As the mercury rises, so too does that lazy-hazy-days-of-summer feeling -- and that wilted look. While our skin has a built-in thermostat (perspiration) to keep us from overheating, it can always use a bit of help. Although heading to cooler climates may seem like the only option, there are easy ways to stay fresh amid sometimes-unbearable temperatures -- and still look great and feel energized.
Stay-cool step one: Keep hydrated.
The No. 1 way to prevent heat exhaustion (symptoms include nausea, dizziness and/or weakness) is to drink chilled liquids every 15 minutes. Cooling off overheated skin -- with water or water-based products -- also can help. Our favorites for summer: Jergens Cooling Sensation Moisturizer for body with refreshing cucumber extract ($6; at drugstores); and Biotherm Aquasource Body Moisturizing Spray Gel, made from mineral-rich spa water ($21; www.biotherm.com). Spa best bet: When you just need a break from the elements, try a hydrotherapy spa treatment, like the Water Journey at Maximus Spa & Salon, located in New York City and Merrick and Westbury, N.Y. ($150 for 90 minutes; maximusspasalon.com). You'll be exfoliated and rinsed with a six-head Vichy shower, then you'll soak in a relaxing hydrotherapy tub. A second rinse (this one under a cascading waterfall shower) is followed by a massage that will leave your muscles completely stress-free.
Stay-cool step two: Take a dip in the pool, or just give yourself a spritz.
To prevent heat illness, avoid exercising vigorously outside during the hottest parts of the day (late morning through the afternoon). If you have to be active in the extreme heat, be sure to make time for regular, refreshing breaks -- like chilling out in a pool. If you aren't near water, opt for skin-quenching mists like Evian Mineral Water Spray, made from 100 percent pure Evian mineral water ($8.50 for 5 ounces; sephora.com), which can be used on both face and body; Clinique Moisture Surge Face Spray ($19.50 for 4.2 ounces; clinique.com), an aloe- and water-based moisturizing spritz; and Shiseido The Skincare Soothing Spray for face ($20; www.sca.shiseido.com), which soothes thirsty and flushed skin. Or, for an overheated complexion, spray on the delicately scented Neroli Soothing Mist from Clinical Solutions by Therapy Systems ($22; 800-733-8606).
Spa best bet: No time for a beach vacation? Try the Sea-Esta! Treatment ($245 for 80 minutes; 877-220-2688) at The Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas instead. Ocean sounds fill your treatment room while sea muds, seawater mist, warmed ocean stones and cooling gels work their magic on your muscles, skin and senses.