Sometimes, we can get so carried away by skincare products that we forget to care for our skin from within. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, tough enough to withstand the specific onslaughts of summer: heat, humidity (or its counterpart, dryness), pollution, and the frigid blast of the air conditioner. Hydrating your skin and nourishing your body can not only give your skin a healthy glow, it can also elevate your mood and strengthen your immune system.
In tropical countries where summer is the predominant season, roadside juice bars testify to the appeal of freshly-squeezed fruit juice to beat the heat. In the summer, I tend to pare down my skincare routine to the barest essentials, giving my skin a chance to “breathe” after the layering agenda I pursue during the long winter months. So staying hydrated and finding ways to drink my antioxidants form an essential part of my summer skincare routine. Here, I’m sharing a list of drinks you can easily whip up in your kitchen. Not only are these drinks incredibly hydrating and delicious, they also get your skin glowing at minimum cost and effort!
Thirst-Quenching Flavored Water
Seriously, drinking eight glasses of water a day makes a huge difference. When I consciously started measuring my intake, I noticed an upsurge of non-caffeinated energy and a decrease in irritability, fatigue, and heat-induced headaches. But sometimes water can taste a little, well, bland. And I wanted to maximize the hydration I got from each glass. Enter the following two recipes.
Mint and cucumber water
Add three or four sprigs of mint as well as half a cucumber’s worth of slices in a pitcher and place in the fridge. Finish by the end of the day. I absolutely love this recipe because it’s so refreshing and literally takes seconds to put together.
Vitamin C helps energize and brighten our skin and contributes to collagen production. Pair mint and orange slices for a non-sugary, sweetly refreshing water, or mint and lemon for a zingier take.
Hydrating & Restoring Fruit Juices
These recipes are my summer staples whenever I visit India and need to cool my skin down from days spent in the sun. Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit, but did you know that it contains numerous vitamins and the carotenoid lycopene, which protects against sunburn and heart disease?
Both papayas and pineapples grow abundantly in my aunt’s garden in our tropical state of Kerala, and she would always press plates of fresh papaya into my hands, insisting that it was good for my skin. She isn’t wrong. Papaya is a powerhouse of antioxidants and enzymes that promote skin elasticity and fight free radicals. Years later when I visited Taiwan, my friend’s mother would make a delicious papaya milkshake whenever we staggered indoors from the blazing heat.
Pineapples are also a great source of vitamin C, which can help protect against sun damage and help in anti-aging.
The key to this juice is using fresh pineapple. Tinned pineapple chunks contain sugar and preservatives, while fresh pineapple is both sufficiently sweet and sufficiently tangy. Chop the fresh pineapple into chunks. You can use a juicer or blender, but I prefer a blender. The resulting pineapple mixture will look deliciously frothy. Pour this frothy mixture over a sieve to strain the bits out and serve in a tall glass.
Combine the chunks of one very ripe (almost overripe) papaya with one cup of milk in a blender. You can use honey or maple syrup as a sweetener; however, for many people the papaya may be sweet enough already. Pour the foamy peach-orange liquid in a tall glass and serve fresh.
Dice watermelon into chunks and blend with water in a blender. Add maple or agave syrup or honey for extra sweetness. You can also get creative and combine it with homemade lemonade for a fizzy kick.
It might be tempting to reach for an ice cream or popsicle for a cool sweet treat, but trust me, swapping sugar-loaded summer desserts for any of these drinks will have your skin glowing and your body thanking you with increased energy.