Sweat is a natural part of the body's cooling process, but in the wrong circumstances it can pose a significant problem as well. When sweat pours down your face and gets into your eyes, it can interfere with your vision and cause accidents if you can't see clearly. Keeping the sweat out of your face is an important part of running safety, and several options can help you tame your sweat.
One of the most common methods of keeping sweat out of your face is wearing a headband. Headbands work by absorbing sweat before it can run down from your forehead and scalp, keeping it from getting into your face and eyes. Headbands are available in a number of designs and materials and can be made at home as well. The material that a headband is made of determines both how quickly it absorbs sweat and how much sweat it can absorb before becoming saturated.
Bandanas and Do-Rags
Bandanas and do-rags function similarly to headbands but cover the hair and scalp as well as the forehead. Bandanas are squares of material of cotton or other absorbent cloth; do-rags are designed to be more form-fitting. Some do-rags are made of wicking material that absorbs sweat and pulls it from the skin for faster evaporation and less chance for sweat to pour down into your face.
Hats and Visors
Hats and visors serve a dual purpose of keeping sweat out of your face and keeping the sun out of your eyes. Most hats and visors have an absorbent band inside that lies across your forehead, absorbing sweat as it accumulates. If they are designed specifically for running or sports, this band may be of materials that offer extra absorbency or contain wicking materials to move sweat from your face so it can evaporate.
Gutter devices are headbands, visors or similar items that feature a small gutter inside of plastic or other materials. The gutter in these devices doesn't absorb sweat, but instead diverts it to the sides of the face, where it can flow down to the neck. This eliminates the problem of absorbent materials becoming saturated, while still keeping sweat out of the face and eyes.
Some runners place a small line of petroleum jelly or lip balm along their foreheads to keep sweat out of their faces. If the petroleum jelly is applied properly, the sweat will run along the top of the line instead of crossing it, allowing it to be diverted to the sides of the face as it would be with a gutter device. The petroleum jelly or lip balm needs to be angled downward slightly toward the sides of the face for it to be effective, and care must be taken not to wipe it off while running.
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