beauty

ROAD TEST: The unconventional way celebs stop their pits from staining their clothes.

Legitimate question: What would you pay to get rid of grubby underarm sweat stains for good?

$10? $100? $1 MILLION DOLLARS?! Sorry, it’s a touchy subject.

As someone one would classify as a sweaty person, I have tried, and paid for, many solutions to this awkward problem.

I use clinical strength deodorant and avoid tight fitting sleeves. And yes, sticking a needle fill of Botox in my pits wouldn’t be beneath me at this point.

But still, I find myself avoiding eye contact with fellow passengers when I leave sweat marks on my train seat, and requiring extra elbow grease to get out pesky sweat stains on my shirts come wash day.

So when a sweat hack popped up on Zoe Foster Blake’s Go-To Instagram promising stain-free underarms, I knew I had to try it.

‪Summer heat getting to you? Don’t SWEAT it. Ha ha ha. Sorry. ????‬

A post shared by Go-To (@gotoskincare) on

The solution… sticking sanitary pads on the underarm seam of your clothes.

“My daughter does this with her school uniform on hot days! Works a treat!!” one commented. “I’ve been at this for YEARS,” said another.

I investigated further and was delighted to discover some celebs use this sneaky technique to keep their pits dry. Aside from Foster Blake, who I assume has been doing this for donkeys, even Mamamia and The Project’s Rachel Corbett reckons a pad under the arm “works a treat”.

But wouldn’t it feel weird? Would people… know that you have… pads under your arms? Will they be bulky, or hot, or make me feel even more like a sweaty freak?

These were the questions I had, so I decided to road test the unconventional method for a day to see how it stacks up in the real world.

The preparation

Yes, these are sanitary pads. For my armpits. Image: Supplied.
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First, I acquired two pads - regular and super - with wings. That part was easy enough. The next step, not so much.

Actually getting the pads to stick to the inside of my sleeve and stay in the correct position caused me to sweat profusely. Which is... counter-intuitive, yeah?

I turned the dress inside out and stuck the pad sticky side onto the underarm fabric of my dress, applying some pressure in an attempt to get the wings to stick.

They wouldn't.

Every time I thought they were in the perfect sweet spot I so often find sweat stains, sliding my arms into the sleeves either moved them out of place, or caused them to fall off all together. It compared to straightening out a piece of stick tape that's stuck back onto itself. In other words, bloody infuriating.

After several minutes, and thoughts of giving in, the pads were in place.

First thoughts

In one word: conspicuous.

I walked out of the bathroom with a look on my face of someone with a secret. This may or may not have also induced further sweating. But after a few minutes of feeling like, to everyone else, it looked like a had GIANT pad shaped bulges under my arms, I pretty much forgot they were there.

I asked my colleagues and they couldn't tell they were there, which pleased me immensely.

I also felt like a bit of a dick but that's neither here nor there.

Major challenges

  • Initial application of pads: As above, but got through it.
  • 10-minute power walk to the train: Pits felt ~moist~ and my lower back sweat soaked through. The underarms of my dress stayed dry.
  • Eight-hour work day: Surprisingly, the pads stayed in place. Hence, no sweat stains on my dress.
  • Keeping the experiment a secret: Not that it had to be a secret, but it kept coming up in conversation. The general reaction was one of confusion.

LISTEN: Speaking of armpits... can you be a feminist and hate hairy pits at the same time? Monique Bowley can't quite decide (post continues after audio...)

The verdict?

I'm conflicted. The whole thing is a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, my top was dry at the end of the day. But my pits weren't. If anything, they felt wetter than normal, the sweat trapped by the pad rather than absorbed like I'd hoped.

Getting the pads into the dress was also not ideal. But this could be improved by switching to panty liners, which would be 100 per cent easier to apply and look less bulky under tighter tops. Long term, I'm not convinced this would be an economically and environmentally viable option for heavy sweaters like me. Two panty liners x 365 days per year = far too much money and rubbish.

So... would I do it again? Yes, on really hot days.

Not because I'm a raving convert, but mainly because I really can't afford to replace anymore God damn t-shirts.

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