Excessive sweating and the expert-approved anti-perspirant that helped me

Odaban anti perspirant
This anti-perspirant product is the best thing we've ever found to keep sweat at bay. (Getty Images)

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The old Victorian saying: “Horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow" could not be a more inaccurate way to describe me. I'm a woman who sweats like 10 horses, frankly. There's no attractive 'glow' about it.

I'd had a lifetime of having to carefully choose clothes and fabrics that don't show huge circles of sweat around the armpits.

I'm that person who is quite literally dripping sweat onto the gym floor within 20 minutes of a class when everyone else looks as sweat-free as when they arrived. I'm quite fit, but even a five-minute walk to the bus stop in balmy weather will see me covered in a sheen of moisture.

So when I discovered Odaban anti-perspirant £14.99, about 10 years ago, it changed my life. And that's no exaggeration.

The NHS estimates that Hyperhidrosis (excess sweating) affects between 1-3 in every 100 people, making it a life-impacting issue for thousands in the UK.

It can develop at any age, though often starts in childhood or just after puberty. Genetics could be responsible, or it might be the result of an issue with the sympathetic nervous system (which is like the body's thermostat.)

Mature woman touching sweater and sweating
Excessive sweating can feel embarrassing at times, but there is no need to be ashamed. (Getty Images)

You can also get 'secondary Hyperhidrosis' when going through menopause, pregnancy, if you're obese, have anxiety, or from taking certain medications to name a few.

But if your sweating is interfering with your ability to live your life normally, you must speak to your GP so they can rule out any other medical conditions that may be causing it.

For very extreme Hyperhidrosis cases there are tablets, surgical options to remove sweat glands, and even Botox injections under the armpits (though this is not necessarily available on the NHS).

But for me, a sweater since childhood, Odaban anti-perspirant has given me enough of a respite for my more obvious sweat issues that I've not needed to go down any other routes.

The product, which is recommended by dermatologists, pharmacists, podiatrists, and doctors has been around for 40 years so it's clearly doing something right.

How it works

The secret to success of Odaban anti-perspirant? The main active ingredient is 20% w/v aluminium chloride hexahydrate that which, combined with your own skin protein, 'plugs' the pores in the sweaty area.

And this partial blocking of your sweat ducts causes your perspiration to be redirected to the blood capillaries so it can be transported to areas of your skin where evaporation can take place more easily, or else it can be excreted by your kidneys.

However, it doesn't mean that you'll sweat excessively in other areas to compensate.

Handily, the pump spray delivers the exact amount you need (which is small) and the product is totally free from perfumes and allergy-inducing ingredients.

How to apply

This is a long-lasting product and it's strong. So, trust me, it's crucial you read and follow the instructions provided.

And - I only just realised this recently - it's not just for sweaty hands, armpits or feet. You can also try it on the head, back and front torso - even on the face and intimate areas (though I'd exercise extreme caution and do a patch test first on those areas).

Use Odaban anti-perspirant once or twice weekly and only ever at night (the brand stresses you must not use it in the day).

I use one pump on each armpit - which has always been my main area of concern - but you need to ensure your skin is thoroughly dry before you apply it. So if you've had an evening shower, wait for at least an hour afterward.

Odaban Anti-perspirant
Odaban Anti-perspirant has been my lifesaver. (Amazon)

And if you've just shaved your armpits, do not, under any circumstances, apply this until at least 48 hours later. I've been there, done that and had the bright red, stingy pits that didn't clear up for a few days.

If you have sensitive skin, spray the product sparingly onto a cotton wool pad before dabbing the area with it.

The next morning, you can shower, dry your armpits - or the places you've applied Odaban to - and spray on your usual antiperspirant if you want. Then enjoy feeling way less sweaty.

What to expect

I can't stress enough that this stuff is really strong. And armpit skin can be very sensitive.

When I first started using it, it stung - quite a lot - but I gritted my teeth and bore it because I love having sweat-free armpits so much that I was prepared to put up with it. But I also didn't read the instructions properly so did all the things you shouldn't, like not ensuring my armpits were thoroughly dry before applying.

I imagine that on the feet, scalp and palms of hands it'd feel way less harsh, but if you have extremely sensitive skin, or are prone to conditions such as eczema, then I'd urge extreme caution, or speak to your GP first.

When I first started using this about a decade ago, I used it religiously twice a week under my arms for a few months. Even after the first couple of applications, the difference was huge.

Then I found I only needed to use it a few times a month. Now I just use it once or twice every few months.

Woman touching her armpit
You have to make sure your armpits are thoroughly dry before applying the anti-perspirant. (Getty Images)

Until writing this article and studying the product further, I didn't realise that you could use it on a number of other places (see how crucial it is to read the instructions?). I'm going to try it on my scalp next as that's another area I've always struggled to keep dry. I'm dreaming of no more bad hair days (*crosses fingers*).

And with glowing reviews saying things like "absolute game changer", "holy grail", "fantastic results" and even "miracle!", it isn't just me who find Odaban anti-perspirant to be life-changing. It takes away the shame and embarrassment of trying to function and hide the fact that you're sweating like a tap.

Now, I no longer dread summer. I don't have to sit with my armpits firmly clasped to my sides lest anyone see the horror underneath. And I'm enjoying the freedom of wardrobe choices I never thought I'd have. Grey T-shirts? Bring them on. Bright red dresses with sleeves? Yes please.

Thanks Odaban.

Buy it now Odaban anti-perspirant | £11.99 (was £12.49) from Amazon

£11.99 £12.49 at Amazon

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