Have you deodorized your under-boobs today?

You know, to get rid of swoob (sweat-boob). Yes, the idea of boob deodorant might make you titter, but it’s a real thing an actual company is marketing. And that says a lot about our beauty industry.

Of course, human beings throughout history have altered their appearance, to indicate membership in a group, to denote status or to appear attractive. What counts as “attractive” may vary wildly across cultures and traditions, but the pursuit of beauty is important to many human beings in many different societies around the world. An interest in the aesthetic isn’t weakness or vanity. It’s the foundation of art, of design, of architecture, of many of any given culture’s most treasured developments. It’s not shallow or frivolous for women and men to interest ourselves in our own personal aesthetic, devoting time and care to how we look. There can be an art in dressing and doing your hair and make up, not to mention a female-centric passing down of traditions and practices. Lipstick alone is not propping up the patriarchy.

But socially obliging women as a class to present in a certain way that necessitates the expenditure of time, money and effort is.

No one is legally required to shave their legs, blow dry their hair, get a facial or wear lipstick. But if you don’t wear make up, you can be fired for it, and many employers have dress codes that require a full-done-up face. If you’re a black woman and you wear your hair natural or in braids, you might be fired as well, or informed that your look isn’t “professional” – even if you’re not a woman at all, but a little girl.

And don’t get to thinking that striving for attractiveness will solve your problems. Employers can fire you for that, too.

Beauty also pays you back. Beautiful women (and men) earn much more than their average-looking or unattractive counterparts. But beauty, especially for women, isn’t so much inborn as an achievement. That truth is simplified in the teen movie trope of the nerdy girl transforming into a babe by whipping off her glasses and shaking her hair out of its ponytail, but the fact is that beauty is about a whole lot more than just genes – it’s not just that it can be bought and paid for, it’s that it usually has to be.

The full piece is here. Unfortunately it’s tough to get to all of these issues in 1,000 words, but I want to be clear that I don’t think there’s anything inherently unfeminist about altering the “natural” appearance of your body in a whole variety of ways, whether that’s a haircut or shaving or lipstick or cosmetic surgery. I do think there’s something wrong with an industry that survives by creating insecurities and identifying “problems” with (mostly female) human bodies and then selling you a cure. That women buy those products isn’t some sort of feminist failing — or at least I hope not, given that you’ll have to pry my under-eye cream from my cold dead hands. But the enormous pressure women face to present in a particular way has real, tangible impacts on our self-esteem, our mental health and even our paychecks.

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70 comments for “Have you deodorized your under-boobs today?

  1. offfwhite
    January 23, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I don’t know… many of us with larger breasts are already well-aware of boob sweat, and it’s attendant acne and discomfort. (Assuming this product includes antiperspirant) its availability and promotion doesn’t make me insecure about something I’ve never considered; it provides possible relief from an (albeit minor) inconvenience.

  2. pheenobarbidoll
    January 23, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I already use deodorant under my breasts because they are large and in the Texas heat, I’ll get Olympic sized pools of sweat. I don’t want a river running down my belly. My bra gets soaked and then I have wet material rubbing the skin. It hurts and it sucks. I don’t know that I need a product dedicated to it though when regular old pit deodorant does the same thing and I already have that.

  3. Werther.Effekt
    January 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I don’t think this is just anti-women consumerism. Some of us have breasts large enough that we can collect sweat under them in the skin fold, which is uncomfortable and can even cause a rash to develop (yeast infections aren’t just a groin problem). A good bra helps, but that’s not always enough. I end up using regular deodorant there from time to time because I don’t want to feel sticky and sweaty unless I am doing something on purpose that makes me sweat. Sitting in an overly warm office is not that time.

    Yes, the names are overly cute, but they are also friendly. If these were marketed as purely practical, the message would be, “As an obese woman, you collect sweat in places you didn’t even think about, and it makes you stinky. Get our product so that you can be at least marginally socially acceptable.” Using it as an amusing but helpful pampering product probably does less damage to one’s self-esteem.

