Days of fun in the sun, heat, humidity and chlorine can do a number on skin and hair — ending in sunburns, chapped lips, greasy skin and even green-tinged tresses. But there’s no need to stay indoors when faced with summer beauty hassles. Solve them with our expert-approved quick fixes and get back to the beach STAT.
Mosquito bite? Break out the ice
To relieve bug bites, hold an ice cube directly on the bite. The cold reduces inflammation and numbs nerves that trigger the itch. Another all-natural option? Unscented aloe vera gel. It has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe discomfort, dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD says. You can even take it straight from the plant.
Got a sunburn? Grab some milk
For sunburn, Jaliman recommends cool compresses made with an equal mix of skim milk and ice water and applied for 10 to 15 minutes. The coolness will lessen a burn's inflammatory effects while the milk's proteins can ease discomfort.
Feeling sweaty? Skip the hot peppers
Summer and sweating go hand in sticky hand — but the solution to excessive perspiration could be as simple as passing up that jalapeno-topped burrito or XL coffee, according to New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Dana Khuthaila. The reason? Both spicy foods and caffeine can activate neurotransmitters that trigger glands to start sweating.
If you need to pull out the big guns, talk to your doctor about targeted Botox injections, which prevent the glands in the region from producing sweat for up to six months.
Chafing? Raid the pantry
Nothing derails a jam-packed summer day like raw skin caused by chafing. Before heading out in the heat, pat a little cornstarch between your thighs and under your arms. The powder will absorb the moisture that's responsible for making skin to stick together as it rubs, which causes micro-tears on the skin. And while you might love the high-tech fabrics of some exercise clothes, something a little more natural might be a better bet if you're prone to the condition. Slip on clothes made from cotton or linen, suggests Jaliman, which is more breathable than synthetics.
Ingrown hairs? Exfoliate
Dead skin can clog follicles, blocking hair's exit route and causing it to curl beneath skin's surface as it grows. The result? Those red and itchy bikini-line bumps better known as ingrown hairs. Exfoliating with a gentle scrub in the shower or with salicylic- or glycolic-infused exfoliating pads a couple times a week can keep follicles unclogged and skin free of bumps.
Shiny skin? Cleanse with clay
As temperatures rise, your oil glands start working overtime. To help reduce the resulting shine, use products that contain oil-absorbing ingredients, such as clay, say Charlene Deegan, director of research and development for beauty brand Borghese. Another ingredient to look for: phytic acid, a mild AHA that acts as a chemical exfoliant, speeding cell turnover and loosening dead skin that can otherwise clog pores.
Green hair? Rinse before you swim
Ever wonder why hair sometimes changes to the color of seaweed during a day at the pool? When you jump into chlorinated water, trace amounts of copper that live in your hair's cuticle react with chlorine and oxidize. The resulting hue? Green, of course. A simple way to close the hair shaft and inhibit the chemical reaction is by first wetting hair with tap water and then applying argan or another hair oil to act as a water repellent, says Sexy Hair master hairstylist, Nadirah Volpe.