Your Biggest Summer Beauty Problems—Solved
RS reader problem: “I live in a humid climate, but my skin stays ridiculously dry. I hate putting on thick face cream in the summer. What are some nice alternatives?”
Pro solution: “Creams are filled with more oils so they tend to feel heavier than lotions, which are mainly comprised of water. Try one of the new gel formulas. They are lightweight, like a lotion, but have the moisturizing benefits of a cream,” says Mona Gohara, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University.
Editor’s pick: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel ($18, amazon.com).
Problem: “How do I get my curly/kinky fine hair to lay flat on my head? The ends stay down, but I get crazy flyaways.”
Pro Solution: “There’s nothing better than a light hairspray to get hair under control, but be sure to follow these two tricks: First, if there is a bend in your elbow, you’re spraying too close to your head. Hairspray is aerosol so it’s filled with a good portion of chemicals that are only used to propel the product out of the can. Those chemicals don't make your hair happy so hold the can farther away from your head. Second, the best thing for flyaways is to use the side of the hairspray can to smooth the hair down after spritzing. Your hand will stick to the fresh hairspray, but the can is specifically designed to not stick,” explains Keiffer Skipper, salon manager at Fox & Jane salons in NYC
Editor’s pick: Dove Strength and Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray ($5, walmart.com)
Problem: “How can I prevent sun damage when I spend a ton of time outside? I use a lot of sunscreen and still end up with sun spots.”
Pro Solution: “Add an antioxidant serum under your moisturizer during the day to help fight off free radical damage caused by the sun. Then, at night, use a product containing vitamin A to help increase collagen production and decrease collagen breakdown caused by the sun,” says Gohara.
Day: Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster ($49, dermstore.com)
Night: Kiss My Face Vitamin A & E Ultra Moisturizer ($19, amazon.com)
Problem: “My makeup melts off my face because of the heat and humidity. What can I do to prevent it?”
Pro Solution: “Because most foundations are liquid, as you sweat, they can literally slip off the face. Switch out your usual foundation with a lighter version, like a tinted moisturizer with a powder finish so it won’t weigh you down and will keep shine at bay. Using a primer to prep skin before makeup will also help lock everything in place. Be sure to use one that’s silicone-free, which will allow skin to breathe so you don’t end up sweating even more,” advises Susan Posnick, makeup artist and founder of Susan Posnick Cosmetics.
Tinted moisturizer: NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($45, sephora.com)
Problem: “I always get cracked heels in the summer from wearing flip flops.”
Pro Solution: “This is a common problem. Use a cream with Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) to soften the heels and then add on a lubricating ointment such as Vaseline. Wear it overnight with socks for a deep treatment,” recommends Gohara.
Editor’s pick: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, $11; target.com.
Problem: “The summer heat always leaves me with oily skin.”
Pro Solution: “Your skin tends to produce more sebum in the summer to make up for the heat drying you out. Use a foaming wash to clear away the excess oil or a charcoal mask to suck out the grime and keep pores clear. Also, be sure to use a lightweight lotion as opposed to heavier creams,” Gohara says.
Cleanser: CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser ($11, target.com)
Mask: Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask ($16, ulta.com)
Problem: “How can I air-dry my curly hair without getting frizz, especially around my face?”
Pro Solution: “It’s not so much about what type of product you use, but that you apply it when hair is sopping wet. If it starts to dry before you apply the product, your hair will turn into a poof. I use a wide-tooth comb to brush sculpting foam from roots to ends to make sure it’s evenly distributed. Be sure not to miss a spot or else it will fuzz up on you,” says Heather Muir, beauty director at Real Simple.
Editor’s pick: Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam, $11, amazon.com.
Problem: “I love my husband’s beard, but even with the moisturizer he uses, he still has dry, flaky skin underneath. What can he do to prevent it?”
Pro Solution: “You know how babies get cradle cap? Adults get it, too! It is called seborrhea. Use a shampoo called Ketoconazole ($15; target.com). It can definitely help! Remember that this can be recurrent so use the shampoo a couple times a month to keep it at bay,” says Gohara.
Problem: “Sweat + Makeup + SPF products = Nasty summer acne. Help!”
Pro Solution: “Grab a benzoyl peroxide face wash from the drugstore and use it a couple times a week in the shower. It will help to even out oil production and keep pimples at bay,” Gohara says.
Editor pick: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleaner ($8, target.com)
Problem: “My hair always gets so oily in the summer. How do I prevent that?”
Pro Solution: “Since we get sweatier in the summer, we tend to shower more often. Too much cleansing on your strands can leave your scalp dry, making it overproduce oils to compensate and leaving you with oilier hair. Cut back your shampooing to two or three times a week and use a dry shampoo on the other days. Sometimes I’ll even just rinse and scrub my hair with water. It’s good for the scalp and gives me the feeling of clean I need without using product,” says Skipper.
Problem: “I’m allergic to chemical sunscreens and all the ‘natural’ or physical sunscreens seem to break me out.”
Pro Solution: “I would go with an SPF mineral powder—always 30 or higher. I love the Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 50 ($65, dermstore.com). It’s very portable and so easy to reapply—which you should do every two hours,” recommends Gohara.