Summer Hair and Skincare Essentials

Refreshing serums, nourishing lotions with sun protection, frizz-foiling masks and more

For many people, slathering on oils and lotions in the colder months likely feels more finessed than weighing down one’s skin and hair in the sweltering summer heat. Still, the warmer months present specific circumstances that are necessary to address, from intense UV rays to humidity causing frizz. Some of the following products are crucial for health, while others are more about aesthetics, but all are effective during sweaty days and balmy nights.

Mineral Sunscreen

From recently launched Ourself—a skincare brand underpinned by a patent-pending delivery system of effective ingredients—this mineral sunscreen ($75) provides broad spectrum, reef-friendly protection from UVA and UVB rays. The formula also incorporates Firming Intides™ (peptides that smooth the skin), as well as vitamin E, sunflower extract and bisabolol (antioxidants that nourish and soothe) and rice bran extract and jojoba esters, which increase the skin’s suppleness. This formula is ideal for warmer months, replacing the thick, heavy texture of many sunscreens with a super-light feel and finish.

“CEDELLA” Papaya Enzyme Toner

From BAO (aka The Black Apothecary Office Inc), an accelerator for Black and Latinx creators in the beauty and wellness space founded by Jae Joseph and Brianna Wise, comes the refreshing and alcohol-free “CEDELLA” Papaya Enzyme Toner ($65). For all skins types, the 5.8-oz toner utilizes geranium, sage and cucumber extract, in addition to the papaya extract enzymes, to tone and stimulate beautifully. For those who shy away from toners during the winter, it’s especially refreshing during the warmer months.

Takamichi Hair Kit

Developed by the acclaimed NYC-based stylist Takamichi Saeki, founder of the Lower East Side salon Takamichi Hair, this “ultimate hair kit” ($76) includes a luscious, nourishing shampoo and a strengthening conditioner (both in large 12 fl oz bottles). Saeki spent four years perfecting his Takamichi product line of everyday essentials—invoking his more than 20 years of hands-on experience with clients. Each is produced in Italy from potent components born of a unique ultrasound extraction. From camellia seed oil to sage, these well-crafted haircare solutions provide luster and accommodate sensitive scalps.

Cleansing Body + Scalp Polish

Refreshing and nourishing, the Cleansing Body + Scalp Polish ($55) from Natureofthings incorporates moroccan lava clay for detoxification and essential oils (lavender, geranium and grapefruit peel) for hydration. Use it as a shampoo or a body soap, it will leave hair feeling silky and skin feeling supple and smooth.

Apple Cider Vinegar Daily Scalp Serum

New from dpHUE, this Apple Cider Vinegar Daily Scalp Serum ($49) provides lightweight hydration while also promoting hair growth. This refreshing formula feels cool and soothing on the scalp, and doesn’t contain any oil so it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. Made with apple cider vinegar, apple stem cells, peptides, maca root, hyaluronic acid, lavender extract, aloe vera and fire tulip, this potion calms itchiness and stimulates dormant hair follicles. The brand suggests daily use, with just a half dropper enough for full coverage.

Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask

With patented peptide technology, K18’s leave-in molecular repair hair mask ($75) acts as a bond-builder and works to reconnect broken keratin chains. After washing hair (and skipping the conditioner), simply emulsify a pump or two (depending on hair length) of this lightweight cream in hands before running it through damp tresses, then wait four minutes before styling or adding more product. The result is softer, bouncier hair that clumps more effectively (for those aiming for natural curls) and feels silkier. It also helps to reduce breakage, brittleness and frizz—a woe for many in hot, humid weather.

’70s Bedspread Apple Soap

Cumberland, Maine-based homewares brand Wary Meyers’ collection of limited edition art soaps includes this cheerful ’70s Bedspread Apple iteration ($16)—a 100% vegetable-based soap in a retro color scheme. Scented with a tinge of apple, the small-batch soap pays homage to the myriad designs these hues have been incorporated into over time.

Café Noir Body Exfoliant

The potent Café Noir Body Exfoliant ($100) from African Botanics treats dryness and poor circulation, while also promoting skin’s elasticity. This chemical and physical exfoliating scrub is packed with active ingredients, including black coffee beans, volcanic pumice, Marula nut shell, Buchu leaf, Cape Rose geranium, cypress oil, niacinamide and more—a formula that leaves skin feeling soft, clean and with a slight tingle.

Touch of Hydration Set

While sunscreen is no new thing, Supergoop’s Touch of Hydration Set ($52) includes not only an SPF body butter, but also a hand cream with sun protection. It’s the first-ever preventative potion of its kind, and the hand screen comes in a handy, transportable 30ml tube. Both formulas offer SPF 40 protection (with active Avobenzone, Octisalate and  Octocrylene) but they absorb quickly and don’t leave a chalky residue. There’s a subtle, refreshing fragrance of eucalyptus, clove and vanilla that doesn’t overpower.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image also courtesy of Wary Meyers