  4. January 23, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I cordially invite anyone who is OUTRAGED!!!! at under-boob deodorants to a) have PCOS and attendant skin issues, while b) commuting for an hour and a half daily, in c) the summer in India.

    (Not that you are personally, Jill, I’m just saying this in general.)

    • pheenobarbidoll
      January 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Right? I live in a desert that frequently hits 114 + and stays unbearable until November. I have DDs. Bra or no bra, there’s going to be sweat. Now, sweat isn’t inherently bad, but when it soaks my shirt, stomach and waist band its not comfortable. Wet material rubbing on skin all day friggin hurts. Plus, I dont care to look like I just left a wet tshirt contest while I’m at the grocery store, after cooking in my car. Its also not the look one strives for attending a summer funeral, or kids birthday party. Im kinda miffed at the assertion that its a made up problem. Knee wrinkles are a made up problem. Swoob is a real thing.

      • January 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

        I don’t debate that underboob sweat is a real thing. I object to the marketing of this product as fixing a hideous, embarrassing problem.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Well, it can be. Painful and yes, embarrassing when your shirt is soaked through and plastered to your chest when you’ve not been doing anything other than sitting still. Depending on the setting youre in, it can be embarrassing as hell. I can’t speak for other women, but I spent a great deal of my youth feeling very self concious about my boobs because I got them early and they were quite large. Looking like I poured a pitched of water across my front is something I like to avoid and it does in fact cause embarrassment. Sorry.

      • PrettyAmiable
        January 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Yeah, I kind of don’t see how this is different than underarm sweat and the marketing for standard deodorants.

      • theselkie
        January 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        I think it could also be seen as (totally profited motivated) way to reframe something that is mostly experience by fat or large breasted women, and therefore something fat women feel embarrassed about to being some kind of universal, de-stigmatized experience. It reminds me of the anti-chafing creams that came out a few years ago and had all these soft-focus commercials about your ~curves~ that absolutely did not say, “for when your fat girl thighs rub together and give you a rash”.

        Or it reminds me of the commercials for things baby boomers are starting to need as they get older: “manly” incontinence undergarments; “edgy” retirement funds, fun, hip hot-flash treatment.

        Sure, it’s a screwy capitalist framing, but it’s not like I wasn’t embarrassed about getting a yeast infection in my underboob before this company told me I should be.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm


      • January 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        I object to the marketing of this product as fixing a hideous, embarrassing problem.

        Yes, I agree; it shouldn’t be marketed as “gross women* and their gross bodies ughhhhhh”. But it is actually a hideous and embarrassing problem for me, and it has been way before I ever had to deal with this advertising. I have literally soaked through shirts, and have carried around a complete change of clothes for work for months because I’d sweat through whatever I was wearing to get there. I used to go through bras in months because I’d soak them and they’d eventually start smelling bad no matter how much washing I did. And that’s to say nothing of the looks I got, or the pervasive discomfort of studying/working/having a social life while your bra squelches with sweat and chafes your skin bloody. And I’m not even as prone to underboob sweat as many women i know; I’m fine here in Canada. But god, navigating a professional life at 40 or 45 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity was hell.

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        I mean, god, if I never have to stuff kerchiefs up my shirt to soak up sweat again I’ll cry tears of joy.

      • Donna L
        January 23, 2014 at 3:21 pm

        I don’t know, Mac; according to the article in the Telegraph, you should embrace your sweat:

        We aren’t going to fall for another advertising ploy to try to get us to conform to an alien idea of female perfection. Sweat is natural – whether it’s on your armpits, back or nestling in between your cleavage. It regulates your body temperature and cools you down. After a gym workout, it shows you how much you have exercised. Sweat isn’t bad; it’s a sign of hard work, stress, the menopause and if you’re doing it really right, pleasure.

        Many people do use deodorants for their underarms, but they have the most sweat glands in the body and underarm sweat can make clothes smell or stain. Breasts are not in the same sweating league, and generally only produce sweat in intense heat or post-exercise. . . .

        In short, us ladies need to embrace the sweat and ‘bring sweaty back’, to borrow a turn of phrase from Justin Timberlake’s lyrics. (Ok it was sexy, he was bringing back, but you get my drift.)

