1. Thou shalt have your sun and love it too: No need to shun the sun. A wide-brimmed hat is a stylish way to protect your face and décolletage.
2. Thou shalt practise safe sun: Why don’t we ever listen? Imagine our horror when a Neutrogena survey last year revealed that 49 percent of us never use sun protection. Aside from staying in the shade, it’s our single best defence against premature aging and skin cancer. Make a commitment now to slather it on every day — it’s literally a lifesaver.
3. Thou shalt not be ill-prepared:
Here are seven summer first-aid essentials you can’t live without (and may not even know exist!):
Squeeze a few drops of this all-round infection fighter into water to ease sore throats and ward off summer colds.
Health First Orega-First Organic oregano oil, $28, Healthfirst.ca.
Oatmeal soothes while calamine dries out rashes in creams that treat insect bites and poison ivy, oak and sumac.
Aveeno anti-itch lotion, $12.
This miracle liquid cleanses cuts, temporarily soothes sunburn and windburn, and reduces pain and swelling caused by bruises, sprains and insect bites.
Life Brand Distilled Witch Hazel USP topical astringent, $8.
Portable and long-lasting, this antiseptic can also help you breathe more easily when you inhale it. Apply to bites and stings to cleanse and calm the skin.
The Body Shop tea-tree oil, $9.
Jewelweed, clay and antiseptic pine tar mildly cleanse and relieve itch after poison ivy exposure.
Burt’s Bees Poison Ivy soap, $8.
A transparent formula eliminates friction, preventing blisters from forming.
Life Brand Anti-Blister stick, $10.
Use this spray-on waterproof protection for scrapes and blisters.
New-Skin liquid bandage, $8.
4. Thou shalt nurture thy nails:
Secrets to a chip-free mani-pedi:
Use a base coat: Apply a protective layer of nail strengthener under polish to help colour last longer.
Top it off: After applying your colour, brush on a clear topcoat to seal in polish. Reapply the topcoat daily to keep colour looking fresh.
Let it dry: Give yourself at least 15 minutes to let the colour set, but try to avoid any activity for up to an hour afterwards to let polish harden and cure completely.
Hot summer shades: Choose pale pink, jade green, sizzling orange or violet for an of-the-moment manicured look.
5. Thou shalt fake, not bake: The top tip for bronze beauty, “It’s especially important to use a big fluffy brush in the summer months, so you can evenly distribute powder on your face, your décolletage and the tops of your shoulders.” — Lyren Cherlet, makeup artist, Blanche Macdonald Centre, Vancouver
6. Thou shalt become a summer try-athlete: Get outside and try something new with these calorie-burning sports.
Hit the trails:
Trail running is a challenging workout that takes you off the beaten path.
Why it’s hot: No traffic, no smog: it’s the perfect reprieve from a concrete jungle. And soft paths are easier on knees and shins.
What to do: Grab a friend and go! But start slow — uneven terrain will test your stamina.
It’s an Olympic-calibre workout that can score you an Olympic-calibre body.
Why it’s hot: It keeps you cool, and if you’re recovering from an injury, there’s no better place to start your comeback.
What to do: Warm up with your favourite stroke, then swim intervals (three lengths easy, one length hard) or sets of 200-m medleys (50 m each of butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle). Hold a kickboard to isolate and tone your lower body, or place a pull buoy between your legs to work shoulders, chest, back and arms.
Play in the sand:
Mix sun and fun with ball sports, soccer or a game of ultimate Frisbee — they’re all great excuses to head to the beach.
Why it’s hot: Any activity you do on sand burns more calories than on stable ground.
What to do: Sign up for a summer league or just hit the shore with friends. Compete in teams of two or three to get more of a workout, and if you’re playing catch, make sure you run for the ball!
7. Thou shalt not neglect thy skin: Healthy, glowing skin is about more than suncare and bronzers. Keep your body in tip-top condition by applying these nourishing products throughout the day:
Refine and polish
Gently exfoliate your skin while you wash to increase radiance.
While it’s damp, your skin will drink in a nourishing dry oil.
Vitamin E cream helps cool your skin and enhance its appearance.
Light after-sun lotion will sink right in to repair your skin after midday sun exposure.
Natural-looking colour will develop overnight with an easy-to-apply self-tanning mousse.
