While summer is quite arguably our favorite time of year, there are some unique beauty problems the season presents. The combination of sun, more time outdoors, and seasonal changes in our skin can sometimes be a recipe for beauty disaster. In order to avoid these common summer beauty problems (or, if you can't, then to at least remedy them when you fall victim to one), you need to make some switches to your routine to account for the shift.
With that in mind, we've put together this guide on how to deal with everything from SPF-induced breakouts to fried hair and bug bites. Here are our tips and products we use to avoid those skin and hair disasters and keep our summer carefree and relaxing, like it should be.
There's no arguing that SPF is absolutely essential in keeping your skin safe and protecting against the aging effects of UV rays. However, sunscreen comes with its own set of annoyances that range from clogging pores and causing breakouts, to being nearly impossible to get off.
If you struggle with blemishes, finding an SPF that won't cause your skin to freak out is key — you don't want to be fighting breakouts every time you layer on your daily dose(s) of sunscreen. Avoid the clogged pores and build-up by choosing an oil-free, dermatologist recommended sunscreen like EltaMD's UV Clear. It's formulated specifically for those with acne and sensitive skin issues, won't gunk up in your pores, and even has niacinamide to help calm existing blemishes and inflammation.
For those who use mineral SPF, you know all too well that sensation of having a perpetual film of sunscreen that you just can't seem to get off, no matter how hard you wash. You'll want to get your hands on Nécessaire's brilliant Body Exfoliator — it's a combination body cleanser and scrub that washes away every last trace of sunscreen residue, so your skin feels clean and fresh. For the face, Reflekt 1 is an ultra-gentle face wash that lathers up to cleanse, hydrate, and exfoliate away dead skin and any product build-up without scratching your delicate skin.
Too Much Sun
Sunburns happen to the best of us — either you forgot to reapply or missed a spot (those bathing suit line burns are the WORST) and now you've got angry red skin that feels like its on fire. You're going to want to lotion up with ultra-hydrating and nourishing moisturizers, but you don't want anything with acids or artificial fragrances as they can further irritate the skin. Instead, opt for ultra-gentle and soothing ingredients like aloe and glycerin.
For the face, we love Ursa Major's Golden Hour Recovery Cream, which has aloe as the very first ingredient and is also chock full of hydrating oils and healing plant extracts. For body burns, grab a jar of Dr. Rogers Restore Healing Balm — it was made specifically for damaged skin and provides a supercharged dose of castor seed oil and glycerin.
Spending too much time in the sun or in the water can lead to parched strands that are dry, broken, and frizzy. A repairing treatment mask twice a week will make a huge difference in your hair's hydration. We're obsessed with Virtue's Restorative Treatment Mask. It features the brand's signature Alpha Keratin 60ku to actively rehabilitate hair that's been severely damaged. One use and you'll instantly see hair that's softer, silkier, and all around healthier — and it only gets better the more you use it.
While you're at it, ditch your regular brush and try the Manta. With its flexible silicone body and 360-degree rotating bristles, it combs through knots and tangles without yanking out strands. When paired with the Treatment Mask, it helps to spread the conditioning cream throughout hair for more even dispersal.
Mosquitos, no see 'ums, deer flies, and all those other winged, biting pests can leave you covered in itchy, stinging red bumps. If you get bit, make sure you have some hydrocortisone cream and whatever you do, don't give in to the temptation to scratch — you'll wind up with bleeding scabs and possible scars if you get too deep. Avoid the bug bites in the first place with Mrs. White's Unstung Hero anti-mosquito cologne. It's an all-natural, non-sticky fragrant spritz that smells like lemon tea. It keeps the bugs away and isn't full of toxic chemicals, so you can feel good about using it on yourself and your entire family. We don't know why it works so well, but we don't go anywhere outdoorsy in the summer without it.
Sweaty & Stinky Underarms
Listen, we all sweat. And, as much as we wish our perspiration smelled of flower petals and fresh morning dew, the reality is that we stink. Summer only exacerbates that issue as it seems like your underarms start dripping the moment you step foot outside. Lately, we've been using Nécessaire's new natural deodorant and are beyond impressed with its odor-eliminating powers. It features mandelic and lactic acids to help neutralize odor, while silica, zinc, and kaolin clay help you stay dry.
For those with oily skin, summer makes that slick skin feeling a thousand times worse. Rather than strip your skin with harsh acids and scrubs, look for lightweight oil-control products that will keep your skin clear without taking away the natural oils you need to stay hydrated. Environ's Clarity+ range is a botanical infused collection that controls sebum and gets rid of the grease to keep your skin matte (but not dried out). The Sebu-Wash Cleanser with salicylic acid is our go-to summer cleanser because it leaves you refreshed and clean—and helps control breakouts.
Once you've washed away the grime, opt for a moisturizer that will ensure your oil levels stay balanced. We LOVE Leland Francis' The Luxe Lotion for its lightweight texture and because it gives just the right amount of hydration for oily skin types. All that and it creates a powder-dry finish, smooths and firms, calms inflammation and irritation, and helps prevent breakouts thanks to a formula that's bursting with natural plant extracts.
For those of us that shave, we know the pain and struggle of ingrown hairs all too well. Whether you're using the wrong razor, dry shaving (ouch), or just have dead skin building up in your hair follicles, those painful ingrowns will leave you red, raw, and bumpy. First thing's first: Make sure you are shaving correctly. Switch out your razor regularly as dull blades are more likely to drag on the skin and cause razor burn. Use a thick, moisturizing shave cream to ensure your blade glides over top of the skin, rather than digging into it.
Finally, don't forget your post-shave care — Fur's unique Ingrown Eliminator Mitts are a genius, convenient way to keep your skin smooth and bump free. These unique biodegradable, serum-soaked mitts use anti-ingrown ingredients like witch hazel, willow bark, aloe, and lavender to gently clear pores and soothe freshly shaved skin. No bumps, no redness, and no feeling like your skin is burning up.
Follow these simple tips and you can stop summer beauty disasters in their tracks — so you can actually enjoy your time in the nice weather without worrying what it's doing to your skin and hair.