There’s heat waves – and then there are the Middle Eastern scorchers. With thermometers set to peak until at least October, there’s no end in sight to sky-high temperatures and sweaty commutes to work.
While staying inside with our feet in bowls of cold water watching reruns of your favourite TV series might sound like an attractive prospect until autumn, it might be a bit far-fetched considering our hectic work and personal life. So if like most us you, too, are wondering how to keep your chill, we’ve rounded up cool ways to do it – from luxury spa treatments to some home-made recipes that demand little more than raiding the fridge…
The spa treatments
Cooling Back Massage at InterContinental Dubai Festival City
Massages may not seem so appealing when you’re hot and uncomfortable – but this one is designed specifically for the summer months, with a blend of apricot seed kernels, spearmint and aloe vera helping to soothe and cool as the therapist gets to work on those knots. The treatment is topped off with application of a cooling moisturiser, so you feel refreshed and ready to step back outside.
To book Call 04 701 1257 or email email@example.com
Sultan hammam with Ice Massage at Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
If you haven’t yet stepped into the hammam at this grand spa, now is the perfect time – alongside a traditional kese mitt body polish and foam massage, you will be treated to a hand, foot and scalp ice massage to wake up your senses and improve circulation.
To book Call 04 453 0456
CRYO Whole-Body Session
Want to cool down fast? Plunge yourself into temperatures between -120°C and -160°C with a Cryo session. Sounds like madness? Think again – this freezing treatment is said to improve wellness, energy levels, and the condition of your skin. Nursing injuries from the gym? It could speed up your recovery time too. With three locations across the UAE in Dubai Sports City, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi Country Club, there are plenty of opportunities to beat the heat.
Price From Dh350 for a three-minutes Cryo session
To book Call 052 789 1122 (Sports City), 03 721 1022 (Al Ain), 050 404 1022 (Abu Dhabi), email firstname.lastname@example.org
Basil and Mint Energizer Treatment at Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont The Palm
A cooling blend of Dead Sea salts and pure organic oils combine for this scrub, which leaves skin feeling super soft when you climb off the treatment bed. The full-body exfoliation is completed with application of Shiffa Energising Body Oil and Hair Oil so you leave smelling as good as you feel.
Price Dh729 for 90 minutes
To book Call 04 457 3545 or email email@example.com.
The Gulf Cure at SENSE spa, Rosewood Abu Dhabi
A treatment designed specifically for hot summers in the Gulf? Sounds perfect to us – as does the process, which involves an invigorating full-body scrub, after which you are wrapped in mineral-rich laminaria seaweed to cool down the body and infuse much-needed minerals back into dehydrated summer skin. The treatment concludes with a full-body massage with rosehip and evening primrose oils. Great treat for the heat.
Price Dh910 for 120 minutes
To book Call 02 813 5537 or email Abudhabi.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cooling Leg Treatment at The Cure Spa, Dubai Media City
The perfect antidote to another hot day in the city, this 15-minute add-on treatment to your regular mani-pedi will cool down hot, swollen legs and feet. It’s the spa equivalent of plunging your lower half into an ice bath – but with effects that last far longer.
Price Dh50 for 15 minutes
To book Call 04 391 6485
Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel Dh249 (Elemis.ae)
This multipurpose gel with arnica, birch, witch hazel, camphor and menthol is perfect for applying to tired, aching legs, necks, temples and foreheads when you are feeling the heat.
Shiseido Refreshing Cleansing Water Dh140 (Bloomingdale’s)
Heatwaves and humidity usually result in extra oil on our skin and a greater need to cleanse every morning and night (which we should be doing every day anyway, but summer makes it even more important). The soothing formula will cool and calm even the most sensitive skin.
Dr Organic Aloe Vera Eye Gel Dh86 (Basharacare.com)
Sore eyes dealing with the dust and heat of a UAE summer will feel instantly refreshed with this cooling eye gel, which promises to reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.
L’Occitane Verbena Cooling Body Gel Dh139
Leave aside thick, buttery moisturisers that will lock in heat – and instead, reach for this cooling gel whenever you step out of the shower. With natural spring water extract and soothing verbena, this is the perfect body hydrator for the summer months.
Lush Pink Peppermint Fair Trade Foot Lotion Dh105
With lashings of peppermint and spearmint to cool feet and stimulate circulation, everyone needs a pot of this refreshing foot lotion during a hot UAE summer. It also contains arnica to help bring down swelling after a long, hot day on your feet.
The Organic Pharmacy Detoxifying Seaweed Bath Soak Dh270 (Basharacare.com)
Cool down with a soak in the tub – but make sure that you pour this detoxifying blend generously under the running tap. With seaweed and juniper, it’s like a luxury spa treatment in a tub.
The home remedies
The face mask It might feel like you are preparing breakfast, but making a summer face mask from bananas, full-fat yogurt, and one teaspoon of honey is cooling, soothing, and nourishing for your complexion. Simply mash one banana thoroughly and mix a dollop of honey and two teaspoons of full-fat yogurt (straight from the fridge for the real cool factor). Apply it all over your face and let it dry completely before rinsing off.
The eye treatment Look no further than the humble cucumber for an affordable and instantly refreshing eye treatment at the end of a long day. All you need to do is cut two slices, place one over each eye, and relax as long as you like. Expect your eyes to de-puff, your dark circles to reduce, and the whole area to appear brighter – especially if you get in the habit of doing it every evening when you step in from the heat outside.
The foot soak You need to stock up on a few ingredients for this one, but once you’ve created the soak and bottled it, you can enjoy it every night for instant refreshment when you step in through the door. Start by combining one cup of Epsom salts and one cup of Himalayan salts in a large bowl (both available at health food stores). Add in half a cup of milk powder, two cups baking soda, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Once everything is combined, transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid – and when you want to prepare a footbath, use half a cup of this mixture combined with warm water. Soak your feet for 30 minutes for a cooling treat.
The facial spritz Another recipe that uses cucumbers, this toner can be kept in the fridge and applied when you wake up, before you put on your make-up, at bedtime, and throughout the day when you need to refresh your complexion. Simply slice a cucumber and add it to two cups of mineral water before letting it cool in the fridge overnight and decanting to a spray bottle the next morning. No need to keep the cucumbers if they don’t fit, as the water will now be nicely infused. Spray away whenever you need a refreshing pick-me-up.
The facial scrub Sweat, grime and excess oil builds up on our skin during the summer months, which makes exfoliation a must to ensure our pores and complexion stay clear. This easy recipe can be made in your kitchen and leaves the skin feeling beautifully cool and refreshed. Mix together a tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of cane sugar, half a tablespoon of water, and two drops of lemon essential oil – and then refrigerate for an hour, before massaging over skin and rinsing with cool water.