        There is nothing shameful about a few sweat beads – or even rivets of sweat – dripping down a woman’s cleavage, and it is absurd of these companies to suggest otherwise.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        Donna, we are not talking about between the cleavage sweat. We’re talking about a pool of sweat under the boob that RUNS in a river down to the waistband of your pants. It can soak your bra, shirt and even waistband. Its not even boob sweat, its the skin under the boobs, that the boobs are resting on.

        Is anyone even listening?

      • Donna L
        January 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

        Pheeno, I was — rather obviously, I thought — being sarcastic about the apparent cluelessness of the person who wrote that. Of course I’m listening.

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm

        With all due respect, the author of that article can go fuck themselves in a suitably sweat-inducing fashion.

        Breasts are not in the same sweating league, and generally only produce sweat in intense heat or post-exercise. . . .

        Intense heat. Yes. Like, I don’t know, MUMBAI, INDIA, IN THE FUCKING SUMMER, ON PUBLIC TRANSIT. WHICH IS WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. Or my home village, which had daily temperatures of 45 and 46 for months every year.

        Fuck, you know what, you get back to me when you’ve got breasts the size I have, live where I used to, and acquired the kind of skin issues and ludicrous sweatiness that having a malfunctioning reproductive system gives you. Until then, you and everyone else can STFU. Do you understand what I am talking about? It’s not a few drops of water trickling dramatically and prettily down the cleavage a perky A-cup. I have literally wrung cups of water out of my shirts. I have sweated literal puddles onto tiled floors, which were, incidentally, the only comfortable place to sleep in Indian summers, when the power would go out for hours for no reason whatsoever. I have sweated so badly in my torso that I have changed shirts three times in as many hours. I have watched bras turn literally actually green from one day’s worth of sweat, just because I was traveling and couldn’t wash them right away.

        Embrace my fucking sweat indeed.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

        Oh good. I was abit surprised by your post, generally you’re one I can count on getting it. Didn’t realize you were mocking the its just a little cleavage glisten, get over it types.

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:41 pm

        (Er. DIrected at that author and not you, Donna.)

      • PrettyAmiable
        January 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm

        Intense heat. Yes. Like, I don’t know, MUMBAI, INDIA, IN THE FUCKING SUMMER, ON PUBLIC TRANSIT. WHICH IS WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. Or my home village, which had daily temperatures of 45 and 46 for months every year.

        But don’t you know it’s like, really cold in NYC and London right now?


      • January 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm

        Plus…I’d imagine that it’s also problem for women who have to layer up their clothes in the cold weather.

    • Kerandria
      January 23, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      I’m a large-breasted runner and have issues with uncomfortable under-breast sweat even when I’m not training.
      I have had the skin beneath my breasts rubbed bloody during long runs because of the horrid combination of excessive sweat and chafing. However, I’d never even thought of trying deodorant! I usually try and keep the area as clean as possible to avoid another infection (it was horrible).

      I don’t know if it’s available outside the US, but a cream called Calmoseptine does wonders for me when I get skin breakdown under my breasts. It’s a combination of zinc oxide, menthol, and other ingredients. I suppose anything with zinc oxide would work (such as desitin/diaper rash cream).

      The title of this post made me roll my eyes and think, ‘It’s so nice that a really fucking annoying thing my body does is worth being given a condescending sneer.’

  5. tinfoil hattie
    January 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I like what you did there with “titter.” I’m immature that way!

    I too have underboob sweat, but I never thought of putting deodorant under my breasts. Hmmm. I have used some sort of anti-chafing powder (made by LUSH products), and that worked well.

    I agree that the way this is marketed is the usual “here’s ANOTHER THING TO BE ASHAMED OF, ‘LADIES'” b.s., but underboob sweat IS a real thing.

    Also, Werther.Effekt – not everyone with underboob sweat is obese. Just sayin’.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      January 23, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      I used deodorant after trying powder and getting basically a paste forming under the boobs. I just dry off under them really well then swipe the deodorant.

