Looking and feeling calm and collected, much less cool, can be a frustrating endeavour during the summer when heat and humidity do their best to hijack the health of one’s skin, hair and nails.
Get back that beautiful head-to-toe glow with the following tips from Mary Kate Piotrowski, spa director at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Austin:
Revitalize dull or sun-damaged locks with a daily application of Moroccan Oil, which Mary Kate calls “a miracle worker.” This light serum helps to strengthen and protect hair with its rich supply of anti-oxidants, proteins and omega-3s, while simultaneously decreasing dry time and leaving hair shinier. “Seriously, your hair – and hair stylist – will thank you,” says Mary Kate.
Sunny days are often accompanied by an increase in outdoor activity, which can do a number on nails and the skin of feet. Save trips to the salon by trying a long-wear gel polish such as GelFX or Shellac. Both dry instantly with LED or UV light technology and can last up to 14 days without chipping or peeling.
Once nails are neat, turn attention to feet. Mimic one of the benefits of The Spa’s ever-popular Signature Spa Pedicure with a make-it-yourself exfoliating scrub. At home, Mary Kate recommends combining one cup of fine-grained Dead Sea salts, a half-cup of sunflower oil and five to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil for a refreshing pick-me-up for feet.
“Sunglasses really are a must,” says Mary Kate. Not only do they help to protect eyes against harmful UV rays and potential damage, but they can also protect eyelids from the risk of skin cancer. “People often forget to put sunscreen on their eyelids since they tend to apply it while looking in the mirror with their eyes open.”
The greatest amount of UV protection for the face comes from a combination of sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat and a pair of sunglasses designed to block 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.
Regardless of the season it’s important to moisturize, but some months require less hydration than others. Mary Kate suggests changing daily moisturizer to a lighter version during the summer and looking for products with hyaluronic acid listed as a key ingredient.
With its ability to hold one thousand times its weight in water, hyaluronic acid is one of the most powerful and effective natural moisturizers known to science, helping skin breathe in warmer summer months without compromising the moisture levels in skin. One product Mary Kate recommends without reservation is Epicuren’s Moisture Surge Hyaluronic Acid gel since it’s lightweight but effective.
Try a sunblock that smells good. “No, it doesn’t necessarily work better,” says Mary Kate, “but if you enjoy the scent you are more likely apply it daily, leading to much better protection against the sun.” Mary Kate’s pick? Coola’s Citrus Mimosa Sport Spray with SPF 35. “It’s easy to use and smells divine.”