Summer Beauty SOS: How To Deal With The Less Glam Side Of The Warmer Months

Sweating, chafing, hammy legs... We've got you covered.

We really don’t look like this right now.

Listen, I love the idea of ‘getting my pins out’ for the summer as much as the next gal. But I can’t be alone in feeling a little bit of dread when the sun comes out. There’s just so much to do – get the razor out of hibernation, sort out the toes, reassess my makeup routine… And that’s before we have to get out there and deal with all of this. I figured I’m not alone in this, so I did a bit of research in the name of feeling better…

The Chub Rub Club

Tumblr/nationofamanda

Big news: Some people’s thighs touch. Now, I have no problem with this, but bare thighs rubbing together can only mean one thing: Pain. The next time you see a woman you think looks fresh and carefree in her summer dress, know that she’s probably wondering when her poor stinging thighs will find relief. But none of us need to suffer like this, because there are many, many things you can do to ensure your chub does not rub.

Stick deodorant or a silicone-based face primer applied to the insides of the thighs can stop the friction in a pinch, but they may not have the longevity you’re looking for. The Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by Lush smells gorgeous while keeping you dry and smooth everywhere you need it to (so it’s also handy for boob sweat. I did say this was the less glam side of summer beauty). For really heavy duty stuff, head to a sporting goods shop for Bodyglide, an anti-chafing balm designed for use by athletes. Yes, you’re an athlete now.

In some situations, the re-application of anti-chafing products is unfeasible or just plain annoying – in that case, you might want something you can put on and forget about. Control-top bike shorts from Penneys’ lingerie section do just fine, but I also tried Bandelettes (available online here or on Amazon), a slightly more elegant option. They’re garter-like bands that fit around your thighs snugly, preventing them from rubbing together. They come in different colours and lacy patterns, meaning they actually look quite cute.

There may be times when, despite your best efforts, your chub is rubbed. How do you make it feel better? The answer is nappy rash cream. Slather it all over the affected area and be soothed.

Ham Legs

The approximate colour and texture of your legs.

Though we try to cover them up with fake tan, we cannot truly hide the truth of our Irish legs. Because they basically never see the sun, they have the mottled look of ham, with little red bumps of ingrown hairs dotted around the place. If you’re reading this thinking, “My legs don’t look like ham”: Lucky you! All I see when I look down are two slices of Denny’s.

I’m telling you now, and I’m also telling myself at the same time because I’m very bad for putting this off, but: MOISTURISE YOUR BODY. Get a body lotion or a butter (I like the Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion because it contains exfoliating lactic acid, great for bumpy ‘chicken skin’) and put it all over yourself regularly. Your skin is ham-like because it is so very thirsty. Give it a drink! And exfoliate with a scrub (no microbeads) at least once a week to get rid of any lizard scales.

To tackle those pesky ingrown hairs directly, think of them like spots. Waxperts’ Wonder Pads are specially designed to exfoliate and fight ingrown hairs, but if you can’t get a hold of them, try the Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Pads (meant for the face, better for the body). Alternatively, Thalgo’s Targets Ingrown Hairs is like a spot cream for ingrowns, encouraging the hairs to break the skin and stopping it from happening again. With these techniques in our arsenal, we cannot fail to destroy Ham Legs once and for all.

Bite Me

Mosquitos. Midges. Who asked for them? Because I’d like a word. Holidays can and have been ruined by itchy bites, especially if they get infected. People might tell you to wear long sleeves and lightweight trousers, but we should not have to give up our lovely holiday outfits just because some mozzies are threatening to bite us. We will not be bullied! There are other ways to stop their reign of terror.

Try to get your hands on some bottles of Avon Skin So Soft via Amazon before you go away – it’s a dry oil that contains citronellol, an ingredient the buggies hate, and much kinder to your skin than regular insect repellant. Sit near fans – mozzies are weak fliers, so they can’t get at you if there’s a fan blowing them away (which is kinda funny to think about). Anthisan cream will give you instant relief from a bite, but if it gets any worse, go to a pharmacist and DO NOT SCRATCH. Please, I’ve been there and my god, the WELTS. It’s not worth the temporary solace.

Help! My Face Is Melting

There is nothing more devastating than strutting down the street thinking you’re only gorgeous, then catching a glimpse of your reflection to see you could conceivably fry an egg with the oil from your forehead. Some gals might choose to forgo make-up completely in the warmer months, but if you’d rather die than give up your foundation, there are a few ways you can keep your face on.

Some gals swear by setting sprays, like Urban Decay’s All Nighter, MAC Fix+ or NYX Matte Finish spray. In a review of the latter that went viral on Twitter, a woman claimed that the spray kept her make-up in place throughout a car accident and subsequent hospital visit, which is… impressive. You could also try a grippy primer like The Ordinary’s High-Adherence Silicone Primer, which blurs your pores while ensuring your foundation clings on to your face through thick and thin.

If neither of these methods float your boat, you could take a tip from Beyoncé’s makeup artist Sir John, who layered products just so to ensure her makeup stayed on throughout her highly energetic Coachella gigs. He set liquid foundation with powder, cream blush with powder blush, and eyeliner with eyeshadow – it’s simple, but it certainly worked.

Girl I (Don’t) Wanna Make You Sweat

If you are genuinely concerned about sweat, you have to stop faffing around with spray deodorants. It’s just a fact. Get yourself a good stick deo – Sure Maximum Protection is the daddy of all sticks, but Mitchum Ultimate Gel also kicks sweat’s ass. The sticks themselves last for quite a while too, so you don’t really have to worry about running out.

Interested in trying a natural deodorant? Plump for Urtekram’s Deo Crystals (available from good health shops) or Lush’s The Greeeench Powder, both of which fight off the bacteria that makes your sweat smell. Personally, I like to double up – stick for sweat, spray for stink. It just feels better. And now you all know.

If the thought of all this prep makes you want to hibernate until it’s tights weather again, I’d understand that too. You do you.

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