Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Summer beckons us to bare most of our skin, but it also requires being summer and sun-smart.  That includes wearing lighter weight and natural fabrics like linen and cotton that can breathe; choosing a softer color palette for our clothes and even our makeup colors; wearing more green and light floral fragrances; exfoliating our skin more (especially if we use a self-tanner); keeping our sun-exposed skin hydrated more; being more diligent about the way we protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays; adjusting our skincare regimen to conform with climatological and environmental changes, such as air conditioning or outdoor humidity; and, going for that squeaky clean fresh feeling, without overly drying the skin and keeping skin properly hydrated.  All of these changes are part of readying yourself for the summer.  Following are reviews of products to get you prepped and primed for the heat and sizzle of summer, a season many feel is the best season of all.  Enjoy…

~ Sensory Indulgences ~
Aveda ~ Summer Color Collection ~ Petal Essence Eye Color in Lantana, Cinnamon Bark and Papyrus, Nourish-Mint Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Kukui, Lip Liner in Cocoa Bean, Eye Definer in Wild Indigo and Jade Vine ~ The best color palette is from nature.  The seasons give varying hues of color to the landscape, whether trees, ground cover or flowers.  Nothing is more visually pleasing than the first colors of summer.  The Aveda’s Summer Color Collection is just that.  The Eye Colors beautifully illustrate the rich colors of blossoms with Lantana, a color that reminds me of the suns twilight glow cast that turns flowers to a burnished copper; Papyrus is a rich mossy green; and, Cinnamon Bark is a Cattail brown.  To accentuate these beautiful Eye Colors, both the Eye Definer pencils in Wild Indigo and Jade Vine create a frame for the impressive Eye Colors; Wild Indigo is a rich purple-y blue and Jade Vine, a green that’s reminiscent of new leaves on the tree.  Both colors standalone, or when used to rim the eye and smudged, the colors are intensified.  The Lip Glaze in rich Kukui drenches lips with a dewy gloss that nourishes and plumps without drying; key ingredients include organic vanilla and mint, plus pomegranate oil.  The Lip Liner in Cocoa Bean is the perfect way to accentuate the lips before filling in with the beautiful Lip Glaze.  These beautiful colors can go from subtle to glam and are never out of season.

Aura Cacia Comforting Geranium Aromatherapy ~ Bubble Bath, Mineral Bath, Body Oil, Pure Essential Oil, Geranium Cool Hottie Essential Solution Mist, and Aromatherapy Car Diffuser ~ I absolutely adore the aroma of Rose and essential oils.  All of these products use the highest quality of essentials oils, making for an in-depth and full-bodied authentic and pure rose aroma; many synthetic or lesser-quality essential oils have harshness to their aromas or smell "off".  Using the products after a day in the sun, whether it was for work or fun, made for the ideal way to end a long hot summer’s day.  I used the Bubble Bath as a shower gel and loved the aromatic cleansing bubbles; the product thoroughly cleansed without drying the skin and left a subtle aroma of exquisite rose.  The Mineral Bath was used for a foot soak, which was followed by the Body Oil; again, the exquisite aroma of rose enveloped me and comforted my frenzied senses.  The Essential Oil was a nice add to the Car Diffuser, but is also ideal to add to a neutral scent lotion or hand cream; my drive was made calming and relatively stress-free; too bad I don’t have the capability of spraying the aroma from my rear exhaust pipe onto the impatient driver behind me.  The Solution Mist was refreshing and hydrating.  Enjoyed using all of these products, which are perfect for taking with whenever traveling; the restorative and aromatherapeutic properties of these products is ideal for calming travel-weary nerves.

