After this past winter, I was ready for summer by about March 20. But while warm weather is good for the soul; what it does for our looks isn’t always pretty. Shiny skin, oily hair and sunburn, I’m talking to you… Yet there’s no need to spend summer in an A/C cocoon. Instead, heat up your appearance with these simple and sizzling summer beauty tricks:
1. Clean up your act with dry shampoo.
Do you remember when dry shampoo was a novelty beauty item? There was one brand, Psssst!, which I used to think was for people stuck in hospital beds or for those who didn’t have the best hygiene. Well, this beauty-industry oddball has become an “It” Girl with its virtues extolled by celebrity hair stylists and fashion magazines alike.
Besides extending the time between washes, dry shampoo can add volume to fine tresses. As someone with locks firmly in the latter category (a stylist once compared its texture to cotton candy), I love its ability to make my hair look fuller.
But for keeping my hair clean-looking on day two, I had mixed results. Enter a stylist I met in New York City recently who advised that most people use the wrong application technique. The trick she said was creating parts on both sides of the head and spraying the product directly on the scalp from a few inches away and then rubbing it in.
As for brands, she said Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo did the best job cleaning her fine hair.
2. Prime time.
If you had one beauty product to take to a desert island, I bet primer wouldn’t even make it on your short list. But, at a Canyon Ranch SpaClub seminar I recently attended, an esthetician said to think of primer as either the last step of skin care or the first one of makeup.
Primers create a protective barrier over skin as well as sealing in moisturizer and other treatment products. But they also help makeup stay put, even in summer’s moister air, by smoothing the skin’s surface and giving powder, blush, etc., something to grip on to.
One of my faves is Cover FX Anti-Aging Primer. This paraben-, sulfate- and phthalate-free product both primes skin for foundation and acts as a serum to help reduce the look of fine lines.
3. Double up.
You know the sunscreen rules cold. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily with a minimum SPF of 30. Apply generously. Reapply often (especially after swimming).
But did you know SPF becomes more effective by adding antioxidants to the mix.
While sunscreens block UVA and UVB rays, antioxidants neutralize skin-aging free radicals created by infrared radiation from the sun. So using them in tandem with your sunscreen is the best way to slow down skin-aging.
One option is to use a sunscreen formulated with antioxidants, such as L’Oréal Silky Sheer Lotion 50. But many dermatologists say the best protection is provided by applying a separate, antioxidant-rich serum prior to sunscreen. A highly recommended one, although not cheap, is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.
4. Dare to bare it.
If there’s a season to spend bare-faced, summer would be it. After all, a heavily made-up face looks decidedly out-of-place in the glare of bright sunlight. And if skipping makeup seems daunting; sunglasses and sun hats are there to provide a cool cover. Adding one made-up element, such as a bright lip, provides polish with minimal effort.
Besides fitting in with summer’s more casual mood, there’s evidence going makeup-free can help your skin. According to some dermatologists in the UK, skipping it two days a week can result in younger-looking skin in less than a month.
The rationale is that parabens in cosmetics accumulate in skin during the day, leading to a breakdown in collagen and elastin. So cooling off on cosmetics now and then can help promote cell turnover in skin, leading to a younger-looking complexion.
But, remember, makeup-free doesn’t mean skipping sunscreen.
I hope these sizzling summer beauty tricks help heat up the look of your season.