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10 Expert Summer Beauty Tips

Aug 30 2021
By Bonnie LaPlante
6 min read
A young woman smiling with the sun behind her.

Longer days, balmy nights, refreshing dips in the ocean and pool, and plenty of sunshine — are the sizzle of summer.

Often, however, that sizzle causes beauty burnout. The sun’s rays, heat, and humidity top the list of beauty saboteurs, of course, making skin burn, hair frizzy or flat, and makeup run. But with a few workhorse products, secret tips, and sound advice from the Canyon Ranch beauty team, you can sail through to Labor Day looking and feeling fabulous:

1. Check Your Sunscreen’s Ingredient

“What’s more important than SPF is that a sunscreen contains titanium and zinc,” says Bonnie LaPlante, an aesthetician at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass. “That’s what’s really going to block the sun’s rays more than something with an SPF of 70 or 100.” You can also find titanium and zinc in some makeup; check labels. “Any color change is damaging your skin, so make sure you have a sun hat with a wide brim and sunglasses, too,” adds LaPlante…

2. Put on a Sunshirt

For extra protection, slip on a rash guard or an SPF sunshirt and you won’t need to worry about slathering on anything on your upper body, says LaPlante. “These shirts are gaining popularity; people realize they don’t want to be putting sunscreen on all day long. You can sweat and swim and just throw one of these shirts on and you’re set for the day, especially if you’re very fair.”

3. Fight Flat Hair

This may be the biggest summer beauty struggle for the fine-haired: Bad humidity can collapse your ‘do in a matter of minutes. Consider skipping a day washing your hair and instead use a dry shampoo at the roots to add back some volume (it sounds counter-intuitive, but the extra oil in your hair can give you more body).

4. Tame the Frizz

While fine hair gives up on hot summer days, thick and curly hair tends to go berserk. The best way to keep strands silky and under control is to keep two products on hand: one specifically formulated to fight humidity and another for frizz control.

5. Pay Attention to Your Décolleté

“Everyone forgets about this area [the spot from your neck down to near the top of your breasts],” LaPlante says. “We see so many people with a lot of sun damage there.” If you’re not wearing a sunshirt, be sure to apply sunscreen regularly, and more often if you’re swimming or perspiring a lot.

6. Add a Serum to Your Regimen

You probably already know that you can put away heavy face and body creams this time of year, but what do you use instead? LaPlante recommends choosing a hydrating serum. “Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to look for because it can hold its weight in water, so it really plumps up the skin and gives you a nice, dewy look without a heavy feeling,” she explains. Be sure your serum has vitamins A and C in it, too.

7. Sweat-Proof Your Makeup

Adding a water-resistant primer to your makeup bag will help your foundation stay put, even on sticky days. Look for a paraben-free foundation or tinted moisturizer and a lip balm with SPF (every little bit of protection helps). Consider adding a powder and blotting papers for days when temperatures really climb; both will help absorb excess oil and sweat. Put away creamy concealers until fall returns; a drier option will do a more effective job of covering up blemishes now. And if your skin is very oily, this may be a good time to try an oil-free or powder foundation.

8. Limit Chlorine

If you love to swim, beware of the chlorine in most pools; the chemical is drying to skin and damaging to hair color. If you want to get your laps in, rinse off immediately after a dip. If you color your hair, use a color-friendly shampoo and limit sun exposure and over-shampooing — both of which also shorten the lifespan of your dye job.

9. Use a Makeup Wedge to Apply Self-Tanner

Gone — thank goodness! — are the days of self-tanners that turned you various shades of orange. But these products can still be difficult to apply and may create darker spots in some areas. Start by exfoliating the skin you plan to apply self-tanner to, then use a makeup sponge to put it on hands, feet, ankles, elbows and knees, recommends LaPlante. “That helps make it more natural-looking, so the tanner doesn’t accumulate in those areas.” Cutting your self-tanner with body cream (half and half) will also help give you a more believable look, particularly in trouble spots. And be sure to use a bit of self-tanner or bronzer on your face so it matches your body.

10. Choose the Right Body Treatment Products

Summer clothing typically means showing more skin. When working with guests at Canyon Ranch, LaPlante recommends using a product with lactic acid to keep skin looking its best. “That’s for exfoliation, but it’s not going to feel grainy [like a scrub],” she says. “It really smoothes the skin and makes it glisten.” She recommends layering a few drops of oil containing vitamins A, C, and E mixed with your regular moisturizer over that. “Your skin will be very silky and smooth, and it helps with past sun damage,” she says.