Crabtree & Evelyn ~ Somerset Meadow Eau de Toilette ~ Somerset Meadow is reminiscent of an English meadow of trees and a ground cover of blossoming fragrant flowers.  This is summer is at its fragrant best.  This exquisite new fragrance delicately touches your senses with a fragrance profile that includes citrusy Bergamot, fruity blackberry, green ivy and fern, white blossoms of water lily and geranium, creamy musk, willow and moss.  From the first spritz to dry down, the soft aroma was gentle and gradual and hearty enough for its beautiful fragrance to remain throughout the day without withering.  It is a perfect representation of the season.

~ Protect & Restore ~

Altera Bamboo Beach ~ Summer Sun Recovery Spray, Summer Ocean Waves and Mango Coconut Refreshing Dry Shampoo ~ These are ideal hair care products to protect, nourish and restore hair that’s been ravaged by the sun, saltwater or pool.  All of these products protect hair from both UVA and UVB harmful rays.  All three products have formulation profiles that include key ingredients like organic bamboo extract, Tahitian coconut and Brazilian mango and coconut and have a subtle fresh coconut aroma.  The Recovery Spray, a leave-in conditioner, leaves sun-parched hair revitalized; adds just the right amount of conditioning, without weighing down the tresses.  The Ocean Waves is a lightweight texturizing and styling spray that gives maximum hold and volume without any stiffness or weightiness; for those with long tresses, this is also a gentle detangler.  The Refreshing Dry Shampoo is perfect for on-the-go and out-of-time shampooing.  The talc-free powder has a silky consistency that gently coats the hair shaft and acts like a magnet to remove any build-up on the hair, leaving it as clean as if you wet-shampooed your hair.  In addition to purchasing these products online from the manufacturer, they’re also available at select brick and mortar retailers and online retailers.

COOLA Suncare ~ Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion ~ This EcoCert After-Sun Lotion delivers beautifully on its promises to replenish, renew and moisturize.  Key ingredients include agave, aloe vera, lavender oil, rosemary extract, Mandarin oil, cedar wood oil and sunflower oil aid; these ingredients help to heal sun-damaged skin, restore and re-hydrate and tone.  The Lotion has a dense formulation, but was quickly absorbed; leaving a non-greasy protective veil of hydration that’s non-tacky; the aroma is marvelous.  Can be used on either face or body pre or après sun; I also enjoyed using it as a hand lotion. 

Fia Fini ~ Exceptional Skin Serum ~ This wonderful product is part of their anti-aging skincare line.  Key ingredients include two potent antioxidants, South African Marula oil and Vitamin E, which protect and revitalize.  The Exceptional Skin Serum was quickly absorbed, left no tacky or greasy residue, and was gentle and non-irritating; after each use, my skin felt silky and hydrated.

Kate Somerville ~ Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment ~ The skincare industry has seen many advancements in technology and substance, but those that have had the greatest amount of success have been tree and fruit nut oils (shea, marula, kukui, coconut, macadamia, argan, etc.).  Dilo Oil (Tamanu oil) is the latest miracle oil to hit the industry scene; it’s been benefitting Fijians, Tahitians and Ni-Vanuatus for hundreds of years in firming, restoring and hydrating skin; it has also been prized for its healing and firming properties.  I loved using this product.  Not only did my skin drink it in as if I had been neglecting it to become parched, but I loved how my skin felt after using it.  My skin actually looked healthier with a slight glow, as if the circulation had also been re-awakened.  A little of this is all that’s needed; no tacky or greasy residue was left and was quickly absorbed.  A few of the key ingredients include Dilo seed oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seed extract, Vitamin E, sunflower seed oil, plumeria (frangipani) flower extract, rosemary extract, jasmine and brown algae.  The product has an exquisite aroma to it.  Although an “oil”, the skin isn’t left feeling tacky or greasy.  The skin is left drenched with a natural moisturizer that keeps the skin hydrated throughout the day.

