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Tips to look and feel great in the summer heat & humidity

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Summer is a lovely time. It also presents some unique seasonal beauty challenges. Today this Examiner shared some tips for being safe in the sun, fending off aging pollution, skipping the frizz and looking and smelling fresh on Fox 2 News and KPLR 11. Below the videos are more info on our tips and recommendations.

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Pollution. Research shows that pollution is another big factor in aging skin. And as temperatures rise, so does air pollution. And St. Louis actually ranks #8 most-polluted city in the country. Nanoparticles from pollutants like smog, car exhaust, barbecuing and cigarette smoke get stuck in pores and prematurely age skin, breaking down collagen and reducing blood flow. So consider better cleansing options like Clarisonic brushes, which have been shown to clean 30 times better than washing with hands alone. The Clarisonic Plus ($225, sephora.com) has brushes and speeds for both face and body.

Sun Protection. The sun can be very damaging to the skin, causing cancer and aging the skin (about half of looking older is caused by the sun). You want sun protection with at least 15 SPF and broad spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Choose SPF 30 if your skin is sensitive. Do you need to spend more money for higher SPFs? Most experts will tell you higher SPFs are a waste of money.

But many people skip sun protection, because it can be so unpleasant to use. Many formulas feel heavy and greasy; while others smell terrible. Consider a light spray-on sunscreen. One of my favorites is Goldfaden MD Sun Visor Ultralight Oil-Free SPF 30 Mist ($45, goldfadenmd.com). It has no oily feel and is fragrance free.

L’Oreal also has some really nice, light options: Invisible Protect Sheer Spray 30 ($10, target.com) and Quick Dry Sheer Finish Spray 50+ ($11, target.com). Both are non-sticky, non-greasy and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Forgotten Areas. And don’t forget to protect the oft-forgotten eye area, lips, hands, and hair.

  • Eye Area. You usually want to keep sunscreens away from the eye area and yet few eye creams have SPF so protecting the delicate eye area can be tricky (no wonder it tends to show signs of aging first! also did you know that 10% of skin cancers occur in the eye area?!). SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50 ($30, skinceuticals.com and at doctor’s offices) is ideal because it has a 100% mineral filter base, doesn’t irritate eyes by migrating into them, can be applied on the eyelid, has a nice matte finish for a smooth canvas under makeup and is safe even on sensitive skin post-surgery.
  • Lips. Lips are also quite sensitive and can easily get dried out so look for balms with SPF. Jane Iredale LipDrink SPF 15 contains no petroleum-derived products that dry out the lips and provides broad spectrum protection ($12, janeiredale.com). June Jacobs Lip Renewal SPF50 ($24, junejacobs.com) helps neutralize free radical damage with an antioxidant blend of white, red and green tea extracts.
  • Hands. Hands often give away one’s age since most people forget to protect this area from the sun. AHAVA Age Perfecting Hand Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($32, AHAVAUS.com) moisturizes, protects skin from the sun and helps reduce existing age spots (after eight weeks, 88% reported a significant decrease in the appearance of dark spots).
  • Hair. Protect your hair color (and your investment if you color) with a spray that protects from UV rays and saltwater like New Limited Edition Alterna Haircare Bamboo Beach Summer Shine Spray ($20, sephora.com, ulta.com). It’s free of parabens, synthetic color, mineral oil and phthalates.

Shine. Heat can also be a big bummer if you have oily or combination skin. Makeup slides right off. Pores look huge. Ugh. Turn the tide and keep makeup in place and dim the shine with mattifying and skin balancing products like Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturiser ($32, sephora.com) and Pomegranate Mattifying Primer. ($33, sephora.com). Skin stays moisturized lightly while pores are minimized and skin is mattified. The primer also helps makeup stay on longer.

Frizz. Hair gets frizzy in humid weather because dry hair absorbs moisture in the air so your best defense is to keep hair moisturized well. We love Aveda Style Preps. They add moisture without weighing hair down. They also make styling easier and faster.

  • Smooth Infusion Style Prep even defends hair against humidity for up to 12 hours with organic tapioca.
  • Pure Abundance Style Prep boosts volume too.
  • While Be Curly Style Prep also defines curl, detangles to reduce breakage as it tames frizz all day. And they all leave hair feeling soft – not crunchy ($24 each, aveda.com).

New Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight also fends off frizz as it progressively makes hair straighter over time and keeps it straight for up to three washes ($26, aveda.com).

If your hair is extra dry, bump up moisture at every angel. Aveda makes an outstanding system of products to remedy dryness with Dry Remedy Shampoo, Conditioner, Daily Hair Repair (a leave-in treatment to help protect hair from heat styling and repair damage) and new Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil. My favorite is the oil because it’s plant-based (no petroleum products), moisturizes hair with just a few drops and doesn’t weight hair down with silicone.

Another way to reduce frizz is to invest in an ionic, ceramic blow dryer. They cost more but they dry hair faster, saving time and energy, and emit negative ions that keep hair smooth, shiny and frizz-free. I can’t explain how they work but they really do make a difference. I really like the Rowenta Inspiration Pro Dryer ($160, ulta.com). It has three heat settings, a super long cord and comes with an air concentrator and a diffuser (these usually have to be bought separately). It’s also the only dryer I’ve come across that has a magnetic filter on the end so you can easily take it off and clean it.

Locally, you can protect skin from the skin-ravaging, aging effects of UV rays and pollution with top-notch, 100% natural antioxidant skin care from Blissoma, handcrafted here in St. Louis.

Amend Facial Solar Repair Anti-Aging Serum ($49, blissoma.com) protects the face from daily sun and pollution damage with 14 actives, including coenzyme Q10, acai, rooibos, fruit seed oils and potent pomegranate extract.
Amend Antioxidant Sprayable Lotion ($33, blissoma.com) features a mix of superfoods and herbs that soothe, cool and hydrate skin (feels way better than sticky aloe gels) while protecting skin from environmental stress.

Bugs. We also get more than our fair share of bug life here in the Midwest. Most bug repellants are made with scary ingredients; while many natural repellants don’t work very well. Check out Blissoma Backyard Bliss Summer Spray Lotion ($16, blissoma.com). It repels bugs for about an hour and a half with a single application and has a really nice herbal vanilla scent that repels without citronella.

Stay Fresh. Summer heat can be a stinky affair. St. Louis’ own Kind Soap Company makes a great alternative to traditional deodorants. Kind It Sticks ($14, kindsoap.com and Whole Foods) are 100% natural and can be used as deodorant, solid perfume and lotion bar. They smell amazing and get their scent from essential oils, not synthetics.

Keep feet fresh and smooth with Kind Herbal Mint Foot Spa Rejuvenating Sugar Scrub ($22, kindsoap.com) buffs away dry skin with a mix of sugar and shea butter and leaves tootsies feeling cool and refreshed with natural peppermint oil.

And last but not least, keep a bottle of Kind Rosewater Spritz ($5, kindsoap.com) on hand to cool off and beautify. Rosewater has been used for centuries as a natural beautifier that balances skin and reduces redness while the scent naturally reduces anxiety so it’s a great stress-reliever.

(This article originally appeared on Hello Beauty.)

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