… whether you have 5 minutes, 30 minutes or 2 hours
No matter how jam-packed your schedule is, there’s a get-summer-ready beauty routine for every woman out there. Here’s your guide to getting the best hair, skin and nails at home—even if you only have a few minutes. (Because hello: running the world eats up a lot of time.)
Take a few moments with a jade facial roller to invigorate and wake up your skin. Jade rollers have been used for centuries in China thanks to the soothing properties of the stone and the benefits of gentle facial massage. “The jade’s cooling effect relieves stress, reduces facial puffiness and dark circles and firms the skin’s tone,” says Sarah Walker, NP, of McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center. Start at the center of your neck, gently roll up your face and end at your hairline.
“Brushing hair and scalp is so underestimated,” says Austin-based hairstylist Micky Kibbe. “It loosens dirt and debris, helps keep your drain from getting clogged with loose hair and stimulates the scalp.” He suggests brushing gently—but thoroughly—before you shampoo, and detangling at the ends before working your way to the scalp.
Treat yourself to a mini mani, sans polish. “Five minutes is the perfect amount of time to get ragged, dry cuticles back into shape,” says dermatologist Dana Stern, founder of Dr. Dana Beauty. Start by pushing your cuticles back with a washcloth after a warm bath or shower, then cut the base of any hangnails with a sharp nail clipper (don’t cut the cuticle, though). Then moisturize your cuticles with sunflower oil, which increases nail flexibility and decreases brittleness.
Two words: topical probiotics. “Probiotic-infused skincare gently exfoliates and provides antimicrobial [care] calms blemish-prone or dull skin,” explains Paula Simpson, nutritionist and co-founder of Zea Skin Solutions. Probiotic beauty products—from sprays to cleansing oils—are rightfully having a moment. And yep, there are vegan options.
If you’ve got 30 minutes, Simpson suggests decongesting your skin with a probiotic mask. Mix a probiotic capsule with 4 Tbsp of soy yogurt and apply the creamy combo evenly to your face (steer clear of your eyes). Alternatively, use a plant-based liquid probiotic mixed with a little olive oil. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wipe your face with a lukewarm washcloth and slather on moisturizer.
For an easy half-hour hydrating treatment, Kibbe suggests pampering your locks with coconut oil, which provides major moisture for extremely dry scalp and hair. For best results, start with the ends of your hair and work your way up to the scalp, then comb the oil through your strands. Pop on a shower cap and whatever Netflix show you’re bingeing at the moment, and let the treatment sit for 10-plus minutes. Rinse with cool water.
Our moms were right: Hands are one of the first places to show signs of skin aging. Since you can’t go back in time and put sunscreen on, why not try treating the damage with glycolic acid? You can find a number of natural product options, and though they’re technically marketed for your face, there’s no reason you can’t slap ’em on the backs of your hands. Use them two or three times per week for the best results, and be sure to use a natural sunscreen after treatment.
Two hours of uninterrupted time to take care of your skin is what self-care dreams are made of. Start with a dry body brush to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate circulation, focusing on your hips, thighs and arms. Then, prep a seaweed and Epsom salt bath, which Simpson promises will draw out toxins, soften skin and relax tired, sore muscles. While you’re at it, throw on an oatmeal face mask, crack open a good book and c-h-i-l-l.
Who says you need to sit in a shampoo chair at the salon to give your hair the love it deserves? Give yourself a full wash, rinse and repeat—complete with a scalp massage—while you’re in the shower, then take your time with styling (which, according to Kibbe, will make your blowout last much, much longer). Use a few drops of marula or argan oil as a leave-in moisturizer before blow-drying. They’re both so light they’re guaranteed not to turn your head into a grease ball.
Your feet have been trapped in boots and gloves all winter long, so it’s high time they get the full pedi treatment in time for sandal season. Start by stripping off old polish, and then exfoliate to remove dead skin and calluses, says Dr. Stern. Finish the process with a rich moisturizer, like shea butter, then coat your feet in lavender oil mixed with a carrier oil of your choice. Put on a pair of cozy socks, and you’ll have turned an otherwise simple regimen into a relaxing bedtime routine.
If you’ve spent the winter hiding your damaged hair under a beanie, you need these ingredients in your natural hair care products.
Nourishing dry hair is yet another of the zillion-and-one uses for coconut oil. Choose a natural shampoo or conditioner containing coconut oil, and you’re choosing smoother hair.
Yes—your hair needs sunscreen too. Shea butter is rich in vitamins A, C and E, all of which help protect your hair from UV damage. You can find shea in many natural hair care products, but remember: it only has an SPF of 4 to 6. Be sure to pop on a hat to protect your scalp.
Nothing will give you more stunning surfer-girl curls than a natural sea salt spray. Look for bonus nourishing ingredients like kelp extract. Ariel, we are coming for your crown!