By JENNIFER ORTIZ
It’s that time of the year again with summer days filled with sunshine and all that comes with it — barbecues, trips to the beach, flip flops, late sunsets, bathing suits and boardwalks, and maybe a rollercoaster or two.
Yet, each dip in the salty ocean or chlorinated pool water and every minute in the scorching summer heat does a number to our bodies and our looks.
Now is the time to change up the old beauty routine. Moisturized skin, a healthy sun-kissed face and smooth, frizz-free hair are must-haves for the season, and the good news is, there are many solutions in the beauty world.
When it comes to the face, deep cleaning, hydration and light makeup is best.
Edison’s Island Spa and Sauna Marketing Director Connie Lee says the Collagen Anti-Aging Facial and the Purifying Facial are summer hits at the spa.
The Collagen Anti-Aging Facial uses an organic lemon enzyme exfoliation treatment to clarify skin and a multi-vitamin application and collagen firming mask to promote elasticity.
The Purifying Facial is designed to clear congested pores and is excellent for restoring the skin’s natural complexion, resilience and vitality.
“More so in the summer, a lot of us put on a lot of sunblock, all this lotion — the Purifying Facial … cleans out the skin. We use a caviar protein and lactic acid to maximize the skin’s functioning,” Lee said.
Lee’s next recommendation is using Vitamin C Toner.
“It’s good for the face because it cools it down,” Lee said. “What it does is closes the pores a little bit and shrinks them a bit, and it also helps with inflammation from the sun.”
Peter Beckett, owner of Art of Hair Salon in Old Bridge, says as far as makeup, his advice is, “If you have a nice glow from the sun, then less is more.”
And for those who are fair-skinned, BB Cream is recommended, a tinted moisturizer that also functions as a primer, foundation and sunblock.
Manalapan’s Avanti Day Resort General Manger Tasha Masi agrees.
“People use Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream or Miracle Skin, which are tinted moisturizers with SPF in it,” Masi said.
And if you don’t want your makeup to run, eyelash extensions and eyebrow microblading are practical options.
“Eyebrow microblading is a semi-permanent etching technique that’s done to eyebrows. It’s awesome. It’s great for people who don’t have eyebrows, have thin eyebrows or just want a new shape,” Masi said.
It works somewhat like a traditional eyebrow tattoo, Masi explained, except in microblading, a superfine row of needles is used to create thin, hair-like marks on the skin.
“It looks like little hairs, like a professional makeup artist did your eyebrows. It’s only on the top layer of the skin — traditionally, tattooing is done deeper (in the skin),” Masi said. “It’s semi-permanent ink that lasts about three years.”
As far as everyday makeup, Masi says light nude, shimmery colors and bronzers are in.
The overall goal is to have a natural and healthy face.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s Eden Organics Salon and Spa Owner, Registered Nurse and Licensed Esthetician Catherine Chamberlain said her number one beauty tip is to use sunscreen every day.
“Even if you’re not at the beach, a sunscreen of 30 SPF or more is the best recommendation,” Chamberlain said.
As far as facials, “People tend to gravitate toward the Oxygen Infusion Organic Facial, which we’re award-winning for,” Chamberlain said.
The Oxygen Facial hydrates and plumps the skin and is great after being exposed to the sun because it calms and hydrates the skin according to Chamberlain.
“A lot of times people get dehydrated in the summer, and that definitely shows in their skin,” Chamberlain said.
Eden Organics Salon’s Even Brighter Vitamin C Facial is another popular summer treatment, helping correct any brown spots on the skin from being exposed to the sun.
Why organic? Chamberlain says as a registered nurse for almost 20 years, she wanted to combine her background and her love for everything beauty.
“Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so your skin actually absorbs a lot of what you put on it, whether that be makeup or lotion or deodorant or anything like that. Anything that you put on your skin like a chemical, can potentially end up in your bloodstream, and many of those things are not good for you,” Chamberlain says.
Chamberlain said her salon avoids phthalates and synthetic fragrances in beauty products because they may be carcinogenic or have harmful effects on hormones or endocrine functions in the body.
“Phthalates — that’s not good for you at all. Actually, fragrance is the top offender. There’s fragrance in everything — there’s fragrance in your body scrub, lotions, deodorants, cleansers, all that,” Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain’s salon offers a natural alternative to Brazilian Blowout, a popular hair treatment that reduces frizz for months.
The Ultra Smooth Treatment is a natural amino acid treatment that helps bond the cuticle in the hair to smooth and remove all frizz from hair. It is formaldehyde-free and does not use any harmful chemicals.
Depending on the texture of your hair, the Ultra Smooth Treatment will have different end results on curls.
“If you’re somebody that has a really kinky, extremely curly hair, it will relax your curls and take out all the frizz,” Chamberlain said. “If you’re somebody with hair that’s just moderately wavy, it will make your hair really straight for several months.”
The Organic Scalp Treatment is another great summer treatment offered by the salon. It is an oil blend that relieves dryness that typically results from chlorinated pools.
“It’s rich in omega fatty acids and hydrating and nourishing oils. It’s also great for people who have psoriasis or eczema on their scalp, and it feels amazing because it includes a scalp massage and it smells fabulous,” Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain’s next piece of advice is to avoid shampoos with sodium laureth sulfate, a harsh detergent in most conventional shampoos that just strips the hair even further.
“All of our shampoos are either organic or sulfate-free, so they’re very gentle on the hair,” Chamberlain said.
