Story by Liesel Schmidt
We prep our lawns, houses and cars for the changing season, but sometimes we forget that the air conditioning isn’t the only thing that needs a little tune-up as the air gets warmer. Before you start wondering what you’ve missed on your domestic to-do list, we’re talking about you, honey. You, as in that wonderful package that makes up the person that is you. Because, as anxious as we all may be to celebrate the burning of Old Man Winter in effigy, there’s some other work that needs to be done for you to look and feel your best.
We’re not talking about anything drastic here, so take a breath. No makeovers. No downtime. Just some simple ways that you can tweak the contents of your medicine cabinet and your closet to give you everything you need to approach the upcoming heat with confidence. Read on for tips from the experts on heat-proofing your hair, skin and style.
Lock It In
Image by @kattiasalonosylist
Prepping your hair for the seasonal change that comes with the arrival of spring and summer may not be something you consciously think about, but those lovely locks of yours definitely need a different routine for the warmer months. The heat, the humidity, the sun… they all affect the way hair acts and looks.
“As you transition from winter to spring, your hair experiences dryness,” says Joelle Mitchell, expert stylist and owner of Joelle Mode Salon. “Typically, our hair takes a bit of a beating over the winter months due to lack of moisture—which carries over into the spring. As the weather changes, now is the time to introduce moisturizing products into your haircare routine, such as steam moisturizing treatments and my favorite products, replenishing moisture shampoos and conditioners by Milbon, a product line exclusively available through my online retail store.”
"... our hair takes a bit of a beating over the winter months due to lack of moisture—which carries over into the spring. As the weather changes, now is the time to introduce moisturizing products into your haircare routine..."
- JOELLE MITCHELL
Bathing suit season isn’t just a reason to watch what you put in your mouth—it’s a reason to watch what you put in your hair, as well. Chlorine in pool water strips hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry, brittle and prone to split ends. Regular exposure to chlorine also makes hair extremely porous and can even change its color. While you’re putting on your bikini, make sure to add leave-in conditioner to your ensemble. “I tell all my clients who are avid swimmers how important this is to do before getting in the water,” says Mitchell, who swears by Milbon’s Weightless Moisture Mist.
Think a change will do you good? It’ll also help your hair. “Color and cuts are sometimes placed on the back burner over the winter and spring is a great time to revive your look,” Mitchell notes. “Cleaning up split ends or reshaping the haircut after the dry and damaging winter months will refresh your hair and make it look healthier. Adding a pop of color with highlight also helps brighten your face after a long, dark winter.”
Battling frizz may seem unavoidable as the temps climb and the humidity rises, but Mitchell recommends adding a keratin smoothing treatment in early summer to get ready for the humid season. “This treatment smooths damaged and frizzy hair and the Milbon Anti-Frizz line are my go-to products. Their Anti-Frizz Oil is the best.”
As you add things into your routine for the season, there are a few things to put on the no-no list. They may seem harmless, but in the heat of summer, products like gel, hairspray and dry shampoo tend to create a nasty film on hair. If you love a hot shower, note that hot water dries out your scalp and makes the ends of hair brittle and prone to breakage. Take warm showers instead. The air outside is hot enough!
Here's the Skin(ny)
Hair isn't the only thing that needs attention. Warmer air dries skin too, so your skincare needs a reboot for the season.
“The heat of summer and even the warmer temps of spring can cause skin to feel oilier and more prone to breakouts and sun damage,” says Ashley Carmen, FNP-C, and owner of Aiyana Atelier. “The focus here should be adjusting your skincare regimen to include lightweight cleansers and moisturizers, antioxidants, gentle exfoliation and, of course, sunscreen.”
The words light and hydrating should top the list when it comes to choosing a cleanser for the warmer months of the year. “You also want a cleanser that can help keep the pH of your skin stable, which is often disrupted by heat and humidity. Look for ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing. Vitamin E is a great ingredient that helps maintain the skin’s natural barrier and aids in the healing of skin damage,” says Carmen, who recommends the Aiyana Atelier Private Line Lavender Creamy Cleanser with lavender and Vitamin E.
"The focus here should be adjusting your skincare regimen to include lightweight cleansers and moisturizers, antioxidants, gentle exfoliation and, of course, sunscreen.”
- Ashley Carmen, FNP-C
Antioxidants are important in combating sun damage, so look for products with antioxidant properties. As the sun intensifies, skin is at risk for premature aging as well as the development of fine lines and wrinkles, loss of collagen and pigmentation issues. Carmen recommends products with Vitamin C and Vitamin E to slow and reverse the premature aging process of skin, specifically C&E Advanced by PCA Skin. And while moisturizing may seem unnecessary, it’s actually a key part of spring and summer skin care. Carmen recommends using a softer, more lightweight formula like PCA Skin’s ReBalance.
Notice more oil on your face as the weather warms up? You’re not alone. Higher temps increase the production of oil and the breakout factor exponentially. Fortunately, exfoliating can help clear up your face by reducing oil buildup, unclogging pores and avoiding breakouts. “AHAs like glycolic acid can also help the skin retain moisture while exfoliating,” says Carmen. Topping her product recommendation: Aiyana Atelier Private Line Glycolic Pads.
As the harshness of the sun intensifies, sunscreen is essential. Skincare products like AHAs and BHAs can make skin more sensitive to sunlight, so sunscreen is even more of a must. “Look for a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 or higher and apply water resistant if you’re at the pool or beach,” says Carmen, recommending PCA Skin Sheer Tint SPF. “Chemical-free, mineral-based sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays is preferable, and tinted sunscreen is also a great alternative to heavy foundation in the summer. And, of course, always reapply every few hours while you’re out in the sun!”
What you eat can also affect your skin, so add fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as walnuts, avocados, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli to your diet. Collagen supplements and biotin also rate a place on your shopping list.
Skin and haircare aren’t the only aspects of your routine that need some overhaul as we transition into the warmer months of late spring and summer. All those chunky knits and jeans will probably get shoved to the back of the closet to make way for lighter fare like tanks, tees and shorts—and seasoned style maven Emilie Kyle, owner of online women’s clothing boutique Current Aveline, has some tips that will warm up your wardrobe.
“As we move into the spring and summer months, you’ll see different cuts make their way in and they can be styled in different ways,” Kyle says. “Crop tops and even cropped jackets and blazers work well with high-waisted bottoms to give a fresh, layered look that isn’t too heavy or hot for the season. For the ladies, stripes always trend over the summer. Think classic nautical or thin stripes in a rainbow of colors in a single top, which is reminiscent of the late 70s and 80s. Or try small floral prints covering dresses, shorts and blouses. For men, polo shirts are a classic. Wear them in a great fabric with a flattering fit for your body with a tailored pant or straight leg denim.”
There are, of course, some staples that Kyle recommends for every closet, regardless of gender. “A wide leg pant or jean and a white sneaker or vintage-look New Balance sneakers seem to work with a lot of other trends right now,” she says.
"A wide leg pant or jean and a white sneaker or vintage-look New Balance sneakers seem to work with a lot of other trends right now... Ditch the matching lounge sets, cold shoulder tops and super exaggerated, oversized peieces. Oversized is okay, but the huges pieces are out."
- Emilie Kyle, Current Aveline
Back for more this year are some trends we’ve seen in past summers, proving their longevity despite the fickle whims of fashion. “Denim maxi skirts [and] flowy Grecian-style dresses remain in style,” Kyle notes. “We also saw a lot of crop tops last summer, and they’ll still work great for the hot, humid DC temps this year.”
On the outs are a few things you may recognize from your own closet. “Trade out a hi-low hemline for a column dress or column skirt,” Kyle recommends. “Also, ditch the matching lounge sets, cold shoulder tops and super-exaggerated, oversized pieces. Oversized is okay, but the huge pieces are out.”
Kyle is offering a peek at her own love list for spring and summer items. “I really love tasteful flutter/ruffled shoulders and feminine smocked dresses, leather sandals, non-distressed denim and easy-to-wear dresses that take me from the studio to dinner.”