~ Shower twice a day, paying attention to areas where grime accumulates such as the nape of your neck and skin folds. Use a scrub to cleanse these areas. Soaps are usually drying; a body wash may be a better choice as they contain moisturisers.
~ Wash your face regularly (even while at the office) with plain water.
~ One milligramme of dental plaque can contain up to 500 million bacteria that lead to tooth decay, tartar and bad breath. Brush teeth twice a day and floss regularly. Use a mouthwash after meals. Sugar-free chewing gum can help your teeth stay clean after meals.
~ Got smelly feet? You might have athlete’s foot, a fungal infection caused by excessive sweating, dirt and lack of fresh air. Wear clean socks daily and make sure you dry and powder your feet with anti-fungal powder before wearing shoes. Keep your feet aerated by choosing open shoes instead of closed pointed ones.
Cotton socks help feet breathe. Avoid synthetic material that trap moisture and cause smelly feet.
Get a regular pedicure to remove dead skin. If the infection gets worse, contact a dermatologist.
~ Wash your hair at least twice a week with a mild shampoo and condition it regularly. Apply after-wash combing lotions when it is partly dry. Products like Livon, Silk-n-shine, and Sunsilk 9to9 all do the same thing — form a protective coat over your hair so it can stay clean and soft longer.
~ Keep your bedroom clean and fresh by ensuring adequate ventilation and changing sheets regularly. White sheets may be tough to maintain, so pick cool blues and greens.
~ Use a deodorant on your armpits to keep away the smell of perspiration. Even better, try an deodorant anti-perspirant combination. A deodorant can only mask bad smell. An anti-perspirant can help reduce sweating.
Keep in mind that most deodorants available in the market do not have anti-perspirant in them. If you want this effect, look for aluminium compounds in the active ingredients.
For instance, Rexona is a deodorant that has aluminium chlorohydrate that can prevent sweating. You can combine a deodorant and a spray-on perfume too, if both the perfumes belong to the same perfume family. For instance, you could mix a musk deoderant with a musk antiperspirant.
~ Add perfumed bath salts (available at aromatherapy shops at your neighbourhood mall) to your bath water, and pick body washes and great smelling soap and shampoo.
~ A dash of perfume on your pulse points (wrists and neck) and you are ready to go. Even if you cannot smell the perfume (you get desensitised to it after a while), others can.
Keep your cool
~ To beat the heat, have smoothies (combine yoghurt with just about any fruit to create a rich smoothie), cold milk and yoghurt instead of colas and artificial juices.
~ Cucumber raita (made with fresh cucumber, cold yoghurt, coriander leaves and a pinch of salt) can be a good coolant. Drink chilled — not ice-cold — water to stay cool.
~ Choose your fruits and veggies well. Carrots, lettuce, cabbage and other leafy green veggies are excellent choices. Sweet and juicy fruits such as pears, grapes, oranges, watermelon and mangoes can nourish and hydrate.
~ Ginger, cilantro and mint can be refreshing when added to drinks.
Beauty and the beastly weather
~ Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
~ Exfoliate your skin twice a week using a loofah, body brush or scrub (all three are available in most stores that sell beauty produts). This will get rid of dead skin cells and expose the soft shiny skin underneath, making you feel rejuvenated. For your face, use a facial scrub.
~ Minimise the use of heavy make up. Mix a few drops of sunscreen with a water-based foundation. Use waterproof eyeliner and mascara. Protect lips with moisture-rich lipstick that has an SPF (Sun protection factor) of at least 15.
~ Avoid the midday sun as far as possible. If you need to venture outdoors, protect yourself with sunblock and use a hat or umbrella.
~ If you travel by the local train/ bus and find that you no longer feel fresh when you get to work, try washing your face as soon as you reach the office (you might have to redo your makeup too but it is worth it).
If you hate this because it gives you a wet hairline, use cleansing and moisturising/ cleansing towelettes instead. At around Rs 5-10 bucks per piece, they are not too heavy on the pocket.
~ Carry mini-sized versions of your foundation, moisturiser, lipstick and mascara in your purse. Men can replace the makeup kit with hair gel and a comb.
Also, keep a tiny bottle of perfume with you to perk you up. Apply it quickly on your wrist and neck.
~ Pop in a mouth freshening mint and there you go. You are ready to handle that important meeting with poise.
Use these tips and you can tackle any day with confidence.