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How to Choose the Right Over-the-Counter Antiperspirant
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

It can be challenging to decide which antiperspirant is the right one for you, especially when many people don't understand what antiperspirant does and how it is different than deodorant. Antiperspirants actually block the production of sweat, while deodorants have antibacterial properties and contain scents to mask the smell of body odor. There are a plethora of over-the-counter topical treatments for hyperhidrosis, which can make it overwhelming when trying to figure out which one will be most effective. Antiperspirants are considered to be the first-line treatment for someone with primary focal hyperhidrosis as they are easily accessible, noninvasive and quite effective for many people. They are advantageous because they can be used on a wide variety of body parts that are affected by excessive sweating such as the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, the armpits, the face, and even the groin and back.[1] The key to finding the right antiperspirant is understanding the ingredients that are used in them and understanding what is written on the label.

Antiperspirant Strength

Antiperspirants come in a variety of strengths and it is important to understand what this actually means. Typically, brands have a regular strength option and a clinical strength option. The regular strength option may contain a different active ingredient than the clinical strength version, or it may have the same active ingredient but contain a smaller percentage of it.[1] There is also a significant price difference between the two. For example, Dove has a regular strength antiperspirant (they call it Advanced Care) that uses Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly 15.2% as it’s active ingredient, while its clinical strength version uses Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex Gly 20%. On Amazon, the price of the regular strength is $8.10 for two bottles and it is $8.52 for one bottle of the clinical strength version. The clinical strength version of Dove contains 5% more of the active ingredient, but the price is about 50% higher than the regular. This demonstrates why it is so important to read the information about an antiperspirant product before you buy it. Clinical strength products are less likely to cause irritation and almost always contain a newer generation of active ingredients that are typically more effective.[1] Some of the brands that include a clinical strength option are Dove, Gillette, Secret, Arrid, Sure, PerspireX, Certain-Dri, SweatBlock, Degree, Hydrosa and various others.

Antiperspirant Ingredients

The active ingredient is what makes an antiperspirant work. The most common active ingredients used in antiperspirants are aluminum chloride and aluminum chloride hexahydrate. Many antiperspirants also use other metallic salts as an active ingredient, which act in a similar way as aluminum chloride. All over-the-counter antiperspirants have active ingredients that mechanically block overactive sweat glands from producing more sweat. Here is a break down of the common active ingredients in antiperspirants, and how they work:

Aluminum Chloride

Aluminum prevents sweat from being produced by obstructing eccrine sweat gland ducts so that sweat cannot be released. Aluminum chloride is in a partially neutralized form, as opposed to aluminum chloride hexahydrate, which is in an active form. Metal ions in the aluminum interact with other molecules in the skin in such a way that the epithelial cells in sweat glands are damaged and form a sort of plug. Sweat glands can still produce sweat, but the sweat cannot make it to the surface of the skin because of the plug. The plug formed by aluminum chloride lasts for about 24 hours. Eventually, the epithelial cells of the sweat glands recover and a new layer of aluminum chloride must be applied. Long-term histologic studies have shown that when people use aluminum chloride for a long period of time the aluminum actually damages some of the secretory cells within the sweat glands. This can cause a permanent reduction in the amount of sweat produced and, therefore, reduced symptoms of hyperhidrosis. Aluminum chloride is effective at reducing sweat production, but some studies have found that aluminum chloride can be quite irritating. Doctors may recommend using 1% hydrocortisone cream to treat irritation caused by aluminum chloride. Several years ago there was controversy over whether or not aluminum antiperspirants cause cancer, but it has been found that they do not.[1]

Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate

Antiperspirants with aluminum chloride hexahydrate are usually clinical strength. When offered in a concentration of 20% or higher a prescription is required. Aluminum chloride hexahydrate is typically used if aluminum chloride alone is not effective.[1] Aluminum chloride hexahydrate is thought to work in a similar way to aluminum chloride, but its exact mechanism is not understood. Some researchers posit that there is an interaction between aluminum chloride hexahydrate and keratin in sweat ducts that causes the ducts to close. Another theory is that aluminum chloride hexahydrate works on secretory epithelial cells within sweat ducts. In either case, it has studies have proven that aluminum chloride hexahydrate is very effective at reducing sweat production.[1]

Irritation From Aluminum Antiperspirants

One of the drawbacks of using aluminum chloride or aluminum chloride hexahydrate is that they can be very irritating. This is partly because hydrochloric acid forms when a body part with aluminum chloride or aluminum chloride hexahydrate is exposed to water. Sometimes patients are told to use 1% hydrocortisone cream in order to combat irritation.[1] One study found that when mixed with salicylic acid, aluminum chloride hexahydrate produced much less irritation and still effectively reduced sweating. Some products now use both of these ingredients together in order to reduce side effects. Several products on the market today use this successful combination.[3]

Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex

Newer, clinical strength over-the-counter antiperspirants often use an ingredient called aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex to reduce sweating associated with hyperhidrosis. These products have been shown to provide more sweat protection and cause less irritation than aluminum chloride products. They produce less irritation because produce as much as 80% HCl than aluminum chloride. Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex blocks sweat ducts in a similar way to aluminum chloride, but at a more superficial level. The type of blockage made by aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex lasts for around seven days. It also produces much less HCl, the chemical that causes skin irritation, than typical aluminum chloride formulations. These newer products may provide a solution for people with sweating in more sensitive areas.[1]

Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate

Another active ingredient called aluminum sesquichlorohydrate is now being used in some of the newest antiperspirants on the market. It is said to cause less irritation but still effectively reduces sweating. Currently there are no major studies corroborating its effectiveness although these may come in the future.

Choosing an Antiperspirant

Once a person is able to understand how to read an antiperspirant label, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type of active ingredient, they can pick an antiperspirant that will work for them. It is also important to consider the part of the body the antiperspirant will be used on. If, for example, someone needs an antiperspirant for the face or groin, which are sensitive areas they should be careful to only use formulations designed for sensitive skin. They may want to choose a product with aluminum chloride hexahydrate mixed with salicylic acid, aluminum sesquichlorohydrate, or use one of the newer generation products with aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex.

It is best to try the regular strength products before moving on to stronger formulations, as they are less likely to cause irritation. Formulations with 10 to 15% aluminum chloride hexahydrate can be used to treat axillary hyperhidrosis, while those who need treatment for sweaty hands or feet will probably need to use 30% aluminum chloride. Make sure to apply antiperspirant correctly, or it may be less effective. If over-the-counter antiperspirants are not enough, then prescription antiperspirants are the next step. It can also be helpful for people with hyperhidrosis to employ some other strategies to manage their hyperhidrosis via alternative methods like choosing clotheing that promotes less excessive sweating and learning how to put antiperspirant on correctly.

  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.
  2. Ellis, H., & Scurr, J. H. (1979). Axillary hyperhidrosis - topical treatment with aluminium chloride hexahydrate. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 65(650), 868-869. doi:10.1136/pgmj.55.650.868
  3. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.

What You Need to Know About Carpe Clinical Regimen

By Katie Crissman /

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen - it combines several high performing products with a specific care routine to provide long term sweat reduction for even the heaviest sweaters. Read on to see if Carpe Clinical Regimen is right for you!

Antiperspirant is great - for most people. You apply it once a day and it stops your sweat! It’s easy. But, what if that’s not what happened? You bought it, read the label, and used it exactly as directed and, unfortunately, you’re still sweating - excessively. If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There are products specifically made for heavy sweaters who haven’t had luck with traditional antiperspirants. These products typically include the words “extra strength”, “clinical strength” or “prescription strength” and they are, thankfully, available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. 

The difference between clinical strength products and their weaker counterparts are the active ingredients they use. Clinical strength lines typically use one of several newer types of metallic salt ingredients that are known to be both stronger and less irritating than aluminum chloride (which is the standard active ingredient in antiperspirants) [1]. While there are many clinical strength products on the market, we are going to focus on a new clinical strength regimen that combines a strong active ingredient with a specific care routine to get excessive sweating under control. 

Carpe Clinical Regimen -  What It Is and How It’s Different

One of the newest clinical strength antiperspirants to hit the market is Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen. It’s different from other prescription grade products because it combines several strong products with a specific care routine to ensure maximum product performance. It’s also different from Carpe’s other products because it uses a stronger active ingredient and delivery system. The system is geared toward people who experience intractable armpit sweating, but Carpe also makes products for people who struggle with other types of sweat. The Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm includes three specific products that, when used together, have been found to be highly effective at reducing sweat production. These products include:

  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Antiperspirant 
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Exfoliating Wash
  • Carpe Clinical Grade Underarm Wipes[2]

Carpe Clinical Grade Regimen uses an active ingredient called Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (20%) combined with other soothing inactive ingredients to effectively stop sweat in its tracks while reducing skin irritation.[3] Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex is a newer generation metallic salt that stops sweat production and is known to be more effective than other types of active ingredients antiperspirants typically use. One study mentioned in the journal Dermatologic Clinics found that antiperspirants using Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex were, on average, 34% more effective than antiperspirants that used aluminum chloride as an active ingredient.[1] Carpe’s traditional products use an active ingredient called Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate at 15% which is effective, but less potent than Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex.[4]

