The Best Beauty Products to Take You to Every Summer Event, from Beach Trips to BBQs
It's time to refresh your summer skincare, hair routine and sunscreen stash to ensure that you're fully prepped for every action-packed outdoor invite that might come your way
Another summer solstice is upon us, which means you'll soon be planning daytime beach romps that turn into nighttime barbecues. Whether you're sitting pretty on the sand or snapping selfies in the backyard, having fun is the top priority — but you'll want to look good while doing it, too.
From hair that can withstand humidity to makeup that doesn't melt off your face and, of course, sun protection, there are plenty of expert-approved hacks you'll want to make sure you stay sun kissed, not sweaty. Read on for the ultimate glow-up.
Simple and Minimal Skin Prep
You may not normally think about updating your skincare supply, but in hot and sunny weather, there are a few key swaps you may want to make. Now is the time to be mindful of exfoliating and acidic products, as they can make your skin sensitive to the sun and more susceptible to burns and pigmentation.
"Before a hot, sunny day at the beach would be to cleanse with a gentle hydrating cleanser, followed by a lightweight hydrating moisturizer, finished with a proper application of sunscreen and lip balm containing sunscreen," says dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar. "Keeping your beach skincare routine simple makes it easier to reapply layers of SPF."
Speaking of sunscreen…
Slather on the SPF
Please don't forget to shield your skin! Sunscreen should be applied before you step outdoors and reapplied every two hours if you're continually exposed to sunlight. There are plenty of excellent formulations on the market, both mineral and chemical, so once you've chosen one that's right for you, keep it handy so you are ready to reapply.
What's the difference between the two? "Mineral-based sunscreens (think zinc and titanium dioxide) create a physical shield to block the sun and its damaging rays," says Aguilar. "It's loved because it doesn't penetrate the skin, but [some don't favor it] because zinc is what is known to leave your face with the white marks."
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain filters that absorb UV rays and are actually absorbed into the skin, thus avoiding the chalky white cast. "They are favored because they penetrate the skin to provide a deeper protection, but [some] dislike them for this reason," says Aguilar. (These chemicals, which can include octinoxate and oxybenzone, can act as endocrine disruptors, may be carcinogenic and can damage coral reef.)
Keep Your Makeup Efficient
It can be tempting to grab the shiniest makeup in your stash when it's so beautiful outside. But according to celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon—who works with actresses Zosia Mamet and Rachel Brosnahan—glittery, glisten-y formulas are the ones to stay away from.
"This goes for foundation, eye products and everything else for that matter," she says. "Since we get those beautiful natural highlights from the summer sun, you just don't need them as much to give the face dimension and life, the way we do in the winter."
Instead, stick to long-lasting, lightweight (oil-free if you're prone to buildup) formulas with a glowy finish, like Chanel's Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint, which Aharon describes as "lightweight and hydrating" — so much so, that you don't feel like you're wearing foundation.
The same philosophy can be applied to your sunscreen as well. For instance, Aharon recommends Vacation's SPF 30 Mineral Lotion because it goes on smoothly, minus the chalky residue, and doesn't contain fragrance (which can cause reactions in sensitive skin).
For color that can withstand the waves and barbecue smoke, keep a "two-fer" product, like, Freck Beauty's Cheekslime, in your bag for a "perfect wash" of lip and cheek color that blends with little effort. If you're concerned about disturbing your makeup as you reapply sunscreen, keep an SPF mist or powder nearby too, instead of putting more lotion or cream atop your skin.
"I never leave home without Supergoop's Defense Refresh. The superfine mist makes an even application super easy," says Aharon. "It feels great on the skin, even when you're starting to sweat - running around the city, on the beach or by the pool."
As for the rest of your summer beauty look, stick to water-resistant formulas and hues that will enhance your natural glow instead of covering it up. "Think cream shadow, skin tint, liquid blush that can be used effortlessly on both cheeks and lips," Aharon says. "Even a fun pop of colored liner!"
And for those who want to show off their legs and arms, Aharon recommends Olio E Osso's Liscia Shave Oil, which leaves a beautiful sheen on the legs post-shave, and eliminates the need to put on moisturizer after the shower.
Hydrate Your Hair
According to Gina Scipioni, Hairstylist and Director of Education for Neuma Beauty, two of the most common hair concerns in the summer are dryness and damage."The summer sun seems to get stronger every year," she adds, "and sun exposure, along with swimming in the ocean or pool, can leave hair parched and fragile."
For those who plan to spend the majority of their days outdoors, it's crucial that you think of your hair the way you do your skin—and give it UV protection.
"We apply sunblock to our skin and should look for hair care products with UV protection to protect hair against damage and fading,too" she says. "I recommend leave-in products like NEUMA's neuStyling smoothing crème to add that layer of UV protection. Remember, sunblock is for our skin (not our hair), so spraying sunblock on our hair directly can create a hard-to-remove coating."
Another great addition to your summer beach bag is a reparative, moisture-rich refresh, like NEUMA's neuMoisture instant fix, since it protects hair from the elements and heat of summer while keeping it hydrated. Sciponi says it also helps reduce certain types of summer breakage and "since it can be sprayed on the hair wet or dry, it's easy to reapply as needed."