Navitas Naturals ~ Chocolate Coconut Water and Cacao Lip Balm ~ Chocolate Coconut Water combines dehydrated and freeze-dried Coconut Water and Chocolate cocoa powder; this process preserves maximum potency.  It’s the perfect thirst quencher after a workout routine and provides necessary electrolytes and vitamins.  After my walks in hot and humid weather I work up a sweat and thirst.  Mixing the Chocolate Coconut Water into cool water was not only delicious tasting, but it immediately quenched my thirst and eliminated any feeling of dehydration; key ingredients include Vitamins A and C, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium and calcium; this product is certified organic and doesn’t contain any GMOs.  The Cacao Lip Balm is a great take-with and ideal when you need to rehydrate sun-exposed the delicate and parched lip area. Contains all organic ingredients that soothe and nourish, including sunflower oil, raw cacao butter, rosemary extract, coconut oil and calendula.  Glides on and has a delicious chocolate aroma.

Neutrogena Suncare ~ Beach Defense Water + Sun Barrier Lotion, Ultra Sheer Body Mist, Clear Face, Sensitive Skin, Pure & Free Baby and Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool ~ Beach Defense is a water and sun barrier lotion with a broad spectrum of SPF 70.  Ultra Sheer Body Mist provides a broad spectrum of SPF 100+ in a weightless spray that quickly dissipates.  Clear Face is a lightweight liquid lotion that’s water resistant and ideal for those prone to breakouts; provides a broad spectrum of SPF 55.  Sensitive Skin is a fragrance free lotion that’s water resistant and provides a broad spectrum of SPF 60+.  Pure & Free Baby is a lotion that won’t run into eyes or sting them; it’s also water resistant and provides a broad spectrum of SPF 60+.  Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool offers full-strength sun protection on wet or dry skin; it’s also water resistant and provides a broad spectrum of SPF 45+.  The thing to remember about sunburn and sun protection is that not everyone has the same skin pigment; not everyone’s skin can tolerate the intensity of the sun’s rays the same; some folks have more melanin pigment than others, while others who are fair skinned, have lesser amounts of melanin pigment, making them prone to sunburn faster; people with more melanin pigment may not burn as easily as fair skinned people, but they still can get sunburned.  What I like about this entire product line is that it offers a variety of sun protection formulations geared for various skin types and ages; all products contain Neutrogena’s patented Helioplex broad spectrum sun protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays; and, all products are dermatologist tested.  Whether the preference is for spray, lotion or cream, or suitable for applying on skin that’s either dry, or wet, or both, or having various SPF ratings (30+, 55+, 70+, 100+) that protect depending on the length of time one plans on being out in the sun, there’s definitely a product for fit for anyone in the Neutrogena Suncare line.

Oxygen Pür ~ Oxygen Serum ~ Everyday life literally sucks the oxygen out of your skin and Oxygen Serum is an ideal product to keep handy to rehydrate and renew parched skin and infuse oxygen backed into the skin, which will improve circulation.  The Serum is gel-based and feels very cooling as it’s applied.  Repeated use is said to increase the efficacy of the infusion of Oxygen into the skin.  Over time, oxygen depletion from continued climatological and environmental exposure can age skin and dull its appearance.  The Serum was quickly absorbed, without leaving any tacky or greasy residue; after using it a few times, my skin felt and looked refreshed and was hydrated; the neutral aroma is ideal for sensitive skin.

Pevonia ~ Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 and Eye Make-up Remover ~ Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 not only protects the face and body against direct and indirect harmful UVA and UVB rays on both face and body.  It also protects the skin from drying and is an ideal anti-aging product.  Key ingredients include Vitamins E, C and B, titanium dioxide, green tea extract, aloe leaf extracts and French rose.  The consistency was rich and quickly absorbed without leaving any greasy or tacky residue, or any film of “white”, like other sunscreen products; the product has a fresh and subtle, green aroma.  Unless you’re wearing waterproof eye makeup, even if you don’t go near the water, the heat and humidity of summer can make it feel like it’s melting and dissolving your eye makeup; what results is faded color and raccoon eyes.  The Eye Make-up Remover was very gentle and quickly and thoroughly removes any trace of makeup, without drying out the delicate tissue.  Key ingredients include cucumber, lettuce, arnica, ivy, elder and mallow.

