Summer Skin Care Wisdom For Your Spa Clients


The summer months can bring different challenges for our clients' skin: heat, humidity, sweating, clogging, inflammation and UV exposure.  So be sure to guide them through the hotter part of the year with confident and easy-to-follow recommendations for healthy skin.  Read my expert advice below to keep your clients' skin glowing and healthy all summer long.

Sun-safe exfoliation is key. 

Summer isn't a time to stop exfoliation altogether but it may be wise to modify it a bit.  Some clients benefit by taking a break from strong retinoids and high concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids in favor of enzymes and larger molecular acids like lactic and malic acids.  While several clients are great about applying physical SPF, wearing hats and staying in the shade, others are not so compliant.  Be sure to assess your clients' level of sun safety before recommending a summer skincare regimen.  We all have clients who we can trust with strong retinoids year round while others need to take a break from these aggressive ingredients because they will be "living at the beach," or "on the boat" the entire summer. 

On the other hand, there are some clients who feel compelled to over-exfoliate their skin during the summer  because they feel clogged and oily because of humidity, sweating and makeup.  Look for the signs of overly exfoliated and processed skin and be certain to offer gentle alternatives.  If your client feels the need to clean their skin with gritty, jagged scrubs multiple times per week then suggest a foaming cleanser, clarifying toner, or Clarisonic brush to achieve clean skin.  These options can be used safely on a daily basis and will prevent damage from excessive scrubbing.

Make hydration a priority. 

Advising clients to keep their skin and body hydrated during the summer is very important.  Recommend regular topical hydration with products containing aloe, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, sodium PCA, and other humectants.  These ingredients will capture and bind water molecules to the skin which will be especially important for clients concerned with dehydration.  Dehydration can be caused by dry heat, excessive sweating and even frequent air conditioning exposure.  Oftentimes, serums, lotions and gels will be your best bet in terms of a hydrating formulation and water will usually be the first ingredient on the list. 

Advising clients to drink enough water during the summer is crucial too.  As we know, healthy skin starts from the inside and adequate water intake as well as eating fruits and vegetables are a sure way to keep the skin fortified from the inside out.  I encourage my clients to make water intake pleasurable by infusing filtered water at home with fruits like lemon and strawberries and herbs like mint and basil.  Frozen fruit can also be used as colorful ice cubes to cool and subtly flavor water.  It's important to do whatever it takes to get water in your system throughout the day and especially in the hot, summer months.  And don't forget to mention that they may want to watch their caffeine intake, as well, as that can leech water from their system.

Protect the skin without clogging it. 

Obviously, one of the main skin care goals of summer is to make sure that our clients have quality SPF for their face and body that they are willing to use every day.  It should go without saying that clients want to feel protected but not overly coated or clogged during the summertime.  Reach for formulations with micronized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that are powerful yet lightweight and sheer.  Powder SPF formulations are more accessible now and offer a lot of convenience.  Formulas should be noncomedogenic and compatible with your clients skin conditions. 

Many clients also benefit from UPF clothing if they will be outside and under the sun for several hours per day.  UPF clothing, from reputable companies, can cover large areas of the body and help clients avoid a build-up of SPF creams on their skin.  Other food for thought is asking clients about the frequency with which they change their pillowcases and how often they launder their hats and clean their sunglasses.  All of these items come in close contact with the skin and can do more harm than good when they are contaminated with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria and sweat.  I often see what I call "sunglass acne" in the sunny months of summer.  I notice that clients breakout right where the rim of their sunglasses touch their skin.  Sweat, makeup, oil and bacterial can build up there and clog and infect the skin.  Sharing your best tips can save clients a lot of aggravation this time of year so definitely ask about their lifestyle and think outside the box.

Cleanse with conviction. 

Proper skin cleansing can make or break your clients summer skincare success.  It's important to tell them that cleansers that were appropriate in the cooler months may not be adequate during the hot summer.  Most clients benefit from more heavily foaming cleanser formulations containing  a hefty amount of surfactants.  And if your clients wear makeup certainly recommend a double cleansing process at night.  For most, with skin that is suffocated by humidity, oil, makeup and layers of SPF, one cleanse is simply not enough.  Advise clients that gentle, pH balancing toners with a witch hazel base are great for completing the cleansing process and making sure skin is squeaky clean.   Furthermore, don't fail to offer great skin clarifying support products like clay masks, spot treatment products for breakouts with salicylic acid, cooling facials mists, and gentle at home chemical exfoliation treatments to keep skin clean and hydrated in between their spa visits - I always recommend peel pads.

 Clients should always have a toolbox of products for use at home that can effectively remedy several skin care concerns.  Anticipate your clients summer skin care woes and share your wisdom with them at every spa visit.