Tanguera Problem Solvers #1 - Tips for Hot Summers/Hot Milongas
Every summer I think how can I possibly make it through another summer in Texas? It seems worse every year. I become a hermit, hiding out during daylight hours and constantly searching for things to make the heat more tolerable. I'm not one of those women who "glows" or "glistens" or any of that. I sweat. I sweat a lot. Dancing in milongas, especially barely-air-conditioned milongas, becomes almost more effort than it's worth.
And you want me to go to an outdoor milonga, you say? Are you kidding me??? Call me when it cools off.
I've been dreading it so much this year that I went to my doctor and asked what I could do to cope with the heat a little better. He recommended first, get acclimated. Stop avoiding being outdoors, but don't overdo it. Eat a few meals outside. Walk more. Work in the yard, play with the dogs, set up the patio or porch so that it's inviting. Focus my activities in the morning and evening to ease into it.
"But what about the sweating?" I asked.
"Well," he answered, "deal with sweating where it is most uncomfortable, and make peace with the rest of it. You have to sweat."
I went to work and came up with a system that makes hot weather much more tolerable, and dancing in warm milongas much more bearable. Here's what works for me - please feel free to add comments, recommendations and suggestions below.
For underarms, nothing has worked better for me than "Certain Dri" , though sensitive skin types may prefer Drysol. (Information about those two, and two other highly recommended options is included in the link below.) There is an "AM" solid refresher stick, and a PM roll-on - and you do have to use both for the system to work. At least I do. If you tend to have sensitive under-arms, the PM stick, which they also make, is less irritating - but didn't work as well for me.
Best Antiperspirants for Extreme Sweating
Another item I keep tucked in my purse is "DermaDoctor's Med-e-Tate" antiperspirant towelettes which are very handy for those days you forgot to apply deodorant or find that it's just not holding up. As a stand alone product it doesn't work as well for me as Certain Dri, but it helps a lot when I'm on the go.
For feet, I splurge a little bit. You can use antiperspirants on your feet, and Certain Dri also makes a couple of products for feet that I've heard work quite well. I don't know about other dancers, but I can't bear the thought of wearing pantyhose, so to keep my shoes from becoming, well . . . funky, I use "Butter London's Kitten Heels Powder Finish Foot Creme" (which is really a gel-powder texture.) It costs more ($30) than the drugstore varieties but works better than anything else I've tried and takes very little product to work. (Shake the tube before opening, because the gel tends to separate a bit if it sits awhile.)
There are loads of salon brand hair powders and dry shampoos, and they're about all the same. My favorite, however, has been around for ages and ages - Pssssst Instant Spray Shampoo. It works great and it's not expensive. The biggest problem I have with it, is that it's an aerosol spray which I would normally avoid. However the performance is so good, I keep going back to it. A close second, mostly because I like the smell, and the power form, is Oscar Blandi's Dry Shampoo.
Another trick I use, and one that has made me pretty identifiable in a room full of dancers, is a decorated, knit headband. (Though every time I put it on, it makes me think of John McEnroe.) It's wide enough to keep my fine bangs out of my face, and also absorbs sweat discreetly. They mostly look like the examples here: I've also found a great selection of them at Ulta - though not many on the website, mostly in the stores. Attach a pin or a flower, and I'm good to go.
Feminine Care (Guys, if you're read this far, feel free to stop reading here. Don't say I didn't warn you.)
For other areas - moisture-wicking undergarments can help a lot. If that's still not enough, I've had good luck with Sweet Spot Labs refreshing towelettes. And, as if we haven't gotten personal enough, if you do end up with heat rash or other discomfort, Monistat Soothing Care Anti-Chafing gel can help get things more comfortable.
That's now my system for coping with hot weather. How do you cope? What products work for you?