Supergoop ~ SPF 30 Anti-Oxidant Infused Sunscreen Mist With Vitamin C ~ An effective Sunscreen product for the body, I found that the Mist needed to be at least six inches from the body before spraying, otherwise, the Mist pools and runs and too much of the product is dispersed onto the skin.  The Sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB harmful rays and its Vitamin C infusion is ideal for protecting skin from the effects of the environment, which tends to accelerate the aging process.  Besides Vitamin C, other key ingredients include lavender oil, peppermint oil, grape seed oil, tangerine oil, grapefruit oil, lime oil, ylang ylang oil, orange oil, sunflower oil and spearmint oil.  With such a wonderful formulation of these aromatics, even after shaking the container, the predominant aroma I discerned was that of alcohol.  The mix of oils did lend to a protective barrier on the skin that had a slight tack to it.

 ~ Revive & Renew ~

C. Booth ~ Ginger Sugar Body Scrub and Coconut Fig Body Lotion ~ The Body Scrub did a wonderful job of exfoliating my skin gently and effectively, leaving my skin smooth and hydrated; but was slippery in the shower, so when you use the product, be careful not to slip and slide; had a very pleasant aroma.  Key ingredients include sugar, ginger, shea butter, cocoa butter, sunflower oil, olive fruit oil, grape seed oil, Vitamin E, Mandarin orange peel extract and pineapple fruit extract.  The Body Lotion also had a pleasant aroma and went on smoothly without leaving any tackiness or greasy feeling.  Key ingredients include coconut oil, cocoa butter, caffeine (firms), sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, Vitamins A and E and shea butter; alpha-hydroxy acids are also in the formulation, which aids in subtle exfoliation of the skin.  My skin soaked up the Lotion quickly; this was deal when used after the Body Scrub, which primed my skin for the Lotion.  Products are available at mass brick and mortar retailers and also online retailers.

Kanshi Naturally Beautiful ~ Deep Cleansing Cucumber Facial Masque, Salted Coconut Body Scrub, Naturally Healing Massage Oil and Lifestyle Mimosa Candle ~ These products performed beautifully.  The Facial Masque had a very pleasant aroma and didn’t dry my skin, leaving it moist and hydrated.  Key ingredients include Kaolin clay, sea salt, cucumber oil and peppermint oil.  The Body Scrub was very effective in exfoliating and my skin was left feeling hydrated, but not greasy; again, be careful using the product in your shower, as the run-off leaves a slick and slippery residue on the base of the shower.  Key ingredients include sea salt, olive oil and coconut shell powder.  I loved the Massage Oil and my skin soaked it in without leaving any tacky or greasy residue; the aroma was also very pleasant.  Key ingredients include oils of soybean, coconut, sesame seed, carrot, orange peel and grapefruit peel, plus Vitamin A.  The Candle added a delightful aroma while burning in the bathroom, completing my at-home spa experience in revitalizing, renewing and rehydrating my skin.

Nudo Olive Oil Soap ~ Myrtle & Red Grape, Honey & Lavender and Rose & Shea Butter ~ After long periods of being lulled into using as a convenience liquid soap, I often forget what a luxury it is to use a beautifully artisanal crafted bar of soap that not only delivers a revitalizing clean but leaves the skin moisturized.  I loved these handmade soaps; the skilled hands of La Merche Italian artisans, Luigi and Lucia, made each of these soaps using the purist, simple and locally sourced olive oil and ingredients that cleanse, nurture, calm, soothe and protect.  Each variety is hard milled and has its own unique aromatherapeutic property; these soaps also didn't get mushy in the soap dish.  The base ingredient for the soap bars is Nudo Olio D’Oliva ExtraVergine, which is high in beneficial antioxidant vitamins.  The Myrtle & Red Grape variety also includes organic Chianti grapes from Siena vineyards, which promotes healthy aging, and the herb myrtle, known for its toning and calming properties.  The Honey & Lavender includes nourishing, healing and emollient honey, as well as lavender, which are also healing and antiseptic.  The Rose & Shea Butter is especially gentle on sensitive skin and contains organic shea butter, which is an outstanding moisturizer, plus two different rose extracts, wild rose and cabbage rose, and geranium essential oil; the extracts and essential oil add a complex rose scent that is pronounced, yet beautifully subtle (if you’ve read enough of my articles, you already know what a fan I am of anything with rose extract or essential oil in its formulation).

