- Proper aftercare. If the damage is already done, there are a few things you can do to heal more quickly. Keep the area clean with a gentle, fragrance-free soap and make sure you thoroughly dry. Antibiotic ointments or products like cortisone should be applied nightly. Sleep commando or don a pair of loose shorts to bed for maximum comfort.
4. The summer glow turned oily mess
Being a woman can be hard. We’re supposed to look flawless but natural; have only the right curves in the right places; and somehow master the art of that perfectly dewy look without getting too shiny.
If you battle oily, perpetually shiny skin (and the subsequent breakouts) all summer long, you’re definitely not alone—and winning the war may just be a matter of switching up your products or booking a date with your aesthetician.
- Greasy skin within hours of washing your face
- Perma-pimples along your hairline and on your forehead
- Favorite products no longer work
- Have a separate summer skin routine. Fact: the products and techniques you use in drier, cooler weather may not play nicely with your summer skin. While it’s still important to give your skin the moisture it needs, switching to a lighter face lotion or opting for a foaming cleanser over cleansing serum can help get oil production under control.
- Make sure your SPF isn’t the culprit. Don’t let the greasiness of sunscreen scare you away from using it at all. A quality SPF is your first line of defense when it comes to future wrinkles, sun damage, and even skin cancer. But not all products are created equally, and if your skin is sensitive to a slather, check out this drier alternative.
- Chat it out with a professional. A personalized consult with a skin specialist is absolutely worth it. You’ll get a full evaluation, receive expert product recommendations based on your skin type, and find out what treatments may give you the best skin of your life. (Pssst! If you’re looking for a skincare professional in San Diego or beyond, our La Jolla Cosmetic Medical Spa is an award-winning medspa offering expert care and a wide variety of options.)
5. Pit stains & B.O.
Everyone sweats to some degree, but is there anything worse than ruining your new favorite silky top or raising your arm and noticing things aren’t quite…fresh? If you have a sensitivity to the ingredients in commercially available antiperspirants—or prefer to keep things natural—the hot temps of summer can be particularly frustrating.
- The discomfort of having sweaty armpits
- Hard to remove sweat stains
- Funky odors
- Find the right deodorant for you. Picking a great deodorant or antiperspirant can be a challenge, but sometimes shaking things up and choosing something stronger can help. There are even natural deodorizing options available for those who prefer to avoid antiperspirants
- Apply antiperspirant at the right time. Did you know combination antiperspirant/deodorants are most effective when applied the night before? That’s because at night—when you’re not actively sweating—more of the antiperspirant’s active ingredient will absorb into your sweat ducts. The effects should last 24 hours or longer.
- Wear an undershirt. If you have a blouse or shirt you can’t stand to see ruined by yellow stains in the armpits, pick up an undershirt to physically keep sweat off of the material. Not ideal when it’s super hot, but will work in a bind.
- Give underarm shields a try. Special disposable barrier products can be purchased to help keep sweat from ever touching your clothes. These little sticky pads fold over the underarm area of your shirt to absorb sweat. While they technically work, most reviewers think they feel clunky and can often be seen through your clothing.
- Ditch deodorants and antiperspirants altogether in favor of a long-lasting solution. If you sweat excessively or are simply tired of dealing with sweat and stink, it may be time to consider MiraDry. This FDA cleared, non-surgical treatment safely destroys sweat and odor-causing glands in the armpit to reduce sweat by up to 80%.
Wherever you find yourself this summer, we hope some of these tips help you have a more comfortable, care-free time!