There is no denying it has been a scorcher this summer. With some parts of the UK reaching 25 degrees and above, many people have been carrying around portable fans or sitting at their work desk sweltering. This is especially difficult for women going through menopause as hot flushes and heatwaves are not a pleasant combination.
One of the most spoken about symptoms of menopause is hot flashes. A 2008 study shows that up to 80 per cent of pre-menopausal women and 65 per cent of post-menopausal women experience hot flashes.
So, whether you’re struggling with the heat while working, need some cooling relief for hot flushes or aches and pains, we’ve picked some of the best cooling products on the market to keep you refreshed during the heatwave.
Related: Diet for menopause: what to eat and avoid
The best gels and cooling pads
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Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cooling Gel
The best cooling gel for general use
This refreshing gel will help cool you off in no time. Refresh tired, heavy, aching legs, ankles or other parts of your body. So, you can get back to making the most of the sunshine.
Kool 'N' Soothe Gel Sheets
The best cooling sheet for your head
This Kool 'n' Soothe gel sheet isn't just for migraines - you can tough out the heatwave and hot flushes with these handy sheets. To use gel sheets, simply peel off its protective layer, place it on your forehead and allow its chilling properties to work their magic. A good thing to note is that you won't need to keep reapplying them, as a single sheet lasts several hours before drying out so you can have relief for long periods at a time.
Weleda Arnica Cooling Gel 25g
The best cooling gel for pre and post exercise
Arnica Montana is a commonly used homoeopathic medicine for the relief of muscular pain. If you are after a cooling gel to use pre and post physical activity, the Weleda Arnica Cooling Gel soothes tired limbs and will leave you feeling revitalised. Using natural and organic Arnica Extracts and other ingredients, the lightweight gel can be massaged into your muscles to relieve aches and pains. This also works a dream on neck, shoulder and back pain.
**Tried and tested by Ellen Kinsey, Commercial Content Writer for Yours: "**This cooling gel from Weleda is perfect for those experiencing back, shoulder or neck pain as well as before and after doing exercise. I have been using this product after home workouts and in conjunction with my chiropractor visits for my misaligned spine. After my chiropractic adjustment sessions, I apply this cooling gel to relieve muscle pain and tension, and it has significantly helped my muscles loosen and relax. If you would prefer a cream over a gel, then I recommend using Tiger balm for the neck and shoulders as it has cooling properties that will relieve muscle pain as well."
Dermatonics Ultra Cool Foot Gel for Relief of Hot Legs and Feet
The best cooling gel for legs and feet
You can rapidly refresh hot, tired and tingling feet, using this unique formula gel containing chestnut, arnica, peppermint and New Zealand manuka honey. Plus, a bonus is that it reduces foot odour.
Project E Beauty Ice Roller Cold Therapy
The best cooling gel for the face
This ice roller reduces swelling and cools the eye area to give you a fresh feeling sensation. Roll on the skin after using a moisturiser to reduce the look of pores, smooth out the texture, and brighten up the skin. Not only will this ice roller cool you down, but cold therapy will help with facial rejuvenation - giving you a lift. Simply place the ice roller in the freezer for around ten minutes or until it is cold. Then apply the ice roller to your desired area with a back and forth rolling motion.
The best cooling sprays
Two-Piece Nano Facial Mister
The best cooling spray for on the go
This refillable facial mister sprays out water to keep you refreshed during hot flushes and summer weather. The set comes with two nano facial misters with a volume of 30ml. It also comes with two USB charging cables, so if one gets lost, you have a replacement. The devices are lightweight, compact in size, so you can easily carry them around when shopping, travelling, or at the office.
Beauty Formulas Body and Face Cooling Mist
The best cheap cooling spray for general use
This simple and effective cooling face mist is ideal to use on hot and humid days where you just need an extra spritz to keep you cool.
Lancaster Sun Sport Cooling Invisible Body Mist
The best cooling spray for sports
This all in one sport cooling mist does it all, it's refreshing, fast-drying and water and sweat-resistant in all conditions. It is the perfect addition to your daily routine and works wonders for your morning jog or the kids or grandkid's school run.
Promensil Menopause Cooling Spray
The best cooling spray for hot flushes
This cooling spray is specifically designed for women going through menopause. It provides Instant relief from uncomfortable hot flushes and night sweats. The spray draws heat away from the skin, which in turn reduces the skin temperature and calms down redness and irritation.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray
The best cooling spray for rehydration
This well known skin-care brand's cooling spray uses a gentle and non-irritating formula comprised of aloe vera and rosewater. Not only does this product smell amazing, but it instantly soothes tight, dehydrated skin as well as cooling you down in the process.
What are the symptoms of the menopause?
Most of us will experience some symptoms as we reach menopause. Some of us might notice some weight gain and the odd hot flush, while others will experience senior moments, night sweats, debilitating hot flushes and mood swings. Understanding what is happening to your body during this time is an important part of managing your symptoms and finding the right solution for you.
The two main menopause symptoms are hot flushes and night sweats which affect three out of four menopausal women. The sudden feeling of heat spreading through your body is hard to overlook and for some women, it's accompanied by palpitations and sweating.
This happens due to the levels of oestrogen and the part of your brain that acts as your body's thermostat (the hypothalamus) is out of whack. Hot flushes can make you feel embarrassed and self-conscious and at night they can affect your sleep leaving you tired and irritable. Other symptoms can include headaches, weight gain and depression. So having some cooling products will help ease the symptoms and give you some relief.
The symptoms may not be completely avoidable but there are triggers that can make it happen more frequently.
You can reduce the hot flushes by:
Reducing your caffeine intake
Skipping hot drinks
Getting a good night’s sleep
Cutting down on the chillies and spicy food
Turning down the heating or avoid hot rooms
Avoiding tight fitting clothes
If you make a conscious effort to avoid these things and trade them for more sleep, a healthy diet, and plenty of movement, this should significantly reduce the hot flushes.
It is good to consider medications such as birth control pills, hormone therapy, or other prescriptions that may help you reduce hot flashes. See your GP if you’re having difficulty managing hot flashes.
Tips for staying cool in a heatwave
If you are struggling to cool down due to the heat then the diet experts at Exante have revealed the five best ingredients to help keep you cool in the heat:
“It is extremely important to hydrate with plenty of water when you have heat stress on a hot summer's day. However, there are other remedies you may not have considered. From water-rich foods to spicy ingredients, there are many other ways to lower your body heat quickly.
Coconut water has many cooling properties, so add it to a smoothie or drink it as it is. As coconuts are full of minerals, vitamins and electrolytes, it is a great way to rehydrate your body.
Strawberries are not only delicious and sweet fruit but they have loads of hydrating qualities - perfect for a hot summer's day. Eating strawberries will contribute to your daily water intake. They are also fibre rich, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as manganese and vitamin C.
Watermelon has a 92 per cent water content; it will be a tasty snack and a hydration booster. Watermelons are also very low-calorie, so you can munch away and claim the beneficial antioxidants.
Cantaloupe is another type of melon that is really water-dense, but the benefits of this fruit do not stop there. High in vitamin A, one cup of cantaloupe provides 120 per cent of your daily needs.
Although eating spicy foods can feel like they warm you up, things like chilli can actually help decrease your body temperature. It is believed that the capsaicin in chilli signals to our brains that it’s overheated, this then causes a sweating reaction and sweating cools us down. Of course, if you are experiencing heat flushes and this is one of your triggers, stay clear of the spice and munch on some hydrating fruits instead.