Beckett’s hair stylists recommend avoiding heavy oils and leaning towards silicone and cream-based products instead.
“Oils are more of a finishing product. On a hot day, the oil will kind of just cook off your hair,” Beckett said.
It is also important to avoid over-conditioning hair, as it tends to make hair frizzier.
Beckett suggests products like Bumble and Bumble’s Straight Blow Dry, a heat-protective styling balm for smoothing and straightening hair, or Summer Time Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray and Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion for manageable beach waves, all available at his salon and Sephora.
Beckett says quality hair products are worth the investment. “Like my grandfather used to say, ‘Good stuff ain’t cheap, and cheap stuff ain’t good.’”
Beckett says an excellent way to make hair more manageable during hot, humid months is with the Full Keratin Treatment or the Brazilian Blowout.
“They’ll take out almost all of the frizz, and they’ll reduce the amount of curl that you have. If it took you 40 minutes to get your hair blown out in the morning, it’ll take you 10 to 20 minutes,” according to Beckett.
Both treatments last between three and four months, eventually wearing out of the hair with time.
Another alternative is the Magic Sleek Treatment.
“It lasts twice as long and can get your hair as straight as you want. It does cost twice as much (than the keratin treatment) in the salon,” Beckett says.
The Keratin Treatment takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours, while the Magic Sleek takes about three and a half to four hours.
“The Magic Sleek is also cured with acai berries. It’s not cured with any form of formaldehyde and does not damage the hair. It’s natural and effective — it does work,” and will last up to six months Beckett said.
For a more permanent solution, Beckett says Japanese Straightening is the way to go.
“It will make your hair pin-straight. It’s permanent so it will only grow out, not wear out,” Beckett says.
Masi agrees that proper hair products and maintenance are important for hair’s health.
“We have different types of conditioning treatments, and we can make a custom blend for your hair. They’re like little cocktails that we make. We can add things to those treatments and we can mix it up, depending on the hair thickness or length or overall integrity of the hair,” Masi said.
Masi also offers customizable hair masks to treat hair once a week at home. They are ideal for restoring oil and moisture as well as protecting the hair after the beach.
When it comes to purchasing any of these hair treatments at a reduced price on sites like Groupon, Beckett does have a word of advice.
“They’re selling it at a loss so they [can] get some exposure. As with anything that goes with Groupon, it’s for most businesses that have just started that don’t have any customer base,” said Beckett.
Beckett explained that salons that sell keratin treatments for $100, versus the average cost of $300, may offer that because the salon may have fresh out of beauty school hair stylists or stylists with no following.
“It’s a commission business, so if they’re going to spend two hours on your hair, they’re losing money to do it for $100. You’re basically going to a place that’s either just starting out or needs customers desperately,” Beckett said. “It’s buyer beware. You may get lucky or you may get unlucky.”
As far as those who give a go at attempting salon hair treatments at home, “That’s what we in the business call, ‘the kitchen beautician,’” Beckett said.
Beckett advises having a licensed beauty school professional do anything that involves a chemical process on your hair.
Beckett says another downside to at-home beauty treatments is that there are not as many options available at the local beauty supply store when it comes to hair dye.
“There’s not nearly as many options and shades … or varieties of potency and developers that you can use,” Beckett said.
“There’s not nearly as much creative freedom because you’re not trained to use this. It’s like a beginner’s kit. They’re not going to give you anything that has a steep learning curve — they give you a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Beckett.
When it comes to body treatments, Lee says Island Spa and Sauna is well known for its Korean Style Body Scrub.
Lee says, traditionally, many spas use sea salt to scrub off dead skin. Island Spa’s therapists use a cloth with a bit of a scratchy texture, combined with oils and other ingredients, to remove dead skin.
“Let’s say you have any sun damage in the previous layers, the skin has died already, and is still sitting on your body. You want to get rid of that so the new skin that’s healthier can come up. You want to shed your skin a little bit … like a snake does,” Lee says.
Another recommended treatment is the Detoxifying Mud Wrap. It helps with water retention on the skin and leaves it feeling soft and toned.
“Because in the summer we sweat a lot and lose a lot of water, the skin is a little bit drier. This helps keep the moisture and lock the moisture in,” Lee said.
Red Bank’s Woodhouse Day Spa Owner Alla Shapiro says popular summer body treatments at her spa include the Shrink to Fit Cellulite Treatment, which tightens and tones hips and thighs; the Stretch Mark Smoother, which minimizes old stretch marks cause by pregnancy and weight fluctuation; and the Wild Lavender and Seaweed Sugar Scrub, which exfoliates and nourishes the skin.
“Additionally, we see many more pedicures during the summer month. We have a few, but one that stands out is our Signature Woodhouse pedicure with seaweed leaves that we wrap the legs with during the service,” Shapiro said, which reduces swelling and softens feet.
Experts say the number one goal when it comes to the body, face or hair in the summer is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Keep everything moisturized, drink lots of water, and, of course, a big smile is always the cherry on top in the beauty world.
For more information on any of the salons or spas, visit: Avanti Day Resort at www.avantidayresort.com, The Woodhouse Day Spa at www.redbank.woodhousespas.com, The Island Spa & Sauna at www.islandspasauna.com, Eden Organics Salon & Spa at www.edenorganicsnj.com and The Art of Hair Salon at www.artofhairsalon.com.