Simplify Your Beauty Routine
A.M. Face Washing
Why you can skip it: When you properly wash your face before bed, your skin is still clean and fresh when you wake up. In fact, too much facial cleansing can dry out skin, prompting it to overproduce oil, which can then translate into a greasy face, if you’re hot and sweating. Instead of washing in the morning, splash your face with warm water and massage lightly to revive the skin.
Why you can skip it: "Any method of exfoliation thins the skin―including abrasive sponges and topical vitamin A derivatives, like Retin-A, Differin, and Tazorac―and makes you more susceptible to sun damage," says Barbara R. Reed, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, in Denver. By taking off the top layer of dead skin cells, you expose more delicate and sensitive skin underneath. Exfoliate only once a week during the months when you’re out in the sun.
Washing Your Hair
Why you can skip it: It's tempting to suds up every day when heat and humidity make your scalp sweat more than normal. But doing so will only make your hair―which is already susceptible to dryness, due to sun and chlorine―even more parched. Instead, shampoo just twice a week. On the off days, spritz your scalp and hair with water or simply rinse in the shower. Then apply a bit of your regular styling product to damp hair and restyle.
Why you can skip it: Sunscreen, which you should never skip, is moisturizing. Using a sunblock of SPF 15 or higher in a creamy formula is a great substitute for a daily hydrating lotion. Besides, "hot weather can bring more humidity," says Tessa Kienow, spa director at the Little Palm Island SpaTerre, in Little Torch Key, Florida. All that extra moisture in the air means your skin is automatically more hydrated, so you need less moisturizer to begin with.
Using Body Lotion
Why you can skip it: Sweltering temperatures can make lotion act like a plastic sweat suit, heating up the skin and melting the cream into a gooey film. "Sweat transforms the consistency of lotion," says Sandra Marchese Johnson, a dermatologist in Fort Smith, Arkansas. "Using a body wash that contains hydrating ingredients, like glycerin, aloe, or petroleum jelly, while you're in the shower will suffice as both a cleanser and a hydrator, eliminating the need for any extra moisturizer."
Dabbing on Foundation
Why you can skip it: Base makeup smudges, smears, and drips in hot weather. If you feel naked without something on your skin, try self-tanner, which also hides flaws. While tanner takes a little longer to apply than foundation, you need to put it on only once a week, so you'll shave minutes off your daily routine. A bonus: If you choose a tanner that has an SPF, you'll save even more time on the days that you apply it, since you won't have to double up on sunscreen.
Using Hair Serum
Why you can skip it: Hair serums often contain silicone, says David Steinberg, a cosmetics chemist and a consultant for the cosmetics industry in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Silicone is a slippery ingredient that lubricates hair and adds shine. Once you step outside into the heat, you start sweating and your scalp begins to produce more sebum. "The serum mixes with these and just makes your hair look flat and oily," says Elie Camoro, a stylist at the Frédéric Fekkai Fifth Avenue Salon, in New York City.
Blowing Out Your Hair
Why you can skip it: It's a waste of time (and money, if you get it done at a salon). Between the heat, the humidity, and the occasional rain shower, even the best blow-out will frizz. Kienow's approach is to skip the hair dryer. When hair is overstressed and dry to begin with, thanks to the sun and chemicals like chlorine, she says, adding in blow-dryer damage will leave you with a mass of fried, fuzzy hair. Instead, ask your stylist for an easy, low-maintenance warm-weather cut, or try a chignon or ponytail. (These styles will keep you cool, too).