Choosing an antiperspirant over a deodorant is one. Another is to eat peppermint, which refreshes the body externally and internally. Picture: Mujahid Safodien

Hamburg - When people sweat they often feel uncomfortable and even self-conscious, wondering what the people around them might think, but it's a necessity to help cool the body down and protect it against the heat.

There are ways to minimise the uncomfortable aspects of sweating, cosmetologists and other skin specialists say.

Choosing an antiperspirant over a deodorant is one. Another is to eat peppermint, which refreshes the body externally and internally.

Renate Donath, a cosmetologist in Hamburg, recommends seeking shade and moving around as little as possible.

Donath, a member of Germany's professional association of cosmetologists, also suggests avoiding alcohol and ice-cold drinks, which can make sweating even worse.

Birgit Huber of Germany's industry association for makers of personal care products and detergents said coffee and spicy food should be avoided for the same reason.

Peppermint helps cool the body down. Marlies Busch, an author specialising in health, said washing in a solution of peppermint leaves and vinegar works wonders for people who break out in a sweat when temperatures are high. To make the solution, mix a cup of fresh mint leaves with vinegar in a jar and close the lid. Filter the leaves after two days and pour the liquid into a clean, brown pharmacist's bottle in which the vinegar will keep well for a few days.

Huber said deodorant should always be used on freshly cleansed and dried skin.

“Antiperspirants, which usually contain aluminum hydrochloride, are substantially more effective because they choke off the flow of sweat from the body,” she said.

However, a deodorant shouldn't replace daily hygiene. Deodorants only mask and absorb the body odour.

“When temperatures are high it's perfectly alright to take two showers a day, preferably lukewarm.”

Afterward cosmetologists recommend using a light, oil-in-water emulsion or a water-based gel on the skin.

“Avoid using rich body butter products. They leave an unpleasant fat film on the skin,” said Elena Helfenbein, a beauty expert with a cosmetic association based in Berlin. “Refreshing body sprays, which can be used repeatedly during the day, also are nice.” Taking regular breaks to drink is also important.

Women who cannot go without wearing makeup even in tropical temperatures should use a light mineral powder instead of a thick liquid foundation.

Whatever hair treatment women use, it shouldn't cause additional dryness, Donath said. There are special shampoos for women who spend a lot of time in the sun. These products are designed to mildly cleanse while removing things like chlorine. Products with macadamia nut oil, vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5 provide lasting protection.

Donath also said women shouldn't go around with hairy armpits. The hair can make body odour even worse because it provides ideal conditions for bacteria. Shaving is preferred because it reduces the amount of oil that bacteria feed on.

Finally, the experts remind women to give their feet special attention. “Going barefoot as often as possible can help normalise the function of the sweat glands,” said Huber.

Working out regularly can also reduce the tendency to have sweaty feet. Huber recommends changing socks daily and letting shoes air out for a few days before wearing them again. One thing to avoid in any case is plastic shoes without socks because that especially is a recipe for smelly feet. - Sapa-dpa