Get your glow on
How to—safely!—get that sun-kissed skin you’ve always heard about
Most of the year, beauty and cosmetic trends come and go like Bachelorette contestants. But during the summer months, there are three timeless looks every woman wants: a bikini-ready bod, beach wavy hair, and glowing skin. As to the former two, there isn’t much we can help you with besides urging you to get back to that pilates class and recommending a good bottle of surf spray (my favorite is Garnier Fructis’s Wonder Waves). Fortunately, though, Nashville is chock-full of professionals and experts to help you achieve the latter, and arguably most elusive, demand.
Since last Labor Day, we’ve been able to lean on our foundations and bronzers as a crutch—limping along as we conceal our imperfections. These tricks work just fine until the temperature rises and the humidity instantly melts our cover up, causing a flesh colored cascade down our necks and onto our summer whites. Sadly, summer heat necessitates as little make-up as possible, meaning that basic skincare never matters more than during these three months.
First, know your skin: Stop by Dermess Renewal by Baptist Hospital or in Franklin for a complimentary skincare evaluation. Their medical aestheticians will assess your skin and prescribe the right treatment plan and products to get your skin back on track.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate: Dr. Brian Biesman of the Nashville Centre for Laser and Facial Surgery reminds us that “Hot weather with humidity can mean dehydration and clogged pores for your skin. With sun, sweat and the use of sunscreen, dead skin cells build up on the face and body. Exfoliate regularly with a scrub or loofah a couple times a week and moisturize immediately after a shower.” For a more natural look, he also suggests switching from a liquid foundation to a lighter, mineral based makeup and taking a break from mascara by using Latisse to lengthen and darken eyelashes.
Once you have your basics worked out, it’s time to come to terms with summer’s hottest accessory: your suntan. From understanding the risks of sun exposure to caring for the inevitable burns, it’s crucial to prepare your skin as best you can for those long beach days.
Never leave home without it: Sunscreen. “We’re broken records about this,” says Dr. Michael Gold of Gold Skin Care Center in Green Hills. “If you don’t wear sunscreen you’re kidding yourself. All these other treatments and products won’t do anything if you don’t wear it.” Gold Skin Care offers free skin cancer screenings in June and July so you no longer have an excuse to avoid having that mysterious mole checked out. Start this summer with a clean slate and learn the basics of sun protection. Blair Scott of Gold Skin Care advises using a physical (as opposed to a chemical), broad spectrum sunblock and says to reapply it every two hours when you’re in the sun.
Keep your cool: You know a product is good when you see a personal stash on a dermatologist’s desk. The Avène line harnesses the therapeutic qualities of the Saint Odile spring in Avène, France, which has been used since the 18th century to treat patients suffering from skin afflictions like psoriasis, eczema, and burns. “It’s magic water,” says Blair. “It draws out the heat.” Dr. Gold uses a spray bottle of the magic water (which always stays at an even 72 degrees, no matter what) for a refreshing and immediate cooling effect. They also recommend using the Avène Trixèra emollient cleansing bath for soothing relief after too much sun—especially for children.
Ready for Your Close-Up:
Now that your skin is effortlessly glowing and safely sun-kissed, there’s a new hurdle: that darn social calendar that won’t let up. With a wedding every other weekend—complete with ex-boyfriends and/or ex-husbands to impress—and family reunions and barbecues filling in the gaps, your skin needs to not only glow, it must defy the test of time. Here are a few easy, low-maintenance treatments that will ensure you look better this year than you did last year. After all, summer lovin’ isn’t just for teenagers.
Stop wrinkles in their tracks: Sara Morris at DeLozier Robbins Plastic Surgery suggests being pro-active when it comes to your fine lines and wrinkles. In the summer, she says, “you can make wrinkles like crow’s feet a lot worse because you tend to squint more.” But if you do Botox before that trip to Nantucket, she says, “you can’t squint hard enough to make wrinkles.” (Also ask Sara about CoolSculpting—the office’s latest technology that literally freezes your fat cells away!)
Try a light chemical peel: Susan Griffin at Nashville Cosmetic Surgery Center recommends a very gentle chemical peel to get that extra bit of exfoliation that we need in the summer. “For an event,” she says, “come in about a week prior, and let us put a gentle peel on you. It really takes off just the top layer to unclog those pores and make that glow come back.” She assured us that you won’t look raw and red like Samantha did in Sex & the City (my biggest fear), and that you’ll be party ready in no time.
When in doubt, do as the celebrities do: The newest celebrity skincare craze (available exclusively in Nashville at Gold Skin Care) is a three-step line called Shinso. Using very advanced technology—do the terms peptides and fullerenes mean anything to you?—this product works immediately on contact. “If you’re getting ready to go out,” Blair assures us, “you’re literally going to get a facelift.”
Want more?: Dr. Biesman recommends that women in their 40s and up consider a noninvasive skin tightening treatment like Thermage or Ultherapy to give “a nice little lift.” Using radiofrequency energy, the treatment tightens loose skin, and gives a smoother appearance instantly. Dr. Biesman says to plan this treatment about a month before your event.
The experts weigh in on summer’s two perennial questions:
What is the best sunscreen?
- Obagi Sun Shield SPF 50
- Neocutis Journee SPF 30
- Elta MD SPF 47
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60
- SkinMedica Environmental Defense SPF 50
- BullFrog SPF 30
Who does the best spray tan in Nashville?
- Private Edition
- Parlour 3 in Brentwood
- DeLozier Robbins Plastic Surgery
- Gold Skin Care Center