Tips & Techniques, Wellness / Self-Care

The Sweaty guy’s Skincare guide

For a fresh summer.

words by: Adam Hurly
Jun 10, 2022

To be sweaty is to be positively miserable between the months of May and September. The heat. The humidity. The agony. But don’t let your perspiration defeat you: Being sweaty by nature is one thing, but being sweaty when there are plenty of ways to prevent it is something totally different. And one of the most effective ways to stay fresh is through your grooming regimen.


There are a number of products you can use to make life easier; they are either slight modifications on essential products (like moisturizers), or new products added into your regimen that can help you control the sweat or quickly refresh as needed.


Here are 10 products to add in your regimen (or modify within your regimen) in order to stay cool—and moreover, dry—this summer.


1. Oil-free moisturizers

You should already be moisturizing twice daily (and ideally with an SPF 30+ moisturizer each morning). But if you notice that the moisturizer feels heavy on your skin—and that you tend to perspire more once it’s applied—this could be because it contains occlusive oils.


People with drier skin will benefit greatly from these nourishing oils, but acne-prone, oily, and sweaty folks… not so much. So, when shopping for a moisturizer (day and/or night hydrators alike), look for oil-free formulas, foremost. They’ll trap the moisture in your skin, and if they have SPF, will also shield you against UV rays. But they won’t suffocate your pores and lead to further sweating.


Some, like Cetaphil’s, even absorb excess oil to keep your complexion matte. Which leads us to…


DermaControl Oil Absorbing Moisturizer SPF 30


2. Anti-shine creams

The reason actors and news anchors have their face powdered before going on film is because it prevents their forehead from reflecting the bright, hot lights. But it’s those lights that are causing the sweating in the first place, making the powder essential. While we’re not suggesting you walk around powdering your face all the time, you can use mattifying creams (often with powdery ingredients, like Menaji) to soak up excess oils and prevent any shine in the first place. They can even reduce the size of your pores, if that’s one of your aims.



3. Face wipes

In your backpack, your gym bag, your glove compartment, or even in your pocket… keep an on-the-go face wipe ready for a fast refresh. But pick one with a little strategy: The best wipes cleanse, tone, and hydrate the skin all at once. No more parching your pores and irritating your skin.


Our favorite level-up in this category is Ursa Major.


Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes – ULAH, LLC


4. ph-balanced cleansers

Here’s a safe assumption: Sweaty people wash their face more. And as such, they need to be mindful of the cleanser they use, so that it doesn’t dry out the skin and cause irritation. Instead, it should gently flush out the pores, nourish skin, and preserve the chemistry within (that is, preserve skin’s natural pH levels, which in essence maintains harmony on a microscopic level).


Looking for cleansers advertised as “hydrating” and “gentle” is a good start, but some will take it a step further and promise to maintain your pH, like Paula’s Choice. Paula's Choice SKIN BALANCING Oil-Reducing Cleanser with Aloe, Face Wash for Oily Skin & Large Pores, 16 Ounce : Beauty & Personal Care


5. Toners

Toners are typically targeted at people who use a lot of products or who have excess sebum production (read: Oily skin). And since the latter especially overlaps those of us who are constantly sweaty, it’s worth considering adding a toner to your regimen (it follows the cleanser and precedes any serums or moisturizers).


Toners can help regulate the oil production in the pores, while also bringing pH levels back to their natural skin “center.” Make sure yours is alcohol free too, like Kiehl’s calendula toner.



6. Salicylic acid products

You can find salicylic acid in a lot of different products, from cleansers to treatment serums to moisturizers. It is what’s called a beta hydroxy acid, and it seeps into your pores to break down dead skin cells, as well as dissolve excess sebum and grime trapped inside. Sweaty people get a lot of backed up pores, so regular use of salicylic acid can prevent blemishes and even excess sweating, since it also helps balance oil production in those pores.


Consider a salicylic acid face wash (like Dr. Dennis Gross) or in a serum (like Typology). The latter is especially good as a spot treatment for existing blemishes.


Alpha Beta® AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel - Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare | Sephora


7. Detox masks

A once-weekly mask will work wonders to unclog your pores. It’s like doing a deep clean of your own house, and it leaves skin feeling refreshed and unencumbered, especially if it’s got a nourishing base like clay.


We love Youth to the People’s. Sweaty people will experience fewer blemishes, while also feeling rejuvenated after a particularly long and hot week.


Youth To The People - Superclay Purify + Clear Power Mask with Niacinamide 2.0 oz/ 60 mL Clean plus planet positive


8. Powder

This pertains more to your nether regions and feet, but powders are game changers in that they soak up excess moisture and prevent you from sitting or stomping in your own brew for the entire day. Swamp crotch, be gone! While there is a lot of debate over the safety of some powders (like talc), it’s always safe to stick with tapioca- and corn-starch powders. (Hiki’s is sensational).


Body Powder - Open


9. Powder cream

Similar to the anti-shine creams mentioned above, body powder creams will do the same thing as body powders, except they’re a little easier to target onto precise places (like the area between your bits and your backside… ever successfully powder that area without dousing your underwear in white fluff?).


Again, stick with tapioca starch, just to be safe. We love Happy Nuts’s Comfort Cream through and through.


Happy Nuts Comfort Cream - Original Scent – HAPPY NUTS


10. Antiperspirant

To counter all of the “just to play it safe” talk above, sometimes you have to take risks for the sake of comfort, and aluminum-powered antiperspirant deodorant is one such example. If you don’t want moist pits, much less to show them off to your friends and colleagues, then a sweat-stopping stick might be the only solution.


Choose one that promises not to stain your clothes. And a little word to the wise: Most promise 24-48-hour protection. So, a nightly application should suffice and get you at least through the next day. Best of all, the product won’t transfer to your clothes. (Dove Men+Care is an ol’ reliable in this field).


Antibacterial Odour Defense Antiperspirant Stick | Dove Men+Care


Here’s more tips for keeping your sweat under control in the heat, and how you can (finally) wear cologne this summer without it going haywire.


Photos via Brands, My Fitness Pal