Summer Beauty Tips
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 products, tips and tricks. Here are a few suggestions for looking and feeling your absolute best this season.
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 at-tempt to protect its skin DNA from being mutated by ultraviolet rays. Literally dam-aged proteins are released after 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 are generally safe. It is best to exfoliate and de-fat, or use soap to remove skin oils, and rinse be-fore 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 tan-ning into an art form. These are wonderful and generally do a great job, resulting in a nice, even tan. Over-the-counter options are Jergens® Body Glow® from your local drugstore and St. Tropez tanning products from Sephora®. 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 likes. 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. MAC legsheen or sun-dressing are great options. Another option is Dior® Airflash for the décolletage, etc. These types of wax-based products are best applied 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 makeup will still rub off on clothing, so white clothing may be a little tricky.
Besides the self-tanners for the face, such as St. Tropez or Gradual Tan, makeup is a great tool for the summer. Bronzers and shimmer blocs can provide a glow. Laura Mercier’s Shimmer Bloc is excellent for providing a dewy, tanned look. If it is muggy out, a small amount of OC8 oil-control gel rubbed between hands and patted on mid-face can reduce an overly dewy, sweaty look. 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 so some exfoliation with Glytone 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 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 pre-quenched 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 beach waves. Products such as Bumble and Bumble™ Surf Infusion texturize hair and provide the same body and curl without a trip to the beach.
At the end of summer, our office goes into clean-up overdrive 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 about an SPF of 8 for the entire body. This does not substitute for sun-screen but does prevent ‘hot spots,’ or rather burned spots where people accidentally miss a patch of skin. My favorite waterproof sunscreen for outdoors is Anthelios SPF60 with Cellox Shield, and for daily in the summer, 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.
By Anna Guanche MD FAAD
Board Certified Dermatologist
The statements in this article are for general informational purposes only and do not substitute for individual medical advice.