Photo: Via Soap.com.
I'm going to lay some truth down right here, and it isn't pretty: I, like many women of the world, am a sweater — the perspiration type, not the knitwear. And, not in a delicate, ladylike, wiping-dew-from-my-brow kind of way. No, when that mercury starts rising, my sweat glands start baling out, Titantic style. It's in no way, shape, or form dainty. I love summer, but I hate feeling like I need a shower every time I step foot outside.
Now, over the years, I've come up with various ways to try and mop up the sweat. In my younger days, I used to walk around with a purse full of paper towels and literally dry myself off when I got to my indoor destination. Not the most refined method, but it sufficed at the time. As I got older, I started to get concerned about odor (nothing like standing nose to armpit with a very sweaty gentleman on the subway in the throes of a heat wave to make you self-conscious about your own natural aroma) and just wanted a generally more clean feeling, so I took to using cleansing wipes to clear my sweat-soaked skin. Seems like a great solution, right?
Not so much: I've tried myriad face wipes on my body, from natural to high-tech, and while they managed to refresh and cool, they did bubkes to make me feel cleaner. Every single one left my skin with an annoying sticky sensation. T-shirts and other silky materials would adhere to my skin, and every time I touched my neck or arms, I'd come away with a tacky sensation on my hands. Gross. I'd almost rather take the sweat.
I thought I was doomed to a choice between swampy and sticky, until I tried the new Ban Total Refresh Body Cooling Cloths. Originally launched in Japan, the brand saw such great success with them that it's brought them Stateside. The cloths help to cool and refresh the skin, eliminating odor, dirt, and sweat. But, because they are formulated with a proprietary PowderSilk technology, they leave behind a superfine, powder finish on the skin instead of a sticky tackiness.
While a few years ago the concept of body cloths may have seemed odd to a Western consumer, American women have been adapting to the wipes with gusto. According to the brand, the cloths have sold out at numerous retailers, and many consumers have resorted to trolling eBay to restock their stashes, sometimes paying double, triple, or quadruple what the MSRP is.
Usually when you think of beauty products on eBay going for exorbitant prices, it's some limited-edition designer shade or something affiliated with a celebrity. Body wipes don't really register on the frenzy-inducing product scale. Having experienced the glory of these cloths firsthand, though, I can definitely see what all the fuss is about. Come August — when the temperatures are in the 90s, the sun is mercilessly beating down, and the humidity is so thick you can almost taste the air — woe be the perspiring lady who doesn't have a pack of these stashed in her bag.