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There’s so much magic in summertime. Long days, warm nights, and buckets of sunshine—no wonder it’s widely touted as the best time of year.
But summertime can come at a significant cost to your body. The heat and sun are very harsh, and if you’re not practicing proper self-care, you may be incurring some serious lasting damage each summer season.
This summer, keep your body healthy along with your mind with these summer self-care tips.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
While it may seem like a no-brainer, hydration is the first step in staying healthy this summer. In warmer weather, 8 cups of water per day just won’t cut it, especially if you’re spending ample time outside or especially active.
A general rule for summertime hydration is to drink half of your bodyweight in oz per day. That means a 140 lb. woman should be drinking a minimum of 70 oz of water each day. If you’re exercising regularly, you’ll want to increase that even more to keep your muscles functioning well.
If you’re unsure where to look for signs of dehydration, your body is a great place to start! In case of you experience extreme fatigue, dizziness, dry skin, or find yourself having trouble “going”, there’s a good chance you’re dehydrated.
2. Sun responsibly
We all want to be bronze goddesses in the summer—but as much as we love a freshly baked body, our skin does not. Prolonged or unsafe sun exposure can lead to melanoma, wrinkles, and more. Of course, the safest way to tan is to refrain from tanning altogether. Instead, opt for a spray tan or apply a self-tanner.
Reality is, though, exposure to direct sunlight in summertime is unavoidable. Even those not intending to tan end up with color after spending a few hours outdoors.
If you’re spending any time outdoors this summer, the safest way to do so is to wear plenty of sunscreen. Ensure that you’re applying a formula that’s at least 30 SPF and be extremely generous. An easy rule of thumb is to apply at least a shot glass’s worth of sunscreen every 2 hours, or after you’ve swam or sweat.
If you find yourself prone to breakouts in summer, explore sunscreen for sensitive skin. These formulas are fragrance-free, talc-free, and hypoallergenic, leaving you skin feeling light and grease free!
3. Cover up
While summer may conjure images of short shorts and bare skin, those really aren’t the best choices when the sun is at its strongest. Instead of stripping down this summer, look for lightweight materials that cover a bit more skin. Linen and cotton keep your skin cool and protected, so that you can spend more time outdoors without risking your safety.
Unsure where to start with protective linen clothing? A white linen button-up is a simple and classy summer staple. Pair it with a wide-brimmed sunhat and a stylish pair of shades for a timeless summer style.
4. Avoid peak hours
UV rays are at their strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, and especially so between 11 and 1. If you’re planning outdoors activities, consider scheduling them for the mornings or evenings, to keep yourself out of the sun during its most damaging hours.
Remember, just because there’s cloud cover doesn’t mean you’re safe. While some types of clouds can lower UV exposure, not all do—and none eliminate it altogether. Damage can occur even on the most overcast of summer days.
4. Minimize your makeup
Heavy makeup combined with summertime heat and humidity can lead to acne, flaky skin, and more. In order to keep your skin glowing this summer, minimize your normal makeup routine. Select a concealer, mascara, and brow gel for an everyday look. If you’ve got a nighttime event and are looking to get a bit more dolled up, tinted moisturizers can be a great option for coverage without weight. And never forget your lip moisturizer! Plenty of Chapstick will keep your lips hydrated and supple.
Summertime self-care doesn’t have to be complex. Keep it simple with these 5 self-care tips, and you’ll enjoy a summer that’s good for your body, as well as your mind!