How to Look and Feel Your Best This Summer

Forget the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. (Do people even look at that anymore?) The new summertime is all about feeling good about yourself—not just on the outside, but also on the inside. Washboard abs and legs for days may be nice on the eyes, but you don’t need them to have a great time. Below, we share eight ways to look and feel your best this summer, including tips for how to beat the heat, keep your skin and hair healthy, and much more.

You Look Hot

The perfect beach body for summer is the one that you have. Don’t be afraid to show off your best assets in a cute outfit and wear the clothes that help you to fully express yourself. Confidence is the sexiest trait, so who cares what other people think as long as you are having fun?

Rock the Look

There are plenty of ways to look attractive in summer without baring too much skin and risking nasty sunburns. For instance, you could wear a pinafore dress that covers your midriff while showing off your curves. You could also channel your inner Charlie’s Angel with a long-sleeved zip-front swimsuit. Complete your outfit with an oversized sunhat and shades to keep your eyes safe from harmful UV rays.

Shake it Up

Women in bikinis and men in boardshorts are so last decade. Stand out from the crowd by blurring boring gender norms. A woman can look extremely sexy when wearing a white office shirt with a swimsuit and a man can look just as stylish and attractive in a sarong. You can make unlimited combinations based on your unique style and personality as long as it makes you feel amazing.

Messy Hair, Don’t Care

Beach hair is meant to be messy, so don’t be shy and embrace the wild tropical vibe. A good headband will keep it stylish and out of your face. That said, if you are spending a lot of time in the chlorine or salt water, be sure to give your hair some therapy by rinsing it with fresh water frequently. Use a moisturizing shampoo to remove harsh chemicals and a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair soft and protected.

Beware the Bloat

It is hard to feel sexy when your stomach is bloated and full of gas! Summer is a great time for enjoying sinful snacks like ice cream and burgers, but over-indulgence can leave you feeling uncomfortable and unattractive. You don’t have to abstain from treats altogether. Just try to limit yourself to small portions throughout the day instead of stuffing yourself with big, heavy meals.

You’re So Cool

You may be looking forward to sunny days right now but soon you will be cursing the heat and humidity in the peak of summer. Getting overheated can get in the way of a good time. Since you can’t wear skimpy swimwear and stay in the pool 24/7, here are some tips to stay cool and comfortable.

Stay Hydrated

You sweat a lot when it’s hot so aim to drink a good eight glasses of water a day. Avoid beverages with caffeine and alcohol as these will make you dehydrated and increase your body temperature. Sorry, that ice-cold beer doesn’t actually quench your thirst! If you don’t like water, opt for lemonade or iced tea instead. Eating plenty of fresh fruit will also help keep your body hydrated and happy.

Use Sunscreen

Sun damage is the leading cause of wrinkles, brown spots, and even skin cancer. Just a few minutes under direct sunshine is enough to cause serious damage, so be sure to apply sunscreen before going outside. UV levels are highest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and you should avoid being outside during this time. You should also reapply your sunscreen every few hours or after swimming or sweating heavily.

Fight the Bite

Nothing is more aggravating than itchy insect bites, especially when you have so much skin exposed. Biting midges and mosquitoes may snack on you at the lake or beach, causing angry red bumps to rise all over your body. The best way to avoid this is to use insect repellent containing at least 30% DEET. If you are concerned about the environment, natural alternatives include eucalyptus oil and citronella oil.

Go Light and Loose

Light colors reflect sunlight rather than absorb it and are therefore best to wear on sunny days. Loose clothing made of breathable fabrics such as cotton are also much more comfortable because air can circulate more easily through them. Consider ditching your sneakers and going for flip-flops instead. This will prevent your feet from getting sweaty and stinky; or worse still, developing a gross fungal infection.

Love Yourself

Summer is the season of love—for yourself! Soak up the sun and surround yourself with the people that make you happy. After all, there is no better way to spend a hot day than relaxing by the water with some cold drinks and good conversation. You may not have the perfect body (if such a thing exists) but you can definitely take some easy steps to be healthy and feel confident in your skin. So, let’s pledge to have a positive and playful summer. Because life is too short to sweat the small stuff!