In winter, it’s easy to know how to warm up – wear lots of layers, make hot drinks, and fight for the spot closest to the radiator. However, the crippling summer heat can be trickier to ward off, so it’s handy to have an arsenal of life hacks to help you. Here are some wardrobe, lifestyle, and product recommendations that will keep you cool!
When choosing what to wear on a hot day, try to stick to loose-fitting items made from cotton or linen. Those materials allow for more airflow than polyester or acrylic-based fabrics, and won’t trap in as much moisture – you’ll feel cooler, more comfortable and far less clammy.
Similarly, avoid any clothes featuring dark colours, like black or navy blue, and gravitate towards brighter colours. Why? Well, different colours interact with light wavelengths in different ways – black clothes will absorb more light from the sun, which means you’ll get hotter, faster. Conversely, white clothes reflect those wavelengths, meaning less heat will penetrate your clothes. This is why you’ll often seen tennis and cricket players dressed all in white!
It’s always wise to cover your head in the sun, but hats can actually make you even hotter. Although it’s a myth that half your body heat is lost through your head, it still equates to around 7% of your skin surface area, so covering it up will trap heat that would otherwise escape. To prevent this, opt for a hat made of straw or mesh – the holes in the material will allow more heat to ventilate, and stop you from overheating.
Most of us are partial to a morning cup of java to help kick start the day, but you’ll want to think twice before you pick up a cappuccino during the summer, as caffeine actually raises your body temperature. What’s more, the popular notion that hot drinks help to cool you down only works by making you sweat, so it’s a little counterproductive – stick to water!
Speaking of water, the lure of an ice cold shower can be very enticing on a torrid afternoon, but you’ll want to steer clear of those too. The extreme cold will make your body work hard to warm itself back to a regular temperature, so you’ll soon find yourself sweating. Instead, go for a lukewarm shower – you’ll still feel cool, but you won’t shock your body into action.
One thing that can make a baking hot monday even worse is your commute. Getting frustrated on crowded trains or packed motorway lanes will trigger your ‘fight or flight’ response, meaning your body temperature will rise. So, rather than subjecting yourself to the morning rush, try to set off early for work, so that you can travel at a comfortable pace – you’ll feel all the better for it!
Did you know that menthol-based products can help you to feel cool? This is because menthols open up thermoreceptors in your body, which increases your sensitivity to cold temperatures. You can use this to your advantage in the summer months by opting for mint-based lotions, such as the Cornerstone post-shave balm, which is blended with mint and honey for a cooling effect.
Your body is actually covered in thermoreceptors, but the highest concentration of cold receptors can be found in your face and upper body. You can exploit this in the warmer season by splashing your face and arms with cold water – the thermoreceptors there will make you feel cooler than you actually are. Plus, you can always use a quality face wash at the same time, to keep yourself feeling fresh!
Last but not least, one staple product in a heatwave is an anti-perspirant deodorant. It may seem second nature to some of us, but opting for anti-perspirant rather than a regular deodorant will block the production of sweat, so you won’t get that ‘sticky’ feeling in the humidity.