Overdone It This Summer? How To Reset Your Mind, Body And Skin
Illustration by Mr Nick Slater
If you’re anything like us, your summer (RIP) can best be summed up by two words: Overdoing It. Back-to-back weddings, long-haul flights, festivals, parties, after-parties – all topped off with a big, fat three-day weekend to cram in that last bit of indulgence before it’s over. Was it fun while it lasted? You betcha. But has all that eating, drinking and back-and-forthing also left us feeling bloated, hungover and low on motivation to face the season ahead? Absolutely.
Rest assured, however, that there are a few tricks for snapping out of that post-summer slump in a jiffy, like a refreshed, renewed and more radiant version of your former self. Here, seven top health, wellness and skincare pros share their expert advice on how to redress the after-effects of a jampacked, spritz-fuelled summer and get your mind, body and skin back on track.
01. Micro-inject your skincare
If the combination of UV exposure, in-flight air conditioning and alcohol has sapped your glow entirely, one step up from slathering on the skincare is having it micro-injected just below the surface. “Mesotherapy is basically a cocktail of nourishing ingredients – concentrated hyaluronic acid, vitamins, amino acids, co-enzymes, minerals and more,” says Ms Cindy Damianou, a skin therapist at the award-winning D Thomas Clinic. “You’ll notice some initial brightening immediately after the treatment – although the following day is when the skin will look and feel noticeably more hydrated.”
Needlephobes will be relieved that, thanks to the clinic’s “nappage” technique, you’ll hardly feel anything more than a few feather-light scratches around your face, with minimal swelling afterwards. That said, for sleep-deprived under eyes, a few more precise (and, yes, a tad more painful) pricks in that area will lighten up bags and minimise puffiness in no time.
02. Power up your vitamins
Let’s talk about IV drips. More specifically, are they secret to super-charged health or just another wacky wellness trend? “An IV Drip is only as good as the ingredients that are put inside it,” says Dr Will, the co-founder of medic-led IV clinic Effect Doctors. “We use Plasma-Lyte 148 as our base solution, which is usually used in hospitals only. It has a pH of 7.4 – the perfect pH for a human – with an electrolyte panel that exactly matches the electrolytes at the levels required within your blood.”
His top pick for a thorough post-summer hangover cure? “We do something called the Deluxe Recovery IV, which encompasses Plasma-Lyte 148, as well as IV paracetamol, which is 1.6 times more effective than oral paracetamol. It also contains IV ketorolac, a very potent anti-inflammatory which can only be given intravenously, and IV ondansetron, which is a potent anti-sickness drug. Plus, it has a full vitamin infusion that includes B1, B2, B3, B6 and vitamin C.”
03. Reset your diet
If you’ve overindulged at the wedding buffets and barbecues this summer – and washed it down with more alcoholic beverages than you’d care to disclose to your family doctor – functional nutritionist Ms Andy Daly recommends taking 10 days to reset (so skip the restaurant reservations).
“Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and alcohol if you can. And keep coffee to one per day and avoid processed dairy, meats, vegan meats,” she says. “During this time, you instead want foods that nourish your body – lots of non-starchy cruciferous vegetables and antioxidant-rich ones, as well as healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, plus organic eggs and meat, smaller oily fish like sardines, mackerel and anchovies or plant-based sources of protein such as tempeh.
“I am not a huge fan of calorie counting – instead make sure your plate is three-quarters full of non-starchy veg and has around 100g to 150g of good-quality protein and one to two servings of healthy fats. And try to leave a 12 to 14-hour fasting window between dinner and breakfast. This gives you time to detox and repair. The key is to avoid eating before bedtime so the earlier you eat dinner, the better.”
04. Practise sleep hygiene
Jetting between time zones left your circadian rhythm out of whack? It’s easier said than done, but practising good “sleep hygiene” will soon get things ticking along as they should be. “Have an evening sleep routine during this period, set a bedtime and try to keep it,” Daly says. “Half an hour before your bedtime, put away devices such as mobile phones and laptops, and turn off the TV. Use this time to actively relax – read or have an Epsom salt bath – and consider a sleep aid such as magnesium glycinate (although do check with your doctor first if you’re on any form of medication).”
