Until underarm sweat stains become fashionable, we are more inclined to want to avoid pit stains. Whether or not one suffers from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), we often wish to hide underarm sweat stains as much as possible.
They are indeed considered unattractive, especially if we are not engaged in physical activity.
So here are 7 tips to put an end to unsightly underarm stains without necessarily fearing to raise our arms!
For people with axillary hyperhidrosis or simply those who sweat more than average.
💬 The comment section is there for you! Feel free to share your experiences, as they can be valuable to others.
♻️ Last update: september 2023
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1. Choosing appropriate clothing: simple and effective
Instead of investing in an expensive wardrobe of products specially designed to conceal underarm sweat stains, why not simply sort through your current wardrobe based on the clothes that hide sweat stains to varying degrees?
Materials & Colors
You’ve probably already noticed: certain materials and colors are more effective than others at concealing sweat stains. Black and other dark colors (navy, dark red, dark brown, etc.) are among the colors that hide sweat the most.
On the contrary, brighter colors make sweat stains more noticeable.
In terms of materials, cotton or linen are quite friendly with sweat. Synthetic materials can sometimes mask sweat a bit but are often more prone to odor.
Shape of the Top
The shape of the top is also worth considering: opt for tops with high armholes (dresses or tank tops) or, on the contrary, loose-fitting tops. So, to avoid the fear of having monstrous sweat stains:
- Choose black or dark-colored clothing.
- Opt for tops with high armholes or, conversely, loose or wrinkled around the armpits.
- Avoid synthetic materials.
💡 Extra tip: always carry a black, partly wool, partly cotton sweater with you, which is warm enough but doesn’t show sweat stains.
Put it on in case of embarrassing stains. Since it’s black, it goes with just about anything.
2. Anti-sweat or anti-stain t-shirts: why not
There are t-shirts, polo shirts, and shirts specially designed to conceal underarm sweat stains.
There are multiple brands and retailers, and the competition is fierce. Moreover, there are scams, with some likely aiming to create a new business around this common demand: to finally find comfortable, aesthetic clothing that truly hides underarm sweat stains.
👉 In order to prevent disappointments for readers of the Hyperhidrosis Observatory, I have conducted a survey of various textiles available to conceal underarm sweat stains. Here is my selection, updated over the months.
My experience leads me to believe that a small portion of the hyperhidrosis population appreciates this type of clothing or underwear, with the vast majority opting for standard clothing as shown earlier.
Men’s Anti-sweat T-shirts
There are more choices for men than for women. Here is a selection of the best value-for-money t-shirts currently available for purchase.
Sutran is THE brand that consistently comes up when I ask the Hyperhidrosis Observatory community on Instagram about the best brands (thank you for your responses ♥️). It’s mostly men who respond to this topic.
Here’s how one of our members, who has tried several brands and has no conflict of interest with Sutran, argues for the benefits of Sutran compared to other brands:
Their clothing completely absorbs the sweat; it’s not just reinforcements under the armpits, for example. The entire t-shirt doesn’t show anything, which is perfect for me, as I have compensatory hyperhidrosis. Laula, I was much less comfortable on the front and back.Pierre, compensatory hyperhidrosis, about Sutran
Anti-Stain, Anti-Sweat, Anti-Odor
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 41 reviews – 4,3/5
Women’s Anti-sweat T-shirts
For women, the choice of t-shirts is more limited. Additionally, the styles and colors are not very attractive. Women’s t-shirts are therefore more likely to be worn as underwear.
But in this case, it is probably better to opt for disposable or washable anti-sweat pads.
This way, it avoids having an extra layer of clothing, which can be a source of heat, discomfort, and therefore sweating! However, the pads can slip or be positioned incorrectly, which is not the case with t-shirts.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 – 123 reviews
3. What about Pads to hide underarm sweat stains?
Instead of investing in expensive clothing or underwear (ranging from 20 to 100 dollars per piece), an alternative to conceal sweat stains is to use anti-sweat pads.
They are adhesive and can be attached to all short or long-sleeved garments. Of course, it’s not ultra-comfortable, but rather discreet.
Anti-sweat pads are purchased in packs. It’s ideal not to use them every day (costly) but rather for important events during which you really don’t want your sweat to show: meetings, conferences, public speaking engagements, weddings, etc.
