12 Beauty Essentials for Healthy Summer Skin and Hair
Experts share the best tips and products for maintaining glowing skin and glossy hair in the hot hot heat.
Even though winter 2020 is happily a distant memory, its effects are still being felt — and seen — when it comes to our bodies. If not given proper attention and care, common conditions like dry patches and keratosis pilaris (rough patches of skin, sometimes with tiny bumps) can linger well into summer.
According to Ann Marie MacDonald, president of the Canadian skincare company Miracle 10, the best cure for minor skin ailments like these is to develop and maintain a good skincare routine for the body, no matter what the season. “With a good skincare regimen all year long, adapting and customizing your collection to meet your individual needs each season provides a foundation to glowing skin,” she explains. “Laying this foundation prepares the skin to maintain a healthy glow.” However, if you’ve been on the neglectful side, there’s still time to reveal your best skin before Labour Day.
MacDonald recommends exfoliating regularly, two or three times a week or as needed, and applying a rich moisturizer to soften and plump your skin. “Moisturize in the morning after bathing and, for added benefit, in the evening before bed,” she says, advising that special attention should be paid to areas like the hand, elbows, decolletage, upper arms and thighs. Make your mornings easier by swapping out your soap for a hydrating body cleanser, which MacDonald says won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in which case you probably have a pretty flawless complexion), there’s no excuse for being ignorant to the damage that the sun can cause. From visible signs of aging to critical medical conditions like melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, the sun’s feel-good rays can have some extremely bad consequences for skin that’s not adequately protected.
That being said, there’s nothing like having a sun-kissed glow. Skip the cocoa butter this summer and get a head start on your tan with an at-home sunless tanning product. For an even application, James Read, a celebrity tanning expert who has bestowed a glow upon the likes of Mariah Carey, has developed a tried and-true process. It starts the day before with all-over exfoliation to remove any dead skin cells, followed by a blast of hydration. “With the face, use a hydrating mask or sheet mask before applying your self-tanner,” he says. “Go for a self-tanner for the face that’s super-hydrating.” For your body, Read recommends applying moisturizer to help stop the tanning product from clinging to dry areas.
To gently ease yourself into a sunless glow, look for gradual tanning products, like James Read Sleep Masks for your face and body. With daily use, both build up alight, sun-kissed colour while hydrating skin with ingredients like aloe vera and hyaluronic acid. And there are ways to hold on to your glow as summer days wane. Read recommends moisturizing daily and amplifying that hydration with facial sheet masks.
Institut Esthederm Bronz Impulse, $69, beautysenses.ca
James Read Gradual Tan Sleep Mask Tan Body, $60, jamesreadtan.com
St. Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion Everyday Moisture Miracle Body Lotion, $38, shoppersdrugmart.ca
They say Beyonce wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes, for J.Lo’s legendary glow. “It takes a while for your skin to get into peak condition,” says Janice James, an educator for Estée Lauder. To help give skin that natural glow, James recommends being diligent in following a regular skincare regimen that consists of cleansing, toning and moisturizing in the morning and especially at night. “You’ve got to get rid of all that stuff you put on your face during the day,” she says. “If you don’t wear makeup, get rid of all the dirt, oil and toxins so that your skin can focus on recovering, restoring and renewing while you’re sleeping at night.” Meanwhile, a gentle exfoliating scrub is a satisfying way to scrub off the remnants of dry skin.
To enhance the natural brightness of your skin, Estée Lauder’s new Perfectionist Pro Rapid Brightening Treatment with Ferment2 + Vitamin C serum reduces acne marks and spots caused by the sun or time, leaving skin looking even and bright. Plus, its lightweight texture is ideal for sticky summer weather.
Estée Lauder Perfectionist Pro Rapid Brightening Treatment Ferment2 + Vitamin C, $101, sephora.com
Scentuals Radiance Facial Cleanser, $35, well.ca
Olay Scrubs Detoxifying Vitamin C + Black Charcoal, $13, Shoppers Drug Mart
From the humidex to increased sun exposure, summer can have a wild impact on our hair. “When we add the beach and the myriad of summer activities, we’re asking a lot of our hair, and we are often left with a greasy, sweaty, frizzy sort of mess,” says Marilisa Sears, artistic director for Marc Anthony True Professional. If you find yourself reaching for your straightening iron at the first sign of an errant curl or unwanted frizz, don’t, says Sears. “This is not the time of year for a blowout,” she says. “On hot, steamy and sticky days, you should lean into your natural hair type.” Her advice? Work with your natural hair texture rather than against it. Look for products that will help define and hydrate your curls or add texture to limp, greasy hair, like dry shampoo.
To protect your strands from environmental and lifestyle stressors like the sun, chlorine and pollution, always wash your hair thoroughly, after a day spent outdoors or a dip in the pool and follow up with a conditioner or hair mask with nourishing ingredients. Caring for your scalp will also result in healthier hair from the get-go by helping to rid your scalp of excess oil, exfoliate skin cells and remove product buildup. Finally, a spritz of a hydrating hair mist can help restore shine.
A light hand and natural shades make for an easy-breezy approach to hot-weather beauty.
Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Tinted Moisturizer in Honey, $17
Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Pillow Talk Intense, $50 , sephora.com
Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick, $12 , walmart.ca
Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara 4D Waterproof, $32 , shoppersdrugmart.ca
Rimmel Mini Power Palette, $14, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Next, learn more about the most important summer (and year-round) product: SPF.