Summer Skin and Hair Repair

OK, we’ve all had our fill of summer fun. Beach trips, poolside bbq’s and yummy cocktails galore. But after three months of sun, humidity and other too-delish-to-be-good-for-you things, we’ve definitely taken a major beating. Now all we can think about is how our frizzy hair and dry skin are in need of serious repair.

“This fun-in-the-sun can do more damage than we think,” says dermatologist Dr. David Colbert. Read on for some great tips from Dr. Colbert, Dr. Garth Fisher, a plastic surgeon and co-founder of CellCeuticals, and Cutler/Redken Senior Stylist Franco Della Grazia on how to fix skin damage and start the hair repair.


To repair your skin:

Step 1: Cleanse: Use a gentle, milder cleanser once the weather gets cooler to keep your skin from getting too oily. Look for one infused with Vitamin C, which gives you great antioxidant protection while healing any signs of skin damage (try Jason Natural Super-C Cleanser, $10).

Step 2: Exfoliate: Yep, there is clean, gorgeous skin hiding under there. Just use a gentle scrub to get rid of the dead skin cells (try Olay Smooth Skin Exfoliating Scrub, $4.99). “Exfoliation keeps the skin looking fresh and youthful,” particularly after the drying and damaging effects of strong sun and warm weather, Fisher says.

Step 3: Replenish: Use a brightening serum to get rid of sun spots, freckles and blotchy skin (try Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Serum, $75). Applying it at night for two weeks straight should be enough to zap your summer blemishes. If it’s not, Fisher suggests “fruit acid peels and laser treatments to treat more damaged skin.”

Step 4: Hydrate: “Keeping the skin moist is essential to allow the normal shedding process of skin cells to occur,” Fisher says. Using a daily moisturizer will put moisture back into your skin; choosing one that fights signs of aging wouldn’t hurt either. (Try Patricia Wexler M.D. Universal Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $39.50.)

Step 5: Protect: You should have been doing this, but it’s not something to stop just because summer is coming to an end. “Your sunscreen should protect against both UVA and UVB rays,” Fisher says. Don’t forget your neck, and choose one with “at least an SPF 15 for regular daywear and SPF 30 for any extended outdoor wear,” Colbert says.

To repair your hair:

Step 1: Cleanse less: “Shampooing your hair too often can lead to dry/shine-less hair,” Della Grazia says. So even though your hair might feel crunchy and in need of a good wash after a summer of sun, let your natural oils do their work in between shampoos. Also, use a shampoo formulated with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera or jojoba oil.

Step 2: Moisturize: Your hair will probably feel stripped of moisture post-summer. Go to your salon for a deep conditioning treatment, or buy one and DIY at home (try Redken Intense Renewal Super Moisturizing Mask, $14.25). “It takes about 15 min and is extremely beneficial to your hair,” Della Grazia says.

Step 3: Treat: The best way to turn fried hair into healthy-looking hair is to get a trim. “Removing split ends not only stops hair from splitting further up the hair shaft, it will make your hair appear longer and help maintain healthy shiny hair,” Della Grazia says.


Step 4: Revive: To get back your gorgeous, shiny hair color, “look for vegetable color that simply lays color onto the hair shaft or use color shampoos and conditioners that will add shine to the hair,” Della Grazia says. (Try Clairol Nice ‘n Easy ColorSeal, $4.50.)

Step 5: Protect: Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can go lax on your hair. “Always use a UV shield spray” before going out (and before heat styling), Colbert says. This will prevent your hair from losing its newly replaced moisture, shine and color. (Try Oscar Blandi Capri Sun-Shield, $20.)