What I’m Loving Now: Summer Essentials

Summer is upon us, and it’s time to switch up products in your skin care routine. I love summer, but it definitely requires some makeup and skin care product tweaks. Since I love to be in the sun, my summer essentials center around ones that protect my skin from UV damage by amping up my sunscreen but allow me to indulge in sidewalk cafes and afternoons in the park. Here are some of the things I rely on to keep my skin healthy in the summer.

Sunscreen is so important in the summer. And for sunscreen, the key is bareMinerals SPF 30 natural sunscreenin reapplication. So how do you reapply like you should without messing up your makeup? I love the bareMinerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen. There are lots of touch-up sunscreen powders on the market, but I like this one because the brush is soft, and the sunscreen comes in several tinted powders to prevent that blue cast that mineral sunscreens are infamous for. Another bonus of touch-up sunscreens like this? You get a mattifying bonus if you’ve gotten a little shiny.

Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel After-SunThe KORRES Greek Yoghurt Cooling Gel is one of my summer essentials. If you’ve ignored my advice about reapplying your sunscreen and gotten a nasty sunburn, this is one of my favorite rehabilitation products. It’s lightweight, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating. It has a cooling sensation when you apply it, so it takes the heat out of the burn. And yogurt has natural healing properties to repair damaged summer skin.

 

I like lighter textures in the summer, so I usually iS Clinical Hydra Cool serumswitch my skin care routine to use just a serum underneath a sunscreen. Skin that’s been in the sun is usually skin that’s dehydrated, so I try to get as much hydration as I can. One of my favorite hydration serums is the iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum. It’s light, super hydrating, and even includes a brightening agent to control summer pigmentation.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye liner, Zero

 

 

Sweaty summers make me switch to waterproof eyeliners. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil is one of my all time favorite eyeliners. I’m a black eyeliner kind of gal, so my favorite color is Zero, but sometimes it’s fun to wear a bright turquoise like Deep End or funky purple like Vice.

Sircuit Cosmeceuticals Savior Problem Skin Cleanser

Summer increases oil production, and that increases the tendency to break out. Even my super dry skin can get too greasy and break out in the summer, so I keep it under control by using a salicylic acid wash a few times a week. My favorite is the Sircuit Skin Savior problem skin cleanser, which breaks down oil and helps unclog pores, as well as having a light cooling effect from a touch of menthol.

These are a few of my favorites. What are some of your summer essentials? Tell me in the comments, or join the conversation on Facebook.

 

 

See a product here that you think would work for you? I earn a commission and you help to support this blog if you use the affiliate links provided. But your trust is important to me, and I’d never recommend something that I haven’t used or didn’t like. Read my disclaimer.

Get Your Skin Summer Ready

The rest of the country may have been experiencing summer for a few weeks now, but New York City is officially in the middle of a heat wave. Depending on your skin type, your skin may thrive in the summer, or it may get your skin summer ready turn into a big mess.

Typically all skin types, from oily to dry, will start to produce more oil. The heat and humidity makes us sweatier and, before you realize it, you may be breaking out more than normal. It can also help skin types that are prone to conditions like eczema and psoriasis minimize outbreaks.

Here are some tips to get your skin summer ready.

