Whether you've been vacationing in the sun, driving in your convertible dream machine, soaking up sun rays poolside, or playing in your garden, you must give love to the hair and skin you're in. Here are some simple head-to-toe DIY preventative and rescue remedies that I covet for distressed skin, hair, and scalp. Try them one at a time or make a day of it.
1. Soothe and condition that scalp.
If you forgot your hair coverage on a blistering day, your scalp probably needs some TLC. Whether it feels tight, dry, itchy, or slightly sunburned you must try this nourishing green tea and coconut oil remedy. Mix two cups of your favorite steeped green tea and cool, pour straight into your spray bottle, spritz your scalp generously, and let it set for five minutes. Next layer and lightly massage in a quarter size dollop of coconut oil straight from the jar to your scalp. Let this concoction seep in for 20 minutes or make it an all nighter. Rinse with tepid water then shampoo and condition. Such a simple, theraputic way to quench your scalp and arrest unmanageable scalp issues. Another bonus is that your hair also benefits and will boast extra shine.
2. Treat your summer locks.
The aftermath of excessive exposure to sun rays, wind, chlorine, sea salt, and chemicals takes a train-wreck of a toll on your hair and scalp.
For curly, dry, and frizzy locks start your day with a UV-protectant Argan-infused shampoo and conditioner or simply skip the shower and apply a DIY UV protective leave-in spray. Mix one teaspoon of your sunscreen, two drops of argan or Moroccan oil and 12 ounces of water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spritz liberally then style. If you're on the run, use your UV spray then braid, bun, or scarf hair for extra protection against the forces of nature.
For thin parched and brittle hair, try adding a half a teaspoon of macadamia nut or jojoba oil plus a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your shampoo or conditioner for a lighter infused refreshing treatment. P.S. Don't forget your regular, six-week trip for a snip at your favorite salon. (Hint: always ask if they have any comp samples, tricks, or healthy tips for you.)
3. Multitask your skin-care regimen.
Doing double duty is always beneficial and revives that all-over youthful glow. I usually start by exfoliating my face, neck, upper chest, and shoulder areas. I simply mix up my favorite baking-soda cleansing mojito (mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of steeped mint tea with any face cleanser into a paste), apply, and rub in an upward circular motion for extra sloughing. Remember to rinse well.
Follow with a mashed avocado and honey mask (half an avocado or less mashed and mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey) applied carefully. Once all is set, I gently apply glycerin to my brows and lashes to condition them. Top it off by rubbing on a lip-hydrating plumper (mix a dash of cinnamon and a few drops of almond oil). The whole process takes 10 minutes! Now rinse your entire face with cool water, then towel blot dry. Finish with a few drops of glycerin rubbed on face locking in hydration. If you're feeling adventurous, grab a fresh strawberry and proceed to stain that powerful pucker pout.
4. Don't discard your distressed décolletage.
Now that your skin has been prepped by the mojito scrub that buffs and brightens, you can address the age-showing shield with gusto. Minimize fine lines and crepe-like spotted, weathering skin with a papaya skin and olive oil DIY mitt. Literally and carefully gut a papaya, turn it inside out, lube it with olive oil or glycerin, and massage into your delicate chest area. Leave on 10 minutes and rinse or towel off. Now preserve your brilliantly polished, more youthful looking skin by adding sunscreen. Wearing large brimmed hats, scarves, and higher cut clothing are great ways to cover up and keep the sun's powerful rays at bay.
5. Dry brush your body.
This is a great DIY way to promote circulation, reduce muscle tension, and prime your skin. If you don't have a natural bristle body brush, you can easily pick one up inexpensively at most drugstores. In a pinch use a dry coarse terry wash cloth or dry mesh-type loofah. Use this on dry skin before a bath. I usually start at my ankles, making gentle upward motions in same direction, swiping toward my heart and working my way up my legs, to my torso. Then I dry brush my arms. If I have time, I do my back in motions from head to heart. It's a great habit to start. (Tip: You can enjoy the benefits even if you spend a little as two minutes -- or dedicate an entire 20 minutes.)
6. Smooth those rough spots.
Elbows, hands, knees, heels, and the pads of your feet can really take a beating while doing domestic duties, yard work, or exercise routines. I suggest soaking in an Epsom and sea salt meets dark chocolate coconut butter bath. Mix 1/2 cup Epsom salts, 1/2 cup sea salt, two tablespoons of cacao powder or bits, and one tablespoon of coconut oil. After soaking for 10 minutes I grab my loofah, add another swat of coconut oil, and hit all the stubborn dry rough areas -- ridding them of built-up dead skin cells and leaving them soft and supple.
I towel off and slather on cocoa butter, vigorously massaging any cellulite spots, hoping to benefit from the caffeine from the cacao. I've been told by clients that leftover coffee grounds are also a great ally for diminishing the appearance of cellulite. Try your own coffee concoction and apply it to your dimpled or challenged areas out in the garden close to the hose. This keeps the mess out of your shower and enriches your soil.
7. Put the polish on it.
Now that you've successfully navigated a DIY revitalizing body boot camp, it's time to treat those cracking cuticles. A simple fix is to rub in a few dollops of Shea butter into dry areas. Or ditch that altogether and put a spa mani/pedi on the top of your to-do list. The bonus is that professionals can tame callouses and arrest heel cracks on the spot using seaweed soaks, pumice stones, scrubs, and paraffin wax treatments -- restoring your hands and feet luxuriously.
Remember, the number one key to healthy summer beauty is maintenance. When you look good, you feel good and are ready to take on the rest of your summer with style -- one popsicle at a time!
Nicole Cothrun Venables is a Hollywood stylist with two dozen films and television shows to her credit. Her interviews and beauty articles have appeared in Elle, InStyle, Women's World and Los Angeles.
Follow Nicole Cothrun Venables on Twitter: www.twitter.com/beautyontherun