Here is a selection of the best value-for-money anti-sweat pads.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 – 3,399 reviews
Washable anti-sweat pads
Prefer to opt for washable pads? That’s also an option. However, the attachment system is not very practical since adhesive isn’t feasible (wouldn’t withstand washing). Nevertheless, here’s a reference for washable anti-sweat pads.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 3,4/5 – 88 reviews
4. No illusions about deodorants and antiperspirants
We all dream of finding the perfect antiperspirant: one with a discreet but pleasant or odorless scent, with minimal “unnatural” ingredients, which significantly limits sweating and odor for at least a whole day.
And of course, it shouldn’t be too expensive, let’s say a maximum of ten euros per month.
⚠️ Despite cosmetic laboratories’ advertisements informing us that such deodorants exist, the reality is quite different! Among all the antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, none effectively and durably prevents sweat stains over the long term.
Best value-for-money antiperspirants
To help you navigate, here is a comparison of three different types of products, each with its advantages and disadvantages for concealing underarm sweat stains. These are the best value-for-money products currently available for purchase.
- ✅ Most effective ℹ️ Contains aluminum (non-carcinogenic)
ℹ️ May sting upon application
❌ Possible habituation effect
- ✅ Reduces odor and slightly decreases sweating
ℹ️ Contains aluminum (non-carcinogenic)
- ℹ️ Fewest active ingredients, no aluminum
✅ Controls odor
❌ Does not reduce sweating
How to Apply Against Pit Stains
Even more important than the brand of antiperspirant: how to apply it!
Pay attention to two things:
- Apply it to very dry skin at a time when it has time to dry, so early in the morning when you wake up, for example. The trick of using a hairdryer can be interesting.
- Apply it evenly and over the entire sweating area. Don’t go back and forth from bottom to top; instead, use slow zigzag motions from top to bottom, allowing you to cover the entire surface in one pass.
5. Miradry, iontophoresis: a false good idea for underarm sweat stains
My website Hyperhidrosis’Observatory has been monitoring the evolution of technologies proposed to reduce or eliminate excessive sweating for nearly 14 years.
Miradry is often presented as a revolutionary technology to eradicate sweat stains for people with hyperhidrosis or simply for people who sweat normally and would like to stop sweating under the arms altogether.
Miradry sessions, however, are costly (several thousand euros to achieve results; 🔗 see Miradry session prices) and can have side effects, some of which are serious (fortunately, rare; see 🔗 Miradry’s dangers and side effects).
💡 Read this article to learn everything about Miradry’s effectiveness based on clinical studies conducted.
Iontophoresis, on the other hand, is a very interesting and satisfying treatment for excessive sweating of the hands and feet. However, I do not recommend it for the underarms. See my article: underarm iontophoresis (soon in english).
6. Surgery and Medications as a Last Resort
There are medications specifically designed for people who sweat excessively. They are typically prescribed for severe hyperhidrosis affecting all parts of the body.
There is also a surgical procedure performed by thoracic surgeons called thoracic sympathectomy. It significantly reduces sweating of the hands and underarms but is not without significant side effects, including compensatory hyperhidrosis (sweating in other parts of the body).
7. Adopting the Right Attitude
To hide sweat stains, people tend to keep their arms close to their bodies, which may hide the stains but can make things worse by preventing airflow to the underarms and causing larger stains.
💡Tip: It’s better to keep your arms apart, especially in well-ventilated environments like air-conditioned rooms or cars. This will help dry your underarms and prevent larger stains.
If you need to speak publicly, you can keep your arms close to your body to conceal any stains and change your shirt or blouse as soon as the meeting is over.
Always carry a small towel in your bag to discreetly wipe your underarms. Forget about tissues, as they don’t absorb sweat well. In fact, sweat can tear apart the tissue, leaving bits of paper stuck to your skin. Unless it’s almost carnival time, it serves no purpose!
I hope these tips have given you some ideas to avoid your pit stains!
Do you have any comments or questions? Your comments are welcome 🙂 !
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Written by Nelly Darbois
I founded this website in 2012. Since then, I’ve been providing information and positive support to people suffering from excessive sweating. I’m also a physical therapist and science writer, living in French Alps 🌞❄️.