  • Add a salicylic acid wash. Even drier skin types can benefit from a salicylic acid wash a couple of times a week to help control the excess sweat and oil. If you’re normally a dry skin type, try a salicylic acid wash two to three times a week. Oilier skin types may benefit from daily usage. Most salicylic acid washes are found with a 2% concentration normally, so adjust your usage if you’ve found something stronger.
  • Lighten up those textures. Dry winter skin and harsh climates beg for creamy, rich textures. Summer calls for lighter lotions. Heavy creams combined with extra oil production creates the perfect storm for breakouts. Put your creams aside and look for lightweight or oil-free lotions. You may even like a little oil control this time of year.
  • Try an acne treatment. If the summer heat has you breaking out a couple times a week, it may be time to try an acne-control serum. Your skin may just need that extra control. Look for something with a blend of acids, alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic and beta hydroxy acids like salicylic. Daily usage under a moisturizer will keep your skin clearer.
  • Amp up your SPF. Warm weather sends people outside, whether it’s beach vacations, spending weekends on the lake, or even just dining outside more often. Make sure you’ve got your skin protected when you’re outside by upping your SPF protection. I like to keep mineral powders in my bag for touch-ups if I end up outside, so I can reapply my SPF without messing up my makeup (and getting a little extra shine control). I also recommend swapping your morning moisturizer with SPF to a dedicated sunscreen. I like the lighter combination of a hydrating serum and a sunscreen in the summer and find it’s just enough for even my dry skin.
  • Get a pro peel. I’m a huge fan of peels, and I believe that they are worth the extra investment in a facial. Super oily skin and acne-prone types may benefit from a salicylic acid peel a couple of times in the summer for added oil and acne control. Drier types can still benefit; peels remove excess dead skin cells and help keep pores clear. The caveat? Make sure to wear your SPF and don’t plan to peel right before or after a beach vacation.

 

 

Speak your mind! How do you tweak your skin care routine for the summer? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook and tell me what you think!

The Salad Dressing Theory

difference between oil and water in the skinI often hear people tell me that their skin is dry because they haven’t been drinking enough water. In fact, I’ve even had other estheticians reprimand me for not drinking enough water to cure my own dry skin. This persistent myth drives me crazy because it’s not even scientifically possible.

First, let’s define the terms. Dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin lacks oil. Any skin type can be dehydrated. In fact, most skin types are dehydrated because so many things we do strip water from our bodies. Since the skin is the first line of defense, even dry air can steal water from your skin.

Now let’s talk about my salad dressing theory. Oil and water don’t mix in your skin, just like they don’t mix in a vinaigrette. You have to shake a salad dressing to get both flavors. It’s the same in the skin; one cannot replace the other. Healthy, balanced skin has just enough of each.

Drinking water is good for you for many reasons. Not one of those reasons is because it moisturizes your dry skin. Since dry skin lacks oil, the only thing that solves the problem of dry skin is adding an oil. I like healthy, botanical oils like jojoba or argan oil. If you want to eat your way to moisturized skin, try avocados, flax seed, or nuts. Drinking water actually won’t hydrate your skin either. It’s virtually impossible to drink enough to hydrate from the inside. The best way to solve a dehydration problem is to add a hydrating serum to your daily routine.

Oily skin doesn’t necessarily need a moisturizer; it has more than enough oil, by definition. It needs a hydrator. This is exactly what an oil-free moisturizer is since there are no oils to moisturize. I do think that oily skin can benefit from a lotion simply because it helps to seal the water into the skin, but truly oily skin can just use a serum and be fine. Dry skin needs to be moisturized, which is how we add the proper oils to skin. Since dry skins are often dehydrated, these skin types may want to use a hydrating serum as well.

It’s important that you understand the difference between these terms so that you can be sure to treat your skin appropriately. You can’t solve your dryness with water. This isn’t a pass to skip water drinking completely, but, as always, remember to treat your skin for what is actually wrong to get the best results.

How To Hydrate

It is still pretty chilly here in the Northeast, and I like to lean on my hydrating serums to transition to spring. Since serums have light weight textures, they are generally the best way to increase the water levels in the skin and a great way to bridge the seasonal gap for dry, dehydrated skin. Proper hydration can also help to plump up fine lines. Many times people mistake tiny fine lines as an anti-aging problem, when it is actually a hydration issue. Imagine a crumpled tissue that would be wrinkled even after trying to smooth it out and how those wrinkles disappear with a small drop of water. Well hydrated skin is also glowing skin, as those plump, healthy skin cells reflect light better.

Need a drink of water for your skin? Look for products with hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, or sodium hyaluronate, which are three names for roughly the same ingredient. [Tweet this!] This naturally occurring ingredient binds up to a thousand times its weight in water, locking in deep hydration, plumping fine lines, and restoring radiance. Get double the treatment by partnering hydrating ingredients with other actives, amping up results and saving you time and money.

