En español | Hot enough for you? Just months ago, we were cooped up at home in sweats and dreaming of a sunny season outdoors. Well, be careful what you wish for. Summer's here — and so is the part we forgot about: the muggy, wet-sponge feeling of torrid high-humidity days that wreak havoc with our skin, makeup, hair and clothes. Here are 10 ways to feel fresher when the temperature soars.
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PHOTO BY: Target (2); H&M (2)
1. Wear white, black or prints to hide sweat stains
Glaring sweat marks are every woman's heat-wave nightmare. Unfortunately, they're more obvious on solid brights and pastels. Wear black, white or prints on extra steamy days. Both these neutral hues and/or the busyness of patterns help underarm wet spots blend in and disappear to the eye. While you may feel clammy, no one will see discolorations thanks to this optical illusion. Choose tops with short, loose sleeves like the H&M Modal-Blend Blouse in White ($25, hm.com/en_us) and H&M Crinkled Blouse in Black/Patterned ($15, hm.com/en_us), and dress styles with deep armholes or open sleeves like the Prologue Women's Dolman 3/4 Sleeve Dress ($35, target.com) or A New Day Women's Short Sleeve Utility Dress ($30, target.com). The airy fit helps air flow around the armpit to minimize staining and keep you comfy.
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PHOTO BY: Target (3); Walgreens (2)
2. Choose the right deodorant
Sticks are clearly the way to go now (no stickiness or residue), but it's up to you whether to choose a deodorant that reduces odor or an antiperspirant/deodorant that blocks wetness and treats odor. Sweating is the body's way of cooling off, and we all do it so don't feel embarrassed. Odor is the really big deal, since smells (good and bad) get amplified by heat. So-called “natural” deodorants — like Schmidt's Rose + Vanilla Natural Deodorant ($9, ulta.com); Love Beauty and Planet Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Deodorant ($9, walgreens.com); and Tom's of Maine Natural Long Lasting Deodorant Lavender ($6, walgreens.com) — use botanicals to combat body odor. Combination antiperspirants/deodorants such as Dove Advanced Care Sheer Fresh 48-Hour Invisible Antiperspirant & Deodorant Stick ($4, target.com) and Degree Clinical Protection Summer Strength Antiperspirant & Deodorant Stick ($7, target.com) rely on the classic ingredient aluminum zirconium to zap wetness and stinky scents but are now paraben-, sulfate- and dye-free. (FYI: While aluminum zirconium has raised health questions, to date there is no conclusive scientific evidence it causes breast cancer or Alzheimer's.) Whichever formula you choose, apply it right after bathing on clean, dry underarms for total security all day.
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PHOTO BY: Aveeno; Amazon; Garnier; Thayers
3. Stick to two-step skin care
During the summer, minimize face products. Scorching days are no time for piling on extra serums and treatments. However, our mature skin — even on the steamiest days — still needs hydration and a daily sunscreen. Except for beach and pool days (when full-strength broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen — and every-two-hour reapplication — is essential), stick with a nourishing combo moisturizer/sunscreen that's oil-free, such as Aveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizing Lotion Dry Skin SPF 30 ($15, target.com) or Olay Total Effects Whip Face Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 40 ($38, cvs.com). Freshen up between mask wearings or whenever you need a reboot with an alcohol-free hydrating mist like Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist with Rose Water ($9, cvs.com) or Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Mist Toner ($11, cvs.com). It works right over makeup, too, and is a great cool-down item for menopause hot flashes during the day or night. Keep it in the fridge.
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PHOTO BY: Target; True & Co; Athleta; Spanx
4. Wear a cooler bra
Humid days can cause bra chafing and moisture spots around the band and straps as perspiration and friction increase. Try a moisture-wicking sports bra like the All in Motion Women's Medium Support Racerback Shape Bra with Mesh ($24, target.com) or Athleta Advance Bra B-DD ($69, athleta.com) to help pull sweat away from the body. Alternately, switch to a daily-wear racerback bra like the True & Co True Body Lift V Neck Racerback Bra ($58, trueandco.com) or Spanx Bra-llelujah! Racerback Bra ($68, spanx.com). In both cases the seamless construction, wide straps and design shift stress away from sweaty shoulders and provide extra lift and support under loose-fitting clothes. Wash bras more often (and don't wear the same one every day) since the combo of heat and wet, sweat-drenched fabric makes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Be sure to remove any tags or labels that can rub or irritate your skin.
