Friday, 3 July 2015

Instructions for a heatwave


This was in no way a planned post, but as I am sitting here in my pants, furiously waving my old school fan to keep myself cool (my electric travel fan has gone mia, and yes I know technically the effort of fanning oneself technically makes you hotter not cooler because of the heart produced by performing a physical activity, but it's mind over matter type situation). I simply can not focus on anything else but the heat.

Don't get me wrong as much as I love to complain about the weather (I mean what self respecting British person doesn't?), I actually like it when it's hot. That doesn't mean I always handle it well, I find it hard to focus, my brain refuses to be task oriented and if I am lucky to have time off, I know it is simply pointless to force myself to finish projects. I end up having to redo everything anyway, so I might as well relax.

Clearly it is not just me who can't handle the heat, my back up laptop has given up the ghost in a rather spectacular manner, with white smoke and everything. I'm taking it as a sign that I'm cursed, just joking, I decided to take a few days for myself and suspend my previous blog schedule until next week. It was either that or succumb to despair. Frankly I'm in far too good a place for despair, but I could do with some pampering and book reading.


The biggest obstacle for me is that when it's hot I loose my appetite, the only thing I crave is watermelon. Obviously watermelons are awesome as 92% is water, keeping you hydrated. The lycopene content helps your skin boost the UV-defense properties that work together with your sunscreen. Watermelon reduces water retention and cools the body. It also happens to be a source of iron. Regardless of all the watermelon powers, it is simply not enough to nourish ones body if that is the only thing that you eat (and as always too much of a good thing becomes bad). Luckily I have been sent Ambronite* to try and it arrived right at the start of the heatwave. This is a drinkable supermeal, made with organic real-food ingredients and while I'm not quite ready for a proper review, this has proven a lifesaver in this weather.

I love my herbal and green teas, and yes I'm still drinking some of them hot (hot drinks keep you cooler under certain conditions, check this article by smithsonian), but I am also using them in slightly different way. When I have time, I make a fresh mint infusion in a caffeterier, freeze the liquid in an ice cube tray, and than just pop a few cubes in a glass of water whenever I fancy a refreshing drink. When it comes to chamomile, I have these convenient bags from tea pigs, so I just infuse it in a large cup, and again freeze it in an ice cube tray. These cubes, however, I use on my skin. After washing my face, I use it instead of a toner (I also like to use one on the neck and d├ęcolletage). Chamomile soothes my skin that, the cold from the ice cube helps with any puffiness and generally feels refreshing after a hot day.


Generally my skincare routine has not really changed, I have stopped using face oils until the heatwave passes, and just use sunscreen after spraying liberally with May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden. I also spray myself with it last thing at night. When it comes to body care, I decided to take a leaf out of May's book, and skip the towels. Straight after a shower, on fairly wet skin, I have been using Laurel whole plant organics Sun: before and after body oil. This is a seasonal product only available during the summer months. It is an amazing cocktail of antioxidant oils, that help with boosting your sunscreen and repairing some of the damage after sun exposure (obviously this is not a magic cure, it doesn't mean that just because you use this you can fry in the sun all day long and everything will be dandy, it really won't).

To cool down when I'm at home I have been using Deep Steep passion fruit-guava body mist. I love the product, but really not a fan of the scent. Made a major snaffoo when choosing it, it reminds me of Fa fruity soap (Anyone remember those deos? Do they still exist?) that I was fond of in my early teenage years. I will repurchase in a different version, as I love how fresh it makes my skin feel, just wish I could have a sniff in a store before I do...

As luck would have it, I ran out of the only deodorant that actually works well for me when it's hot, and it will be another week until it gets here since I realised it too late. That means I was forced to rummage through my stash, and what do you know, I fished out body Brana sensitive skin deo. They make it in two versions summer and winter, the difference is how hard the formula is, not how well it protects you from becoming pongy. Being true to myself, I forgot to specify that I need a winter version, and I'm sort of stuck with the summer one. Hence why it didn't really get any use, as the only time this is usable is when my coconut oil is completely liquid. Well it happens to be this week, and it has been happily traveling with me to work and having a great steam room experience in my locker, without breaking a sweat (see what I did there? Now you know why I simply can't write an adult post right now).


Outside, my BKR bottle has become my best friend, I really don't want to be drinking from your standard water bottles, which leach plastic into your water when they get hot from the sun. My jean shorts, that I have been wearing every day (obviously not during the work hours, but as soon as my shift is over I'm in them faster than Superman), and my massive sunglasses have become a sort of heatwave uniform of choice. I have also been bringing tatcha blotting papers everywhere with me in case my face gets oily. What is great about them is they will only absorb oil, leaving your moisture levels intact as well as whatever products you have on your face undisturbed. Ooh La Lara hair bands are in constant use. My hair is super long at the moment, and these have been amazing at keeping it on top of my head in a messy bun (hair style that is hands down the winner this week), without falling apart or damaging my hair.

As I can't really wind down without doing something I have been listening to my iPod (often to Summer Jam by the underdog project on repeat), or reading. It seemed appropriate to start a book by Maggie O'Farrell "Instructions for a Heatwave". Not my usual choice of sci-fi or fantasy, there are no dragons or unicorns in this as far as I can tell, but I like to do that from time to time, read something completely different to widen my horizons.

London might not be the nicest place to be during a heatwave, unless you manage to snag yourself a nice spot in the park. But it is where I am, and I am loving every minute.

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