Surviving the heat of summer

In the southern states of Australia, we survive the cold of winter by looking forward to the heat of summer and the pleasures of holidays, Christmas, watching or playing sport, barbecues, swimming, picnics, alfresco meals. Add visitors and grandchildren to the mix and a few survival tips may be helpful.


When outside always wear a stylish sunhat to shade your face and prevent sunstroke. If you feel overcome, dizzy, weak or nauseous, rest in the shade and take a long drink of water.


We normally lose about one and half litres of water in urine each day, but on a very hot day, we may lose almost three litres through extra perspiration.   Perspiring is nature’s way of keeping us cool. Put back the water. Drink eight glasses of water each day. Mineral water is an uplifting alternative to tap water and will replace lost minerals. Drink orange, grapefruit, tomato juice or a commercial electrolyte beverage to replenish mineral salts.

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Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare and to prevent squinting which can encourage wrinkles. Choose dark lenses for maximum protection. When looking in the mirror wearing your sunglasses, you should not be able to see your eyes.

Dry skin

Your skin will be thirsting for more moisture. Use body lotion and moisturiser lavishly and often. Hands, legs and face especially. Remember elbows and knees.


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The stylish sunhat should protect your hair from sun damage, nevertheless, treat your hair to a conditioning treatment or mask now and again. It you like to swim during summer, have a hair conditioning treatment weekly to counteract the effects of saltwater and/or chlorine.


Take advantage of summer’s fruits and salads; eat light meals. You never know, you may lose a kilo or two!


A little sunshine can be beneficial if you suffer from psoriasis or eczema; plus your body needs sunshine to produce Vitamin D. Infrared rays from sunshine can soothe tense muscles and relieve arthritis and stiff joints.

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Discontinue using Retin-A whilst on holiday at the beach, sailing, bushwalking – anywhere you will be outdoors and in the sun for hours during the day.


Too much sun can lead to broken capillaries, so be strict about sunshine on your face.

Look stylish, stay cool

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  • Avoid synthetic fabrics. Wear cotton, linen and silk; a word about silk; it is inclined to show perspiration marks, so don’t choose silk in humid weather.
  • The official advice for keeping cool is to wear sleeveless garments, avoid collars and have sun dresses with straps. But what about mature women who prefer to cover their upper arms, shoulders and armpits? I suggest short sleeves and a wide open neckline – keep the sleeves fairly loose!
  • Close-fitting jeans, slacks and three quarters are no-no’s. We need the air to circulate around the body to keep us cool. Shorts and T-shirts, skirts and dresses, bare legs and sandals are ideal for beating the heat.
  • Use some wash-off leg tan on the lower legs and you will look a million dollars.
  • Choose pale colours. White looks wonderful in summer but not head-to-toe. Say white shorts or skirt and a pastel coloured shirt; pale blue, lemon, pale green – lovely on a hot day. Dark colours absorb heat from the sun and will make you feel extra hot.
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  • Flatter your body with a V-necked swimsuit with a few stripes outlining the V-neck. Look for a leg line that slants upwards on the side. Black is most slimming.   A black one-piece always looks fabulous.
  • Use a non-perfumed deodorant and just a dab of perfume on your handkerchief or a cotton ball tucked inside your bra. Heat can cause perfume on the skin to become itchy and sunlight on perfumed skin may cause pigmentation or redness which can be permanent.
  • Rub sunscreen into the backs of your hands to prevent the sun causing age spots.
  • On really scorching days, wear minimum make-up – it will melt off anyway. Use concealer and mascara. Make up the brows and use a lipstain. Apply lip gloss frequently.

At last the glorious days of summer in southern Australia have arrived, so relax into the lifestyle that comes with the sunshine and warm weather. Have a good time.

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For other great Health & Beauty Tips For Women Aged Between 60 & 80, Margaret Woodberry’s book is available for $24.95 here.