Beat the heat and look gorgeous through Labor Day with our solutions to the most common summer beauty woes
Imagine living in the British Virgin Islands year-round: You could go to the beach any time you wanted and eat fresh seafood at every meal. But as the temperature starts to rise, so does the beauty backlash—there’s sunburn, melting makeup and rebellious hair to deal with. No one knows how to solve these hot-weather worries better than beauty experts who call balmy climates home, so we got their insider tips on how to stay pretty all season—the natural way.
SNAFU: It’s not your imagination—your skin does produce more oil in the summer. And heat and humidity cause us to sweat, so that means pores get even more clogged, triggering breakouts.
SOLUTION: Just a few tweaks to your routine will help you stay blemish-free. “Keep skin clean by cleansing once or twice daily with a gentle cleanser—preferably one with salicylic acid to unclog pores,” says Sheree Jackson, director of the Ocean Spa at Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. “Exfoliate skin once or twice per week to unclog pores and keep them free from dirt and debris.” Try to keep your hands off your face, wear pure mineral makeup and clean your makeup brushes after each use.
Try Aubrey Organics Clarifying Therapy Clay Mask, $12.95, aubrey-organics.com; Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant with Lactic Acid, $29, eminenceorganics.com; Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, $75, tataharperskincare.com
SNAFU: Frizzy, unmanageable hair that won’t cooperate.
SOLUTION: Luckily, pretty braids are all the rage lately, so putting your hair in plaits or a simple updo is an easy fix. To combat frizz, Yanni Gaspar-Frivaldo, spa director at The Mulia Spa in Bali, suggests blending yogurt and egg yolk together, and massaging into the scalp. Leave for 20 minutes with a shower cap, then massage scalp and rinse off with shampoo. Or, you can use a blend of avocado and milk instead.
SNAFU: Too much fun in the sun can lead to a bad burn.
SOLUTION: Slather on enough sunscreen before you head outside—it should be part of your morning routine. Look for oil-free formulas to prevent breakouts. “It is extremely important to always wear a good sun block, regardless of your ethnicity,” says Safyie Reid, spa director at Peter Island Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands. But if you do get burned, aloe vera is a very effective treatment. For a serious scorch, Frivaldo recommends a sunburn wrap: Combine cucumber puree, watermelon puree, aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil, and dip in a cold muslin cloth. Wrap the cloth on your body for approximately 20 minutes for maximum absorption.
SNAFU: After carefully applying your makeup, it’s frustrating when it starts to run as soon as you leave the air conditioning.
SOLUTION: “Makeup will always melt in a hot environment, so people just need to keep applying loose powder on top to prevent melting fast and, of course, avoid staying in the sun for long hours,” Frivaldo says. She suggests using products with a matte finish and a powdery texture when applied. Also, the secret ingredient to zapping shine is at the farmer’s market. “Tomatoes have natural oil-absorbing acids that help to get rid of excess oil,” Jackson says. Combine three tablespoons of tomato juice with one tablespoon of honey to make a mask. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water.
SNAFU: Bare feet on the sand is a great feeling, but wearing sandals all season can wreak havoc on your feet.
SOLUTION: Soften your tootsies while you sleep. “Before bed time, apply lotion with aloe vera or cucumber, which helps moisturize the skin of the foot that’s exposed to the sun,” says Frivaldo. “Wear cotton socks overnight to lock in moisture and protect the skin, as the renewal of skin happens during deep sleep.” Once or twice a week, make a natural foot scrub. “Cornmeal mixed with baking soda and water makes a very good exfoliant,” Reid says. “This will remove dead skin easily and leave feet feeling smooth.” Mix ¼ cup cornmeal, ¼ cup baking soda and ¼ cup coconut oil together. Apply generously to the feet, making sure to concentrate on areas such as the heels. Rinse off or remove with a warm towel, then apply coconut oil to moisturize.
The Perils of Chlorine
Those dips in the pool may come at a price. “Overexposure to chlorinated water can dry your hair and skin, causing hair to become frizzy and fragile which leads to breakage, and causing skin to wrinkle over time,” says Jackson. To reduce the effects of chlorine, she recommends showering immediately after getting out of the pool and using shampoo with vitamin C, which neutralizes your hair to its natural pH. Wearing a swim cap will also protect your hair.