Summer scenarios solved

Hayfever, sweating, chafing – we’ve got you covered

Ahh, summer. A time where everyone’s spirits are lifted, our social media feeds are flooded with #nevercominghome holiday pics, and we prep and preen our bodies ready to strut our best summer self. But the balmy months can come with a few speed bumps (erm hello sneezing fit at your friend’s BBQ) but fear not, as this summer it’s all about not letting the small stuff ruin that fun in the sun.


Don’t sweat the sweat

Whether you’re enjoying a staycation and soaking up the sun in your back garden, jetting off to a week of golden sands and blue seas, or simply battling the office temperature at the peak of summer – sweating can be one of summer’s bugbears. Being in any kind of heat is bound to open the perspiration floodgates, but there are a few handy ways to help keep your cool.

Rule number one – remember to spritz or roll on antiperspirant. It’s a simple tip that'll help set you up for a fresh day. If you find yourself feeling a little on the toasty side then make sure you have plenty of water to hand, reach for water-rich foods such as delicious watermelon (ahh the smell), have a cooling mist to hand and try to avoid sitting in the sun from 11am to 3pm as this is the hottest point of the day. If you’re enjoying a lovely staycation then head inside for half an hour and splash your face with water to help you cool off.

The office temperature debate will be one that rages on for years to come, but if you find yourself flagging then invest in a handy desk fan, cooling mist and opt for water rather than your usual afternoon hot cuppa. Want the low down on all things sweat? Check out our guide on everything you need to know about sweating.


Chafing thighs

Inner thigh chafing can be a bit of a pain when it comes to the warmer months, but luckily there are plenty of ways to stop it rubbing you up the wrong way. It’s not about creating a thigh-gap, as you can embrace your body and rock those curves!

But what causes this thigh-way to hell? When those stunning thighs enjoy a run or wearing clothing that feels a little tight, it can cause the skin to become a little thinner and results in those ‘ouch’ moments. Our main tip is to avoid wearing anything too tight, and let’s face it, who wants to wear jeans during 25 degree heat?! Instead, opt for looser fitting fabrics which will give your skin a chance to breathe. Another top tip is to apply antiperspirant to your thighs as it will help keep them dry, and thus avoid a chafing situation!

Already feeling a little sore? Try these soothers:

• Splash thighs with cool water, and apply a cold compress if needed

• Use a mild, fragrance free cleanser. Look for one with soothing properties, and don’t scrub!

• Apply a small amount of Vaseline before going to bed and let it work its magic

• Avoid any strenuous exercise until the chafing has calmed down


Ouch! I’ve been bitten

Hands up if you’ve done the wasp waft dance during a lovely summer picnic, or hosted a mosquito dinner party on your lower leg. Summer brings out all the creepy crawlies and they just love to have a little nibble on your skin! But you can help avoid any bites with our handy tips:

• Keep calm and don’t swot on – as tempting as it may be to get in a flap, this may anger your insect pals, so try and move away slowly instead

• Keep arms and legs covered where possible

• Apply insect repellent with 50% deet, as this the most effective

• Avoid using strong smelling cosmetics, such as deodorant and perfume, as this can attract insects

If you have fallen victim to a pesky bite or sting, remove the sting or tick if it’s still in the skin then wash your skin with soap and water, then apply a cold compress to help reduce any swelling. Also, don’t scratch as this could lead to an infection. Once everything has calmed down, apply bite relief cream and consider taking an antihistamine if it still feels itchy*

*You may need to take extra precautions if you're travelling to part of the world where there's a risk of serious illnesses. For example, you may be advised to take antimalarial tablets to help prevent malaria


Enjoying too much fun in the sun

Enjoying fun in the sun can sometimes mean we lose track of time, but it’s really important to make sure you apply enough sun protection to avoid any lobster-looking skin and painful sunburns. Always apply sun cream with suitable UVA and UVB protection, apply even when cloudy and reapply regularly (especially after a dip in the sea) and only ever choose products with SPF15 or more and a high UVA rating. If you’re a little out of the loop with all things UVA, UVB and SPF then read our handy sun care guide. Remember to also stay out of the sun during 11am to 3pm, as this is the hottest part of the day – more time to hit the shade and enjoy a good book instead.

If you’re looking a little pink then your skin may have been exposed to a little bit too much sun and may well be warm and sore to the touch. Get out of the sun to find a place to cool down, and then make sure you’re well hydrated before hopping in a cool shower or bath. To help soothe any soreness try applying after sun with aloe vera and even taking painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen to soothe any discomfort. It’s important to keep the sore areas away from the sun until they’re back to normal, so make sure to cover them up with loose clothing.