      • Ms. Kristen J.
        January 23, 2014 at 1:02 pm

        FWIW had the same problem with the powders other than the one made by lush. I have the additional pleasure of getting candida over growth if the moisture levels aren’t controlled which several doctors over the years have told me is very common for women with large breasts. So +1 for it being a hideous and embarrassing problem that needs a solution.

      • Angie unduplicated
        January 24, 2014 at 8:51 am

        I am so noticing that this stuff is for perceived odor only, and not necessarily an anti-perspirant or an antifungal/anti-yeast preparation. Georgia and Florida in the summer are hell for humidity. I don’t have the problem but one of my tenants, a cancer survivor with DDs, acquired an underbreast yeast infection which had her skin literally rotting off. Where is an OTC product to prevent such misery?

      • tinfoil hattie
        January 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

        Angie unduplicated, an anti-fungal cream might help – one normally marketed for athlete’s foot, for instance.

      • Ms. Kristen J.
        January 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        Lotimin does work but for me anyway it also destroys the skin. Then the new skin is very delicate and prone to infection. The only solution I’ve found is something I picked up after getting treatment for a severe burn. You do a full course of treatment with lotrimin and use gauze sponges (I use the 8x4s) switched out every 3-4 hours over the skin for about a month. It’s still painful but eventually you get healthy balanced skin.

      • Donna L
        January 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        Warning for TMI:

        I am unfortunately quite familiar with this kind of fungal infection, which I believe is called cutaneous candidiasis, and is caused by candida albicans — not under my breasts, which, for better or worse, aren’t big enough to have that problem, but a long-lasting, incredibly painful infection in the groin, specifically the skin folds where one’s inner thighs meet one’s torso. I think such infections are also pretty common in the armpit, or really in any area where the skin folds like that.

        The thing is, I had all sorts of horrible complications after GRS (mostly unrelated to the surgery itself, so once I was taken by ambulance from the surgeon’s private clinic to a hospital emergency room where I spent the next week, the doctors treating me had no idea how to deal with someone who had just had GRS less than a week earlier, so the surgery never had a chance to heal properly. Even after I got back to NYC by ambulance from Montreal a couple of weeks after surgery, and got out of the hospital there after another week or 10 days, things kept happening like a nurse practitioner’s bright idea of using silver nitrate sticks to burn off granulated tissue inside my labia and vagina, which ended up causing me to bleed profusely for days (beginning a few hours later at work — it was a good thing that I wore black pants to work that day, and that there were plenty of paper towels in the bathroom after I ran out of quarters for the sanitary pad machine!).

        But ironically enough, that yeast infection in my groin may have been the longest-lasting and most consistently painful thing I went through. [cont.]

      • Donna L
        January 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        I assume it began because I was basically lying in a hospital bed with my legs together for a couple of weeks, with all sorts of bandages and gauze in the area at first, and there was so much else going on that nobody but me really noticed it, but by the time I finally got out of the hospital it was so bad and inflamed that I realized that the skin in that area was coming off, and just wearing underpants hurt like hell because of course they directly chafed the infected area. Ouch.

        And at first it was misdiagnosed as an inflammation that could be treated with cortisone cream, and then as a bacterial infection treatable with antibiotics, both of which just made it worse. I finally figured out what it probably really was myself, and went to the store and bought a couple of cans of Lotrimin antifungal spray powder (containing miconazole nitrate), because I realized that the antifungal cream would just be a horrible mess and get all over my clothing, and used it very liberally, allowing it to dry before I got dressed.

        And I must have been right, because it started becoming less inflamed and horribly painful almost right away, although it probably was at least another month before the places where my skin had come off completely healed. So I kind of swear by that stuff, and always keep a can of it around so I can use it if I see even a hint of a rash like that anyplace!

        So, yeah, I do get how awful this kind of thing can be, on top of how miserable the sweating itself can be in a part of the body that isn’t open to the air.

    • tinfoil hattie
      January 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      I’m going to try the deodorant trick!

      • Ledasmom
        January 23, 2014 at 10:22 pm

        I’ve got to try that next summer. Mine are pretty small but they weren’t perky even when I was a teenager, and in the summer – sweat under, sweat between, sweat everywhere. I hate that feeling of sort of peeling up the breasts to mop under them.

