You may have heard that some of us were treated to a heat wave over the weekend, a sneak peek into the pits of hell. And so after making a pitcher of cucumber mint water first thing Saturday morning, I plotted out the perfect plan to minimize the damage to my skin from the brutal heat. Hydration and protection always top the list of concerns during the summer but the weekend and its many social activities required my looking cute and refreshed. Challenge accepted.
Kind of a no brainer. Double-cleansing is a much needed ritual after a day of layering sunscreens. My go-to, the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil ($28), dissolves all leftover SPF as well as any stubborn pigment because don’t some of us touch up with a bit of bronzer (or use tinted sunscreen) on a summer weekend? The silky blend is infused with antioxidant-rich organic olive oil, which provides nourishing benefits to the skin.
As a follow up to the oil step (and as my sole morning cleanse), the Versed Wash It Out Gel ($12.99) formula has been an impressive addition to my shower shelfie. It’s a low foaming gel that works brilliantly on my combination skin. It contains rose water, a touch of lactic acid, and some peppermint oil and feels refreshing and invigorating on the skin.
My Hyaluronic Acid serums get the most face time during the summer months. In addition to UV exposure, the result of copious amounts of rosé consumed at almost every meal has my skin feeling more parched than usual. A dropper-full of a juicy, deeply hydrating serum provides instant relief and delivers a more plump appearance to the complexion. Always on the hunt for the next great K-beauty find, I discovered the Keep Cool Serum ($27), which sounded custom formulated for this weather. The unique treatment has a 66% base of pure Bamboo Water, which has calming and regenerating benefits. It is also packed with low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid complex and a handful of soothing and repairing plant extracts.
When it comes to everyday SPF, I need something lightweight in texture and broad-spectrum in performance. Usually, I’ll grab my tinted EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 ($35) but over the weekend, I opted for the non-tinted version. Not only is the creamy lotion extremely breathable, it blends seamlessly into my facial hair line (you’d be surprised how many allegedly invisible sunscreens cling to facial hair and leave behind a chalky residue).
I need to get way better at remembering to reapply sunscreen every two hours. I am not good at it. It’s actually something I never do unless I’m at the pool and notice the SPF has been rubber off by water or a towel. There are two sunscreens that make excellent companions to your bag, car, or desk drawer. Part of the AMOREPACIFIC Resort collection, the Sun Protection Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ ($40) and Sun Protection Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($75) make repeat application easy and traceless. The cushion is colorless and its subtle hint of sheen disappears fairly quickly. If you prefer a spritz on treatment, the milky mist requires a quick pat down after dispensing but absorbs into the skin on contact. The brand’s floral aroma is a refreshing perk.
As a self-proclaimed mask aficionado, I am comfortable in saying the iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Masque ($78) is the only mask you need on a scorching hot summer day. Cue Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U.’ The 10-minute treatment is indeed both intensive and cooling. The gel formula revives dull skin on contact. Packed with Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, and Licorice Root Extract, it also contains Resveratrol, and slightly tingling Rosemary and Menthol. After a few hours in the sun, the mask definitely calmed inflammation and left my skin looking more vibrant and hydrated. I’m putting my jar in the fridge for a boosted cryo effect.
You would think I’d opt for a cooling mist during a heatwave. You’d be wrong. Instead, I chose the most refreshing formula in my arsenal. My ARCONA Cranberry Mist ($28) accompanied me everywhere this past weekend. For those who haven’t yet tried the cranberry line-up from this LA-based spa line, you must: the hydrating formulas pair treatment benefits with a unique, almost effervescent burst aroma of juicy cranberry. A couple of spritzes provide a much needed jolt of energy to the skin, which craves extra hydration during and after exposure to the sun. Love the bottle’s portability but I really want to petition for a jumbo size.
Keeping things fresh and dry under your arms is especially tricky during the summer. A swipe of the Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant ($22) after your morning shower will deliver all that and a much appreciated cooling sensation. The formula is free of alcohol and aluminum, making it the perfect pick for guys prone to irritation or ingredient sensitivities around the armpits. The eucalyptus aroma is very subtle. The best part? In addition to odor-free performance, the clear stick won’t stain your clothes.
I was blown away by the Tula Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm ($28) earlier this year after it reversed my zombie-like appearance post overnight flight. This nifty balm in a stick is so much more than a reliable remedy for jet lag and has proven to be an excellent day-to-night accessory. The wide component glides around the delicate skin around the eyes without tugging or pulling and delivers a cooling sensation that lasts much longer than expected (15 minutes or so). If you’re skeptical about many products’ ‘brightening’ claims (I am), you can be confident that the light-reflecting effects from Tula are subtle and natural looking. I’ve gone straight to dinner after a day in the pool looking refreshed and bright-eyed. Without washing my face. Shhhh.
After a day in the sun, my favorite night time treatment is the iconic Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. It’s lightweight, does a fantastic job calming and recharging the skin in a single step, and always makes my skin bounce back from any prolonged exposure to environmental stressors. It’s like valium for my complexion. If you run into a limited edition, snag two because they sell out crazy fast. The lavender infused formula is one of my favorite impulse purchases. Bonus points for the very approachable $25 price tag.
How do you keep cool and recover during a heat wave? Do tell!