9 Ways to Improve Your Beauty Routine

Here, tips to get your glow on and breeze through the rest of summer.


1. Shed your skin
In the summer months, aesthetician Yiota Moldovanos of Vancouver’s Miraj Hammam Spa sees her fair share of dehydrated skin. “We get a lot of people from Calgary,” she laughs. Moldovanos gently exfoliates, extending facial treatments right down the décolletée, because, by now, “your turtlenecks are packed away until fall.”

Instead of granular scrubs, Moldovanos prefers alpha hydroxy acids to lift away dead skin cells from delicate faces. Look for blends including lactic acid to hydrate and glycolic or fruit acids to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells. “Most people are unaware of the difference between a scrub and alpha hydroxy acid, and are amazed when their skin bounces back,” she says.

Try: Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask;  Laboratoire Dr. Renaud Peel Pads


2. Body alive
Having hidden it beneath layers of clothing during winter months, it’s easy to neglect the skin below our neckline. A body lotion containing glycolic acid or an oil-based salt scrub can gently return your scaly exterior to a smoother state of being.


3. While you are sleeping
After menopause, our skin’s oil production slows down. Factor in the decreased humidity in the winter air and you have a perfect storm for increased skin sensitivity.

Overnight sleep masks—part of the new wave of Korean skincare products—infuse much-needed moisture to help strengthen the skin’s barrier, while you get your shut-eye.


4. Your daily dose
If you haven’t already, add vitamin C to your skincare regimen. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C already exists in our skin, protecting it from oxidative stress like UV light, pollution and smoking.

“But as we age we have decreasing levels of vitamin C,” explains Toronto dermatologist Dr. Carrie Lynde. “So less ability to counteract oxidative stressors.”

Applied topically, Vitamin C does double duty, helping prevent damage while also correcting it. Not only does it boost skin’s self-protective abilities, it also “stimulates the collagen in our skin—an essential scaffolding material that gives it that nice firmness,” adds Lynde.

Try: Indeed Labs’ vitamin c24;  La Roche Posay Redermic C10


5. Try a little tenderness
Retinol, with its ability to stimulate collagen growth, has long been considered the gold standard in anti-aging skincare. But as we age, slowed-down sebum production and residual winter dryness can make skin more sensitive, making retinoids a challenge to use.

“Retinoids are not always tolerable for everyone,” says Dr. Lynde. “I recommend using them every third day and working your way up.”

To further smooth the way, try retinol with “training wheels.”

Try: Dermalogica Overnight Retinol Repair is paired with a buffer to help gradually build tolerance, while Avene’s PhysioLift Day Smoothing Emulsion contains retinaldehyde, a gentler form of vitamin A that the body converts to retinol.


6. Brighten up
Sunscreen application should be a year-round ritual. “I advise sunscreen 365 days of the year, not just in July and August,” says Dr. Lynde. If you’ve neglected your sunscreen application over the winter and early spring, you may see the effects of duller skin and discoloration. Skincare ingredients like niacinamide and hexinol inhibit discoloration for brighter skin.

Contemplative mature woman with hand framing face

7. Rosy lips
Remember way back when Crayola offered one pale (peach) “flesh-tone” crayon? Diversity eventually won the day in 1992 with the launch of a collection with shades for all skin tones.

Today, many “nude” lipstick ranges (a procession of nearly identical beiges and salmons), suffer from the same paucity of choice.

For a modern nude lip, avoid matte lipsticks that “don’t reflect light and make lips look smaller and dry,” says L’Oréal Paris makeup artist Eddie Malter. Instead, choose creamy lipstick or a tinted balm. Rosy pinks look natural on pale skin while deep burgundies will read “nude” on darker lips. You can layer a lip plumper like No More Thin Lips on top for added volume.

Try: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Fig for darker skin, or L’Oréal Colour Riche lipstick in Doutzen’s Nude for paler skin.


8. Instant glow
If your skin is greyer than a rainy April sky, you can inject some life even if you’re flying out the door with this speedy glow-booster from Rodial makeup artist Quyet Nguyen.

He pumps equal parts (a dime’s worth of each) of a lightweight moisturizer and Rodial’s serum-based Hyaluronic Cheek Sculpt on the back of his hand and then applies the mix evenly all over the face. It may sound scary, but the result is “instant radiance” for even the most ashen and time-pressed.


9. Finger paint
Enjoy a spot of whimsy? For Essie Canada Lead Nail Artist Rita Remark, nail art is for everyone, not just style-crazed 20-somethings. “Choose subtle colours to make your designs a little more sophisticated,” she says. “Instead of pink and blue, try white and grey, or black and nude.”

“A negative space manicure with an empty moon” (the semicircle at the base of the nail) or “a gap in the middle of each nail draws attention without being garish,” says Remark.

To minimize unevenness and create an immaculate canvas, “regardless of age, I still use ridge filler as my favourite base coat,” says Remark. “It smooths away ridges and colour-corrects as well. It’s like BB cream for your nails.”

Try: Essie polish in High Class Affair, or Quo by Orly Color Amp’d Nail Lacquer in Speakeasy