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PHOTO BY: Laura Mercier; Sephora (2)
5. Go light on makeup
Between sunglasses, prescription or reading glasses, masks and social distancing, we need no more than a tinted moisturizer to blur discolorations and give our face a radiant, even glow. Be sure to choose a brand that has a wide range of skin tones in a hydrating formula — like Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($47, ulta.com), IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Illumination with SPF 50+ ($40, sephora.com) or Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($45, sephora.com). These are on the higher end of the price range for tinted moisturizers, but — trust me — the payoff is an accurate match, extra ingredients that benefit mature skin and high enough UV protection.
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PHOTO BY: Redken; Biolage; Not Your Mother's; CVS
6. Work with humidity hair — don't fight it
You really can't win. Your usual bathroom blow-dry takes twice as long on steamy days and your blowout frizzes the minute you step outdoors. Your scalp feels wet. Your usually well-behaved curls, waves or textured hair balloons to a wild pouf — and let's not even discuss what happens to bangs. Sound familiar? There are three good options. Try embracing an air-dried natural look, but first (and this makes all the difference) prep freshly washed hair with a coconut oil-infused leave-in treatment. Sprays like Redken One United Multi-Benefit Treatment Spray ($36, ulta.com) or Matrix Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray ($30, ulta.com) detangle, fill gaps in the cuticle (crucial if hair is chemically processed or damaged) and boost a healthier, shinier look. Try folding a cotton or silk scarf into a narrow headband to hold hair (and bangs if you have them) off your face at the hairline. This will work as a chic alternative to a sweatband and absorbs excess moisture before it runs down your face. Last but not least, simply get hair up and off your face in a chic bun, braid or ponytail. No matter what your hair texture or solution, keep a portable dry shampoo such as Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Travel Size Dry Shampoo ($4, cvs.com) or Dove Refresh+Care Fresh Coconut Travel Size Dry Shampoo ($3, cvs.com) handy between washes to absorb perspiration and give hair and scalp a clean scent.
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PHOTO BY: H&M; Ann Taylor; Old Navy
7. Wear looser, lighter dresses
Anything that fits too close to the body or clings will feel hot, heavy and clammy on fiery days or nights. This means skipping tailored dresses like sheaths and fit-and-flare styles for now. Roomy shifts and swing dresses that float over the body — like the Old Navy Embroidered-Yoke Square-Neck Linen-Blend Shift Dress for Women in Creme de la Creme ($40, oldnavy.gap.com), H&M Flounce-Trimmed Dress in White ($50, hm.com/en_us) or Ann Taylor Metallic Stripe Tie Neck Shift Dress in Black ($100, anntaylor.com) — offer maximum moisture evaporation and breathability. And being able to skip shape wear is a bonus!
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PHOTO BY: Target; Uniqlo
8. Wear a sweat-wicking T-shirt as a liner
It's blazing hot and you've got to wear a blazer? Maybe this is the week you're going back to work or have a serious job interview. Sounds crazy but if you're one who seriously perspires, an antibacterial, odor-controlling tee — like the Uniqlo Women Airism Scoop Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt ($15, uniqlo.com), All In Motion Women's Cap Sleeve Perforated T-Shirt ($16, target.com) or your sporty sweat-wicking yoga tank — works like air-conditioning under jackets when you need to look polished.
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PHOTO BY: Madewell; Banana Republic; Gap
9. Choose wide-leg pants
Give your jeans a break. Relaxed, looser-leg pants (especially cropped styles) max out airflow. Look for simple lightweight styles — like the Madewell Linen Huston Button-Front Crop Pants in Check ($72, madewell.com), Banana Republic High-Rise Wide-Leg Linen-Cotton Pant in White ($89, bananarepublic.com) or Gap Linen Wide-Leg Pant in Ivory Cream Frost ($70, gap.com) — to dress up or down with all your mules, slides and sneakers.
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PHOTO BY: Target (2)
10. Deodorize your shoes
We sweat from head to toe. Sweltering days can cause stinky shoes and feet that burn, blister or smell less-than-sweet as friction and heat do their dirty work. Try to avoid closed shoes like loafers, sneakers and ballet flats if possible, and stick with open sandals, mules and slides. The best antidote to odor is baking soda in a foot spray — like Arm & Hammer Invisible Spray Foot Powder ($7, target.com) or Dr. Scholl's Odor-X Odor Fighting Spray Powder ($5, target.com) — or as an overnight shoe freshener. You can sprinkle regular kitchen baking soda (it's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory) in your shoes between wearings (works like it does in the fridge) and shake them out in the morning. Another option: Cut off the feet portion of old pantyhose, fill the toes with baking soda (add a little lavender essential oil if you have any handy) and tie the tops with a string or rubber band to form a DIY sachet. Leave these in shoes during closet breaks. You also may simply tuck a scented fabric softener sheet in the toes of any shoes while they “rest” for a similar effect.
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