Summer is great for spending time outside and making the most of the warm sunshine, but all of that can take a toll on your skin. How can you combat sweat, prevent shine, protect from the sun, but not get greasy all at the same time? Emily McConnell has the answers! As the Spa Director at spa at dana, in the dana hotel and spa on State Street, she knows all the best ways to pamper yourself and look after your skin. At the spa, check out the dana’s summer Ultimate Hydration Facial or Citrus Detox Wrap. Once you leave the spa, follow McConnell’s tips…
The focus of a a lot of summer beauty products is hydration. How can we increase hydrating our skin in our every day life?
Your first approach to staying hydrated should be drinking as much water as you can. Keeping your skin hydrated from within is something you can’t fake with even the best skincare. From a topical perspective, staying hydrated in everyday life can be something simple like keeping a hydrating toner on your desk or in your handbag. Just spritz as needed throughout the day for an added pick me up while you freshen your skin.
How can we balance hydration without getting our skin too oily or sweaty?
My approach during the summer is to make sure that I’m using any heavier hydrators overnight, and cleansing and applying something lighter in the morning. I suggest a hyaluronic acid based serum or moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid is a lightweight ingredient that acts as a humectant – it attracts and retains moisture in the skin. Dehydrated skin wants water – that is what hyaluronic acid imparts. Dry skin wants oils – this is what a moisturizer helps with. If you still struggle with some dryness in the summer, don’t forget to also add emollient ingredients to your regimen through moisturizers. Everyone can use hydration, which is what lightweight serums like hyaluronic based ones can help with.
What are some ways we can give our skin a refresh after a day in the sun or out on the water?
Finding a nice hydrating or cooling mask can be a great way to help refresh skin after a day out in the elements. Look for ingredients like aloe vera to help refresh, and try another cold therapy like a chilled spoon massage for a treat. Again, drinking water to rehydrate from within can do amazing things for your skin.
The spa uses citrus in a number of their summer treatments. What does citrus bring the the skin?
There are a couple of reasons we love using citrus elements in our spa treatments. Citrus is well known to be packed full of antioxidants, which are great when applied to skin (like in our citrus detox wrap) or for a soak (like our citrus mimosa mani & pedi). They also provide a natural enzymatic exfoliation – great for resurfacing skin. The aromatherapy benefits of citrus scents include clarity and increased energy, and you can’t forget about how simply reminiscent of summer these scents are.
Are there are at-home treatments we can make to supplement what we do in the spa?
Spa time doesn’t have to end at the spa. For great results between facial visits, we suggest you invest in a set of high quality masks for different skin concerns and use them as needed for whatever your skin is experiencing. Try a microwavable paraffin treatments for rough sandal feet between pedicures – you can order these online or find them in your local beauty store. If your skin is starting to feel dull, mix yourself up an at home body scrub with sugar, shea butter and grape seed oil. Add essential oils of your choice for an aromatherapy experience.
When in doubt, what are your top tips for the season?
- Wear sunscreen! Add a tinted moisturizer with SPF to the morning routine, and keep a travel bottle of sunscreen or a sunscreen mist for reapplication.
- Switch to a lighter moisturizer: Use a hyaluronic acid based serum and a lighter cream. It is still hydrating skin, but this combo will decrease the heavy feeling that denser moisturizers can have during colder months.
- Sunless Tanner: Transform winter legs with sunless tanner for a safer alternative to the tanning bed. Make sure to exfoliate well first for an even application though.
- Reset! Try a microdermabrasion facial to reset dull winter skin as you head into the spring and summer. Make sure to use SPF after!
What do you look forward most to for summer in Chicago?
Dinner & drinks outside! Nothing says summer like seeing our restaurants start opening up their patios for al fresco dining. Rooftop bars especially, one of which we are lucky to have right upstairs at Apogee!