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Can Sweat Shields Really Stop Heavy Underarm Sweating?

If you sweat severely, hiding armpit sweat is an endless pursuit. Antiperspirants never provide the full protection you need, and changing shirts 3+ times a day isn’t a sustainable solution. By now, you might have considered sweat shields as a solution to excessive underarm sweating. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on these products and how they work.

I’ve dealt with heavy underarm sweating for 20 years and tried nearly every solution out there (I even have the rashes to prove it). Here’s my experience with sweat shields and advice for others seeking a fix for armpit sweat.

How Do Sweat Shields Work?

Sweat shields are washable, reusable cotton liners that attach to your body or clothing. Some underarm sweat shields fasten around the torso or arm while others adhere to your clothing with snaps, tape or pins. A handful of brands carry sweat shields, including Kleinert’s, Hollywood Fashion Secrets and Fashion First Aid.

You can think of sweat shields as panty liners for your armpits that catch sweat before it reaches your outer shirt. To be discreet beneath your clothes, sweat shields are fairly thin (similar to a panty liner). While they work for people with light to moderate sweating, sweat pads can’t capture the bulk of heavy sweating. As a result, sweat will eventually bleed through your shirt.

Where Sweat Shields Fail

Like adhesive armpit pads, sweat shields can also cause rashes or skin irritation as they rub against your underarms throughout the day. As the shields absorbs your sweat, there’s nowhere for that moisture to go. You essentially lug around your armpit sweat, which also weighs down your shirt.

Because they typically come in one size , underarm shields don’t work with every garment. Only having one size option also makes it difficult to get the shield placement just right when pinning or sewing in to your shirt.

When I first tried sweat shields years ago, the maintenance required to adjust the liner was a major setback. Once you feel sweat start to breach the shield, you have to find a bathroom to reposition the shield and wipe down excess sweat. Like a panty liner, you’ll need to change it frequently throughout the day. And when pinning the sweat shield to your shirt, this can be a huge time suck. As someone who sweats profusely, this daily interruption distracted from my work and did little to improve my confidence.

The bottom line: When vetting products for underarm sweat, you want to be sure they reduce the stress and anxiety of sweating — not multiply it. Sweat shields left me even more anxious about underarm sweat, especially when obscure spots of sweat began to show through my dress shirts. It's possible sweat shields work well for light sweaters, but if you suffer from the sweating condition axillary hyperhidrosis, they fail to fully absorb and conceal sweat.

Effective Alternatives to Sweat Shields

The million-dollar question for every heavy sweater: Where can I find a practical yet effective solution to armpit sweat?

I spent years (and thousands of dollars) testing antiperspirants, sweat shields and pads and household concoctions to crack the sweat code before I finally had enough. Taking steps to reduce my stress and consume foods that reduce sweating prevented my underarm sweat from worsening. But no antiperspirant or natural sweat solution completely stopped wet marks from showing through my shirt. The idea of surgery or invasive procedures was out of the question, so I set out to create my own sweat shield alternative. Ten years later, the Thompson Tee was born.

Get the complete list of axillary hyperhidrosis solutions here.

Thompson Tee undershirts have a patented sweat proof barrier built into the underarms, so you don’t have to bother securing an ineffective sweat shield to your shirt or body. And because this technology absorbs sweat and releases it as vapor, your sweat escapes without anyone seeing it.

sweat shield barrier | Thompson Tee

We’ve heard far too many horror stories from customers going to crazy measures to hide underarm sweat before discovering our product. We created Thompson Tees for the fellow profuse sweaters out there (like us), and we encourage you to  give it a try risk-free!