Taking a dip as the temperatures start to soar is a great way to cool off, but to protect your skin from becoming dried out in the summer heat, it's the water you put inside your body that counts the most. "The most important time of the year to focus on hydration is during temperature change," says Emma Pattee, a skincare expert with Egyptian Magic Skin Care. "When the days start getting hot, make sure you're drinking a full 48 to 64 ounces per day." If plain water just isn't your thing, give your sip a summer twist by adding chopped mint, cucumber slices or lemon wedges. Chill before serving.
Summertime skin also needs sunscreen, especially delicate facial skin. "Use sunscreen with SPF of 50 or higher," recommends Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon and an associate at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. "It's hard to remember sometimes when we're chasing after our kids down the beach, but sweat, sand and water all play a part in chipping away at a nice layer of sunscreen," she notes, so reapply often. For extended outdoor outings, keep an umbrella and a trendy beach hat handy for added protection.
Does your hair go haywire on humid summer days? It's a sign that your hair is in need of extra moisturizing, says celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill. "If your hair is dry, it will absorb any moisture from the air, making it go frizzy and unmanageable. Making sure your hair is properly hydrated means it won't have to drink up water from the atmosphere," he explains. Hill recommends using a cream-based moisturizing shampoo/conditioner to combat frizz.
Your makeup routine, that is. Mixed with the sweaty heat of summer, heavy foundation can lead to skin breakouts and may give skin a weighed-down appearance. Your best bet for a pretty summer glow? "To achieve an all-over, uniform tone on the face, reach for the sheerest coverage," says beauty blogger Mary Winkenwerder. A favorite of beauty experts is tinted facial moisturizer with added SPF protection.
Let's face it, fussy hairstyles just don't cut it when it's hot and humid out. "You want to make sure you're managing your hair without too much styling," says Leah Carlson, owner of La La Luxe Salon & Spa in Providence, Rhode Island. The easiest way to do this? According to Carlson, "Rock a more layered shape. If your hair is long, shake things up with some long layers. Short hair? Add some movement with some textured layers. Working with your natural texture is way easier in the heat."
Hair fried from the common summer combo of too much sun and swimming pool chlorine? For intensive hydration, celebrity beauty expert Scott-Vincent Borba recommends coating hair with Malaysian palm fruit oil, found in the cooking oil aisle at the grocery store. Malaysian palm fruit oil is naturally rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene. As Borba advises, "Put some on your scalp and then work it through the rest of your hair. Cover with plastic wrap and heat with a hair dryer for 5-10 minutes."
According to Pattee, it's not just red cheeks and sunburned shoulders you need to watch out for on sunny days. "Your lips have some of the most delicate tissue on your face, and need constant protection during the summer," she notes. Before heading outdoors, she recommends applying a lip balm with SPF.
Why is the latest heat wave causing you to break out? There's a simple explanation says Dr. Engelman. "Contrary to popular belief, sun, heat and humidity can cause oil glands to go hyperactive, which can lead to acne breakouts." To help keep skin clean and pores open, she recommends wiping down with medicated wipes after exercising or sweating. Follow up with applying a non-comedogenic sunscreen specifically formulated for acne-prone skin.
Too much exposure to the sun can unfortunately make pricey salon hair color fade in no time. "It's best to cover up by using a hat or scarf, but if this is not possible, make sure you use hair care products that offer UV protection," says Mark Hill. Look for sunscreens that double up by offering both skin and hair protection or try specialty summer hair care products with built-in UV protection.
Rosacea is especially common in women over age 30, and unfortunately, some summertime favorites — including spicy salsa and the alcohol in margaritas, mojitos and other summery drinks — can trigger flare-ups of the skin condition (common symptoms include pimple-like bumps and reddened skin). To keep rosacea in check, Dr. Engelman recommends using sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin, avoiding trigger foods and skipping cocktails by switching to mocktails! Since alcohol can be dehydrating, this may be good advice for all of us.
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