Insider's Guide to Spas
Photography by Puhhha


Your Summer Skincare Routine for an Allover Glow

Shelley Lotz

The season of light and heat is welcome after winter and spring. When warm weather finally hits, I get overly excited about changing out my wardrobe to summer clothes! This is also a good time to change up our skincare routine. The sun, heat, and sticky climate causes more oil production, irritation, and sun damage to our skin. Lighter-weight hydrating products are better for summer. Air-conditioning, chlorine, and sun dry out the skin, so use products to nourish both skin and hair. Guys also need to care for their skin, so get your family, partner, or teen a new loofah or scrubby brush, pure aloe-vera gel, and tube of sunscreen!

Pare down face products to cleansers that offer gentle exfoliation (avoid the eyes if it’s an exfoliating product), a freshener, and tinted moisturizer with sunscreen for a basic day-time routine. Always reapply sunscreen hourly, especially to the hands, décolleté, and face. Thorough cleansing at night is important to combat excess oil and sunscreen buildup (especially zinc, which is the best natural sunscreen ingredient, but it’s white and harder to remove). Avoid strong exfoliating products in the summer, as sun exposure makes skin more sensitive and also damages freshly exfoliated skin. Use refreshing and soothing ingredients like cucumber and aloe.

Your Summer Daily Facial Steps

Cleanser: Use with a washcloth for gentle exfoliation—especially at night for sunscreen removal

Toner: Spritz as a mist or use on a cotton pad

Serum or lotion: Use one with antioxidants and calming ingredients to combat the sun and heat

Sunscreen: In the morning, apply a facial sunscreen or tinted moisturizer liberally alone or underneath makeup

Eyes: A soothing eye gel after rinsing with cold water is refreshing to tired eyes from the sun and outdoors

Lips: A hydrating balm for lips is a must

Once or twice a week: Mask and hydrate

Use an enzyme or clay once a week for deeper follicle cleansing followed by a hydrating gel mask. If you are sunburned, only use a calming gel mask. Place a cold washcloth, cucumbers, or cooled chamomile tea bags on dry eyes (cool and calming ingredients soothe a red nose from allergies, too). Use your favorite beauty oil for a scalp and hair conditioner.

Once every 4 to 6 weeks: Have a professional hydrating facial

Spa treatments combat sun exposure and deep cleanse follicles from sunscreen and oil build up. Go easy on the steam and hot towels–calming and cooling the skin is the goal here. Plan ahead for weddings and parties: brides and others are advised to start regular facials months before the wedding, but not too close to the wedding. Get your customized treatment from the same esty beforehand to avoid potentially breaking out or reacting to new products on your big day (likewise, test the makeup artist and products ahead of events).

Tips for Silky Smooth Skin All Over: Scrub, Sun Protection, Spa

Exfoliate: Summer is the time to really exfoliate with a loofah, brush, or scrub in the shower at least once a week to remove all those dead skin cells and dry patches to get skin ready for shorts and swimsuits. You get a more even tan and tanning product application by exfoliating regularly. Use a sugar-based scrub for sensitive skin and the face; use a rougher salt scrub for more exfoliation on the body. Beauty oils nourish the skin and give it a beautiful glow and shimmer, especially arms and legs.

Sun Protection: Before hitting the beach, apply sunscreen naked to avoid missing areas before putting on your bikini. Hands and the décolleté get excessive sun so we need to reapply sunscreen and lotion especially when driving and washing products off our hands frequently. Pure aloe is a healing hydrator to treat sun-exposed skin. Make sure post-sun products are “clean” (without fragrance and ingredients that could irritate). Sunglasses, a big hat, and protective clothing keep you from wrinkling and burning.

Sunburns: Grandma’s timeless ingredients of yogurt, milk, honey, oatmeal, cucumber, aloe, or baking soda soothe sunburns. In the evening, take a cool bath with one or two of these ingredients. Blended pulps and compresses of various recipes make great masks. Apply aloe or coconut oil morning and night.

Eat seasonally: Cooling and nutritious foods for hot weather include berries and melons. This follows the Ayurvedic philosophy, and it’s fitting how these ingredients are used as antioxidants in the summer diet and on the skin. This is nature’s way of protecting the body.

Spa Day: At the spa, book a slimming body wrap to detoxify, tone, and smooth cellulite. An exfoliating scrub followed by a wrap is a great way to care for the skin. Seaweed, clay, and cooling, healing ingredients are rejuvenating and soothing. A body wrap may be beneficial for skin problems, which is an added bonus! Treatments are also available for blemishes on the back and torso: a mask is applied and optional extractions can clear up acne—techniques vary for your individual needs. Insider’s Tip: Go early for your appointment or get a day pass at a resort spa and spend the day enjoying the fitness center, spa, and pool!

Summer Fun Beauty Bag Checklist

I finally got smart and now keep a summer beauty bag ready to go so I don’t have to keep gathering everything up at the last minute (keep this by the door and not in the hot car).

You can pack a bag with:


•aloe gel

•lip balm

•face spritzer

•tinted moisturizer — for touch ups

•a wide-brimmed hat


•a filled water bottle

•beach towel

•sarong or sun dress for post-beach or balmy evening outings

•scarf for sun protection or for a wardrobe addition

•hoodie for wind and cool evening temperatures

•umbrella—built-in shade saves the day

•small cooler, ready for ice packs

Keeping a blanket in the car is great for spontaneous outings by a creek or in a park. Add a book and snacks, and you are ready to go!

More Beauty & Skincare Tips

Smart Summer Skincare

How to Choose and Use Face & Body Oils

12 Summer Skin-Savers


Shelley Lotz

Shelley Lotz

Shelley Lotz has over 25 years of experience in the spa industry as an esthetician, educator, and entrepreneur. She is a major contributing author of "Milady's Standard Esthetics Fundamentals," a textbook for estheticians, and wrote "Green Spas and Salons: How to Make Your Business Truly Sustainable" (