Best Beauty Products for Summer

Reading: Best Beauty Products for Summer

Fashion & Beauty

Best Beauty Products for Summer

Block damaging rays, look great, with these new products

By Katie Weisman

It’s almost summer and that means it’s time to shore up your beauty routine to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. It also means it’s time to take care of your skin and hair — with the right products and routines you can avoid having your skin look dry and and your hair feel brittle and dehydrated. We’ve gathered a list of some of the best summer beauty products out there that will help you combat the elements. 

(We didn’t include foundations, body moisturizers, or serums that contain SPF in this list because, as dermatologists and skin cancer specialists warn, they do not have as much or as strong SPF in their ingredients as official sunscreens. Of course, there are some great cosmetics with SPF and those are certainly better than wearing no protection. But you’re not going to reapply a foundation with sunscreen every two hours, are you? … No, I didn’t think so.) 

Into the Deep
Elta has done it again, this time helping those with darker skin tones find that perfect sheer sunscreen. (Full disclosure, I am an EltaMD addict and thus biased.) The company developed a new proprietary patent-pending formula of iron oxides that eliminates the often-experienced white cast that zinc oxide and oxide blends can leave on skin that has higher levels of melanin. Now, the UV Clear and UV Daily Broad Spectrum facial mineral and chemical sunscreens, which exist in untinted and regular tinted versions, boast a deep tinted product.

I am not a woman of color and yet the new EltaMD UV Clear Deep Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 46 ($45) is a game changer for me. I love its easy spreadability and I apply it like a daily moisturizer. I have found that tinted sunscreens often are too pale for my olive complexion but EltaMD’s darker tint is barely visible. It also helps my face match the color of my chest and arms which, for some reason, get tanner than the rest of my body even with my regular use of strong sunscreen. The addition of Niacinamide (vitamin B3) has been clinically proven to even out skin tone, and prevent hyperpigmentation, the latter of which women with darker skin pigmentation are more susceptible to. Plus, the inclusion of vitamin E (an antioxidant) helps reduce visible signs of aging — something that could benefit any woman over the age of 40. The UV Daily contains hyaluronic acid, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

And that spreadability I mentioned? It is a thing. If someone likes how a product feels, they will use it, which is critical for sunscreen. EltaMD’s AOX collection is 100% mineral, meaning that the active ingredients provide a physical barrier to UVA and UVB rays. The EltaMD UV AOX Elements Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in its tinted version, which launched this year with a corresponding eye SPF, is great too but I found it harder to use on unmoisturized skin because it’s a bit pastier and takes longer to rub in. By contrast, the UV AOX Mist, which goes on and gets absorbed like a dream, remains my go-to for outdoor sports like tennis. 

Hail Mary
This legendary cosmetics company, founded in 1963 by entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash, has just launched its first mineral facial sunscreen with SPF 30 ($28). It is an easy-to-apply lightweight  lotion with no apparent scent.

I’m amazed how effortlessly this 100% mineral sunscreen glides on, leaving a transparent sheen with no white overcast. I was keen to try it out because of the brand name Mary Kay, the pastel pink packaging, and the founder’s iconic story. Ash started her company essentially to empower women, after experiencing inequality in the early years of her professional life. Mary Kay built its reputation on high quality cosmetics sold direct-to-consumer via its army of Independent Beauty Consultants. Now, anyone can buy Mary Kay products on its website. You cannot, however, buy a Mary Kay pink Cadillac. These are still reserved for and rewarded to the company’s top performing sales members. 

Hat Head Hiatus
It might seem obvious, but a lot of people don’t realize that you can get skin cancer on your scalp. Some think that a good head of hair can protect the skin on the scalp from UV rays, which is true to a point, but there are areas that go uncovered — like your part — that are susceptible to sun damage. The best way to avoid scalp skin cancer is to wear a hat. That’s not always easy or available (or cute). There are, however, sunscreens for your hair or scalp.

