5 Simple Ways to Stay Cool During a Heat Wave

This weekend, East Coasters discovered that the best sweat session in town could be found not in SoulCycle classes or cardio boxing blasts, but instead, right outside the front door, where full-throttle perspiration could be achieved just by sitting still. According to meteorologists, sweltering temperatures in the 90s—with a heat index reaching past the three-digit mark—will hold steady for the next few days. So what’s a hot child in the city to do? Here, five simple steps for keeping your body healthy—and your skin cool.

Drink up.

According to Manhattan-based doctor Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., hospitalist at NYU Langone Medical Center, the most salubrious action you can take is to hydrate. “During times of extreme heat or exposure to this kind of humidity, the body is unable to cool itself down effectively,” Okeke-Igbokwe says. “This can lead to dehydration,” in which the body loses important electrolytes at accelerated rates. “It’s important to replenish.” Drink before the feeling of thirst occurs—or, worse, symptoms of dehydration ranging from dizziness to confusion, agitation, and extreme fatigue set in. Of course, nothing will counteract your efforts like the parching effects of caffeine and alcohol. Instead, reach for electrolyte-rich beverages like coconut water—and aim to drink more fluids than you think you might need.

Go for a dip—early or late, that is.

A swim is a quick way to lower body temperature, though Okeke-Igbokwe says to avoid doing so in the peak heat of the day. “Be outside very early morning or closer to the evening time,” she suggests, noting that high-noon sun is not only uncomfortable, but is more likely to cause sunburn.

Get excited about white linen.

For unavoidable trips outdoors, Okeke-Igbokwe suggests draping yourself in “lighter fit clothing in lighter colors.” Pale shades will attract less light, and therefore less heat, than the classic urban wardrobe of black on black on black, while natural fibers wick warmth and moisture away from the skin. A mini sun umbrella tucked into your tote will deliver personal shade on those treacherous treeless stretches of sidewalk.

The freezer is the new medicine cabinet.

To counteract a red, overheated complexion, try a freezer-powered de-puffing face treatment to simultaneously brighten, tighten, and provide deep moisture below the skin’s surface. SkinCeuticals's new ultra-calming Phyto Corrective Gel feels that much better when stored in the refrigerator; for an even cooler option, Mila Moursi’s innovative Cryo Serum comes packaged in ice-cube-tray–size packets meant to be popped in the freezer, then massaged over the face and neck until completely absorbed.

Add a hint of mint.

Peppermint cools on contact—and adding products with the extract to your beauty regimen will make the most of every bit of breeze you encounter. Plant Apothecary’s Get Happy peppermint body wash will deliver on its promise when combined with a stiff, cold shower. Throughout the day, Odacité’s Mint and Green Tea Pore Purifying Toner will re-energize in more ways than one—and provides an even bigger pick-me-up blast when pulled fresh from the refrigerator. EiR’s Cooling Lip Balm uses essential oils to make every sip of cold water feel that much more gratifying. And for a scent that defies the muggy air, Serge Lutens’s cult classic L’Eau Froide blends notes of frankincense with the un-wiltable freshness of a cool cotton pillowcase.

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