For most people, summer is the best part of the year! The sun is shining, which is good for vitamin D absorption by your body when the rays hit your skin. People seem happier, wearing lighter, more comfortable clothes. All seems to be really good!

Here are a few tips to get through a hot, summery day while feeling your most beautiful:

Drink Water. The summer—in particular, the sun and the heat—bring some hidden dangers. For your skin and body, it is important you drink enough water. You usually notice dehydration when it’s too late: A banging headache, a sore or dry throat. To avoid this, always bring a bottle of water on hot days, preferably in a reusable bottle to help the environment (there is enough plastic in the world already!).

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Staying hydrated is important. Your body consists of over 70 percent water, and you will sweat through all your pores when it’s warm. It’s important to refill your H2O levels. I also like coconut water because it has the same pH level as your blood, and is considered one of the best hydrating drinks.

Courtesy of Lonneke Engel

Avoid Sunburn: And what about the sun? Well, most people like to sunbathe and get a healthy glow, if not a tan. Unfortunately, some people overdo it and get sunburned. When you do burn, your skin is damaged forever. You might think a new layer of skin will appear after a few days of losing the dead skin, but the damage is more than skin deep—each sunburn increases your risk of getting a form of skin cancer. There are methods with which you can see your skin damage from the sun and other things by taking a special photograph. The best thing for your skin is to really avoid to get burned all together.

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A bit of sun on bare skin is considered good for the vitamin D mentioned above. Vitamin D is a much-needed vitamin and you can get it in an artificial form through swallowing vitamin D pills, but nothing is like the vitamin D you get from the sun. Professors who have studied this suggest a max of 15 minutes while having your skin unprotected, and not in the hours between 12p.m. and 3p.m. Mainly, you should stay out of the sun when you’re not wearing protection to avoid sunburn. But in case you do get sunburnt: Get fresh aloe vera, cut it open, take out the jelly inside, and rub it on your skin. There are also a lot of other great products that have almost 100% aloe vera in it.—it really soothes the skin. Any other body lotion will work too, as long as you hydrate and calm your skin.

Use a good sunscreen. There are two types of sunscreens: One is the chemical version, which your skin absorbs, and the other is the one that leaves a layer of metals, like zinc, on the top of your skin. The last one usually looks a bit white and shiny. Even though it makes your skin look pale and is not so perfect to apply makeup, I prefer this one. The chemical one just doesn’t sound good; we already take in so many chemicals through our daily skincare routine with shampoo, body lotion and hand wash. Mostly, I try to get out of the sun before I feel a burn. After sunbathing, use a good, soothing cream for your skin. I love pure, organic coconut oil. It smells great, too!

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Eat enough. You need the energy to get through a hot day—it takes a lot from your body. I prefer light foods such as vegetable & fruit juices, salads and sushi. Eat multiple small bites throughout the day (that makes your stomach look flatter, too, as it is not filled up so much at once!).

Work out in the mornings. It’s likely that you’re too tired after a day of work, but having a (light) workout in the morning hours when the sun is not so high up—the weather is not so hot yet, and you are energized after a good night sleep—is probably the best. This also makes for better circulation of your blood, and your body is perfectly ready to face a tough & warm day. You will sweat out all the bad toxins, and a nice shower afterwards makes you nicely refreshed!

QUIZ: Is Your Skin Healthy?

Enjoy the beautiful weather this summer!

Love, Lonneke