      • January 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm

        Please don’t use deodorant under your breasts! It causes sebaceous cysts in a lot of people, over time.

    • trees
      January 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      I’m also a member of the big titty club, and I use Lush powder. The ingredient lists in the newfangled breast deodorizers look pretty much the same as what’s in the Lush powders.

  6. January 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I think the marketing becomes a problem when it goes from “Do you have underboob sweat? Does it make you uncomfortable? Here, try this!”


    “You should be worried about hideous underboob sweat, which you may *think* you don’t have, but you probably do. Use our underboob deodorant for life unless you want to be a social pariah because everyone is looking at you and smelling your hideous underboob sweat.”

    Obviously, if it is something that is making you uncomfortable and causing pain, then this is a good product to have on the market. But when the campaign aims not at one’s physical comfort, but at creating a new ‘social’ problem and obligating ALL women to adhere to a new standard – THOU SHALT NOT EXHIBIT SWEATY UNDERBOOB – that we have a problem.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      January 23, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Its not a new social problem. That is what the women here are trying to get across. Listen to what we are saying. Its embarrassing to us, its often painful and uncomfortable and YES it is also embarrassing. The marketing is not making it up. Go read the comments on the linked article. See just how many women are saying well if you shower this isn’t a problem or wear the right bra or this or that that all boils down to us being unbathed idiots who dont know how to fix under boob sweat. THAT is the source of our embarrassment, and these products did not invent or manufacture it. In other words, the advertising is mirroring how we already feel. I get that some of you never had to think about it, but SOME OF US HAVE. So kindly stop and listen to what we are saying about our experiences. And stop for a moment and consider how something marketed to us is about us and not you. Also consider the actual source of the embarrassment, because this company didnt exist 20 years ago but I sure as hell was getting looks from people 20 years ago over it. I’m glad someone bothered to address it in the first place, but now its about women who never had to figure out how to fix it? Thats crap.

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        I’m really sorry. I think I’m not wording what I am trying to say properly. I get that this is a thing that happens. I get that it’s painful and embarassing (I hoped uncomfortable would encompass both physical discomfort and otherwise).

        I was trying to comment on the tendency of marketing to go from targeting people who have such a problem to targeting those who don’t, but should probably be worrying about it anyway. However, it looks like I overstepped on this one. I apologize and I will quietly and respectfully step back from this conversation.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        Thanks andie. I think people just dont realize how miserable this sweat can truly make you. And it really is coming off as dismissal of a real problem by those who don’t have it, so focus shifts to them and once again the miserable sweaty boobed women are ignored.

      • January 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Andie, FWIW I got what you were trying to say! And yeah, this conversation has me on the defensive bigtime, but it seemed like you were pushing back against targeting the product at women who DON’T have the problem but should be anxious anyway Because Reasons.

  7. Jenna
    January 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    There are two things that I am seeing. There may be more issues that I have blinders on still about, but, here are my two.

    Comfort and health are wonderful. Products that help people stay more comfortable and healthy in all the ways are good.

    Marketing something to assist you in being cool like a duck while paddling like heck underneath the water out of sight have ISSUES tied up with them. It is still very gendered that women are supposed to be able to do ALL THE THINGS but, make it look easy, just a breeze. There’s an expression that I grew up with, “Horses sweat. Men perspire. Women glow.”, and that points to at least one cultural issue that this ties in with. Women are supposed to look beautiful, cool, calm, collected, but, our actual work to look that way has to be invisible.

    There are lots of guys who sweat when it gets hot. For guys, it is sort of a class issue whether it is supposed to show or not. Professionals aren’t supposed to drip with sweat, though being sweaty after a tennis game, handball game or a jog is acceptable. construction workers, though, can sweat and it is merely proof that they were working hard. There are undoubtably race issues here too, with white men being accepted even though they are rumpled and sweaty where others have to be a damn sight more careful how they appear to others.

    Sweat is a comfort and health issue, absolutely. However, it is also policed by our culture in ways that tie in with gender, race, and class.

