Summer Beauty Tips

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Glowy, sunkissed skin is the hallmark of summer beauty. Because my patients and practice are full of beauty connoisseurs, I get the first-hand feedback on new prod-ucts, tips, and tricks. Here are a few sug-gestions for looking and feeling your abso-lute best this season.

Get Tan! A tan is something people desire. “I look thinner,” they say, or “I just feel better.” On the outside, they’ll venture, “I need my vitamin D!” since they are speaking to a doctor. I get it. Looking tan is wonderful. Let’s break down what a tan really is. A tan is your body’s attempt to protect its skin DNA from being mutated by ultraviolet rays. Literally, damaged proteins are released af-ter the UV assault that causes a feedback mechanism to start increased melanin production. These are globules of black material in the skin designed to deflect ultraviolet radiation away from your DNA. Mutated and damaged cells (sunburned) proceed to auto-death (yes!), called apoptosis, and the ones that are not successful live on in their mutated way, eventually leading to clusters of abnormally growing cells called skin cancer. Am I trying to deter you from tanning? Yes! But I am not naïve. I know you will still spend time in the sun this summer. I know you love a nice tan. So, let’s discuss ways that you can look amazing, tan, sexy, and beautiful without the damage.

Self-Tanners. Self-tanners are generally safe. It is best to exfoliate and defat, or use soap to remove skin oils, and rinse before applying self-tanner. Then, it’s best not to exfoliate again until you are ready to either be done with the tan or re-apply. There are many salons that have turned airbrush tanning into an art form, but since we have limited access to them at this time, I recommend Vita Liberata self-tanner. Body Blur is one of my personal fa-vorites for an instant and longer-term tan. Jergens® Body Glow® from your local drugstore and St. Tropez tanning products from Sephora® are also great options. Beware of areas with skin folds which can absorb more color, such as hands, elbows, and heels. Light moisturizer applied in these areas before self-tanning prevents dark knuckles and the like. If you make a mistake and have a dark streak, modern lore says baking soda in water is great for removing the excess color. If you are applying self-tanner to your face, do wait an hour or so before going to bed and put an old T-shirt over your pillowcase to prevent staining.

Body Bronzer Makeup. I am partial to body bronzer makeup as it looks less orangey and does not build up in skin folds. Westmore Beauty® Body Coverage perfector is my go-to. Another option is Dior® Airflash for the décolletage. These types of wax-based products are best ap-plied smoothly and evenly to the body, air dried for one hour, and then rinsed with cool water in the shower (pat dry) before putting on clothes. Note that some make-up will still rub off on clothing, so white clothes may be a little tricky.
Face Bronzer. Besides the self-tanners for the face, such as Vita Liberata, makeup is a great tool for the summer. Bronzers and shimmer blocs can provide a glow. KKW Beauty contouring palette or Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Bloc are excellent options for providing a dewy, tanned look. If it is muggy out, a bit of Hourglass Veil setting powder is helpful to keep things in place. A few blotting papers in your bag are helpful in reducing the midface moisture as the weather heats up. Also remember: When using base makeup, go lighter on the thickness of foundation in the summer and go darker in color to match your (self) tanned skin tone.

Heels and Elbows. It is sandal season and pedicures are not happening at the moment, so some exfoliation with Glytone Ultra Softening Heel and Elbow Cream daily with a once-weekly gentle scrubbing with a loofah is a great habit. Again, this should be done before applying any self-tanner.

Hair Care. Hair can be damaged and aged by the sun just like skin. The sun and pool can also alter hair color, particularly if it is highlighted. It is important to saturate hair with fresh water and soak the cuticles before entering chlorinated or salt water. This allows the cuticle to be prequenched and puts a buffer between your hair and harsh, damaging chemicals. Sunscreen spray for hair, such as Nios or Clarins®, hats, or even just regular sunscreen spray are great to use to prevent dry, brittle, sun-damaged hair.

Incidentally, you don’t have to go to the beach to get beachy waves. Products such as Bumble and BumbleTM Surf Infusion tex-turize hair and provide the same body and curl without a trip to the beach.

Sun Protection. At the end of summer, our office goes into clean-up over-drive mode, reducing brown spots, wrinkles, and photo damage. After the summer fun, people look in the mirror and see these unwelcome changes. To circumvent this as much as possible, sun protection is key. Heliocare® is a wonderful daily antioxidant supplement that provides an SPF of about 8 for the entire body. This does not substitute for sunscreen but does prevent ‘hot spots,’ or rather burned spots, where people acci-dentally miss a patch of skin. For skin cancer-prone fair skin, ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica is a great option to prevent and even improve/reverse sun damage. My favorite waterproof sunscreen for outdoors is Anthelios SPF60 with Cellox Shield, and for daily wear in the summer, it’s EltaMD® 46 SPF tinted or clear. Remember, while outdoors, re-apply every two hours. There is no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Remember, wide-brimmed hats are both beautiful and beneficial in protecting you.

Sunny California is a stunning place to live. There is no shortage of fun, exciting things to do out in the sun. Here, I’ve provided some tips and tricks on summer beauty and how to look your best while saving your skin. n

The statements in this article are for general informational purposes only and do not sub-stitute for individual medical advice.


By Anna D. Guanche, MD, FAAD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

Bella Skin Institute