That was the best I could come up with for this blog post title. There's just nothing glamorous about having to seek out clinical strength antiperspirant for the face.
I have always despaired that my body seems to try to cool down through channelling sweat through the bridge of my nose and upper lip instead of through armpits like normal people (seriously, it actually comes out as beads). Sunscreen and make-up usually stand zero chance of holding up on my face on hot days. With New York being 35°C (95°F) for the last few weeks, desperate times have called for desperate measures...
SweatBlock comes in a box of 8 pre-soaked towelettes. It claims to reduce sweat for up to 7 days per use. I paid $19.99 for a box from Amazon. It seemed expensive for just 8 wipes, but one of the reviewers on Amazon suggested that you could get several uses out of one towelette as long as you seal it back up in its packet each time.
The active ingredient is 14% aluminum chloride which can be found in other antiperspirants. The reason why I chose SweatBlock was because it doesn't need to be applied every day and it is a liquid (on wipes) and not a roll-on. That would just be too weird using on my face. There have been rumours about antiperspirants being carcinogenic but I figured I hardly ever use antiperspirant on my underarms so I'm probably ok on balance.
SweatBlock was designed to be used for underarms but on doing a few Google searches, it seems that a large proportion of their customers use it to prevent excessive facial sweating too.
I was a bit hesitant to use antiperspirant on my face because blocking sweat ducts sounds like a one-way ticket to blocked pores and spots. But like I said, desperate times!! (Fortunately, my skin has been completely fine.)
The towelettes come in sealed packets, and I use a bulldog clip to seal the packets back up to preserve wipes for future uses.
The towelettes should be dabbed onto dry skin, not rubbed. They are designed to be used before going to bed so that the active ingredient can work overnight. The wipe comes out of the packet very wet so it really needs just the lightest touch onto the face otherwise it'll drip and taste gross. The smell is designed to be a "pleasant clove smell" and actually isn't too bad but it does leave a slight chemical smell until it's washed off the next morning.
After applying the SweatBlock around my nose and upper lip and leaving it to dry, my skin stings and tingles for several minutes. It feels like having dry, tight skin after using a strong astringent product. It was a bit worrying at first but the feeling passes, and there's no redness or rashes at least. After it dries, I apply my night moisturiser on top.
The day after applying, my skin always seems a bit drier and tighter than normal. But it really does stop my face from sweating. I have found myself waiting for trains at subway stations (which I can only liken to being in an oven) checking out people with sweat literally dripping down their faces, thinking "that's usually me..." I haven't noticed any side effects (apart from the tingling after the initial application, and the slight tightness the next day) and my pores seem clearer if anything.
Not having to constantly pat tissues on my face when I'm outside in the sun or underground in subway stations has made my second summer in New York even more enjoyable. I would say this has been a successful venture into facial antiperspirant!
I didn't want to write too much in this post, so I'd recommend checking out the FAQs on the SweatBlock website if you have any specific ponderings as the answers may well be there.
The full ingredients of SweatBlock towelettes are:
Active ingredient: 14% aluminum chloride hexahydrate
Other ingredients: Water, polyoxyethylenesorbitan monolaurate, polyethylene glycol 8000, eugenol, vitamin E oil, assorted tannins and phytosterols derived from natural plant extracts, 0.15% benzoic acid for preservative