  8. EG
    January 23, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I think the problem is not so much a matter of whether or not under-boob sweat exists–I’ve had enough well-endowed friends complain about it to me that I know it does. I think the issue for me is that you can’t fucking tell me that men don’t have equivalently embarrassing and unpleasant problems. Anyone who’s ever gone down on a cis dude can attest to the fact that cis dudes have odor problems of their own. But corporate advertising doesn’t ever seem to exploit and/or create anxiety about those problems to sell them products intended to make them into human beings who are fit to be seen in public. The advertising tactics directed at them are very different.

    • Donna L
      January 23, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Anyone who’s ever gone down on a cis dude can attest to the fact that cis dudes have odor problems of their own. But corporate advertising doesn’t ever seem to exploit and/or create anxiety about those problems to sell them products intended to make them into human beings who are fit to be seen in public. The advertising tactics directed at them are very different.

      I wrote my comment immediately below, about that very subject, before I saw yours. The same company does make such a product, and I’d be curious to see how differently they advertise the two.

      • Donna L
        January 23, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        Similarly, it seems:


      • January 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm

        Have the problem. Used the product. Would probably not have gotten it at a store, but the internet makes these things easier.

        And having used it, I don’t know if it would make the whole ‘going down on a cis dude’ experience better or worse, because I would still want to wash before presenting my genitals to another person. Certainly in my case, it’s not about making me more presentable for fellatio, it’s much more akin to what every woman above says about boobs, preventing chafing, rashes and general discomfort. I don’t use it every day but if I know I’m going out and it’s a hot day, I will slap it on to prevent a case of the Betty Swalls.

    • Zae
      January 28, 2014 at 1:44 am

      Eh, I dunno if it would work even if you advertised to cis guys. I mean honestly, regardless of your pitch, I’m never EVER putting anything on something that throws a hell-fire hissy fit over SOAP.

      • EG
        January 28, 2014 at 8:19 am

        Women do things like that all the time. Have you heard of douches?

  9. Donna L
    January 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Apparently, the same company makes testicle deodorant/anti-perspirant. I’m sure there are some testicled people who would find that useful as well.

    Fortunately, I never had a problem requiring either, although I do sometimes get a rash in hot weather between my breasts.

    But how is any of this different from underarm deodorant, and why do they have to make specialized products for it?

    • January 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      But how is any of this different from underarm deodorant, and why do they have to make specialized products for it?

      Most deodorants can clog up the pores of some people’s skin, giving them not only reduced underboob sweat but also sebaceous cysts. That’s the main reason I don’t use underarm deodorant to deal with underboob sweat, even though I’d dearly love to.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

        I had no idea. I sometimes get little almost but not quite zits that I never could figure out. I wonder if its from the deodorant?

      • January 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        That’s probably what’s doing it, yeah. I’m really sorry :( I used to get them too until Val tipped me off about it, and I haven’t gotten one since I stopped. (I also haven’t gotten an underboob yeast infection since then, fwiw.)

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        Ive never gotten the under boob yeast, thank god. But I have spent several painful hours learning the lesson that under boob zits dont pop, they just get angry. I may buy some of this new stuff and see if it works.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        January 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

        Oh and the panic I felt with one rather large bump that had me thinking oh god is this the lump they say to check for!!?? Looked like my boob was growing another boob.

      • January 24, 2014 at 5:56 am

        Sweat itself can cause little zit-like things – it’s one of the signs of heat rash/prickly heat. I had some on my inner elbow (go figure) during out recent heatwave. I always have them and skin tags on my inner thighs, which chafe like OW FUCK THAT HURTS if I don’t have them covered.

        I don’t get serious under-breast sweat; yes, mine are big enough to get sweaty there in hot weather, especially if I wear a bra, but it’s nowhere near as bad as most of the people on this thread have to endure. My total sympathies!

        Small, possibly been-there-done-that-not-helpful suggestion: there’s a really good anti-chafing gel called Lanacane. It’s powdery and helps dry up small sweaty areas, like under the breast, where I use it.

