How to keep your body and skin fully hydrated all summer.

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With summer’s humidity, sunshine and extreme temperatures (not that we are complaining!) it’s easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration wreaks havoc on our bodies and can also destroy the texture of our skin, so to help prepare you for the coming heat wave; we share clues on how to tell if your body (and your skin!) could use a bit more moisture. Plus you’ll love our list of summer essentials to help lock moisture in without making you feel sticky.

Overheating Symptoms

Although the ideal situation is to stay hydrated at all times, sometimes that’s not possible if you spend a lot of time outdoors for work, just engaged in some strenuous physical activity or been too preoccupied to refill your water cup throughout the day. When it’s warmer, we tend to sweat more and therefore this leads to increased moisture loss.  Hints that you aren’t just thirsty anymore (TIP: Drink water throughout the day so you don’t have the chance to “feel” parched, this is usually the first indication of minor dehydration) include symptoms of fatigue, flushed skin, headaches and an inability to tolerate heat. More telling symptoms include light-headedness, dark-colored urine, loss of appetite, nausea and a dry cough.

In contrast when the skin is dehydrated look for the following: tiny bumps on the skin’s surface, irregular break outs, uneven skin texture and irritated dry patches. The problem with skin dehydration is that it can often be misdiagnosed at home and mistaken for other skin conditions such as acne or eczema. Rather often small bumps under the skin and zits form because the outer layers of the skin become so dry that excess sebum is produced underneath to compensate.  Furthermore, dry patches are caused by a poor skin barrier function, the skin’s ability to hold moisture within. If you are unclear about the reason for your skin’s symptoms, be sure to get a correct diagnosis by visiting an esthetician or dermatologist first. 

How to Stay Cool Inside and Out

1. Drink In and Soak Up Moisture! Water, also known as the key to preventing dehydration is an essential nutrient to keep our bodies alive and functioning well. By keeping the fluids in your body at a healthy level by drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day and increasing hydration levels right before and after physical activity, you’ll feel more alert and also look better on the outside.

2. Steer Clear of Sweet Liquids: As a rule of thumb stay away from caffeine whether its coffee, tea or sugary sodas, and if absolutely necessary dilute fruit juice by fifty percent as these drinks actually pull water out of the body making you feel worse off than before you took your first sip!

3. Spritz Your Skin. In addition to your morning routine of toner, serum and moisturizer, after hours out in the sun or perhaps after sunburn refresh your skin with a quick spray of  Vichy Thermal Spa Water, ($7.50 for 50 mL or $13 CDN for 150 mL) all over the face to help maintain a dewy look. 

4. Soothe Your Feet. Tired and swelled legs and feet are characteristic of hours spent standing or walking in the heat.  Smooth on a little of L’Occitane Frisson Verveine Ice gel ($24, at all L’Occitane boutiques and  loccitane.ca) using  the roller ball tip on your arches and calves— the refreshing gel formula will cool you down in seconds.

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Treating Skin Dehydration At Home: 

5. For dry patches: If there is a small area on your face that is peeling chances are something caused the irritation and now your skin needs TLC. Gently apply the Dermalogica Skin Barrier Calming Gel ($56 at dermalogica.ca), an anhydrous moisturizer, over the area to reinforce the protective barrier and allow it to settle over time.

6. Resurface your skin: Keep in mind though no moisturizer will help reverse dehydration unless you regularly slough off dead skin cells with a weekly exfoliation ritual to get rid of skin cells that become dried out and dead from sun and heat exposure to allow for optimal absorption. Try Jouviance Purifying Exfoliator ($24 at Shoppers Drug Mart), a deep cleansing scrub  enriched with  bamboo micropearls to help you reveal your freshest face all summer long. 

7. For overall moisture: To maintain the new texture of your skin use both a hydrating serum and moisturizer that fully absorbs into the dermis and  keeps skin supple from the inside out.  We love the Kiehls Hydro Pumping Retexturizing Serum Concentrate, ($58 at Kiehls stores and kiehls.ca/) combined with the Swiss Line by Dermalab Force Vitale Aqua-Vitale Cream, ($150 for 50mL at Spas across Canada) that contains a special water-binding complex to lock in hydration. 

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