8. Thou shalt not wear over-powering fragrance: Thank heaven for summer scents! When it’s warm, fragrance evaporates off your skin more quickly than in the winter, and it can have an overwhelming effect, says Dave Lackie, editor of Cosmetics magazine.
9. Thou shalt honour thy body and feed it well: Certain foods may increase our body’s natural ability to repair itself and combat damage from the sun. Here’s how to eat your way to a healthier summer:
Honey calms sore throats and reduces the intensity of coughs.
Some people also claim that a small amount of locally produced honey helps relieve hay fever.
TIP: It can be added to anything — drinks, dressings, sauces — and applied to cuts and sores, because of its natural antibacterial properties.
Ginger settles nausea and upset stomachs. Used in Asian medicine for more than 2,000 years, ginger is a great tummy tamer before a long summer road trip.
TIP: Choose a tablet form or steep sliced fresh ginger in hot water and add honey to taste.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, says Caleb Ng, a naturopathic doctor at the Mountainview Wellness Centre in B.C. Aside from protecting against free-radical damage, preliminary reports suggest, antioxidants can assist in controlling inflammation in conditions like arthritis, says Ng.
TIP: Frozen blueberries will do if you can’t find good fresh ones. Add them to drinks instead of ice cubes.
Tomato paste helps fight sunburns.
A study found that eating 55 g of tomato paste with olive oil daily delivers 33 percent more protection against sunburn, because it’s a great source of the antioxidant lycopene.
TIP: The body absorbs lycopene more readily when it’s cooked with fat, so top a whole-grain pita with tomato paste, sprinkle with shredded cheese and broil until cheese melts.
Green tea may reduce sun sensitivity and free-radical damage. Researchers say green tea is powered up by a group of antioxidants called catechins.
TIP: To maximize your cup’s catechins, brew loose-leaf green tea for two minutes in water slightly cooler than boiling; one study found that a splash of lemon juice may boost tea’s antioxidants as well.
Fish and red wine may help fight cancer. Scientists in Australia found that of more than 1,100 people studied, those who ate a serving of oily fish every five days developed 28 percent fewer precancerous skin tumours than those who ate little or none. The protection is likely linked to omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Those who consumed half a glass of wine per day had 27 percent fewer precancerous lesions, possibly because of wine’s polyphenols.
TIP: If you’re not a fish fan, try taking fish-oil supplements.
Coconut water is packed with potassium and electrolytes. It helps replenish our bodies quickly, says Toronto nutritionist Meghan Telpner.
TIP: Different kinds of coconut water are available, but the best is straight from a fresh, young coconut, since nutrients diminish after exposure to air.
Fresh greens are nature’s best fuel. Telpner recommends eating lots of leafy greens, because “they’re filled with chlorophyll, a super-powered blood and liver cleanser.” Spinach, parsley and garden cress contain high quantities of the green stuff, which has been shown to bind to some suspected carcinogens (like those found in tobacco smoke and charred meat), possibly preventing them from being absorbed by our bodies.
TIP: Have a triple dose and make a salad with all three, topped with a lemon-juice dressing.
Fresh oranges help keep our immune system in order. It’s easy to become dehydrated in the heat, so it’s important to snack on foods with a high water content. Oranges contain lots of water and fibre, as well as beta carotene, which is converted by the body to vitamin A. Ng says, “Oranges contain citrus bioflavonoids, which aid absorption and protect collagen to keep skin healthy.”
TIP: Throw mandarin slices on your salad for an instant, refreshing upgrade.
10. Thou shalt not use thy blow-dryer and hair straightener in vain:
These top hair cheats will help you go au naturel:
The sea salt in this cult classic creates beachy curls. Sally Hershberger Wave spray, $12.
Give your hair movable hold while reducing frizz. Living Proof Hold Flexible hairspray, $28.
Replenish damaged hair in less than five minutes. Joico K-Pak Sun Therapy Treatment mask, $20.
Add moisture and shine, and keep the frizz at bay. Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan oil treatment, $12.
Protect your scalp and enhance colour. Redken Color Extend Sun Solar Screen spray, SPF 12, $20.
Soothe and rebuild hair after UV exposure. Schwarzkopf Professional BC Sun Protect after-sun treatment, $18.