      • Lolagirl
        January 24, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        I also started having this issue once I started having babies to breastfeed and boobs that got bigger because of all the breastfeeding. I found a product called Certain-dri, and it’s near miraculous in a hot, humid Chicago summer for eliminating the sweating without making me break out (with hives or acne) or making me smell baby powder fresh in such a sensitive skinned area.

        And while I get where Jill is coming from with her pov, I also think at having commercially mass-produced products at one’s disposal to deal with a part of the human condition that is often uncomfortable to misery inducing is a Good Thing. I don’t care that society thinks it’s unladylike to be sweaty and stinky, but I care that it’s miserably and horribly uncomfortable to be sweaty and stinky, for me and millions of others. The end. Bring on the antiperspirant, all the antiperspirant, so I’m don’t have to be sweaty and slippery and soggy wet.

    • tinfoil hattie
      January 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Well, anti-perspirants have chemicals that actually stop the sweat from coming out of your pores. Deodorants cover up odor.

      So, some people (myself included) have problems with anti-perspirants – some of them make my underarms itch like CRAZY – but also, deodorant isn’t strong enough to mask my underarm odor.

      This is been “Too Much Information” presented by Tinfoil Hattie.

      • Ledasmom
        January 23, 2014 at 10:26 pm

        Actually, it’s fascinating and rather reassuring to find that other people have the same sorts of problems.
        The one time I tried the Tom’s of Maine deodorant I got huge itchy bumps in my underarms, half-inch-across type bumps. I have no idea what ingredient caused them and not much interest in experimenting to find out.

      • January 24, 2014 at 5:59 am

        ::high fives fellow deodorants-don’t person::

        I find antipersperants don’t help much, either. If those oxters want to drip, they will.

        Main thing for me is not depilating them. It only gets worse, more irritated and more likely to chafe if I do.

        I use Dry Idea at the moment, which is okay, but doesn’t really do more than mask odour. Mostly. Sort of. :P

  10. theselkie
    January 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    At the end of the day, I think most of us would agree that the endless parade of consumer products designed to soak up our sweat and make us smell good is setting us up for an exhausting, achievable ideal.
    But I also think it’s one of those things where some women have an easier time approaching that absurd ideal than others and that affects those conversations. I think the expectation that we all wear Spanx all the time is absurd. But I think it’s different for me to say that as a 300 lb woman, or for a woman whose had a couple of c-sections, or a woman in her 50s whose body has settled the way most women’s bodies do, than for a thin, childless 20 something to say that.

    Same way with this. This is a product that is stealthily market mostly towards fatter, bustier women and there was, quite likely unintentional, tone of “is this really needed?” in this original post which was a little off-putting, because well, whether or not you have ever felt a need for a product like this depend on your stigmatized body type.

  11. Werther.Effekt
    January 23, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Also, Werther.Effekt – not everyone with underboob sweat is obese. Just sayin’.

    My comment was more about marketing tactics, but yes, pretty much anyone can have underboob sweat.

  12. Miriam
    January 23, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I think this is a case of the linked article having the right conversation but from the wrong starting point. The general points made about the cost of beauty are not ones that I think anyone would argue with.

    But I don’t think the anti-swoob company is actually a part of that. After looking at their site, it looks like they’ve found a good niche and are advertising in a fairly gender-neutral way. They started with the fresh balls product and only then branched out into fresh breasts, feet, and buttocks. I’m curious if their product is actually any good because I could use the fresh feet one!

  13. lawtalkinggirl
    January 23, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Sweat management is a real thing for a lot of people with and without breasts. So I don’t think this product is trying to invent a problem and foist an unattainable ideal on breasts. Human skin sweats. That’s what it is supposed to do. But you have to manage it the best you can for comfort and to prevent skin problems. Any long distance runner, hiker, skier, or whoever can discourse at length about how to prevent chafing and blisters from excess sweating. It’s not just the breast area, it’s also feet, thighs, butt cracks, the crooks of arms, waistbands, and any place where wet skin rubs against skin or fabric. Infected blisters can end a fun adventure in a jiffy. So can chafed and blistering underbreast. It’s not that big a leap to go from sweat management for exercise to sweat management for other sweaty times in your life. There are already a lot of anti-chafe/anti-perspirant products out there for sports and this one looks like a variation on the same theme for a less sporty audience. BTW Calvin Coolidge, Jr. died of blood poisoning in 1924, which developed from an infected toe blister, which was caused by him playing tennis without socks (and sweating in his shoes, and developing said blister).

