Hey, Guys and Gals!
It’s that time of year again. Time for outdoor fun! Fun at your local park, the beach or your local lake or river depending on where you live. With rising temps, we also have to take things into consideration like heat exhaustion and sunburn.
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Here is my guide for how to beat the heat and keep your skin protected:
Tip #1: Stay Hydrated.
Drink plenty of water. I know this is a no-brainer and that you have been told this a dozen times, so sorry for sounding like a broken record.
But this really is key and if you have a busy lifestyle, which most of us do these days, it is easy to forget. This is especially important if you live in a very hot dry climate.
I live in the Southeast where it is very hot and humid for at least 6 months out of the year. Even though there is so much moisture in the air the high temps can quickly lead to heat exhaustion and dehydration. So again, drink water.
With that being said sometimes just drinking water isn’t enough during this time of year. It is also important to incorporate a lot of hydrating fruits and vegetables into your diet to help further hydrate your cells.
Some foods with a high water content are:
Cucumbers – 96%
Watermelon – 92%
Cantaloupe – 90%
Strawberries – 92%
Raspberries – 87%
Pineapple – 87%
Oranges – 87%
Iceberg Lettuce – 96%
Celery – 95%
Green Peppers – 92%
Spinach – 92%
You can make your water more hydrating and yummier tasting by adding some of the above fruits to it. Fruit infused water has been a thing for quite a while now. I’m sure you have probably seen recipes for this all over Pinterest and Facebook.
These really are great, though. So, if you haven’t tried them yet then go for it! Here are a few suggestions to help get you started:
Cucumber + Watermelon + Fresh Mint
Strawberry + Pineapple
Orange + Pineapple
Cucumber + Fresh Mint
Raspberry + Strawberry + Lemon
Blueberry + Lime
Some other beverages that are also very hydrating are iced herbal teas and coconut water. Coconut water is especially beneficial due to its electrolyte and mineral content. You can read more about the benefits of coconut water HERE.
Tip #2: Wear Sunscreen.
I know, know. Preaching to the choir yet again. However, it never hurts to be reminded. What does hurt is having a sunburn. As someone who is unable to tan, I have first-hand experience with this. Haha.
Sunburn isn’t the only reason to keep your skin protected though. Overexposure to the sun’s rays could eventually lead to skin damage, premature aging, and possibly even skin cancer.
You need to apply sunscreen even if you don’t go outdoors for long periods of time. You can read about this and other facts regarding skin cancer HERE.
I recommend a non-toxic paraben-free mineral based sunscreen of course. I am also aware that in the past the more natural sunscreens have not seemed the greatest. They tended to be thick and sticky or greasy.
However, the wonderful peeps at Reviews.com have done a ton of research and recently published an up to date guide on the best natural sunscreens of 2017. You can read it HERE.
Tip #3: Dress For The Season.
Wear clothes made from lightweight fabric in pastel or neutral colors. The lighter colors will help to reflect the sun rather than dark colors which absorb the sun’s rays. There is a reason you see people in tropical places wearing a lot of pastels. Light reflects and dark absorbs. Good thing to remember.
The type of fabric you choose is also very key. If you live in a dry climate you want to wear natural fabrics like cotton and linen.
The reason being is that these fabrics don’t wick away moisture or dry as fast which is what you want in a very dry climate. This will help keep you cool and help prevent dehydration.
Now if you live in a humid climate it’s the opposite. The best fabrics to wear in a tropical or subtropical climate (I’m talking to you Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and the other Southern States) is synthetic or silk.
Fabrics like Tencel or Rayon, light polyester, nylon, and natural silk. These will wick away moisture and dry out the fastest which is what you definitely want in a humid climate. If you wear cotton you will just end up feeling wet and gross.
Tip #4: Seek Shelter.
It’s not good to stay out in full sun for too long. So, if you can feel yourself starting to get tired or like your skin is starting to burn then find some shade or go indoors and drink some ice cold water or tea and enjoy the A/C for a bit.
If you are out somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of shade or requires you to do a lot of walking around in the sun like at a theme park or beach wear a hat. This will help protect your skin and eyes and help keep you cooler.
Tip #5: Wear Sunglasses.
Protecting your eyes is important for obvious reasons. The sun’s UV rays can damage your eyes if exposed too much which later on may lead to conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Plus squinting causes wrinkles. For a great guide on how to choose the best shades from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, click HERE.
Tip #6. Take Supplements.
Sometimes doing all of the above is still not quite enough. To take things another step further in helping to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke the following supplements are extremely helpful.
Apple Cider Vinegar (contains electrolytes and minerals)
Cell Salts (made from natural minerals)
Salt & Potassium
Excess sweating causes our bodies to lose key minerals, so taking the above natural supplements can really help. Don’t just take any salt supplement though. Tablets from regular table salt are devoid of minerals. I recommend something like Redmond Re-Lyte Sports Capsules.
And since this needs to be stated – Always check with your doctor before you start taking anything especially if you have a medical condition. The above are merely suggestions and are not intended to treat or diagnose.
Tip #7: After Sun Care.
Take a cool shower or bath.
Treat overexposed skin with aloe vera, prickly pear seed oil, witch hazel, essential oils like lavender and lemon balm. Coconut and/or jojoba oil are great too for keeping your skin soothed and moisturized.
I like to use the above even if I didn’t get a sunburn because they help keep my skin looking good. If you are able to tan then these home remedies might even help keep your tan looking good for a longer period of time.
I also like to use cooling body care products in the summer that contain ingredients like peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. They feel really refreshing!
Tip #8: Use Natural Insect Repellent.
With summertime comes mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests. Bug bites are not only uncomfortable, but certain types of bug bites such as tick bites can lead to unwanted health conditions.
Prevent skin irritation and protect yourself from things like Lyme Disease and Malaria by using a natural non-toxic insect repellent and/or lotion. This is extremely important if you are out hiking or camping. Brands like Badger Balm, Burt’s Bees, and Now Foods make some excellent products.
Citronella candles are great too. Use those for your patio and picnic tables when dining or chilling outdoors.
At home, you can grow rosemary, lavender, citronella, marigolds, lemon balm, and other plants in large pots to help repel mosquitoes.
I hope you found the above 8 tips helpful.
What remedies do you use to help get you through the summer months? As always please feel free to leave a comment.We would love to hear from you.
Lora is a native Californian currently living in the Southeast. She is an artist, designer, blogger and nature lover. Her hobbies include herbalism, cooking, baking, creating DIY aromatherapy recipes, sipping wine and listening to music. She also loves to go hiking and camping.