27 August 2009

Hot Hot Heat

I'll be honest with you, I'm not a huge fan of the heat and dryness all up in my grill this past week. Of course, I've got it easier than those forced to evacuate their homes, so file this post under "Spoiled Person's First World Problem".

For those of you living outside the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, or otherwise under a rock, allow me to fill you in. Forest fires rage all around us - one just a few miles away over the hill - making breathing a bit like wearing a diving helmet hooked up to the exhaust of a 1972 Ford LTD fueled on a blend of astroturf and Nair. And did I mention it's hot? The kind of hot that verges on requiring measurement in degrees Kelvin.

As I said, I'm not a fan of this. As a native Angeleno (or would I be an Angelena? Oh hell, just call me Angelyne and be done with it) I should be used to this sort of thing. After all, every fall just when I'm really in the mood to wear a sweater, the Santa Ana winds kick up, making life generally miserable. It's not just their heat. It's the dryness they bring. Days like today, or when the winds rear their satan heads, the moisture is literally sucked out of the air - taking away with them all the good humor in a person's body. Don't believe me? Better writers than I have written about about the havoc the winds and their dryness wreak.

I know what you're thinking, particularly my Midwestern cousins and Southern sistren and brethren: at least it's not humid! Well call me crazy, but I prefer the humidity. For one it does fantastic things to my hair. For two, it keeps the skin supple, and not so much like Pancho Villa's saddle. And for three, talcum powder is a lot cheaper than lotion. Until you humid-haters live in a house without central air, I'm not even going to argue about it.

Over the years I've developed a routine to rectify the dessication situation. Fingers crossed you readers will consider this list on the charming, not creepy, side of compulsive. And don't think it only applies to denizens of Southern California. Anyone currently residing in a kiln or tandoori oven, and those planning to colonize the surface of the sun will find these tips helpful, too.


1. Drink as much water as your body will allow. Eat foods with high water content (cucmbers, melon, celery, etc.)

2. Shower early and often. Barring a dip into an enormous, chilled vat of Indian raita, this is your best bet to bring down the body's internal thermometer. Keep the showers short and tepid; overdoing it will dry out your skin further.

3. Before leaving the shower, apply oil to wet skin. (I like pure coconut oil, for its tropical island-y scent, found at health food and international grocery stores.) Enjoy the Maxim cover model-like effect of water beading up on skin. Go ahead. You know you want to.

4. Don't bother drying off. The air will do this for you.

5. Spray Nature's Tears Eye Mist directly into eyes to stave off Sandpaper Retina.

6. Snort a few squirts of Ocean Saline Nasal Mist (no one said this routine would be pretty.) Coat a thin layer of Vaseline to the interior of nostrils to lock moisture in and act as flypaper against the dust in the air.

7. Keep hair cool and moist by spraying while still wet with a fine mist oil. (Avoid anything with alcohol in it - hello, mousse? gel? - unless you're going for the Top Ramen look.) If you can, find something made with coconut oil. Its molecules are smaller than most oils, allowing for better absorption. After all, the Jheri curl is one look I doubt will make a comeback anytime soon. Though stranger things have happened.

8. Pull damp, oiled hair back off of face. (A french braid would be great; short hair is even better.)

9. Apply a liberal mist of a refreshing perfume spray (I'm gaga for Estee Lauder's Bronze Goddess which leaves me feeling more like this than this.) The scent fades quickly allowing for frequent reapplications. Even better, as it evaporates it cools the skin.

10. Now pack a bag. Into it goes saline mists, perfume and oil sprays, lip balm and Rescue Remedy (for your foul mood). Carry this with you for frequent on-the-go moisture surges.

So, feeling better yet? Phew! You may be on your merry way.

If, however, after all of this you STILL wish you could unscrew your skull and run it under the tap, you my friend are in need of a Neti Pot. But that's it's own entire blog, right there.


  1. 11. shave your head. my hair was finally getting close to shoulder length and it had to go. a scalp doesn't really need to sweat that much.

    and i dunno about the vaseline in the nose bit. don't need the ladies at trader joe's thinking i have an uber mucous issue. but i do find myself air drying after showers (a la matthew mcconaughey) much to the dislike of the couple living to the right, and the like of the cougar living to the left.

    btw: "the moisture is literally sucked out of the air - taking away with them all the good humor in a person's body"... HAHAHA!! awesome.


  2. I'm all about the humidity as well! I hate dry heat

  3. Keep up the Matthew McConaughey, Andre. The coupld to the right prolly like it just fine!

  4. 12. Get in a swimming pool with a refreshing pitcher of icy, minty, rummy mojitos !