Now, I have tried several antiperspirants for hands in the past and none of them stuck (pun intended). However, Caryn's email got me a bit curious about Carpe and I decided to give it a try. I ordered Carpe from my favorite store in the world (right, Amazon) for $14.95 and got a shiny 1.35 Ounce (40 ML) pack the next day.
This post is my review of how it worked out. You must note that this is my initial experience after trying out Carpe for a few days. I still do not know the long term impact.. hopefully I will write another post once I have had chance to see this in action for some time.
Anyways.. here we go.
Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion: Ingredients
The active ingredient in Carpe Antiperspirant Lotion is Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate (15% ). Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate is used as active ingredient in several antiperspirants available over the counter today (most notably the Mitchum line of products), and is found to be effective for palmar hyperhidrosis without significant side effects by atleast one study . However, there are potential side effects of this compound (including respiratory toxicity, asthma etc). It is also one of the restricted components for cosmetics in Canada.
Apart from Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate, Carpe also contains other ingredients including Eucalyptus oil that provides a pleasant scent on application. All in all, its a relatively simple formula.
Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion: Initial Experience
As per the directions on the pack, I washed and dried my hands before application. Once hands are dried, I applied a small amount of the lotion on my hands ans rubbed it all around for 10-15 seconds. Initially it was a bit sticky, but once it dried up I could not feel it anymore. The effect was instantaneous and my hands were dry like never before in a matter of minutes. It did get a bit too dry, and I felt a bit of itchiness due to extreme dryness. However, I will take that over sweaty hands on most days. Over next few trials, I will try to find the right amount of lotion for my condition – one that gives me dry hands without extreme dryness.
The first time after I applied the lotion, I needed to wash my hands again as I touched my pet birds. I was a bit worried that the lotion will get washed off and I will need to apply it again – but I was wrong. This stuff holds on to its own even after thorough washing. My hands were totally free of sweat for the entire evening. That was great as I had to meet a roomful of people and it was great to feel 100% dry hands while extending my hands for handshakes.
The manufacturer's website mentions that the effects of Carpe compound over time -“as long as you use Carpe, even if you wash your hands, the activity of your palm sweat glands will be increasingly reduced, leading to better and better results as you use for multiple days and weeks in a row.”
Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion: Long Term Review
I am writing this after about a month since I wrote my initial experience (above). In the meanwhile, I have tried Carpe Lotion in a variety of places/situations and have had somewhat mixed results. It does work very well in most cases – the sweating on the hands is down by 80% on most days/situations and that is a great thing.
However, once in a while it simply does not work. I haven't been able to find the factors which will make it work vs. not. Stress and humidity are surely two factors that reduce the effectiveness a lot, but don't explain all the variance in my experiments. Times when I had to have an important meeting and needed sweat-less hands, that's when it failed! Other times, it was a bit cloudy/rainy/humid and the sweat broke out almost as soon as I applied the lotion.
Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion: My Verdict
Overall, Carpe looks very promising and really works great! This might be the best solution to one off days when you are going for a date or interview or a social occasion and are not on iontophoresis or oral medication. This is easy to apply and can be used at the last minute instead of planning in advance.
I think this is one of the best over the counter antiperspirant solutions available for hand sweat. Nothing else I have tested came close in terms of effectiveness or ease of usage. However, it falls short of being the only thing you could rely on to get through palmar hyperhidrosis. You'll need to supplement this with other tools in your arsenal to really manage your hyperhidrosis.
I still need to research a bit more on how safe Aluminum Sesquichlorohydrate is in the long term. As of now I am not fully comfortable recommending this to children, or people who have sensitive skins or people with history of asthma or other respiratory diseases. I might be over-reacting to some of the stuff I found on my initial research, but better safe than sorry!
NOTE: In the comments below, you can see discussion around the research on Aluminium Sesquichlorohydrate. The manufacturers believe its safe for the concentration they have used in the product (15%). I have not independently verified it yet, but wanted to let the readers know in any case.
Go ahead.. try Carpe if you suffer with Palmar Hyperhidrosis. Its not a long term solution like iontophoresis or oral medications, but a great addition in your kit to manage hyperhidrosis.
PS: You should subscribe to Caryn's newsletter... great posts on stuff related to Hyperhidrosis! 🙂
PPS: Like most people suffering with excessive hand sweating, if you also sweat from underarm area, I highly recommend you to check out this article on sweat proof undershirt.
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I was not expecting to like this product as much as I do! A very small amount disappears into your palm and sweat for at least 48 hours without another application. I haven't had embarrassing sweaty hands in a while now. I would highly recommend this product.