Summer Hair Protection

Don’t take your tresses for granted

Summer is here, and while we’re all pretty mindful about protecting our skin with sunscreen and moisturizers, most of us don’t realize our hair needs protecting too! So, unless you’re gunning for limp locks that look more fried than sun-kissed, make these precautions part of your beauty routine ASAP.
Shampoo Rules: Sulfate-Free and Sparingly
You need not have a keratin treatment to enjoy the benefits of shampoo sans-sulfates. Sulfate-free shampoos are more delicate than the alternative and strip less moisture from your hair, especially if you use them less often. Try washing once or twice a week depending on your hair texture.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate…
Ingesting plenty of water isn’t just good for your skin and your body – it’s vital for healthy hair, so drink up. Also, add a cold water rinse to the end of your shower and find a nourishing conditioner or after conditioning oil with plenty of omega-3 oils to seal in the moisture.
Air Dry over Hair Dry
If all possible, let your hair air dry during the summer months. Sound scary? Worry not, the right products will keep it healthy and tame the frizzies.
Hair Mask Magic
Face masks may be all the rage this year, but hair masks are not far behind. The right mud mask can soften, smooth and tame your tresses. You’ll wish you’d started using them sooner.

SPF on Top
The reasoning here may or may not be obvious. It’s not just your hair that can get sun damaged; it’s your scalp! A good head scarf, hat, or even a ponytail will keep your hair and scalp safe. A swim cap will also help, especially in chlorinated pools. Scalp SPF is a great option too. It comes in a powder form, and it will keep you from getting a dry, flaky scalp. After all, no one wants that. 

Hair Color Control

How to keep your tinted tresses rich and lustrous

Whether you spend hours and plenty of dollars getting primo professional hair color, or you’re a do-it-yourselfer who often wishes they had an extra pair of hands to help get it on just right, the follow-up question when it comes to hair color tends to be, “How can I make my color stay fresh and shiny longer?”
Master Haircolorist Garry Simmonds of Oliver and Laurent in Beverly Hills, has a head-full of knowledge on the subject. “The truth is, especially in the sunny months, 4 to 5 weeks is a good run for color. Hair tends to fade over time; blondes can go yellow and brunettes get brassy, but you can protect the color longer by using the right products.”
The hair color myths say you shouldn’t wash your hair for a day or two after coloring; that you need to use a heavy conditioner, wash it less often, and alternate wet with dry shampoos to make color stay fresh. “The truth is that hair products these days are so much better than they’ve ever been that you really don’t need to worry about those things, as long as you invest in good products. Use a mild sulfate-free shampoo for color treated hair as needed to hold the color and luster,” says Simmonds. “Sulfates can strip color and moisture from hair. As your hair begins to fade over time, use a mild shade reviving color shampoo, instead. It’s enough to freshen up color nicely.” Follow with a light conditioner for color treated hair.  All a heavy conditioner will do is weigh down the hair and make your blowout harder to do.
“The sun is hard on color treated hair,” says Simmonds. You can wear a hat if you’re going to be in the sun for long periods, but they really can’t do much to protect color from UV rays. A hat with built-in sun protection is effective. “The best thing you can do for color treated hair when you’ll be out in the sun all day, is to shield your hair with sun protection in the form of a good hair oil,” says Simmonds. They help prevent fading with UV filters and preserve moisture and shine.

About Face

The importance of skin-specific care

It seems so simple. You’re fresh out of the shower, ready to moisturize your body; why not just use your body cream on your face, right? Wrong. Believe it or not, skin care products are specifically formulated for the different parts of your body. That means that what’s good for your feet, back, legs or hands, may not necessarily be good for your face. In fact, nine times out of ten, non-facial products are actually detrimental to the skin on your face. Don’t buy it? Here’s what you can expect:

Clogged Pores
You wouldn’t use spackle to paint your bedroom walls, would you? Imagine the result (a thick, bumpy wall instead of a smooth one). Well, using body lotion on your face is basically the same thing. Body lotion is meant to be applied to the thicker, more durable skin found below your neck and décolletage where it can sink into the holes where moisture has dissipated. If you apply a moisturizer like that to your face, clogged pores are bound to happen. That can lead to breakouts, blackheads and a generally dull complexion.

