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Real Talk: 12 tips to help you stay cool this summer

It's officially as hot as Hades in London. And across most of Europe. Despite the scoffs of climate change deniers (dicks), last summer was roasting, and this one looks like it's about to follow suit. So I am here to tell you how to look after yourself in this sweltering heat! Now, what gives me the credentials to dispatch this advice you ask? Well... my home town of Durban, South Africa is ridiculouisly humid hot. Like muggy, steamy heat. Pretty much all year round. And we didn't have air conditioning. So...yeah... I may as well have a doctorate in this shit.

Swimsuit is Curvy Kate Wrapsody Multiway Swimsuit (gifted). Shop here. (AL)

1. Drink water

I know, I know. It's pretty obvious. But seriously, your water bottle is your best friend. Take her everywhere with you. Refill her regularly. In the hot weather you should be drinking about 2 and a half litres (10 glasses) per day. But every body is different. So look out for the common signs you're dehydrated - headache, feeling woozy, muscle cramps, not peeing very often, or really dark pee - and drink enough water to counter act them. 

And make sure you get a reusable one. Disposable water bottles are meant to be disposed of by their very nature (clue's in the name) and using them for longer then you're meant to exposes you to worrying oestrogen mimic chemicals called PCBs, plus we just don't need any more plastic in the world people.

2. Buy a fan

Seriously, before the summer really gets into full swing buy yourself an electric, plug in fan. They are not crazy expensive (you can get a standard desk fan for under £20, in fact close to £10), they don't take up much room if you get a little one so they can be easily stored, and the last a long time. I have still got the fan I bought the first summer I moved to London - 10 years ago. 

Often places like Argos and the big supermarkets are the first to sell out of fans. Or you can buy online (but Amazon puts the prices up as the temperature rises. Here's a tip - almost every high street in the country has one of those shops that sells all the random stuff - trolley bags, and cake tins, and plastic flowers, and hoola hoops. And they almost always have a stock of fans. (Shh don't tell anyone)

And while you're at it, if you have a steamy commute (shout out to the London tube crowd) get yourself a little rechargeable hand held fan. It'll change your life. You can get them at stores like Tiger, or online.

3. Wear suitable clothing

It's hot as balls. Really nudity would be preferable, but that's frowned upon... but at least you can ensure you're not further over heating by wearing additional layers because of body hang ups. Honestly, you don't need to cover your arms, or wear full leggings in this heat. I promise you, no one will die because they were exposed to your additional flesh. They are all worrying about how to prevent themselves spontaneously combusting. The only reason you will get any odd looks is if you're in a full cardigan in this heat. 
Make sure you're wearing natural fabrics where possible - cottons, linens etc, because polyester gonna make you sweat double time! And you are just going to be more comfortable if everyting is a little loose and flowing. 

4. But maybe keep your bra on

If you are large of breast, you might want to think about investing in a few cotton bralets. Nobody wants to be in a restrictive tight underwire all day, but sometimes in the heat that feeling of flesh lying on flesh can be really uncomfortable and sweaty, so this is where a bralet will come in handy - especially for flopping around at home. 

5. Keep makeup to a minimum

You just gonna sweat it off anyway... and that shit's expensive.

6. Eat ice-cream


7. Sort out the chub rub

Sweating makes problems of chub rub infinitely worse. If you're super active I would recomend a chub rub shorts brand like Chaffree for thin, breathable shorts to be worn under dresses and skirts. Sometimes for me it's too hot for the shorts, so I prefer using IvyVerdure anti chaffing balm (you can currently get 15% off using the code Hayley15 on their website) as I find it creates a really effective barrier as long as your not doing excessive walking or exercise. And you can always reapply if you need a little more!

8. Have a cool bath

I cannot sleep if I am hot. And if I can't sleep I get cranky and anxious and am no fun at all. I find having a cool bath or shower just before bed is the best way to cool me down enough to sleep. If it's really hot then I won't towel dry and instead sit naked in front of the fan until I'm dry and my whole body feels cool. And if I wake up in the night, roasting again, I will just go an have another cool shower - needs must. 
I also tend to add Lush's Silky Underwear powder into my personal hygeine routine in the summer - I use it under my tummy, and between my thighs because it makes me feel fresh and like it stops me from feeling all sweaty and ick in those places. 

9. Wear sunscreen

You know what would make the boiling heat worse? Sunburn! I know in places like the UK we don't get much sun, so it's tempting to lie in it all day. But seriously - wear sunscreen. When you put it on, you should apply (no less than SPF 30, and with a high UVA rating [5 stars being the best]) it 20 minutes before going in the sun, and then I would apply more when you get in the sun - just to be sure you get it everywhere. And sunscreen should really be reapplied every 2 hours. But sunscreen can't protect you completely, and it won't help with the dehydration, so if you're struggling sit in the shade!

10. Be prepared

I've already mentioned your new bestie, a reusable waterbottle, and your hand held rechargable fan. Carrying both helps keep my public transport anxiety in hot weather from getting too overwhelming. There are a couple of other things you might want to chuck in your hand bag too - in most chemists like Boots and Superdrug, you can get spring water spray - I tend to like the one Evian does, and the one Avene does. They can be a little on the pricey side, but they last quite a while, and are so refreshing when you're all hot and sweaty. Particularly if you follow it up with a blast from your fan. And bring tissues. A fun side effect of one of the anti depressants I was on a couple of years ago was excessive facial sweating (sexy) and it still happens from time to time, so a tissue to mop my brow is useful.

11. Rest

Seriously. Rest. The heat takes it out of you. There is a reason for siestas in Spain. Don't expect to be able to go at the same pace as usual, or get as much done. Your body will need rest, and you should let it. A little nap during the hottest part of the day (if possible) or when you get home from work is totally encouraged!

12. A special note for my fellow anti depressant takers 

This is totally ridiculous, but a couple of weeks ago I found out just how much of an impact my anti depressants (sertraline) have on my experience of heat. Literally no one, not a single health care professional, had ever brought this to my attention. I had realised that other drugs I had been on before had given me a kind of  sun allergy, which meant I got a sort of sunburn rash when I was in the heat too long, but that went away when I changed my medicine. But it turns out that many anti depressants make regulating our body temperature really hard to do, and as a result we are likely to get dehydrated quicker, battle with extreme temperatures, get headaches, have blurred vision, feel disorientated and weak etc. Kinda some important stuff to know, don't ya think? And definitely things I have experienced and just blamed on getting older, being fatter, not drinking enough water etc. You can read more about this here, but remember to take care of yourself extra specially, k? This is gonna be tough - make allowences. 

That ended up being longer than I anticipated, but hopefully it helps! And if you have any tips or tricks, do leave them in the comments below. Stay cool babies <3


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