“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” —Henry James
Summer may not be the most spellbinding season for beauty. Heat and humidity can drive the oil glands crazy and cause breakouts, while exposure to the sun, salt air at the beach, and air conditioning can overdry the skin.
When the hot, sultry air wraps itself around you like a warm blanket, the best way to cool down the skin is with lots of water and tropical fruits and vegetables. In general, it makes sense to switch to a lighter moisturizer and sheerer makeup, exfoliate the face and body regularly, and shampoo less frequently to keep the hair and scalp from drying out. Masking once a week will help keep the skin and hair hydrated. Focus on plant ingredients like papaya, coconut, and aloe, which contain a lot of water and help refresh the skin.
Papaya grows in tropical climates around the world, where it is mashed and used in face masks to nourish and moisturize the skin. The enzyme papain exfoliates dull-looking dead skin and evens out skin tone. It’s especially good for oily or older skin and adult acne.
This brand, based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, relies on a certain amount of ingredients foraged in the Grand Tetons. A great daily exfoliating cleanser—with papaya, pomegranate, glycolic acid, and lactic acid—it also contains moisturizing hyaluronic acid and ceramide. It leaves skin soft and silky,
and Alpyn Beauty gives one percent of all sales to environmental causes.
Loaded with alpha hydroxy acids from papaya, pineapple, lemon, and lime enzymes, this brightening mask exfoliates the skin and hydrates at the same time, leaving skin looking radiant.
With its small molecular structure, coconut oil absorbs easily into the hair and skin, which makes it an amazing moisturizer. If your skin is oily or prone to breakouts, it may clog pores. In Southeast Asia, coconut oil (a.k.a. Monoï oil) shampoos are a traditional way to keep hair lustrous and shiny.
A raw, organic coconut oil that helps protect skin against free-radical damage and the signs of aging. Coconut oil is antibacterial, antimicrobial, great for nourishing skin and hair, and lovely to apply.
Ready for travel, this organic multitasker is 100 percent cold-pressed coconut oil. It soothes dry skin and adds shine to hair. For every tube sold, Conscious Coconut donates a meal to a child through Feeding America and plants a tree.
Aloe vera gel is 99.5 percent water, which is why it feels so good on the skin. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that are great moisturizers and anti-inflammatory agents. Aloe soothes sunburn and temporarily tightens the skin, making it a great mini-mask to apply before a night out.
This brand gives back to native people in South American rainforests by providing them with a steady income. The gel–with organic aloe vera, cucumber and sugarcane–is great for styling and also adds shine and softness.
With aloe vera gel, green tea, witch hazel, arnica, and eucalyptus oil, this precious tube leaves skin soft, smells great, and leaves no tacky feel behind. Perfect after sun exposure!