By Arwa Lodhi
Most of us have (sadly) just returned to city life from holidays spent by the beach or in the countryside. Although we may have started the summer with a light glowing tan and fresher skin from being outdoors, dry hair and damaged skin eventually result from too much sun, sweat and sea water (not to mention a few too many ‘refreshing cocktails’ and late nights out dancing). But never fear–no matter what summer beauty sins you may have committed (or are still committing!), Eluxe is here to help save your hair and hide from holiday horrors.
Nip Sun Damage in the Bud
Whenever you get a sunburn, you should immediately apply an aloe gel. Look for one whose first ingredient is actual aloe and not water and glycerin- it’ll be more effective. Do not, and we repeat, do not use an exfoliating agent on your face after spending too much time in the sun. Instead, use a gentle facial cleanser to remove the dirt, sweat, and grime from the day and apply a rich moisturizer immediately after.
Too late? Had a sunburn and did nothing about it? Do some damage control by applying an ultra hydrating face mask asap. Bonus points if it’s an overnight mask with added vitamin E, which will help skin heal itself from the sun’s damage. You could also try a serum with liquorice root or narcissus oil, both of which are thought to stop dark pigmentation from forming.
Our picks: Pure Aloe Vera from a broken plant leaf is best, but if that’s not available, try:
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Cream is made with Hyaluronic Acid, brightening Alpha-Arbutin and exfoliating Papaya Enzymes to deeply hydrate summer dry skin and reverse damage caused by the sun.
Trilogy Rosehip Oil really hydrates the complexion effectively and also softens scarring, pigmentation and other skin damage over time.
Post-Holiday Hair Care
Hair can’t get sunburned per se, but salt water, chlorine from the pool, and sun exposure can create a great deal of damage to your hair causing it to become brittle and rough. While out in the sun the best protection you can do for your hair is to use a hat.
On holidays, to prevent further hair damage, rinse hair under a fresh water shower in between dips in the water. Bring your favorite leave in conditioner with you to apply to hair after rinsing. Immediate hydration is what your hair begs for. Once you’re home after a day at the beach, it’s best to use a shampoo and conditioner that is specifically for after-sun use. After holidays, apply a hair mask or oil as well to restore damaged hair.
Saach Organics Hair Oil uses an old Indian recipe: a combination of Gooseberry, Almond, Olive, Coconut and other nourishing oils to help stimulate the scalp and hair growth.
John Masters’ Lavender and Avocado hair mask uses 10 certified-organic plant extracts and oils to bring intense moisture and vitality to sun-and-swim dry hair. Hair is left shiny, soft and luxurious, with a wonderfully light lavender scent.
Smooth Your Skin
The sun can seriously dry out your skin on its own, but combined with chlorinated pools, things can get pretty messy: not only may you be suffering from peeling from wherever the sun damaged your skin, but there may be flakes around your nose, fingernails, elbows, heels and toes. The solution? A good exfoliator, of course! Do not use any exfoliator with plastic microbeads–these are terrible for the environment, as we explained here! Use a scrub with natural ingredients instead.
Kora Organics Exfoliating Cream is designed to scrub off summer damaged skin on the face, neck and decolletage to reveal a fresher complexion underneath. Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Wheat Protein are but a few of the natural ingredients here to help lighten and brighten your complexion.
Doctor’s Scrub by Goldfaden MD contains extremely finely crushed ruby crystals to gently remove dead skin without causing redness. Bonus: this was developed by a renowned American dermatologist.
Softer and Richer Skin
After sloughing off dry skin, it’s essential to protect new skin from the elements with a good moisturizer. This should lock in water and provide a fine barrier over the skin, making it appear smoother and softer.
Subtle Energies contains a rare jasmine that only blooms at night, known as raat ki rani – The Night Queen. Together with mogra and sandalwood oils, Subtle Energies has created a beautifully scented, rich cream that provides all-over moisturising, revitalising and balancing benefits to the skin.
Weleda Skin Food: This thick formulation is one of the richest, most hydrating creams around. Will keep your skin supple throughout the winter months, and smells pleasantly citrusy too.
Skin Condition Control
It’s no secret that sunlight can trigger skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea and dermatitis. The obvious solution is to avoid the sun by covering up with light clothing or staying in the shade, especially between the hours of 11am and 4pm, when sun is at its strongest, but if it’s too late for all that, protect your skin with a neutral, gentle cream formulated for such conditions.
Odylique Ultra Rich Balm is a must whenever you get a flare up of eczema, rosacea or redness on the skin. Its gentle formula contains olea europaea fruit oil and fruit extracts to protect and soothe irritated, inflamed skin.
Pai Skincare’s Chamomile and Rosehip calming day cream is free of any irritating chemicals and is rich in Matricin & Azulene: ‘nature’s soothing agents’ apparently. This is a favourite with anyone whose skin is baby-sensitive for its calming qualities.
Got a tan that you love? Keep it alive! If you look great with a tan, it’s logical you’ll want to extend that look as long as you can. Of course, going to tanning beds is basically begging for wrinkles, so get your glow on naturally with a pure fake tanning product, instead.
Eco Tan is one of the best and most established all-natural ways to fake it. They have a comprehensive range of products, most of which are based on coconut oil, and all of which give you a bronzed glow without even a hint of Oompah-Loompah orange!
Elemental Herbology Sun Kiss Tinted Cream is a rich body hydrator perfect for every day use. It contains watermelon seed extract, naturally derived vegetable fatty acids and lavender as well as an eco-certified approved self-tanning agent that comes from sugar-beet.
Zuii Organic Flora Foundation allows you to fake a bit of a glow. Just take a shade that’s one darker than your usual skin tone to keep your tanned look You can slowly decrease the amount of this mineral-based product you use to match your skin tone as your tan fades. Be sure to use a vegan friendly brush, like one of these by Hynt beauty, below, to apply.
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