It’s safe to say that we Brits are poorly equipped to deal with hot weather. Without air con in our homes, when summer arrives it can be a nightmare trying to cool down, other than resorting to a cold shower every hour.
It’s arguably even worse now that many of us are continuing to work from home, so can’t take advantage of a cool office.
One of the worst things about scorching summer days is how difficult it can make getting a good night’s rest, as being kept awake in horribly humid and sweaty temperatures leaves you feeling groggy and fed up.
That’s not to say it’s all bad however, as there’s plenty of ways to combat the heat and humidity. Here, the IndyBest team members have shared their must-have essentials for staying comfortable on hotter days, ranging from silent fans and refreshing face mists to cooling mats you pop into your pillow case (yes, you read that correctly).
Whether it’s the best sleep aid we’ve ever tried or the Dyson fan worth investing in, these are the cooling summer products that we can’t live without.
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Tanness 2-pack magic cool jelly pad pillow mat
Eleanor Jones (Executive Editor)
I know most people buy cooling mats for their pets in the summer, but last year I discovered they work just as well for humans too. These Tanness mats are filled with a clever gel substance that consistently stays cool of its own accord, although I’ve found they’re even better when you put them in a fridge for an hour or two before use. Whether you choose to pre-chill or not, they’re the perfect size to slot into your pillowcase, and really do retain their cooling capacities throughout the night. I’ve also been known to pop my feet on them under my WFH desk on particularly sticky days when I’m missing the office air con.
Read more: 12 best summer-weight duvets
Heallily 2pcs massage globes
Ellie Fry (Deputy Editor)
Aside from the tower fan that my partner insists on using for 365 days of the year (I kid you not, I’m shivering in December) I love using ice globes to cool down in the heat. The ultimate skincare treat, this face massager tool is the sister of the jade roller or gua sha, but the magic here is that you pop them in the fridge before using. They provide a cooling hit on warmer days as well as extra skincare benefits, including improving skin firmness and reducing tension. I’m not sure how much they help in that department, but I love rolling these little glass globes under my eyes in the morning, and throughout the day when I need a pick-me-up. You can spend serious dosh on fancy ice globes, but I find these do the trick. If you want to go all out, try Skin Proud’s frozen over gel to ice hydrator (£16.95, Asos.com) – a moisturiser infused with hyaluronic acid that you put in the freezer before use. It cools, de-puffs and soothes irritated skin – bliss.
Dyson pure cool me
Steve Hogarty (tech writer)
Living in a busy part of London makes it difficult to sleep with the windows open, so the silent-running Dyson pure cool me fan is an absolute lifesaver in the summer months. It oscillates so quietly we often don't realise it's on, and on its slowest setting, it produces a gentle, comfortable breeze that's easy to fall asleep with. It's a Hepa-rated air purifier too, and while it's ultimately proven to be no match for my hay fever, it can trap pollen, pet dander and other nasty particulates hanging around in the bedroom.
Milk Makeup hydro grip set and refresh spray
Eva Waite-Taylor (writer)
Despite being fairly new to setting sprays, they’ve absolutely transformed my hot weather make-up looks because gone are the days of a sweaty complexion with foundation and mascara running down my face. Milk Makeup’s recently launched setting spray is one of the best I’ve used – it not only sets my face in place and reduces transfer onto my mask, but it’s also cooling and provides a natural glow, safe to say I’m obsessed.
Read more: 9 best setting sprays for every skin type
Sunday Riley tidal brightening enzyme water cream
Sarah Young (writer)
In an ideal world, keeping cool on a balmy summer’s day would involve jumping head first into an infinity pool but when that isn’t a feasible option, which let’s face it, is most of the time, I turn my attention to the skin-cooling properties of a gel moisturiser. My top pick is the tidal brightening enzyme water cream from Sunday Riley, which feels lightweight, hydrating and gives your skin a powerful hit of refreshment on hot days. It’s packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which attracts and retains up to 1,000 times its own weight in water, making it a great choice for anyone who suffers from dry and dehydrated skin during the warmer months. While it’s inherently cooling, I like to keep mine in the fridge for an extra boost.
Read more: 10 best moisturisers for dry skin
Chillys water bottle
Eleanor Magill (freelance)
There are two reasons why I don’t use single-use plastic water bottles, not only are they environmentally problematic but they are also absolutely useless the minute the weather heats up. There are few things I despise more than when you are sweating it out on the tube, go to take a sip of your water, and it’s bath water warm. This is where my Chillys water bottle comes in. The water will stay cold for 24 hours and won’t leak all in the inside of your bad, and I can attest they actually work. I got mine with this cute little clownfish design on – what’s not to love?
Read more: 10 best reusable water bottles
Avène thermal spring water spray for sensitive skin
Louise Whitbread (freelance)
Every year I make sure I stock on a giant bottle of this cooling face mist from the sensitive skin experts, Avène. I’ve been using it on and off for nearly a decade and I cannot cope in the heat without it. It’s a very fine mist that doesn’t leave you covered in droplets and a quick blitz on your face and body is the fastest way to cool down. I use it very liberally – when the 2020 heatwave was going on, I must have been spraying it all over me every five minutes, but I guarantee you it will last well over six months. Top tip – if you spray it then sit in front of a fan, the air turns ice cold. It’s not just refreshing though, it also has a whole host of skincare benefits, it takes the sting out of sunburn, calms down inflammation and is even soothing on areas of eczema.
Read more: 13 best face mists for a dewy, hydrated glow
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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.