Summer is a rather 'uncomfortable' season, given the heat and sweat one may argue. But don't let the cruel sun beat you down --- with the right dress, make-up and attitude, looking fresh and good in summer shouldn't be so difficult.
The first general tip of summer is that you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This is also helpful for skin care and beauty. Having plenty of fluids will ensure you that your skin looks fresh.
The necessity of sunscreens cannot be overrated. Don't forget to apply sunscreens, in order to block out direct UV rays, before you go outdoors at daytime.
Keeping your skin clean is vital for all seasons, but during summer, extra care needs to be taken so that any dirt or oil does not block the skin pores. Use a cleanser that sops up grease.
Wear very light make-up. You can consider applying tinted moisturiser -- this evens out your skin tone, brings radiance and does not feel heavy in the heat. In addition to that, you can be more flexible in applying mascara: lots of mascara will help you get away with light make-up.
Try to avoid liquid and cream foundations when you're going outdoors in daytime.
Consider applying lip balms that contains SPF in order to protect them. You can top it off with a clear, nude, light pink or peach-orange gloss. Natural colours are important here. You can also add a little shine, but make sure you don't wear thick lipsticks.
Of course, you'll have to wear comfortable clothing that breathes. Cotton and linen fabrics in light colours are in. Fabrics such as silk and polyester are definitely not a good selection as they don't breathe well. Opt for a relatively loose fitting attire. You don't want sweaty and heavy clothes clinging to your body.
And lastly, don't forget to use deodorants in this hot weather. Fragrances based on citrus undertones and of different fruits are very refreshing and summery.
TIPS FOR A summer diet
If we do not adapt ourselves to a changed diet which is compatible with this heat, it is only likely that we will suffer from any of the following diseases: sore throat, cold, fever, heatstroke, allergy, water borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, jaundice, dysentery, diarrhoea, food poisoning etc.
Dehydration is a recurring problem in summer. Heat and sweat leave your body dehydrated. To stay well hydrated, therefore, drink sufficient fresh water everyday.
A human being, on an average, should drink at least 2-2.5 litres of water or any other fluids to prevent dehydration in summer. Try to avoid caffeinated tea, coffee, soft drinks, soda and alcohol as these can lead to dehydration.
Avoid drinking chilled liquids in summer. This is not advisable especially when you are trying to cool down. Drink sugar free fresh lemon juice, tender coconut water, green mango juice and thin buttermilk, to replenish the fluids that are lost to sweat.
Don't miss summer fruits
Fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, pineapple, mango and litchi are available in summer. These seasonal fruits will keep you cool and keep you healthy during this season.
Watermelon helps you stay hydrated. It contains lycopene which protects your skin against sun damage. Pineapple is another nutritious fruit during the warmer months. It includes vitamin C, vitamin B1, copper, and fibre. These nutrients work together to help improve the immune system. Green mango juice prevents excessive loss of sodium chloride and water due to excessive sweating. Ripe mango contains generous amounts of vitamin A and C, plus various kinds of carotenoids or antioxidants, which keep your skin smooth.
Enjoy summer vegetables
During the summer season, you will find a wide selection of vegetables in the market like ribbed gourd (jhinga), bitter gourd (korola), sponse gourd (dhundul), cucumber (shasa), kakdi, pumpkin, pointed gourd (patal), ladyfinger (dherosh) etc. Increasing the amount of these vegetables in your daily diet helps you tremendously to handle the summer heat.
Cucumber is made up of 90 percent water, making it the ideal summer vegetable. Pointed gourd has the capacity to boost your immunity. It is used like a medicine in treating flu, throat problems and high temperatures.
What to avoid
It is better to avoid spicy food. Rich foods such as biriyani, polau, khichuri, red meat, prawns, crab generate excessive heat and always should be avoided during summer. It is advised that rice be eaten during daytime instead of roti or nan roti.
Avoid smoking and alcohol. Even though dry fruits are considered extremely healthy, they produce a lot of heat. So, it is advisable to minimise the intake of dry fruits as well.
By Tamanna Chowdhury
Tamanna Chowdhury is Principal Dietician, Dietetics Department, Apollo Hospitals Dhaka.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Wardrobe: Le Reve
Make-up: Farzana Shakil