Here comes the sun again and the unwelcome return of frizzy, uncontrollable beach-bleached tresses. When hair turns from luscious locks to a mop-like mane, it’s time to invest in some hydrating treatments to defeat the heat. Soaking up the sun and surf may leave you feeling re-energised, but your hair is being exposed to harmful UV rays that dehydrate and fade colour, while chemicals in chlorinated pools strip the hair of its natural oils, causing nasties such as split ends. Craig Smith from Fruition Hair and Schwarzkopf Professional guest artist recommends remembering to use an SPF 30+ for your hair.
“Along with a hefty supply of 30+, I would recommend a UV protector spray and leave-in treatment that will protect against colour fade and maintain a cleaner tone,” says Smith. “For me, while a deep moisturising treatment is a year-round bi-weekly ritual, it should be an absolute summer staple. With hair typically lacking in lustre, shine and internal moisture, you really need to take a bit of time to put the good stuff back in that is stripped away by the harsher environmental conditions.”
There are many products to choose from for at-home use that target a range of concerns, yet if your damage has you growing dreads, then an in-salon quick cure will help. Renya Xydis salons offer colour shine treatments by Sebastian for $60 that help strengthen and hydrate your hair. First, a clear or colour toned formula (there are hues for brunettes, blondes and warm red tones) is applied, then hair is wrapped in clear plastic and placed under heat for 20 minutes. It is then lightly shampooed and conditioned with a head massage that helps work the product into the hair.
Summer is the perfect time to embrace your natural beauty by keeping your make-up to a minimum. First step is to achieve a sunkissed glow by applying facial self-tan once a week, which will give you a hint of colour and provide a perfect base.
The warmer weather and high humidity levels can cause you to perspire and your make-up to slip and slide, so look for make-up formulations that are light in texture, long-lasting and matte in finish. Mineral make-up is ideal for summer use as it is lightweight, absorbs oil, reflects light and provides natural sun protection. For an everyday make-up look, begin by following your usual skincare routine and then apply either a tinted moisturiser or foundation. Tinted moisturisers are fairly sheer in coverage, yet still create an even skin tone. If you want a more flawless coverage, look for long-lasting foundation formulas that will survive the day, as well as those with a matte finish to avoid shine. If you desire more colour, apply bronzing powder to the face, neck and décolletage.
To contour the face, a good way to apply the bronzer is in the direction of a ‘3’ on the right side and a backwards ‘3’ on the left – with a bronzing brush, start in the middle of the forehead and take the brush along the hairline down to the temples, then in under the cheekbone stopping halfway across; head back along the same line, then curve around and down the jawline.
Highlight the cheeks with a pretty pink blush, then coat the lashes in waterproof mascara (leaving the lids bare or with a neutral eyeshadow). To complete the look, paint the perfect pout with a bright coloured lippy or gloss in this season’s hot pinks and corals.
Thanks to science, we now know more about the sun’s effect on our skin and what we need to do to block the harmful rays.
Designed to reflect the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, sunblock should have an SPF of 30+ and be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure, then reapplied after 30 minutes in the sun. It should be hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic so it doesn’t cause rashes or clog pores, and also broad spectrum, to protect from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can cause DNA damage to cells and are therefore known as the ‘ageing rays’, while UVB rays are known as the ‘burning rays’, and are stronger during summer.
Self-confessed sun lover, supermodel Elle Macpherson is also the face of Invisible Zinc and knows when to slip, slop, slap: “Prevention is always better than cure … Anti-ageing skincare is a huge industry now, but UVA rays are responsible for up to 80 per cent of skin ageing, so protecting your skin with sunscreen can help to prevent premature skin ageing. This is something I wish I had learnt about a lot earlier.”
Sun worship has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, and plays a role in many ancient mythologies. We still celebrate our brightest star today, its warmth an invitation to bask in its glow. However, although the sun is vital for our vitamin D intake, we now know the damage it can cause if we bake under it. If the rays ever do ravish you, there are some good home remedies and essential soothing products to help you recover.
