Chilled flannels, fridge skincare and wet hair: 3 free ways to quickly cool down during the heatwave

Written by Morgan Fargo

Tired of feeling hot and bothered? Try these simple (and free) skin and hair tweaks for quick relief.

Besides sitting directly in front of the fan or seeking salvation in the supermarket’s air conditioning, what things can we do at home to escape this infernal heat? As Stylist’s beauty editor, my first thought turns to the things on my bathroom shelf and how I can make them work harder to avoid the meltdown puddle that feels imminent. 

Fortunately, my favourite skincare tips for beating heatwave-induced irritability are free – requiring nothing more than an hour or two of forward planning. Here’s how I suggest making the most of what you have to stay even one degree cooler this week.

1. Chill damp flannels for quick relief

If the thought of flannels gives you the ick, I sympathise. Damp pieces of fabric sitting in the bathroom for days on end is enough to send anyone with an aversion to the word moist running for the hills. However, in a heatwave, a cold flannel can be the difference between sleeping, working and eating – or not. 

Take a handful of flannels – or, if you’re a flannel-free household, small towels or pieces of fabric – and wet them through. Then, roll them into the shape of a small Yule log and pop them inside a resealable plastic bag, container or bowl and store them in the fridge or freezer. 

When the time for instant coolness comes, apply to the face, chest, stomach or head. It’s better to make a batch ahead of time, so that you have a few on hand while the others are in the laundry basket. 

2. Sprays, masks, creams and tools belong in the fridge

Skincare can live in your fridge – including jade rollers, gua sha stones and other facial massage tools. Not only does it feel more cooling when applied to the skin (sprays really come into their own here), but the coolness can help to reduce any puffiness or water retention caused by a lack of sleep. 

Remember, all tools should be wiped and cleaned post-use; this helps to limit the spread of bacteria and ensure you’re not reintroducing anything unwanted into the skin each time, such as built-up product or previous dirt. Also, avoid putting anything with a battery or that requires electricity in the fridge.

3. Wet hair is worth it during the peak of the heatwave

An incredibly simple way to instantly cool down, wetting the hair with cool to lukewarm water can help to revive a sluggish, overheated mind. I like to stick my head under the shower tap fully clothed twice a day, fully drench the scalp and then wrap it up with a cotton T-shirt to minimise damage to the hair. A leave-in conditioner or mask can help to maintain the condition of her hair, too. 

While I wouldn’t usually recommend wetting your hair twice a day, if you live without outdoor space, a powerful fan or much hope of cooling down, it can make a tangible difference in how you feel during these incredibly warm temperatures.

Main image: Getty

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