Coola, the California sun and skin care brand, has the popular Scalp and Hair Sunscreen Mist with SPF 30 (starting at $28, 2 oz). It provides a chemical sunscreen barrier, meaning no zinc oxide, along with other ingredients including monoi oil and panthenol that moisturize and strengthen hair.

An added bonus of hair sunscreen is that it can protect color treatments that, if you’re like me, cost a gazillion dollars and can quickly fade or change with too much sun exposure.

Truthfully, I haven’t tried this myself, but the product has received such great reviews in women’s magazines and on social media, compared with similarly purposed products, that it seems to be effective. Users like how lightweight and quick-drying the spray is as well as the inclusion of moisturizing ingredients. They do not always agree, however, on the scent, which has been described as anything from sea-salty to herbal.

Golden Girls
Sometimes, summer days are too hot or humid for a body lotion and that’s where dry oil moisturizers — those that are quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy residue — are particularly useful and generally delightful. One of my go-tos has been the French cult brand Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse Gold Shimmering Dry Oil (starting at $31.90, 50 ml). The oil, originally launched in 1991 by founder Alina Jabès, moisturizes your skin thanks to notably 98% natural nurturing tsubaki (Japanese camellia), borage, and sweet almond oils, among others.

NuxeIt comes in a variety of fragrances and formulations including floral and neroli. These notes, combined with those of the natural oils and other ingredients such as rosemary leaf extract and citronella, smell subtly luxurious.

After application, the gold version leaves a warm shimmer on your skin thanks to pearly particles. You feel like a goddess wearing it after a day at the beach.

The big news is that Nuxe has just come out with a Rose Gold version of this classic in France (28 euros, 50 ml), and it is expected to be sold in the US in the coming weeks, according to the brand’s Instagram account. The new rose gold shimmer, however, offers a cooler glittery tone than the original and looks great on fair complexions.  

Bronze Beauty
Bronzers — in liquid, cream, or powder — are a great way to look tan without the risks that come with sunbathing. A terrific option is the iconic Terracotta bronzing powder ($60) from French fragrance, cosmetic, and skin care house Guerlain, originally launched 40 years ago. Yep, 1984. Flash forward to 2021, Terracotta was reformulated as part of the company’s goal to use a minimum of 90% naturally derived ingredients across all of its products. The result is a bronzing powder with natural ingredients including pigments and ethically sourced argan oil accounting for 96% of its composition.

It comes in six shades, cool to warm, that are truly flattering on so many skin types, and after application your skin will have a subtle sheen. An added bonus is the light yet sensual scent embedded in the makeup thanks to notes including ylang-ylang (which smells like a mix of rose and jasmine), vanilla, and white musk. 

I don’t recall the year I bought my first Guerlain Terracotta. It seemed to last forever as did the chic dark amber compact that’s translucent enough to reveal the company’s scripted double-G logo. Now, Guerlain has made that signature compact refillable. A nice touch in line with the company’s emphasis on nature preservation and sustainability. 

Straight Talk on Curls
Perfect timing! Aveda, the vegan “plant-powered” hair care company just introduced the Be Curly Advanced collection designed to manage, strengthen, highlight and hydrate curly and coily hair while eliminating frizz, all of which are important issues for curls and coils, especially during the heat and humidity that can plague summer days. I can’t name a single one of my friends or acquaintances who doesn’t struggle with these concerns during summer … or even throughout the year. 

Aveda curls

Be Curly Advanced boasts seven products ($36-65), including shampoo, conditioner, an Intensive Curl Perfecting mask, and Coil Defining Gel. Christine Hall, the vice president of research and development at Aveda, said in a press statement that the effectiveness of the products are thanks to newly discovered curl strengthening peptides that come from hydrolyzed pea and vegetable protein. Hall adds that another active ingredient, responsibly sourced kokum seed butter,  nourishes, conditions and detangles curls and tightly coiled hair.

Based on testing, Aveda says that the Be Curly Advanced range can protect against frizz for 72 hours in high humidity, create twice as much shine, and provide 89% improvement in curl definition compared with untreated hair, among other hair enhancements. I’ll take it!

Tell us what you think.
Leave your comments below