I’m an August Lion, so I would describe summer as the peak of my whole year. The long days, the longer nights, the stifling heat; if a season truly embodies the vibrant, exaggerated spirit of a Leo, it is summer. Considering all of this, I have to be honest with you – summer is tough on your hair… and your skin… and your face. It’s a season that deserves its own arsenal of products to help you cope with the intense heat and sweltering humidity; heavy moisturizers, full coverage foundations and thick body creams should be replaced with light gel lotions, skin tinctures and SPF body mists. But where to start ? Don’t worry we have what you need to create a summer survival kit with all the essential skincare, hair care and makeup essentials. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite beauty products that will get you through the season.
What should you change in your skincare routine for the summer?
When it comes to your summer moisturizer, you want to replace your rich creams with a lighter water-based formulation. Look for products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin; because they are both humectants, they help bring water back to your skin (this is very helpful if you are dealing with dryness).
For acne-prone skin, a moisturizer with exfoliating ingredients, like salicylic acid, should be added to your skin care arsenal; they will help you keep pimples away, while controlling your oil production. Be careful not to load your skincare line with too many exfoliators, this can cause your skin to produce even more sebum.
If your skin type falls squarely into the “dry” category, consider an ultralight facial oil. The right formula won’t leave you looking greasy, I promise. Plus, when you layer an oil on top of a cream, it locks in moisture to prevent water loss, a major benefit for dry skin.
How do you fade dark spots and prevent new ones?
The best routine for fading dark spots is a targeted routine with products that work well together. Before introducing a product into your routine, 1) ask yourself if you really need or if you already have a product in your range that does the same; and 2) check the ingredient list to make sure you aren’t getting anything too intense on your skin. If you don’t come in with a clear plan, you run the risk of making your skin worse, causing inflammation and irritation.
Typically, you want to include a chemical exfoliant, serum, retinoid, and of course, sunscreen in your routine to fade and prevent dark spots.
Chemical exfoliators with a mixture of mild acids (think: glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids) tend to be less aggressive than physical exfoliators, like a facial scrub. Liquid exfoliators work to break down dead skin cells on your face, removing dark spots and smoothing skin texture over time.
The serums are filled with a high percentage of active ingredients that allow you to target specific skin care concerns. To even out your skin tone, look for a formula with kojic acid, niacinamide, or vitamin C that best meets your specific needs. Kojic acid interferes with the production of melanin in your skin, so it prevents new dark spots from coming to the surface; niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, balances oil production, which helps stop rashes; and vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental stressors that cause inflammation.
Retinoids stimulate collagen production and increase cell turnover for smoother, more even skin. Start slowly: apply it two to three times a week for about a month, see how your skin reacts to the product, then increase your frequency from there.
SPF is a must all year round, but you need to be more diligent with your application during the summer, mostly when you use chemical exfoliators or retinol; When overexposed to UVA / UVB rays, these types of products make your skin more susceptible to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and could make your dark spots worse.
How to minimize flyaways during the summer?
If your hair type is somewhere between “super thick” and “extra fine,” a moisturizer can help keep your hair smooth and defined in the heat, says Renato Campora, artistic director of Fekkai. You can also use a texturizing spray to build volume and help your hair stay in place, Campora explains. “Build it into the roots and through the hair section by section, using a brush or your hands to create texture,” he says.
Need more control? Opt for a moisturizing styling gel; it will provide maximum hold and definition without drying out your hair, says Renee Gadar, Aveda’s global artistic director for textured hair. A leave-in conditioner is also essential, whatever your hair type; it will help retain moisture, keeping your hair smooth and hydrated when it is hot and humid outside.
What are the best light makeup products for the summer?
When it comes to summer makeup, I recommend going as light as possible; something too heavy and you increase the chances of your makeup getting mushy and slipping off your face. Instead, opt for buildable tinted moisturizers, gel-cream blushes that won’t budge, and a comfortable lip oil, tint, or gloss to complete your look. Once you step out in the sun, they’ll give you a naturally rosy glow.
What body products should I use?
I have long advocated treating the skin under your neck as well as your face, so I have a fairly comprehensive body care routine. But when it comes to the basics of the body that will get you through the summer season, I suggest that you regularly use a physical or chemical exfoliant to keep ingrown hairs away and smooth out KP bumps; a moisturizer for the body that penetrates quickly; a body oil that traps moisture; and a body SPF that protects your exfoliated legs from sun damage.