Stay Hydrated: 15 Summer Beauty Essentials for Your Skin
Drinking water is a great way to keep your skin healthy, but these innovative skin care products can offer some great hydration as well. Photo: Imgorthand/GettyImages
Hydration. It’s all you really need to make sure there’s water, water, everywhere.
Studies show that drinking water regularly (6 – 8 glasses a day) keeps us healthier, allows all of our internal organs — including our brains — to function better, and helps our skin — the body’s largest organ — look better, too. But even though the heat may be on, skin sometimes needs a boost to lock that moisture-boosting hydration in.
“It is important to stay hydrated all year round, but this becomes especially challenging during the summer due to hot temperatures and the effects of the sun and air conditioning,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman. “If we don’t properly replenish our bodies and skin with hydration, we run the risk of becoming dehydrated, which has numerous adverse impacts on our skin and bodies.”
And, without hydration, skin loses its bounce, she adds, “It’s not as firm or bright, so fine lines and wrinkles appear more exaggerated.”
Drinking water, of course, is the best way to replenish our bodies with hydration. But many of us are shying away from plastic water bottles in an effort to be kind to Mother Nature. And it was exactly that which prompted Canadian Nicholas Reichenbach to launch Flow Water. After viewing a mountain of plastic water bottles while at Burning Man, he was inspired to search out better-for-the-earth packaging, as well as better-for-you water. Sourced from an artesian spring in Ontario, the water is rich in electrolytes (great for dehydrated bodies) as well as natural minerals. The goal is to have the already eco-friendly juice box-like Tetra Pack containers completely reusable and compostable by 2025.
In July, Flow Water went public, so clearly Reichenbach’s idea is catching on, one that the founder and executive chairman says is all about “our mission to make products that are healthier for our customers and the planet.” The water offering has grown from the original to an additional seven flavours with zero calories.
Becoming healthier, inside and out, is what it’s all about. “Maintaining the skin barrier is also key to healthy, hydrated skin,” says Francine Krenicki, VP of product development at StriVectin, during a presentation of the company’s new multi-action Super-B Barrier Strengthening Oil with probiotics. The oil features StriVectin’s patented NIA-114 formulation of niacin and vitamin B3, and is said to feed dry and dull skin, while also calming “cranky” skin. Just a few drops added to your moisturizer can help to also even out skin tone.
“Your skin’s microbiome is like your fingerprint, unique to you,” she adds. “Keeping your skin’s microbiome in good balance along with a strong skin barrier is the key to overall skin health and wellness.”
So drink up, and slather it on. Here, a few more summer essentials — for women and some are great for men, too — to keep skin looking fresh and hydrated.
Formulated with the company’s Skin Energizing Complex — vitamin B3 and pentapeptides —it has two times the hyaluronic acid of that contained in Olay’s deep hydration serum. According to Olay, hyaluronic acid works like a moisture magnet to draw it into your skin and keep it hydrated all day. It can help skin respond better to stress and also fade dark spots, reduce the appearance of pores and improve the skin’s moisture barrier.
A water-based gel treats the skin to hydration without a greasy feeling. The non-comedogenic formula contains hydrating organic grape water, a natural prebiotic to keep skin’s good bacteria in balance. It’s also a soothing antioxidant that, combined with aloe vera, is suited for normal-to-combination skin. Cruelty-free and vegan; one per cent of the sales go to the For The Planet initiative.
Made with organic cornflower and plant-based hyaluronic acid, this cream promises to hydrate, plump and brighten all in one. The texture is gel-cream, so it’s easy to massage into the skin. In fact, the company prints the interior packaging with easy-to-follow instructions for a facial massage. At-home spa day? We say, why not.
This ultra-lightweight moisturizer provides hydration for softer, more supple skin. Its fast-absorbing solution, made with The Queen of Night Cactus, works well for combination-to-oily skin (because even oily skin can become dehydrated) and helps improve moisture levels without the weight of a heavy cream. Perfect for priming and perfecting the skin prior to makeup application. Also a good bet for the guys as well. Expert tip: For an ultra-cool sensation, leave your Cactus Water Moisturizer in the fridge. (Available at Hudson’s Bay on July 1, 2021 and Shoppers Drug Mart locations across Canada on August 15, 2021)
This ultra-lightweight moisturizer transforms into water on contact, infusing skin with four types of hyaluronic acid to target each layer of the skin’s surface. It can help increase moisture levels in the skin, which in turn gives a softer, healthier appearance. Free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, mineral oil and petrolatum. Cruelty-free and vegan. (Available at Shoppers Drug Mart after August 15)
This double-duty product acts as a toner and a hydrating face mist. With white tea and a mineral mix of zinc to keep shine at bay, magnesium to help calm skin, copper to rejuvenate and malachite to protect the skin from environmental pollution, it also shields the skin from oxidative stress. It adds a dewy glow, it’s hypoallergenic, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free.
A cult favourite from New Zealand, the Antipodes skincare line launched in Canada in 2020. The lightweight formula used in Baptiste is juiced up with plant-based hyaluronic acid combined with manuka honey, one of nature’s antioxidant powerhouses. And the packaging is neutral enough for those of you who don’t mind sharing, so he can borrow it, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Maybelline
Enriched with hyaluronic acid, this formula, which comes in 15 shades, visibly smoothes the lip surface and enhances the lip contour for hydrated, fuller-looking lips. With repeated use, hyaluronic acid can also help add a subtle plumpness to the lip contour. Plus the glossy shine and the “XL” wand makes application easier.
After 15 years of practising holistic medicine, skin therapy and makeup artistry, Victoria Radford of Toronto’s Radford Studio launched her cosmetics and skincare line based on her clients’ feedback. Her eye and face masks feature a cooling hydrogel infused with real gold (an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory). Hyaluronic acid, carob seed to plump skin and vitamin-rich sea moss round out the restorative formula — and a bit of down time while the masks do their work is worth their weight in gold.
Made with a hydrogel infused with peptides, Camellia Sinensis leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate and a tightening complex to help diminish fine lines, infuse moisture, tighten, build collagen and firm the skin. After nearly two decades acting as director of Toronto-based plastic surgery medical spa, founder Amy Newman Brown saw a need for patients wanting to take greater part in their self care outside their procedures. “Soke is about aging with agency and the concept that luxury is more about time than money,” says Newman Brown. True to her word, unlike many other chest masks where you wear them while you sleep, Newman Brown’s Soke promises to show results in just 30 minutes.
This gel helps to rapidly soothe sensitive skin that has been irritated or dehydrated due to aesthetic interventions, sun exposure or even hair removal. The cool gel also helps to relieve itchy skin due to dryness and helps restore the skin’s natural barrier function. A mix of plant and marine ingredients with antioxidant benefits is suitable for all skin types. Expert tip: Apply immediately after laser treatments, sunburns, hair removal or other skin irritations for hydration.
From a BIPOC Canadian mother-daughter team, this natural performance body care brand was inspired by the body’s ability to heal and correct itself. Ingredients are natural, sustainable, plant-based and 100 per cent vegan. All the company’s fragrances, scents and aromas come from essential oils. The souffle has a whipped texture for fast absorption, and is enriched with hydrating mango butter, soothing aloe vera juice, anti-inflammatory safflower oil and repairing jojoba oil.
Whether you know your skin type or not, chances are, during the summer months, it may veer to the oily side. Made from volcanic stone, this roller absorbs oil and helps combat shine, without removing moisture. You can use it all over your face — a massage and a makeover all in one.