It’s important to note that Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen provides a long term impact on sweat reduction from making short term lifestyle changes. This is because the results build up over time and peak at about 4 weeks. It takes 4 weeks of using the Carpe clinical grade products once each morning and every other night to see the full effect of what they can do. This is typical of all antiperspirants as their effects tend to build up with consistent use. Consistently using antiperspirant products is especially important for those with hard to treat sweat problems because it can be the difference between treatment success or failure.[1][2] 

If you’re frustrated with the way your current antiperspirant is working or how it isn’t working, then consider giving Carpe’s Clinical Grade Regimen a try! It’s active ingredient is comparable to other prescription strength products on the market but it’s multistep system with easy to use wipes is completely unique! Remember, an easy to use, consistent antiperspirant routine is going to give you long term sweat reduction so it’s important to find a system that works for your lifestyle. 

  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from>
  2. How It Works (Clinical). Carpe.
  3. Clinical Underarm  PM Wipes. Carpe.
  4. Underarm Antiperspirant for Excessive Underarm Sweating. Carpe.

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

By Daniel McCarthy /

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

Our worries about shirt stains, sweaty underarms, and smelly armpits may dominate how we think about excessive armpit sweating. Hey, we may even avoid thinking about these all together. But guess what? There are some random and interesting facts that just may change how you think about excessive underarm sweating! Let’s take a look: 

Fact number 1: Sweat by itself ISN’T smelly

Sweat is often associated with smelliness. But by itself, it doesn’t smell AT ALL. The reason sweat can smell (in places like your armpit) isn’t really about sweat. It’s about the sweat glands (and hair)! Apocrine glands are the biggest of sweat-producing glands and are usually located near hair. It’s this combo that leads to smelly armpits.

Fact number 2: Excessive armpit sweating is as old as cavemen

Hang with me here. Excessive underarm sweating is connected to the fight-or-flight response ingrained in even the most ancient of human predecessors. This excessive armpit sweating response has helped humans survive for millenia. And yep, it means our cavemen ancestors likely had sweating armpits, too. Even though they didn’t have to worry about shirt stains like us, we have the benefit of products like carpe underarm and antiperspirant in general to help with our excessive armpit sweating.  

Fact number 3: Famous people worry about excessive armpit sweating too

Michael Gary Scott, fearless and deliciously cringeworthy leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on the show The Office, is perfectly played by actor Steve Carell. Carell seemed to play the role with such ease, comfort, and confidence that nobody would ever know he was worried about excessive underarm sweating due to his hyperhidrosis. Co-star Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on the show) even pointed out that the set temperature was a cool 64 degrees to keep Carell’s sweaty underarms from becoming the focus of the scene. 

Even though Carell’s excessive armpit sweating wasn’t part of the show, I like to think Michael’s approach to sweat stains could be summed up by his famous line:  “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” 

Fact number 4: Other celebrities combat hyperhidrosis too

Steve Carell is not the only notable person looking for the best sweat prevention. As a longtime vampire and real-life human with hyperhidrosis, Robert Pattinson is another actor who combats hyperhidrosis (and werewolves) on the regular. 

Like Pattinson and Carell, Halle Berry also has hyperhidrosis. Famously, Berry confidently showed her sweat stains on the Ellen Show back in 2010. So when you’re feeling a little self-conscious about your own excessive underarm sweating, remember you too can confidently move through your day like Berry barring her pits for the world. 

Fact number 5: Ventilation over here please!

If you’re still worried about how to get rid of pit stains, some ventilation could provide a brief respite. Because we sometimes get pesky pit stains, it can feel like our excessive underarm sweating is due to our pits proclivity to produce the most amount of sweat. Yet, this annoying issue is more commonly attributed to a lack of ventilation, although sweaty armpit causes cannot be narrowed to one thing. Still, a little ventilation and clinical strength antiperspirant can go a long way in dealing with pesky pit stains and excessive armpit sweating. 

Fact number 6: An underappreciated aspect of a non-meat diet

Sometimes even the best antiperspirant and deodorant may not feel like enough to help with excessive armpit sweating and underarm smell. That’s okay though because there are other interesting ways to approach this issue. A 2006 study showed that women found mens’ armpit odor “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” when these men ate a non-meat diet [1]. If you haven’t already thought about eating less meat, the improved aroma of your pits (and the kitchen) may be another reason to eat a non-meat diet. 

Fact number 7: Fashion matters

Choosing clothes is a fashion statement for many. And while fashion may matter more to some than others, there’s one interesting reason we can all get behind to choose our clothes. Our clothing choices can help deal with excessive underarm sweating. That’s right, there are clothes, materials, styles, and pads that all can help with excessive armpit sweating as well as excessive sweating and shirt stains in general. 

