Sweat, Oil, Makeup, and Prosthetics.

Trans people, crossdressers, sissies, or anyone who uses makeup and prosthetics have sweat issues. Sweat and oil make our makeup run and dissolve the glue that holds our prosthetics in place.

Deodorants or Antiperspirants?

Surprisingly, sweat is sterile and odorless. It is mostly water but contains small amounts of proteins. Bacteria that live on your skin break down these proteins, creating the infamous "body odor." The famously odiferous areas of your body (armpits and genitals) have different sweat glands than the rest of your body, which secrete thicker sweat with a higher percentage of proteins. Deodorants kill the bacteria, which prevents odors but does nothing to prevent you from sweating. So you might not stink, but your makeup will still run. To prevent sweating, you need an antiperspirant.

How Antiperspirants Work.

You apply antiperspirant to your skin, and sweat dissolves it. The dissolved antiperspirant moves into the pores and solidifies, plugging up the pore. Your body can tell which pores are plugged up and will stop the glands in those pores from creating sweat. The plugs will eventually wash away but can stay in place for as long as 24 hours.

Oil is produced in our hair follicles, not our pores. Some antiperspirant may find their way into the follicles, but the best way to control oily skin is through skin care, blotting, and makeup selection.

Which Antiperspirant?

You can buy antiperspirants over-the-counter (OTC). If those don't work, you can get a prescription for a stronger one from your doctor. Antiperspirants can cause skin irritation, so most people try the weakest formulas first, increasing the strength until they find one that does. If you have sweat issues due to makeup and prosthetics, I suggest skipping that search and going for the strongest antiperspirant you can find.

You can purchase "Regular Strength" or "Clinical Strength" OTC antiperspirants. The most common active ingredient in antiperspirants is metallic salts. The clinical strength versions contain more of this ingredient, usually up to 13%. Prescription antiperspirants have similar concentrations of more effective salts. A common one is aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which is very effective but frequently irritating to the skin. Higher concentrations may also be available


Application Tips

You aren't going to use antiperspirant if it irritates your skin, so that should be your first concern. Only apply antiperspirant to completely dry skin to minimize the risk of irritation.

The best way to increase antiperspirant's effectiveness is to apply it in the evening, just before you go to bed. It's helpful to reapply in the morning, but the evening application is the most important one.

Recommended Antiperspirants

For facial antiperspirants, I highly recommend Mehron's "Skin Prep." I use it myself and also have some anecdotal evidence to share. A good friend of mine has never been able to make her makeup last more than an hour. The problem in her case is super oily skin. Applying "Skin Prep" the night before has allowed her to wear her makeup for an entire day, up to 11 hours. That's a first for her. We tried several different products on her, but none worked as well as "Skin Prep." Looking over the reviews of "Skin Prep" on various websites, it's clear that "Skin Prep" doesn't work for everyone with oily skin. But her experience is not unique - many people with oily skin or heavy perspiration have had similar happy outcomes. So it's unclear why it works for some people and not others.

For breast forms and hip and butt padding, I recommend "Certain Dri Roll On." At 12% Aluminum Chloride, it contains the maximum amount of metallic salts allowed by law for an OTC formulation. Don't just put it under your arms. Apply it everywhere the forms will touch. As always, the most successful outcome will begin with an application the evening before you need to wear the forms and then, once more, in the morning.

When it is time to wear the breast forms, apply silicon adhesive to the form's edges and let it dry thoroughly. Then, before attaching the breast form, clean your skin with isopropyl alcohol. Let the alcohol evaporate, then coat your skin with zinc oxide powder. Zinc oxide is the same stuff that turns high-concentration sunscreens white. It forms an excellent base for the adhesive and is safe and inexpensive. Then apply the breast forms.

If you also use padding on your butts or hips (or both), sweating can be an issue. I've never heard of anyone using adhesive, but shapewear is the usual solution to hold them in place. Unfortunately, the combination of shapewear and silicon or foam can encourage a lot of sweat, which won't look nice on your clothes. No need for zinc oxide here, but antiperspirants can do wonders.

Are Antiperspirants Safe?

Every few years, someone gets concerned about antiperspirants. Most of the worries are about the aluminum salts used in most products. During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible cause of Alzheimer's. After many years of study, no one has confirmed this. Very few people scientists today believe that antiperspirants (or other sources of aluminum) cause Alzheimer's.

Antiperspirants not Working?

If even the strongest antiperspirants are not working for you, you might have hyperhidrosis. Sweat glands respond to nerve stimulation caused by heat, hormones, emotions, or physical activity. Some people have primary hyperhidrosis, which means their sweat glands overreact to stimulus. Medications can also cause excessive sweating, called "secondary hyperhidrosis ." Once you stop using the medication, the hyperhidrosis will stop.

There is currently no cure for hyperhidrosis, but there are effective treatments. If you suffer from it, there is no reason to just "put up with it." I suggest you consult a physician.

That's it. I hope this helps you stay high and dry for hours in your gorgeous outfits and makeup. If you have comments, send the nice ones to me.