Summer Transitions

For me, summer always brings a feeling of opening. I don’t know if it’s my skin receiving vitamin D for the first time in months, or the sudden explosion of opportunities to attend fun things like picnics, concerts, and arb walks –but summer means an infused airiness to my mood and temper.

Summer also means some serious hair and skin management because otherwise the humidity wreaks havoc on my body. While good for my joints and fatigue, summer is not as kind to my extremities. With naturally large pores and some really excellent sebum production, the summer heat brings sweat and melting make-up into the mix. My 2C hair becomes a frizz mane and to be honest I’ve never really found the cure for this. But boy, have I tried.

Summer may ease up some of life's tensions and certainly relieves the ever-present gloominess of winter, but it also requires a transition of self-care practices, external and internal, to maintain a self-confident balance through the worldly weather shifting. Here are the ways I try to intentionally keep up, please share yours as well!

My Skin: As mentioned, summer is brutal for my combination skin. In the winter I usually go plain jane with the oil cleansing method to keep everything moisturized and call it good. I do not have to be rigorous in my routine or maintenance. Come May, it's a different story. All of a sudden my face breaks out. My nose remains flaky and yet my pores become extremely enlarged. Even as my skin absorbs sunlight, my dark undereyes remain unchanged. My foundation feels too heavy but I don't feel good about being bare faced because there are too many things happening on my face.

In the past I've dealt with this harshly, by fighting battles with my skin. This summer I'm determined to go a softer, gentler route. If I prioritize being kind to myself, I should prioritize being kind to my skin.

I have been trying Biore pore strips twice a week, but honestly, they have not been very effective. I think since it is not just that my pores are clogged it is that they are genuinely large, the strips don't do much to reduce the appearance. I'm considering trying the 10-step Korean Regime. I know I’m like a year late, but everything I see looks legit and also I'm a sucker for intricate routine. In the past, I've stopped wearing moisturizer in the summer because I haven't wanted to put anything on my already heavy-feeling face, but this spring and summer I've switched to a lighter formula. In the morning I've been using a dime-size amount of Neutrogena's Oil-Free SPF 15. It hasn't been too heavy and I appreciate the sun coverage.

My soul: Summertime still means bathtime with excess epsom salts to ease pain, but I start taking them with iced tea and cool lemonade. I'll put cucumber and lemon in my water just because. And also to encourage hydration, crucial for both skin and soul! I wish I switched to cold brew coffee, that might be something I push myself to try, because my adamant insistence on 4 cups of hot Joe even on the hottest of days is no longer working for me. I wear crop tops and long skirts and daydream about owning sunglasses I can't afford. Summer makes me feel like there is an unusual amount of possibilities, like the gap between what I want and what I have is narrowing—like all I have to do to get there is believe in myself.

How are you sweating it out and celebrating this summer? What sunlit soft things are you going to indulge in? What adventures will you challenge yourself to go for? Goals you want to share out? Tips you have for my ever-needy hair and advice for my haircare routine? All thoughts are much appreciated.