    • January 24, 2014 at 6:04 am

      Somewhat OT, but how dangerous infected blisters can be without treatment: Calvin Coolidge’s son was playing tennis at the White House and got a blistered heel from not wearing socks.

      He died from the resultant infection.

      • January 24, 2014 at 6:05 am

        ERMAGERD that’s what I get for getting as far as your first mention of infected blisters and not reading to the end of your comment!

        ::crawls under desk in complete embarrassment::

      • lawtalkinggirl
        January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

        Ha ha! I hope you put your socks on before crawling under that desk… ;-)

      • January 26, 2014 at 2:32 am

        But naturally! :D

  14. pheenobarbidoll
    January 24, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Things we’ve learned from this article- many women have swoob and it sucks. Also- do not come between a sweaty boobed woman and possible relief.

    • January 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Things we’ve learned from this article- many women have swoob and it sucks. Also- do not come between a sweaty boobed woman and possible relief.

      Re:the possible relief, having used the male version of the product, I have to warn, it has a much more limited effectiveness period than underarm deodorant, and obviously it’s a lot less easy to reapply subtly than the underarm stuff. Plus it’s a cream, which takes some time to dry so I have to sit in a very ‘compromising’ position while it dries, which makes me think a woman who applied it would have to stand there holding her breasts up pointing towards the ceiling for two minutes.

      The stuff my wife uses to keep her legs from chafing while cycling seems like it would be much better because it applies as a powdery gel which is almost immediately dry. It’s by Neutrogena and sounds similar to the Lanacane product that Kitteh mentions above (maybe the US/AUS branding of the same product?) I think it’s called ‘anti-chafe gel’ but not positive, I tried to find a tube lying around to get the exact name, but can’t seem to.

  15. Angie unduplicated
    January 24, 2014 at 10:42 am

    “…socially obliging women to present…as a class”
    To address that point: This includes, or should, the irritating reality that dollar eye makeup is allergenic, three-dollar eyes clump and flake, and that one must pay $20 or so to get a product which actually performs as it should, a luxury unavailable to working-class women (unless we starve to anorexia to afford it: OK, now I understand the rationale behind ultra-thinness). Foundation is cat-hair orange or will turn that color if the temp is above 80F; once again, class divides are imposed by deliberate, fraudulent, product design. And if, Goddess forbid, I or others like me should decide to dye our head hair pink to match our own, or someone else’s, vascular birthmark, expect to be unemployed without the comforts of UEC. This goes double for blue or green hair, and those who sell the dye or other edgy fashion often prohibit the employment of those who wear it.

  16. January 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    To me, being feminist means having choices. The choice to work or stay home, to make your own medical choices and to choose how you want to look/dress. It means not having to conform to social norms – or TO conform to social norms if you feel like it.

    • ldouglas
      January 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I generally agree, but with two modifications. First, I’d argue that being a feminist requires not just having choices, but fighting for women as a class to have them. Second, while I agree that women can be feminist and still conform to certain societal expectations, I think feminist requires acknowledging that said expectations exist, examining how they influence what may appear to be neutral ‘choices,’ and working to remove the pressure to chose one way or another.

  17. Nope
    February 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    You know, sometimes you’ll post something that just makes me shake my head in disbelief.

    What does sweat have to do with “beauty standards”?

    Pretty sure this has less to do with deodorizing, and more to do with antiperspirant. Showed it to quite a few heavy-chested women I know, response was universally in the realm of glee. Not at “lol boob-stick”, but more “Less sweat? Less chafing? Less acne? Less skin problems under there? SIGN ME UP”.

    So how about you keep your offense clearly stated as your own, and stop telling people what they should be offended by.

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