By Robyn Lawrence
How are you surviving this record-hot summer? Sweltering humidity and scorching days can do a number on your skin and your psyche. Give yourself a break from the heat with these 8 super simple tips for staying cool, inside and out.
1. Take a minty cool bath. Turn off the lights, light a few candles and add several drops of cooling, soothing peppermint or spearmint essential oil to your cool (but not cold) bathwater. You’ll feel refreshed, and the mint is a natural astringent. (It can also help relieve your heat-induced anxiety.)
2. Summerize your foundation. Dry summer skin needs a little extra help. Mix a dollop of moisturizer, preferably with sun protection, into your foundation before applying. You’ll get smoother coverage and all-day protection but remember, when it comes to summer makeup, less is usually more. Summer’s the best season to show off your natural glow.
3. Stay cool with cucumbers. That clich©d shot of the spa goer with cucumbers on her eyes is a clich© for a reason. Moisture-rich cucumbers are ideal for summer beauty treatments. Try putting slices on your eyes, if you never have, and then take it a step further by combining cucumber with fresh summer blueberries in this DIY facemask recipe from Stages of Beauty creator Jasmina Aganovic. The vitamin C from the lemon will brighten dull skin, and the cucumber juice will cool and refresh.
Blueberry and Cucumber Detox Mask
1 tablespoon crushed ripe blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cucumber juice
2 tablespoons baking Soda + water
Combine ingredients in a bowl and using your fingers and spread onto the face and let sit for 15-20 minutes. To remove, wet fingers with warm water and gently swipe over face. Gently wash off and pat face dry.
4. Mist, and mist again, with rose water. Rose water is a natural astringent that can strengthen skin cells and soothe irritated skin. Keep a spray bottle handy and mist face and skin generously and often. Try Cocoon Apothecary’s Rose Dew Facial Toner or make your own using herbalist Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe. If you’re making your own, don’t use rose petals that were sprayed with pesticides; they’ll make it into the formula and onto your skin.
5. Eat for the heat. Vitamin C-rich green leafy vegetables and vitamin E-rich almonds and sunflower seeds help protect your skin from the sun. Weirdly, because spicy foods make you sweat, they’re also able to cool the body. And don’t forget the buttermilk, which was my dad’s favorite beat-the-heat secret. He drank a glass after dinner in the summer to stay cool and help his digestion.
6. Make some super cubes. Terese Linke, global education and spa training director for Primavera natural and organic skincare, suggests putting moisturizing or revitalizing toner in an ice cube tray in the freezer. Massage parched skin with the toner cubes to freshen and cool. For a hot day at the pool or beach, Linke suggests storing a bottle of moisturizing refreshing mist in a cooler and spritzing as needed.
7. Hydrate after every shower. Apply body oil, a must for parched summer skin, after every shower. Linke says the best way to apply it is with a damp cloth, which allows for light, even coverage. Try Primavera’s Restoring Rose Thorn Body Oil or make your own by adding about 30 drops of cooling, calming lavender or chamomile essential oil to 8 ounces of sesame oil.
8. Prepare your skin before you self-tan. Too hot to suntan? (We probably shouldn’t be doing it, anyway.) If you’re considering a self-tanner, use a good body scrub to prepare skin before applying. Try Primavera’s Cleansing Juniper Cyprus Body Scrub or make your own using this basic recipe. (Feel free to improvise. It’s not rocket science!)
Summer Oatmeal Scrub
¼ cup oatmeal, ground in food processor or chopper, blended with ¾ cup hot water
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 ripe banana, mashed
Rub mixture all over skin and let dry. Wipe off with a cloth in the shower.