05. Get a deep clean
Thankfully, we don’t mean a colonic, here. Rather, we’re fans of a super-cleansing facial that will get rid of all the oil, gunk and sweat that’s been marinating (sorry) in your pores for the past couple months. “During the summer, our skin is exposed to more UV rays and external elements such as salt water and chlorine,” says Ms Milena Naydenov, the lead aesthetician at 111 Harley Street. “Most people also experience enhanced oil and sebum production due to hotter temperatures.”
Her treatment of choice is a hydra-dermabrasion facial. “It basically uses hydro-technology to deep cleanse, exfoliate, extract and infuse the skin with active ingredients to help hydrate the skin and rejuvenate it. The suction technology also offers lymphatic drainage to help decrease puffiness in the face for a more sculpted result.”
06. Get your lymph moving
Speaking of lymphatic drainage, the buzzed-about technique can also be used to greater benefit across your whole body, by way of a vigorous massage. And we do mean vigorous, here – expect to be whipped into shape, whether by manual techniques, wooden tools or high-tech gadgets, all employed to get your lymph fluid flowing nicely and, in turn, resolve any puffiness or sluggishness induced by long flights and excess alcohol.
Ms Anna Zahn’s Ricari Studios at the Nomad Hotel (plus locations in LA and New York) is among the pioneers and offers an array of treatments depending on your goals, from reducing fatigue to giving your digestive system a kick. “With regular treatments, you’ll be conditioning connective tissue, resulting in increased circulation and enhanced lymphatic drainage,” Zahn says. “This helps flush excess fluid from stagnant areas in the body and face, while also accelerating muscle recovery and revitalizing skin tissue.” Alternatively, DIY it with a guided 45-minute session on one of Re Place’s Body Rollers – think an ultra-dynamic, high-tech upgrade on your standard foam roller which will help boost the blood flow and reduce water retention, with the added benefit of soothing sore muscles.
07. Reground with yoga
The temptation after an indulgent period might be to ramp up your exercise regimen to make up for lost time, but it’s worth easing yourself back into it. “When you’ve been in multiple different locations and you’ve not really had a steady routine, it’s all about trying to refocus and re-establish the rhythm again,” says Mr Matt Penman, a yoga instructor at Bodyism. “Set some time within the calendar to practise yoga and make sure you stick to it. You’ll never regret it afterwards.
“Within the yoga discipline, rather than anything too dynamic or strength based, it’s all about postures that are physically grounding the body onto the mat. So, that could be, for example, child’s pose, or all the postures where you’re physically grounding the spine, tailbone and the base of the skull. And lifting the hips is nice, because you feel the strength through the feet, so your feet are really pressing into the ground. That just allows the body to feel really connected to the Earth again and kind of roots you back into reality.”
08. Enter the Somadome
Embrace a moment of quiet after a frantic summer by stepping into the Somadome, an egg-like meditation pod that uses all sorts of technologies – binaural beats, beta and gamma sound waves, colour immersion, healing magnets – to optimise the experience. “It’s great for people that are new to meditation or people that have meditation experience, but are struggling to get into that state,” says Re Place founder Ms Ania Hoppner, whose studio is home to the UK’s first Somadome. “There are no distractions. Once you’re in the dome, you’re in the dome.”
Depending on their level of practice, users can opt for a guided meditation or go it alone. And you’ll be invited to pick a programme from the menu according to your meditation goals – whether that’s destressing or recharging. If you’re an always-on type or a meditation sceptic, it’s worth suspending your doubts for a second and giving it a go just for a chance to switch off and tap into yourself, even if you don’t quite reach nirvana. As for the seasoned pros? “Some customers say one Somadome session is like a whole week of meditating,” Hopper says. “It’s that powerful.”