Budget-Friendly Beauty Essentials for Summer

summer beauty products

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Sun, heat, surf and sand can wreak havoc on your beauty routine, leaving you feeling and looking burnt out.  We’ve got your back- grab some sunscreen and read on to avoid a summer beauty MELTDOWN! Here’s the insider’s guide to looking and feeling amazing this summer!


Experts have recently discovered that 20 minutes of sun per day is a great way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, however if you’re outside basking in the rays for an extended period of time,  you’ll need sunscreen. If you’re the outdoorsy type or a self proclaimed beach bum like myself, sun protection must be habitually reapplied every few hours and each time you get out of the water.  BEWARE, not all sunscreens are equal. Some have ingredients that are more harmful than helpful. Here are three ingredients to avoid when shopping for your sunscreen of choice.

  •      Oxybenzone: This chemical sunscreen penetrates deep into the skin protecting the deepest layers.  Studies have shown it can disrupt the endocrine system and in many people this leads to allergic reactions presented as an itchy rash or even hives.
  •      Parabens: Found in almost all generic beauty products, these preservatives have been shown to cause cancer.  Remember, your skin is your body’s largest organ and soaks everything in like a sponge.
  •      Fragrance: Sure you may smell like a coconut and feel like  a Hawaiian Tropic model, but added fragrance isn’t necessary.  Not only do many people have allergic reactions to them, they too can disrupt the endocrine system. Drinking a nice coconut flavored beverage just might be your best bet!

Tip: Studies have shown that boosting your sunscreen with an anti-oxidant can increase its potency by up to 20%.  My favorites are antioxidant rich face oils that can be worn under the sunscreen or mixed in before application.

Face Wipes

These are especially helpful in the summer.  I call them “the lazy girl’s cleanser,” they’re one of my most favorite beauty inventions of all time!  If you invest in good wipes they cleanse, refresh and moisturize all in one step. By removing sweat and oil from the face during warmer months you’ll reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin, therefore reducing breakouts. Face wipes are perfect after a run on the beach, yoga on the beach, swimming at the beach, or laying on the beach. You catch my drift here, right?

Tip:  Avoid the ouch! Stay away from any face wipes with glycolic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids or Vitamin C.  These ingredients in any beauty product make your skin much more sun sensitive leading to quick and painful sunburns.

Facial Mist

Misting is the end all, be all for sun scorched skin!  When your face is being tortured by long hours in the sun, heat, chlorine or salt air it rapidly loses water!  However, one way to get that summer glow back is to mist throughout the day. Keep a bottle in your bag and when you’re feeling dehydrated or in need of refreshment lightly spritz your face.

Tip:  Again, pay attention to ingredients.  My favorite facial mists all contain rose, which helps to protect against the environment and elemental dryness.

Dry Shampoo

Summer sweat is no bueno for your locks.  If you listen to your hair stylist and wash only 1-2 times a week, you may already be familiar with dry shampoos.  They come in sprays, but I much prefer the powders. Most powders have a cornstarch or baking soda consistency and when applied to roots absorb oil and add great volume.  A good dry shampoo is a necessity for beach life, when the ocean is your shower.

Tip: You can keep that tousled mermaid mane going long after you’ve returned from your holiday.  Apply dry shampoo as directed then spritz hair with a salt spray to add texture. I prefer pink Himalayan salt, which actually binds moisture to the hair and won’t dry it out.

Cucumber Water

I will NEVER stop preaching about water.  It is not only life sustaining, but also essential for great skin.  Adding sliced cucumber only enhances water’s benefits by keeping you hydrated, flushing out toxins and delivering skin friendly minerals like magnesium, potassium and silicon (hint: this particular mineral aids in the fight against aging).

Tip:  If you are interested in the Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet in particular, you’ll find that cucumber is a food to be eaten in the summer, it fights heat both inside and outside of the body to cool us down.  Sip some cucumber water and you’ll literally be as cool as a cucumber.

Rebecca Carrera
Rebecca Carrera

Rebecca Carrera is a wife, mother, brow guru, green beauty obsessed, clean eater, and design lover. She has worked with some of the world's top retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, where she was able to hone her merchandising and styling skills. In 2010 Rebecca launched Maven Beauty Bar, a brow bar and clean beauty shop in downtown Frederick, MD. She currently offers home services to her clients as a realtor and interior stylist.

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