Hayfever

If you find yourself becoming a slave to checking the daily pollen count then you’ll know the battle with hayfever is real. But itchy eyes, sneezing and feeling like you could be getting a cold needn’t put your summer plans on hold. We’ve pulled together a few top tips to take you from ‘achoo!’ to ‘ahh, the great outdoors’

• Apply Vaseline or an allergy barrier product around your nostrils to help prevent pesky pollen from entering

• Have a shower when you’ve been outside, remembering to wash your hair to help remove any pollen

• Also pop your clothes in the wash as pollen can linger on them, and don’t dry them outside as pollen may become attached

• Wear waterproof mascara so you needn’t worry about any watery eye moments

• Before you head out to enjoy all things summer, consider taking an antihistamine tablet if you notice the first symptoms of hayfever

• Pop a steroid nasal spray in your bag to use regularly and relieve nasal congestion


Periods

Aunt Flo’, the painters are in, the reds are playing at home, shark week – these are just some of the euphemisms for periods, but during the summer months periods can sometimes be less of a laughing matter. Half of the population experiences a period every month and there are plenty of ways to make sure they don’t impact your summer plans.

During your period you may be concerned about leaking, especially if you’re wearing a lighter colour or a bikini or swimsuit, but with the right protection (such as super pads, tampons** or menstrual cups) you should be able to avoid any unwanted spillages. But if you’re feeling a little nervous then make sure you take a change of underwear or clothes with you in your bag, and add a few extra sanitary items too. Your body temperature can fluctuate during your period, so coupled with the summer heat you may be feeling a little less than fresh. But by making sure you have a cool drink, cool snacks (erm, hello frozen grapes – game changer), a cooling mist and even a little hand fan, you’ll be able to keep your cool.

**Always change tampons regularly and use one with the lowest absorbency suitable for your menstrual flow


Swollen, dry & flaky feet

Ever worn those killer shoes in the summer heat and noticed your feet start to swell? Us too. But don’t fret, as this is down to your body’s natural cool mechanism (technical, we know). Your blood vessels widen as your body tries to cool down, and at the same time your veins can struggle to return blood back to your heart, so fluid pools in the ankles and feet. Science lesson over – so how do you help to ease those swollen tootsies? Elevate your feet, drink plenty of water, give them a little massage and avoid being still for too long.

From breaking in those new summer wedges, to dancing all night at your friend’s wedding; your feet go through a lot, so it’s understandable if they’re not looking or feeling their summer self all of the time. Cracked heels are more common than you think, and it can be all too easy to leave them until their summer debut, but by investing in a good hard skin remover and regular buffing and moisturising, you’ll be looking toe-tally fabulous in no time. Looking to nail your foot prep? Take a look at our top tips for getting your feet summer ready.

Speaking of toes, summer can be a hot favourite for athlete’s foot – red, itchy, flaky skin between toes and sometimes on soles, due to fungi growing on the skin. This can be caught from walking barefoot by the swimming pool and made worse by wearing shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty. Help prevent this by using talcum powder to keep your feet fresh and sweat free, dry your feet well after washing – especially between the toes, and change your shoes as often as possible.


Bumpy bikini line

If you’re rocking a fuzz free bikini line then you’re bound to encounter some bumps and rashes along the way, but don’t let them spoil your summer fun. Bikini line bumps usually crop up due to blunt razors and dry skin – oww! Not a combination we love. So the key to a smoother bikini line is all in the prep.

Our top tips are:

• Apply a small amount of baby oil to your bikini line or spend 10 minutes in warm water – both will help to soften your hair

• Exfoliate – this helps to remove dead skin cells and allows the blade to get closer to your skin

• Use a hydrating shaving gel – look for ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter and aloe vera

• Shave in the direction of hair growth – keep the blade downward without adding too much pressure

• After shaving rinse your bikini line with cold water, and even apply a cold compress to help fend off irritation

• Moisturise! Look for moisturisers that are fragrance and alcohol free

• Look after your razor – replace your blades every five to seven shaves, and if you spot any rust then toss it out!


Down-under itch

Did you know that summer = thrush season? No wonder, when the fungus likes nothing more than a warm, dark environment (hello wet bikini bottoms after a day at the beach or pool!). After swimming, ensure you change out of your wet gear and sleep in cotton underwear. If you do get any symptoms, such as itching and irritation around the vagina or a white, cottage cheese-like discharge, then speak to your Boots pharmacist to see if an over-the-counter thrush treatment might be suitable for you. If your symptoms persist or if it’s the first time you’ve had thrush, speak to your GP.

Now you’re ready to get out there and enjoy summer, no matter what life throws at you!