 

Murad Skin Soothing Serum redness reducingGetting hydration with a boost of ingredients for redness reducing only makes your skin look amazing. This Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum blends plenty of hyaluronic acid with anti-inflammatories such as chamomile, green tea, and arnica. Apply over a spritz of hydrating mist to get the most of the water binding properties of the hyaluronic. Add in some antioxidants like vitamin C and you have a great product to use under your daily SPF.

 

 

Reduce texture and get your glow going with a glycolic serum that also hydrates andPeter Thomas Roth 10% Hydrating Gel soothes. It may seem counterintuitive to hydrate and exfoliate at the same time, but glycolic can also bind water into the skin. Additionally, exfoliating away dead skin cells allows the good ingredients to penetrate to the living cells that can use them. The Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel features aloe to hydrate as well as vitamin A, C, and E to nourish and repair. Use at night under your moisturizer.

 

 

 

Eminence Stone Crop Serum Anything that hydrates and fights pigmentation gets my attention. Pigmentation control is one of my primary anti-aging concerns for me and my clients, since studies have shown that people with pigmentation are generally judged to be older than people with wrinkles. The Eminence Stone Crop Serum has stone crop extract to hydrate and bearberry extract to control pigmentation. Safe for morning or night, but don’t forget the sunscreen.

 

 

Every skin type needs more hydration. These are some of my favorite ways to get it. What serums do you love for hydration?

 

 

 

 

See a product here that you think would work for you? I earn a commission and you help to support this blog if you use the affiliate links provided. But your trust is important to me, and I’d never recommend something that I haven’t used or didn’t like. Read my disclaimer.

Water, Water Everywhere

I often hear clients sheepishly tell me that they are dry because they haven’t been drinking their water.  Fortunately, from your skin’s perspective, that old 64-ounce-a-day rule doesn’t really apply.

The first and most important reason is a matter of definition. Hydration refers to the water content of the skin, while moisture indicates oil content. Dry skin is lacking oil, and since, just like in salad dressing, oil and water don’t mix, you can’t moisturize your skin by applying or drinking water. [Tweet this!]

Another problem with trying to hydrate your skin internally is simply the fact that it’s virtually impossible to take in enough water to significantly increase water content of the skin. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to take in enough of any single nutrient to see a specific benefit on the skin. Your body works on an emergent basis, meaning that it prioritizes your vital organs over your skin. Although you want your skin to look great, your body doesn’t so much care as long as the skin isn’t broken. So it sends all that hydration (or other nutrients) to your stomach, your heart, your lungs, or your brain.  But don’t misunderstand this statement… your skin is absolutely affected by your diet. It’s just affected in more general ways, such as in the glow or the clarity of the skin. Drinking water can help a lot in these areas, especially if you’re drinking water instead of a high calorie sugary beverage!

Finally, the most glaring inaccuracy of this myth is that we don’t actually need to drink 64 ounces of water in order to be adequately hydrated.  Any nutritionist will tell you that we get most of the water we need from fruits and veggies, so those of us that eat lots of those probably don’t need to drink a lot of water on top of that.  Even coffee doesn’t dehydrate the way most people think it does. For more, I’ll refer you to my go-to nutrition source, the Nutrition Diva, who discusses this in more scientific detail.

So, now how to hydrate your skin, if not by drinking water? A few tips:

  • Serums that have a watery texture and use ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid, glycerin or aloe can be great for leaving a little water in the skin. Make sure to layer this under a skin-type appropriate moisturizer in order to seal that hydration into the skin.
  • Spritz an alcohol-free toner on before you moisturize. This is the only purpose to a toner, in my opinion. It leaves the skin damp, and the moisturizer can again lock it in. Rosewater, inexpensive and easy to find at most health food stores, is perfect for this.
  • If you’re oilier, use an light-weight moisturizer that has some of the above listed ingredients in it. Avoid mineral oil.

Remember that you can be oily and dehydrated, as well as dry and dehydrated. Hydration is a skin condition, not a skin type.  Most people benefit from more hydration.  Hydrated skin is fuller, plumper, and softer.  So spritz on that toner and stop beating yourself up for not getting a full two liters of water every day.

 

 

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