SheaMoisture ~ Coconut & Hibiscus Facial Mask With Songyi Mushroom ~ Summer brings heat and any activity will produce increased levels of sweat and perspiration, which causes a build-up in dirt and grime on the face.  This mask was very effective in getting rid of accumulated gunk on my face and left it feeling clean and hydrated.  Key ingredients include coconut oil, hibiscus extract, shea butter, kaolin clay, jojoba oil, avocado, aloe leaf, comfrey root extract, papaya extract and Songyi mushroom extract.  The only downside was that the product left my washcloth stained.  This product is available at mass brick and mortar retailers and also online retailers. 

T. Langhans Handcrafted Castile Soap ~ Castile Collection of Frankincense & Myrrh, Lemongrass, Vanilla, Patchouli, Bergamot, Lavender, Goat’s Milk & Oatmeal and Pink Grapefruit ~ These olive oil soaps are also artisan crafted using centuries old formulation profiles that include therapeutic-grade essential oils; these soaps offer gentle cleansing that leaves the hands soothed and restored.  Unique to some of the formulations were added whole oats and lavender buds; a full-sized bar of these types would make for an ideal exfoliation bar. Imported Italian Olearia San Giorgio Virgin Olive Oil is the primary ingredient, and depending on the variety, other ingredients include frankincense, myrrh, bergamot, lavender, clary sage, cedarwood, lemongrass, patchouli, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk.

Whish Body ~ Hair Inhibiting Swipe in Pomegranate and Shave Crave Shave Cream in Blueberry ~ The Inhibiting Swipe not only provides a barrier to rapid hair re-growth that’s accumulative the more frequently it’s used, but it leaves a layer of moisturizing protection, which keep skin hydrated.  Key ingredients include organic aloe and shea butter, panthenol, Vitamin A and Chapparel extract (hair growth inhibitor).  The Shave Cream made shaving less of a chore, because it primed the skin with special moisturizers that helped the razor glide, rather than tug at tissue.  Key ingredients are organic and include shea butter, green tea, coconut oil and jojoba seed oil.  Both products are ideal for baring sleek summer skin.
~ Outside In ~
From Dr. Heather Hausenblas, Pd.D., University of Florida College of Health and Human Performance ~
*First and foremost stay hydrated and drink at least half your body’s weight in ounces of water or low sugar juices every day.
*Go heavy on antioxidants, like high potency organic Resveratrol to counter damage caused by free radicals.
*Add cocoa to your diet, especially in the form of a supplement that’s rich in flavonoids. Research has shown that cocoa protects the skin from wrinkles and collagen damage caused by sun exposure.
*Take a supplement with Monolauric acid and Vitamin D3 to give your immune system a healthy leg up at all times.
*Use skin, hair and nail protective collagen booster and keratin booster supplements to restore good cellular health to the outermost tissues that maintain the integrity of everything inside.