The most popular at-home solution to sunburn is the juice from the aloe vera plant. Most after-sun products and sunscreens contain aloe, but going straight to the source can cool off the sting and help with healing. The thick gel-like juice is found in the leaves, and by splitting them and applying the gel directly to the burn, it can reduce the heat and redness immediately.
Slipping into a cool bath with a few tablespoons of baking soda also helps relieve the fieriness; soak for no longer than 20 minutes and air dry afterwards so not to remove the soda. The strangest of remedies is to cut up potatoes into small chunks, and blend to a liquid. Place mixture in clean gauze and apply to the burned areas, waiting until the potatoes dry. Wash off with cool water.
BODY OILS AND MOISTURISERS
During the summer months skin can get dehydrated, and is more vulnerable to ageing and dry, dark patches. It is common practice to hydrate the skin on our face, but the body needs extra care when subjected to harsh elements and climate changes. Healthy skin can block out bacteria and infections, and by using hydrating lotions and oils that contain antioxidants, vitamins and natural ingredients, you help to protect as well as hydrate.
In addition to nourishing products, the best way to quench your skin is to drink lots of water. “I drink three litres of water a day, and nourish my skin with moisturiser at night. I also scrub my skin all over twice a day using an exfoliating mitt,” says Macpherson of her summer beauty regimen. Also, having a short warm (not hot) bath helps open up the pores so they are more receptive to moisturising. Body oils offer an alternative to lotions and creams, and contain nourishing ingredients such as plant oils rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids that soften and soothe the skin.
As tempting as it is to sunbathe for a real tan, later in life you will be thankful you faked it instead. The key to a good fake tan application is all in the preparation – and that means scrubbing. The easiest way to exfoliate is in the shower: apply a generous amount of a grainy scrub to exfoliating gloves or a mitt and, starting at your feet, scrub every inch of your body in circular motions, right up to your neck. Always use a more gentle scrub on your face. Once your body is well-polished, dry it off completely and then apply your fake tan.
Be very careful to cover every inch of your body, and make sure it is even. If you find it sticks to bony areas, or those prone to dryness, apply a small amount of moisturiser to these areas first. Always wash your hands thoroughly after fake-tanning; afterwards, mix a five cent piece of fake tan with double the amount of moisturiser and rub it into the hands carefully. If you have applied fake tan to your face, you may want to use a facecloth to wipe around the hairline and your eyebrows to ensure it doesn’t stick to these areas. Always make sure it has dried completely before dressing.
HANDS & FEET
For a DIY pedicure, begin by soaking your feet in a warm footbath with added bath salts, Epsom salts (known for their softening properties) or an aromatherapy oil of choice. Use a grainy scrub to exfoliate the skin, rubbing in circular motions. Use a foot file or pumice stone on the balls and heels of your feet to remove any dry patches.
Next, soften the cuticles with cuticle oil before pushing them back, and trim, shape and buff your nails. Finish by polishing your nails in this season’s vibrant hues of tangerine, yellow, turquoise, cornflour blue, coral or purple. Or, for a evening look, opt for shimmering metallics in silver and gold.
Keep hands looking youthful by applying hand cream regularly, and to avoid ageing sunspots and freckles, keep them well protected with sunscreen. Another tip for well-groomed feet and hands is to apply a rich cream at night to these areas and sleep with cotton socks and gloves on. Upon waking your skin will be soft and smooth.
For temporary hair removal, shaving, waxing and creams all do the job sufficiently; however, if you want a more permanent solution, then laser hair removal is your best option.
A common technology used in salons is intense pulsed light (IPL), whereby light-based energy is emitted in highly controlled flashes or pulses. This heats up the hair, significantly damaging the re-growth potential of the follicle. However, it’s not for all skin types, the general rule being the darker the hair and the lighter the skin, the more effective the hair reduction.
Alternatively, the Cutera CoolGlide laser system can be used on all skin types and colours.
This is because it is able to pinpoint the hair follicle only; the skin and pores remain unaffected. For both IPL and the Cutera CoolGlide, a course of three to eight treatments is recommended, although this may vary depending on multiple factors such as hair thickness, the area treated and the individual’s hair growth cycle.