Fact number 8: You aren’t alone

An estimated 2-3% of the US population suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Even though this percentage may seem small, 3% of the US population is right around 10 million people. That’s like all of NYC combating excessive armpit sweating at the same time. It can be easy to feel isolated in dealing with hyperhidrosis, but there’s some comfort in knowing many others are dealing with the same worries. 



  1. Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Retrieved from

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands

By Daniel McCarthy /

7 Effective Tips to Stop Sweaty Hands 

Not sure how to stop sweaty hands and excessive sweating? You aren’t alone! Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or just trying to get your phone to recognize your thumbprint, it can get pretty dang annoying to constantly worry about how to stop having sweaty hands. In this article, we’ll cover 7 effective ways to help you stop sweaty hands:

    1. Reduce your stress
    2. Try (the right) antiperspirant
    3. Iontophoresis
    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions
    5. Medications
    6. Give a Botox shot 
    7. Take a more surgical approach

1.  Reduce your stress 

This one is often easier said than done - but it can help a lot. Research has shown that higher levels of anxiety cause sweat glands to become more active [1]. This is particularly true for hand sweating. 

Figuring out how to stop sweaty hands looks different for each person, but there are some relaxing activities that can either prevent sweat or help control it once it’s begun. Some possible activities to reduce your stress include listening to your favorite music, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily. Other helpful techniques include deep breathing and stretching. Everyone is different, so try some of these other tips to find what works best for you. 

2. Try (the right) antiperspirant

You’re relaxed, but maybe you’re still trying to work out how to stop having sweaty hands? While reducing stress is a beneficial home remedy, it should be combined with other easy-to-use remedies. Some home remedies, such as baking soda or apple cider vinegar, may help with hyperhidrosis, but the next best step is over-the-counter antiperspirant

Antiperspirants are great at preventing clam hands and often work better than deodorants to stop excessive sweating. Antiperspirants for hands are especially important in how to stop sweaty hands. Others prefer anti sweat wipes. Finding the right hand antiperspirant is an important step to combat sweaty hands. 

3. Iontophoresis

    Hate needles? Need to figure out how to stop sweaty hands? Iontophoresis may be for you. This method uses mild electrical currents to treat your hands while they’re submerged in water. And although iontophoresis sessions may be performed at a doctor’s office, some people choose to purchase their own iontophoresis machines for at-home treatment [2].  

    While this method can be a bit harder on the wallet, if you can pay upfront for a machine, you may save by avoiding paying for every visit to the doctors. However, if you don’t see progress after a few weeks, talk to your doctor to discuss how to stop your sweaty hands from affecting your daily life. 

    4. Check with your doctor about underlying conditions

    It can be easy to write off sweaty hands as a reaction to anxiety or nervousness. But sometimes sweaty hands can be caused by underlying conditions. These conditions might include diabetes, low blood sugar, overactive thyroid, infections, and other issues. To learn more on how to stop sweaty hands that may be connected to underlying conditions, it is best to talk to a medical professional about your hyperhidrosis needs. 

    5. Medications

    In addition to talking about your underlying conditions, a medical professional may also suggest a prescription to help with sweaty hands. More specifically, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medication for hyperhidrosis like a series of pills known as anticholinergics, which help your body produce less sweat. Like pills, topical creams may also be prescribed to help reduce excessive sweating. These creams are made up of solutions that will decrease the amount of sweat released, including hand sweat. If medications don’t cut it for you, you may need to take one of the two steps below. 

    6. Give botox a shot

      You may be thinking, I’m not sure how to stop sweaty hands, so why are you recommending botox? While many may not associate botox with hyperhidrosis, it can significantly reduce excessive sweating, including in your hands [3] . While botox may solve how to stop having sweaty hands, this method can cause temporary pain or weakness of the hands, so it is crucial that you consult a medical professional for appropriate botox delivery. 

      7. Take a more surgical approach. This one is only for serious sweaters who have tried everything else.

      If you can’t figure out how to stop having sweaty hands after trying these first six tips, you might consider surgical treatment for primary focal hyperhidrosis. While botox is a less invasive surgery, significantly more invasive procedures include endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy​ or an endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy. These names may be hard to pronounce, but these surgeries can provide significant relief for people with certain kinds of severe hyperhidrosis. Of course, try less invasive options first, and talk to a medical professional before deciding to take a more surgical approach. 

      There may be no one-size-fits-all solution for how to stop sweaty hands, but hopefully one of, or a combo of these tips help you enjoy life a bit more and worry about sweat a bit less. 


      1. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science.
      2. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from <a href=></a>
      3. Lakraj, A. A., Moghimi, N., & Jabbari, B. (2013). Hyperhidrosis: anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment with emphasis on the role of botulinum toxins. Toxins, 5(4), 821–840.
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