From Edward Miranda, M.D., Board Certified Plastic Surgeon ~
*Puffy Eyes: try a cold compress for five minutes in the morning before you leave for work; caffeinated eye creams help to stimulate blood flow.
*Dark Circles: botanical skin lighteners like licorice and kojic acid work to lighten up the delicate skin underneath the eyes.
*Lines & Wrinkles: retinol, antioxidants and peptides grow, rebuild and retain collagen levels and also reduce wrinkles.
*Sagging Lids: only cosmetic surgery will fix lids that have begun to sag, but there are simple makeup tricks to reduce the signs of drooping lids.
*No Knife Eye Lifts: to tighten and brighten your skin and eyelids, Botox injections, chemical peels, lasers and hyaluronic acid injections.

From Troy Edwards, Celebrity Makeup Artist and Expert on Maestro Market ~
*Moisturize: grab a small "purse sized" can of "spritzer" or a water mist.
oundation: use a powder foundation compact to refresh your makeup.
*Concealer: this item that can make you look awake in an instant.
*Eyes: use "Long-Wear" product on eyes, whether stick or pot.
*Cheeks and Lips: a must-have is  "pot rouge".

From Grand Velas Spa, Riviera Maya, DIY At-Home Spa Treatments ~
*Bubble Bath: ¾ bottle of natural dish soap, food coloring, essential oil and rose petals.
*Natural Body Exfoliator: olive oil and raw sugar.
*Milk and Honey Facial Cleansing Cream: 2 teaspoons each of honey and warm milk.
*Intensive Oil Treatment for Dry Hair: 3 tbs. almond oil, wheat germ oil or soy oil, 3 drops of chamomile or rose essential oil. 

ISPA member spa locations and their favorite summer product picks ~
*Africology (Columbia, MO) ~ Shimmer Butter
*Ambre Blends (Indianapolis, IN) ~ Skin Tonic
*Astara Skin Care (Phoenix, AZ) ~ Age Defying Complex
*Bioelements (Chicago, IL) ~ Triple-Action, Rapid-Resurfacing Facial Kit
*Dermastart, Inc. (Winter Garden, FL) ~ Reflect BB Cream SPF 45
*Epicuren Discovery (Laguna Hills, CA) ~ ORAC Age-Protect Serum
*HOLOCUREN (Reno, NV) ~ Miracle Lips
*HydroPeptide (Issaquah, WA) ~ Anti-Wrinkle Polish and Plump Peel
*Hylunia Skin Care (Henderson, NV) ~ Nightly Renewal Serum
*jane iredale (Great Barrington, MA) ~ PurePressed Base
*LED Technologies (Elizabeth, C)) ~ reVive Light Therapy Systems
*Mama Mio (London, UK) ~ Mighty Moisture
*Naturopathica Holistic Health (East Hampton, NY) ~ Plant Stem Cell Serum
*NightCare Products (Chicago, IL) ~ NightCare Heel Treatment Kit
*Phytomer (Salt Lake City, UT) ~ Night Recharge Youth Enhancing Cream
*PMD (Salt Lake City, UT) ~ Personal Microderm
*Salt of the Earth (Woods Cross, UT) ~ Whipped Body Crème
*Skin Authority (Carlsbad, CA) ~ Age Defying Moisturizer
SOTHYS (Miami, FL) ~ Peach & Apricot Oxy-Vitamin Treatment
*Spongelle (Inglewood, CA) ~ Anti-Cellulite Body Toning Buffer, Passion Fruit-Yuzu Aromatherapy
*Universal Companies (Abingdon, VA) ~ Control Corrective Skincare Systems EGF Serum 30
*University Medical Pharmaceuticals (Irvine, CA) ~ WrinkleMD
*ZENTS (Denver, CO) ~ Mandarin Body Oil

~ Wrap Up ~

Whatever you’re planning on doing this summer, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, slather on that sunscreen, wear those sunglasses and don a sun-safe chapeau.  And while you’re at it, try some of these wonderful ideal seasonal products and make them part of your daily routine ~ be it work or play.  Above all, be summer and sun-smart! 

That’s it for this edition.  Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker.  She also serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa.  She also served as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz.  You can email her at


(Introductory photo from  All other photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

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