Irritated Surfaces
Most body products (moisturizers, soaps, cleansers, etc.) contain fragrances, which is why we smell so great when we get out of the shower. However, these added scents aren’t usually non-comedogenic. These sweet smelling additions to the product can be irritating to your face and even cause black heads. The result is red, splotchy and itchy skin. Go for products that have a much lower level of fragrance than your body products.

Dry Patches
pH levels play a big role in your skin looking healthy, hydrated and radiant, especially the skin on your face. pH stands for "potential hydrogen". The skin's barrier, which is known as the acid mantle, is responsible for keeping in oils and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria. Your skin’s acid mantle should be slightly acidic with a pH of about 5.5, but when it's too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive. This keeps your skin from fighting off the enzymes that destroy collagen and cause wrinkles and sagging.  
Using soap on your face that is intended for your other body parts will throw that pH level off. This can make your skin dry, flaky and dull, even if it’s normally oily and acne-prone. A face wash that’s specifically formulated for your skin will keep your pH levels, and your breakouts, in check. Sure it’s an extra investment, but we shudder at the alternative.

Last, but certainly not least, if your skin is in any way sensitive, body creams and washes used on the face can actually cause infection. These usually manifest in the form of a rash. That’s because products developed for the face are designed specifically for that skin. If you use a non-hypoallergenic product on a part of your body other than where it was intended, be prepared for it to come back to bite, or blemish you.

Springtime Sun Security

Protect it. Don’t neglect it.

As we move out of winter into the warmer days of spring, it can be easy to forget or neglect sun protection, since the sun feels cooler than in the summer and the mornings can even be cold.  However, even though the sun may not feel as intense, its effects can still be damaging to our skin; causing hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, dryness or even skin cancer. Here are some ways to safeguard your skin in the spring sun and beyond:
Wear SPF Everyday
If you wake up in the morning and see clouds, it is not a hall pass to skip on sunscreen. In fact, no matter what time of year it is, applying sunscreen is a must to protect your skin. During the winter months you may apply an SPF of 15 or 20. Once springtime hits, be sure to check the expiration date of any sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or above; they may not be as effective if they’re from last year.
Adjust Depending on Your Activity
If you are going to work, wearing an SPF of 30 or above on your face might be sufficient. However if you are attending your child’s baseball game, or heading to a pool on spring break, you will need to apply sunscreen from head to toe. It is also important to understand the form of sunscreen you are applying; whether it is a synthetic sunscreen with chemicals such as oxybenzone or avobenzone, or a physical sunblock with ingredients such as zinc or titanium dioxide. Synthetic sunscreens need to be applied at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun in order to be effective. They also tend to be thinner formulas and can spread and blend easily into the skin, which is a plus for daily use under makeup. Physical sunblocks sit on top of the skin and offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays naturally. They tend to be good choices for activities such as beach or pool days.
Don’t Forget to Reapply
No matter what form of sunscreen you choose, the most important point is to reapply throughout the day. In the summer while at a pool or a beach, most of us are aware to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. This is just as important during the spring time, especially if you are swimming at a pool or sweating. A good idea is to set your phone alarm for every 2 hours and reapply to protect your skin.  
Safe, Stylish Sun Attire
Spring weather is a great time to wear fashion that shields your skin and looks chic at the same time. A long sleeve shirt and wide brimmed hat are ideal to defend your skin against the sun’s harmful rays. At the pool, it might be a rash guard and straw hat, while during lunch with friends it could be a floppy hat paired with a white long sleeve button down shirt and jean
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