Summer holidays don't have to mean sunburned skin, frazzled hair and a lapse in looking after yourself. There are some easy ways to look fresh, however high the temperature, writes Jane Jurgens.
SLIP, SLOP, SLAP
It's an oldie but a goodie . . . the best thing you can do to keep yourself looking great this summer is to protect your skin. Sunburn not only looks and feels awful, it's also doing permanent, scary damage. More than 4000 people are diagnosed with melanoma every year in New Zealand — that equals about 13 people every day, the highest rate in the world. More than 300 Kiwis die of melanoma every year. Don't put yourself at risk — cover up and stay in the shade as much as possible, and always use sunscreen. Choose a high SPF, but remember these tips:
● The SPF number tells you how long you can stay in the sun without getting burned. So SPF30 means you can stay in the sun for 30 times longer without burning than you would without sunscreen. But . . .
● Not all sunscreens are created equal, according to recent Consumer NZ tests. They found that some products didn't live up to claims — often their SPF number is much lower than stated on the label. Go to consumer.org.nz for a list of their approved sunscreens, and stock up.
● Go to SunSmart.org.nz to find the Sun Protection Alert for your area — this tells you the time each day that you need to protect your skin and eyes from the sun (even on cloudy days).
It's important to drink water at any time of year, but especially so in summer. It's hot so you're sweating more (yes, even you, ladies), and those fluids need to be replaced. Plus, it's Christmas, so you're probably drinking a bit more alcohol. No, we're not suggesting you should ditch the sundowners, but make sure you're keeping up your water intake too.
"As a makeup artist for 20 years, I can instantly tell if someone has a high or low water intake, especially in summer," says stylist and beauty expert Louise Rae. "It's imperative to hydrate your skin inside and out to maintain a healthy, fresh and plump skin texture."
Get rid of dead skin cells from face and body to reveal glowing skin. The best time to do this is at night — your skin may feel a little sensitive after exfoliating and it's more prone to sunburn, so it's best to avoid going out into the sun or swimming directly afterwards.
Your skin is doing the hard yards of regular sun exposure, sweat, salt water and chlorine so it needs replenishing. Look for a non-comedegenic products, which are designed not to clog pores. If you do accidentally get a bit of sunburn, first slather yourself in aloe vera. "My parents keep a plant on the deck and literally use it for sunburn, summer evening mosquito bites, sea-salt itchy skin . . . honestly this is a summer essential," says Rae.
Next step is to go back and re-read the "Slip, Slop, Slap" section above as you obviously weren't paying attention the
It's not just your skin that needs special care and attention over summer — your hair does too. Conditioner is your friend, but you should also look for products that offer sun protection and hydration, especially when you're in and out of salt water/chlorinated swimming pools/letting your hair dry in the sun. Treat yourself to a clarifying shampoo and a spray-on leave-in conditioner to keep your locks luscious.
GO LOW MAINTENANCE
With a healthy summer glow and the instant face-lift you get from not being
at work for a couple of weeks, you can really downsize your beauty routine. Let your hair dry naturally for a beachy wave, or if your hair has a mind of its own, just go for a floppy sunhat, messy top knot or ponytail and forget about it. Swap your heavy foundation for a BB cream and a sweep of bronzer. Finish that off with a tinted lipbalm and waterproof mascara and you'll look far more put together than you would with full make-up slowly melting off your face. And for the guys — ditch the hair products, skip the daily shave and give your feet a breather in a pair of Jandals.
As Rachel Hunter wrote in Sunday Travel this year, "get out and have a swim, soak up the sun and feel the sand under your feet. Frankly, who cares what your hair looks like? Head there with a great bag, a fluffy towel, a book and an icecream and have fun." Wise words from an original Kiwi summer beauty.
You've worked hard this year. You're exhausted. And yet you still have a million and one things to do to make your summer holidays go to plan. We understand. But make sure you're giving yourself time to relax and recharge.
Don't overdo it on late nights and parties and barbecues and social occasions.
Build in some time where you're allowed to do absolutely nothing. Your body and mind will thank you for it. And you'll be in a much better place to start off 2018.