Sweat, essential for life, but oh so annoying, especially when it’s excessive, ill timed and in severe cases, leads to skin irritation. Whether brought on by a good workout or simply a sweltering summer day (or night), sweat is the body’s way of cooling us down, but dealing with it can really get us worked up. While deodorant is the go to for underarms (and can with some precautions be used in other areas of the body), combating under boob sweat starts with finding the right bra (or lack thereof).
What is Boob Sweat?
Almost all of us have, or will, experience the lovely inconvenience of boob sweat at some point. Boob sweat is simply the pooling of excess moisture released from one's sweat glands which is usually absorbed into one's bra, or in extreme cases, can drip down the abdomen. Since the area underneath the breasts is one that often has skin on skin contact, friction can lead to increased sweat production.
What Causes Boob Sweat?
A few factors contribute to boob sweat, ranging from hormones to bra material. Each on their own can be the main culprit but in combination can certainly exacerbate one another.
Stress, whether from exertion or anticipatory nervousness like that of a first date or big meeting, causes a hormonal response that raises adrenaline levels, which, you guessed it, leads to extra sweat production. Acknowledging these situations and taking steps to relax your mind and body may help, though choosing the right outfit (including bra) will have the added bonus of increasing confidence. If you’re super worried, that little black dress is a classic because it not only slims the body but also hides sweat the best.
Skin on Skin Contact
Similar to the underarm area, the space under a woman's breasts is an area of the body where there is skin on skin contact, especially for those with larger chests. Any area where skin touches has the potential to trap sweat and therefore lead to undesirable irritation, rash or even a yeast infection.
Synthetic materials aren’t breathable so bras made of rayon and/or polyester can trap sweat. Padding made of these materials can increase the problem as well as the risk of infections. Sports bras made of thicker material, especially around the band, and those that extend down the torso may also contribute to, rather than help manage, the problem.
How to Stop Boob Sweat
Many women have tried both reactive options to manage clothing stains and body odor (cornstarch, talcum powder, anti chafing gel, panty/bra liners and wipes ranging from baby to medical grade) and preventative options looking to control the amount of sweat the body produces (antiperspirant sprays, argan oil, prescription medications and even Botox injections). Before you invest in either option, ensure you’ve chosen a bra that can support your mission, and your breasts, as lifting them up will help air to circulate.
Opt for Mesh Fabric
Another fabric consideration is mesh, with obvious breathability, it will help sweat to evaporate before it can pool or drip. Comfort + Support + Air Flow = True Body Mesh in styles ranging from convertible scoop neck to triangle and racerback.
Opt for an Unlined or Wireless Bra
Underwire bras may be more prone to causing skin irritation so wireless styles can be a better choice. Unlined bras avoid extra hefty padding and forgo bulky seams where sweat can pool. Look for styles that still deliver adequate support and keep their shape and stretch like these True&Co wireless favorites.
Some women opt to just forgo the bra entirely, thinking that sweat won’t pool under breasts if they are left au natural. This can be counter intuitive though, again due to air flow, per our Why to Wear a Bra overview. Ensuring your girls are lifted off the chest in a breathable fabric bra should be step one in the battle against boob sweat.