True story: The morning of my first day of work at Truth in Aging’s headquarters coincided with a oppressively oven-like July in the city. I was running late (as usual) and had to speed-walk (more like sprint) from my apartment to the subway. By the time I arrived at the office and Marta greeted me at the door, my white blouse had become so drenched that it was essentially transparent. As proof of the good-natured soul behind TIA, Marta took pity on me and, without even mentioning my demeaning predicament, asked if I’d like to borrow a shirt. How many people can say they wore their boss’s shirt on their first day of work?

A better question might be: Why am I over sharing this mortifying moment from my past with the world at large? That is a good question indeed, because it’s a story I have kept under wraps for years. But it encapsulates a secret curse that I face every sweltering summer day. I perspire more than the average person. Not the smelly kind, fortunately, but rather the kind that leaves my back clammy and my forehead glistening after a brisk walk down the street. My sweat glands are overachieving little buggers. The best I can do to keep droplets at bay is to apply anti-perspirant and wear loose fabrics. But even then, my clothes still cling to my body and my bra line develops a tell-tale dampness.

I recently made a discovery that could be the answer to my prayers for a sweat-less summer solution. Body Veil by Clean is an airy body powder that absorbs moisture and smells like fresh laundry. It’s no ordinary white powder. I have attempted to ward off wetness (and treat a greasy scalp) with baby powder before, and the results I get with Clean Body Veil are far superior. Body Veil’s powder is much finer and silkier. As an added bonus, it doesn’t recall the scent of diapers or nursing homes. Its packaging is designed much like a loose face powder and comes outfitted with a blotting puff, which makes rubbing white streaks into the skin much easier and more elegant than using your fingertips.

Since the first day the temperature crossed the 80-degree threshold, I have incorporated Clean Body Veil into my morning routine. After showering and toweling off, I dab the fluffy white pad on my chest, stomach, and back, paying extra special attention to the bra line. As I brave the heatwave for my regular morning commute, I feel refreshed and protected rather than moist and self-conscious. This protection somehow lasts until the end of the day when I make the humid walk home.

The best parts of Body Veil are what it doesn’t do. Its fragrance is fresh, soapy, and subtle enough not to overpower a spritz of perfume. It isn’t messy like baby powder, since Body Veil’s powder-puff makes application a breeze. Once blended, it doesn’t leave a presence on the skin, making pores feel clogged or blocked. Rather, it acts like a sheer, non-shimmery veil, just as its name suggests. It prevents clothing from sticking to my body so I can wear my designer silk garments without worrying about water marks. And it avoids icky ingredients like talc and triclosan, both of which are linked to cancer concerns.

Body Veil draws its lasting power from a cotton-based technology that is supposedly rigged to release over time. I am always suspicious of products that claim to go the distance over the course of a day (certain lipsticks spring to mind). But Body Veil does seem to stay put with a veil of perspiration protection hours after application. Its combination of cotton oil, cotton seeds, and cotton proteins wicks away moisture before it has a chance to cling to clothes.

Besides the cotton extracts, the formula relies on other natural ingredients to shield the skin from excess sweat. Not to be confused with aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate sounds ominous, but it is really just a plant-derived complex carbohydrate that absorbs moisture and prevents powder from caking onto the skin. Body Veil gets oil-absorbing backup from two ingredients commonly found in mineral makeup: cornstarch and silica. Both carry the potential for allergic reactions but are generally considered safe. There are also extracts from honeysuckle (a natural preservative) and soapnuts (used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat skin conditions and remove freckles).

Body Veil’s clean, crisp scent comes from a blend of essential oils and artificial fragrance. It all amounts to a lightweight, fresh laundry-evoking powder that keeps me dry without making my skin feel dry. Other than a cool cocktail with a tiny umbrella, I know of no better way to beat the heat.

::amazon(B003H60F3G)::

Ingredients:
Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Silica, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton), Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Extract, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Candelilla Cera/Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax/Cire de candelilla, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Water/Aqua/Eau, Linalool, Limonene, Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal.