Photographed by Christelle De Castro.Living la vida loca without a care in the world is what summer is all about. Weekends spent by the beach with bottomless margaritas, chlorine-dipped hair, and dancing all summer-night long is wonderful and magical — until it ends.
Then you're left with a handful of strange numbers in your text history, ravaged skin, and dried-out tresses. Ick. While the comedown from a summer high may be less than pretty with sun spots, fine lines, and totally fried hair, what happens in summer can stay in summer — unlike that ill-advised fling that won't stop calling.
With glossy hair and flawless skin back on the fall trend forecast, now is the perfect time to reverse the summer damage. All you need are these products and tips. As for the persistent boy, you're on your own.
Problem: Skin As Dry As The Sahara
Solution: After all the weekends spent in Montauk in your sweet rental home's pool, the chlorine and the ocean's salt water have sucked all the moisture out of your skin. And, now as the weather shifts to drier, cooler temperatures, your skin will become that much more vulnerable to breakage. Just for a couple weeks, swap your skin care products for gentle, moisturizing ones like Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion, and find lotions that have vitamin C, shea butter, and ceramides to rebuild your skin's protective layers.
Exfoliate a few times a week to combat flaky, dry skin by removing dead skin cells. Look for a chemical exfoliator, like Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator, that has alpha hydroxy or salicylic acids. They can fight not only acne, but also a host of other sun-derived issues, like sunspots and enlarged pores. Don’t forget to pamper your body, too. I like using Red Flower Lemon Coffee Blossom scrub.
Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion, $19, available at Weleda; Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator, $45, available at Jurlique; Red Flower Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub, $66, available at Red Flower.
Problem: New Crop Of Fine Lines
Solution: To add insult to injury, dry skin is also more susceptible to fine lines. With fewer natural lubricators (a.k.a. oil), your skin will more readily fold, creating premature wrinkles. To plump up and fill these lines, find a moisturizer with glycerin and hyaluronic acid like SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream or Ren Ultra Moisture Day Cream.
You'll find that a retinoid is the go-to cure for most skin ailments. Using a retinoid twice a week will help your skin build new collagen, which is the pillowy stuff that will offset gravity's toll. Try Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Intensive Repair Treatment.
The area around your eyes is the thinnest layer of skin on your entire body, which means it's that much more susceptible to fine lines, hence the all too familiar crow's feet. Eye creams are an absolute must to help moisturize the delicate skin and keep it line-free. Bonus: Find one with caffeine to help brighten your under-eye area as well, like Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye Cream & Concealer.
Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye Cream & Concealer, $125, available at Net-A-Porter; SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream, $205, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Ren Ultra Moisture Day Cream, $55, available at Beauty Bar; Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Intensive Repair Treatment, $25.95, available at Soap.com.
Solution: Use an alpha hydroxyl acid cleanser (like Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel) with a retinoid (like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.05) twice a week (oily skin types can use these more frequently) to even out your skin tone. This one-two punch will help rid your complexion of dark spots. You can also use a brightening moisturizer to help reduce freckles and blotchy skin, like NARS Luminous Moisturizer Cream and Elure Advanced Brightening Night Cream.
And for serious, heavy-duty measures, try a spot treatment to target specific areas of discoloration. I like Avene D-Pigment Dark Spot Corrector RICH and Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Serum.
SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.05, $55, available at SkinCeuticals; Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, $35, available at Sephora; Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Serum, $76, available at Macy's; NARS Luminous Moisturize Cream, $62, available at Nordstrom; Avène D-Pigment Dark Spot Corrector RICH, $49, available at Soap.com.
Problem: Coarse, Straw-Like Hair
Solution: Just like your skin, hair is susceptible to sun-inflicted damage and needs just as much rehabilitation as your pores do. Chlorine, salt water, and UV rays create the perfect trifecta for dry, fried tresses. Use an after-sun hair mask like Rene Furterer Paris After Sun Conditioner or Davines Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner.
Once a week, incorporate an overnight mask for more intense results, like VO5 Hot Oil Moisturizing Weekly Intense Treatment. Try to avoid any hot tools, but if you must blow-dry, make sure to apply a serum or oil to seal in your hair's moisture before and after styling. Try Pantene Pro-V Smooth Serum with Argan Oil.
But for the damage that is irreversible, get a trim. Removing split ends not only stops hair from splitting further up the hair shaft, but will make your hair look instantly healthier.
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Pantene Pro-V Smooth Serum with Argan Oil from Morocco, $7, available at Amazon; VO5 Hot Oil Moisturizing Weekly Intense Treatment, $3.49, available at Drugstore.com; Davines Nourishing Vegetarian Miracle Conditioner, $30, available at Davines.