Is your skin summer ready? Look and feel your best this summer with these simple and easy tips.
1. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Drink plenty of water. Your body loses a lot more water and essential salts in the summer than in any other season. You need to replenish that water.
Always keep a bottle of water with you on your desk. If it’s in front of you, chances are, you’ll drink more of it.
Steer clear of sugar filled drinks like juices (which are mostly made of concentrates), sherbets and aerated beverages. These are full of sugar and will pile on unwanted pounds. Instead, opt for buttermilk and naturally flavored water.
Coconut water is nutritious and refreshing on a hot summer day, but this too can be quite high in sugar, so reserve this for an occasional indulgence.
The easiest would be to make your own naturally flavored water. To a jug full of water, add mint leaves and a whole lemon or orange peel for that citrusy punch. Refrigerate and enjoy!
2. Add fruits and veggies to your daily dietYour diet in the summer needs to have a lot of fruits and vegetables. These give you the much-needed vitamins, minerals, water and roughage.
Vegetables and fruits with a high water content are ideal like:
Fruits: watermelons, muskmelons, apples, pears, oranges, sweet lime, tangerines
Vegetables: spinach, beans, lettuce, celery, salad greens, pumpkin, tomatoes
These will naturally hydrate your body and skin to keep you cool. They also serve as a natural detox. The added roughage that keeps your system in top shape is an added bonus.
Remember fruits and vegetables are not the same as fruit and vegetable juices. Juices, even when made at home lack the roughage and are higher in sugar than a standard serving of fruits and vegetables you may eat. So as far as possible, chose to eat the whole fruit or veggie rather than a glass if its juice. Go in for a smoothie instead which retains all the goodness of the fruit and vegetable pulp that is lost in juices.
3. Sweat it out
Were you lazy all winter? Skipped your running sessions? Ditched your workout buddies?
It’s time to get moving. Work off the excess winter weight by getting active. Pick an activity you like – gym, swim, play a sport, or do yoga. Whatever you chose, the important thing is to be consistent.
Working out releases endorphins in your body that make you ‘feel good’ and help you de-stress. They also help you sleep better and we all know that a good nights sleep does wonders to your skin. It makes your skin glow and unclogs your pores.
So, get active and get moving. Having a workout buddy increases your consistency, so find a friend with similar interests and motivate each other to move.
Don’t have a friend to join you? Don’t have much time? Don’t let these stop you from a workout. Plug in your music player, and go for a walk near your office or home any time of the day even if it’s just for 15 mins. Start small and stay committed.
4. Cotton, breathable clothes
Summer months spell sweat and discomfort, especially if you are not wearing the right fabric.
Wear cotton and let your skin breathe. Get rid of your acrylic, polyester and other synthetic blends when choosing fabrics for summer. Choose cotton, preferably organic cotton to stay cool.
No idea what natural fabrics look like? Don’t know what you are wearing? Read the fabric label (sown on the inside of every garment) before buying.
For cotton, breathable clothes in Indo-western designs and neutrals, try Cottonworld,
For oh! So pretty Indian prints in cool colors, explore Cottons.
And of course, there is FabIndia for the ethnic, summer ready fix.
When you try on clothes in a trial room, always remember that the temperature and humidity outside will be very different from the controlled environment of the store.
Light, cling-free and breathable fabrics keep your skin cool and keep you comfortable. They also reduce the occurrence of rashes and heat boils caused by synthetic blended fabrics. By allowing sweat to evaporate more easily, they keep you cool and odour-free.
5. Embrace your sunscreen
Be summer ready by wearing sunscreen every day, even if you are not going into direct sunlight.
Get a sunscreen with enough protection depending on where you live and the kind of sun exposure you face. SPF 30 to 50 is a good range to go with. Look for sunscreens that provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
If you have sensitive skin, try the fragrance free varieties. Reapply as directed as the effect of sunscreen wears off after a while.
Use a non-sticky variety of sunscreen to prevent that sticky oily look. Pat down with a powder foundation for an even matte effect.
6. Experiment with hair-dos
If your hair is medium to long, you will, most likely prefer a functional hairdo during the summer months that keeps hair away from your face and nape.
This doesn’t mean your hairdo needs to be boring. Try new up-dos, buns, braids and knots. Check out the many tutorial videos on the Internet and try something different this summer to keep yourself looking stylish and cool.
7. Smell fresh
Summer equals sweat. And sweat equals BO.
Take a shower twice a day to keep you free of sweat, dirt and pollution.
Use a good deodorant, preferably one that is free of aluminum and paraben to keep you smelling fresh through the day. Fresh, citrusy and floral fragrances work best in summers. There are plenty of organic aluminum and paraben free options you can chose from like Arm and Hammer, Toms of Maine, Lafes, Guv’ner by Lush, and Weleda to name a few.
Use an anti-fungal powder on your feet and other areas where you tend to sweat more to avoid fungal infections. You can get a good brand, which contains clotrimazole and betamethasone from any pharmacy.
Summer sweat causes dead skin. Exfoliate regularly to reveal smooth skin. Exfoliate twice or thrice a week, unless you have sensitive skin in which case, you need to exfoliate just once a week.
Use a gentle exfoliant like a store-bought light walnut scrub or a make one in your kitchen from any of the following combinations:
• Sea salt and oil
• Sugar, honey and lime
• Cucumber and sugar
• Ground coffee beans with oil and sugar
• Good old gram flour with turmeric and milk/cream/oil is also a great scrub.
• Curd, papaya, banana and oats make great home made scrubs.
9. MoisturizeMoisturizing in summer is as important as it is in the winters. Though the skin may not feel as parched and dry in the summer, the sun exposure, the frequent washing and pollution take a toll on your skin. To be truly summer ready, it is essential to keep your skin clean, moisturized and supple.
I like to use a branded moisturizer for my face and a light baby oil or a natural oil like olive oil with added vitamin E for my body.
Remember to moisturize regularly and thoroughly every time you bathe or wash your face, hands and feet.
Steer clear of warm woody flavors like chocolate, coffee, cocoa butter, vanilla and opt for light, fresh, citrusy, and floral flavors. A light, fresh moisturizer with natural oils, aloe-vera, or cucumber like the Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe lotion, Body Shop’s Aloe Soothing Moisture lotion, Boots Essential Cucumber Moisturizing Lotion, or the Nivea Express Hydration body lotion is ideal for the hot summer months when you don’t want anything heavy slathered on your skin. If you have dry skin, then you might need a thicker lotion or a light cream, as most thin creams won’t give you the suppleness you need.
Go in for a fragrance free option if you have a sensitive skin. Clinique has an excellent range of fragrance free face washes, toners and moisturizers based on your skin type.