I don’t know about elsewhere in the region but here in Kuala Lumpur, the weather has been crazy hot! Temperatures are hitting 35.6 C in the daytime, and we are told to expect this heatwave to continue until September. Its now May – goodness gracious! Not only is it super hot, its also been very dry which is a lethal combination for me. I’ve been breaking out like popcorn popping – ew!
So with this heatwave that’s hitting us now and which is expected to continue for a few more months, here are 8 things I’ve put into place to keep cool and stay cool.
Wear Cotton or natural fibre clothes and white or light coloured clothing
Clothes made from cotton or natural fibre breathe better and help keep your body cool in the heat because they absorb moisture well and keep it away from your skin thereby cooling you down. Manmade fibres like nylon and rayon or polyester trap heat and can make you feel hotter. Its rather like being suffocated slowly in a plastic bag
White and light colours reflect heat while black and dark colours absorb heat like a sponge and retain it. So, when its hot, wear light coloured clothing. I’ve never been so glad that I do not have a strict dress code at work so I can keep cool with light colours and light clothing as opposed to dark formal stuffy corporate suits – lucky me!
Drink lots of water
In a heatwave more than ever, you need water… and lots of it! The body dehydrates faster when its hot so keep moisture levels up by regular glasses of plain water. Resist the urge to have cold sweet drinks, carbonated drinks or coffee or tea. Not only are these fattening due to the amount of sugar in them, anything with caffeine in it is a diuretic, drawing water out of your cells and dehydrating you faster. If you must have something cold, try ice water or ice herbal teas or freshly squeezed juice (not from packs or concentrate). I prefer NOT to drink cold drinks when its too hot because I find that it sometimes makes me feel warmer. Instead I just take water at room temperature. It feels easier on my tummy and I don’t get brain freeze. Ice cream actually does not help in sweltering heat because the action of burning up the fat in the cream heats you up more after eating it. So, a better option is frozen fruit juices or sorbets.
Take cold showers
Nothing refreshes the body like a cold shower when its hot! So instead of taking that hot shower, try taking a cold one instead or what I do is to turn off the hot water towards the end of my shower. It cools down the body and refreshes body and mind enough so its comfortable to sleep and you don’t end up sweating a bucket once you exit the shower as you would a hot shower.
Slap on a cool hydrating mask
When its hot, more than ever I relish having a cool mask on my face. I find it cools my skin and causes less pimples to appear. So, what I do is pop a sheet mask in the fridge when I get home, then I take a hot and cold shower and when I get ready for bed, I just pop on the mask that was in the fridge. The cooling effect is calming and also helps to calm heat irritated skin. Since I’m doing it so often, I use cheaper sheet masks like the Garnier Lightening mask instead of splashing out on the Lancome Bio-Cellulose mask
Avoid going out in the sun where possible
If you can help it, stay away from the outside. Pack light simple lunches and stay in the office or indoors during the peak hours between 11am-4pm when the sun is at its hottest. Its better for your skin too. If you cannot avoid it, carry an umbrella or wear a hat and never forget your sunscreen. When running errands at this time, keep sun exposure as short as possible. This might be the only time I recommend hitting up a mall that has facilities like banking, post office etc so you stay cool indoors while avoiding running around in the sun.
Eat light small meals
When its hot, I find my appetite dissipates. I also feel lethargic and don’t quite relish slaving over the stove to prepare a meal. I don’t even want to look at my oven! So, what I do is have simple cool meals like cold tangy tuna pasta salads or green salads or pre-prepared meals I have stuffed into my freezer that I can just heat up without too much hassle. Eating small light meals also mean that there’s less energy to burn and keeps you from overheating from the inside.
Open doors and windows in the evenings to release hot air
When I get home, the first thing I do is open up all available doors and windows so the heat trapped in the house the whole day is released. There may not be much wind, but the exchange of hot trapped air and cooler outside evening air can cool the house or room down dramatically and quickly (without having to use electricity!). I only turn on my room air-conditioner after a couple of hours of airing and about half an hor before I go to bed. The air conditioner does not have to work as hard to cool down the room and you get a relatively comfortable environment to catch your beauty sleep.
Mist your face during the day
When its hot, one quick easy way to cool down is to mist your face with water. You can use an Evian spray or Avene thermal water spray, or you can just as easily fill up a little spritzer bottle with mineral water and spritz your face as you go. Water will pull the heat away from your skin as it evaporates and helps cool you down. Spritzing does not disturb your makeup as much as beats dunking your head under the sink!
Come share – what have you been doing to stay cool in this heatwave? I’d love to pick up a tip or two to keep me cool!
Stay beautiful… and cool!