Surviving Summer

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Beauty isn’t skin deep. Well,not literally at least. It’s not the color of skin or the sharpness of facial features that determine the beauty of a person. True. But seriously how many of us remember this when stepping out into the streets when temperatures threaten to topple over 40 degrees?

The first thing that comes to our minds before stepping out during the day,is the protection of our skin and hair. All our ideas of beauty being a part of the intrinsic whole and that we shouldn’t always concentrate on the physical aspect of beauty, vanishes as soon as we become aware that our skin and hair might be threatened by the sunlight. Unfortunately,the sun’s rays are rather unforgiving and ruthless and this phenomenon is to increase in the days to come. Nowadays,summer is not all about happiness and sunshine. True, pool parties become an absolute necessity and compulsory, but you can’t just stay in the pool twenty four hours of the day!

So,how to save yourself from the heat?

Plenty of water? Yes. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies? Yes. Less of junk food and oily dishes? Yes. Wearing cotton dresses that cover the arms, face and every possible exposed skin? Yes. Use essential oils while bathing? Definitely. Why should we use these oils while bathing or showering? Essential oils are the oils extracted from certain types of plants,bushes,flowers and so on. These oils perform a variety of functions for the plants ranging from protection to sensory functions such as fragrance and other important functions such as pollination. The different fragrances of these oils have certain specific functions. Therefore,when used in the shower,their features act on our senses and produce various effects such as calmness,soothing our nerves,curing any nasal block and so on. An important function is in rejuvenation of the mind. Lemongrass, Rose, Sage, Rosemary, Chamomile, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang are some flowers and herbs whose essential oils are used extensively. Now, many of us tend to make up for body odor by using deodorants. Now, that is a mistake. Using deodorants to cover up for sweat not only causes further odor, but also hampers sweat secretion which is more harmful than people knowing that you smell! For swimmers, bathing with these essential oils is a must. It not only makes you feel refreshed, but also relieves your skin of the damage caused by the chlorine in the pool.

Fluid intake during the summers not only helps to flush out toxins but also maintains the water balance of the body. Sweating tends to lead to loss of electrolytes .Drinking fruit juices and water in which sugar and salt has been added, makes up for this loss and keeps the body hydrated.

A very common problem suffered during this time is that of tanning. Tanning causes discoloration of the exposed skin thus resulting in uneven skin tone. Now that’s something very awkward and not to mention,uncomfortable. Especially while wearing sleeveless clothes or halter necks. Sunscreen lotions with a minimum SPF of 50 should be used and here’s how you can hope to regain normal skin color:

In a small chutney bowl,take some honey and squeeze lemon juice in it. Now mix it with your finger tips. A slippery mixture will be formed. Apply it all over the parts that were exposed to the sun. Wait for a few minutes or till dry and then wash it off. Within a few weeks,the tanned parts will become bleached and the hair on those portions will become golden.

Try this as well:

Take a handful of masoor dal and make a powder of it. It’s not going to be entirely smooth,rather its rough and coarse texture will be useful. Now while bathing,use it as a natural scrub and see the smoothness of your skin come back!

If all these seem too much of hard work,then simply take a few spoonfuls of besan in a bowl and add just enough water to reach a honey-like consistency. Then gently rub this on your skin and wait till it dries. Don’t talk when it’s drying,it causes lines on the skin. After it dries,wash it off with lukewarm water to remove effectively.

These skin remedies work on all skin types and are highly effective.

This was all about skin. How do we protect our hair?

Wrap your heads with cotton scarves and use an umbrella.Back home,dry your hair under the fan and shampoo every alternate days. This helps to remove the dirt and filth accumulated in the hair and scalp. To bring back the glaze,use yoghurt on it as a natural conditioner. Beaten eggs when applied twice a week nourishes the hair and restores depleted proteins.

The elements of nature may not always be at our command. The fact that we are affected by them is proof of our existence and further strengthens the bond between us and Mother Nature. “Nothing lasts forever,We’re only here today”. Summer,like every other facet of our life,is as transient as can be. But the tips given above,will surely help anyone survive this transience and emerge out of it with flying colors. Life,after all,is about fighting and winning,among all other things.

Believer. Reader. Brooder.