State of Affairs

I always wait until the last few days to go to the Minnesota State Fair. Not because I don’t like it, but because it always signals the end of summer and the casual ease that summer allows. The truth is, I just don’t want summer to come to an end. Maybe it’s because my hair (which is wavy) always looks better in more humid weather, or that my skin (which is getting older) looks better when there is moisture in the air. Either way, I always attend the fair with trepidation, knowing with certainty that the end of summer is near.

The end of the fair also signals the time to start thinking about steps to incorporate into my routine to ease the transition from summer to fall. I like gradual change, so here are a couple of important steps that help my family and I transition from the lazy days of summer to the cool nights of fall looking our best. Let’s start at the top and work our way down.

My family loves to swim. This means lots of chlorine buildup in the hair, especially for my husband and daughter who are fairer than I. We use a chlorine-removal shampoo at least once a week in the summer and continue to do so throughout the year, but with a little less frequency in the fall and winter. A tried- and-true favorite is UltraSwim ($6). UltraSwim is easy to find, kid friendly, and specifically formulated to remove chlorine from the hair.  Pureology Purify Shampoo ($27) is another favorite. It is a little pricier, but has zero sulfates and is amazing on color-treated hair. (I also happen to love the smell.)

Follow up the detoxifying shampoo with a moisturizing treatment for everyone in the family. Aveda makes Sun Care After-Sun Hair Masque ($27) which is formulated to restore moisture to the hair specifically after exposure to sun, chlorine, and salt. Or, try Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deeeeep. At $5, it’s a bargain the whole family can use—my daughter recently gave her Barbies a treatment and I didn’t even mind.

The next thing to think about is your skin. If you are not already doing so, this is the time to incorporate an exfoliation into your facial and body routines. I actually keep all my facial and body exfoliants in the shower so I don’t forget to use them. The reason it’s so important to incorporate an exfoliant into your routine—especially during this time of the year—is that as your tan fades, the skin doesn’t look dull and flaky. Exfoliating also helps your moisturizer work better because you’ve removed a layer of dead skin cells, which allows the moisturizer to be applied more evenly over the surface of the skin and work more efficiently.

There are two types of exfoliation. First, manual: like a scrub you move on the skin with your hands or a Clarisonic (which I swear by). This method removes dead skin cells through friction. And then there’s the chemical: These are considered non-abrasive. They work by dissolving the glue that bonds dead skin cells to other cells. Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator ($45) is a wonderful chemical exfoliant, especially for more sensitive skin.

For the body, try Aveeno Body Cleansing Smoothing Body Wash ($6). This is a manual exfoliant that smoothes skin with natural exfoliants such as rice beads and walnut shells. This might sound harsh, but they are quite gentle and leave the skin exfoliated but not stripped of moisture. And as long as you’re adding a few things in the shower, don’t forget a good, old-fashioned pumice stone for your feet.

Once the skin has been exfoliated it’s time to moisturize. For the face you can begin to incorporate a richer moisturizer in your evening routine and continue to use up your lighter SPF moisturizer during the day. My favorite body moisturizer right now is Alba Botanical Natural Very Emollient Body Lotion ($13). It is, as the name implies, very emollient, yet lightweight and absorbs quickly, allowing you to get dressed right away. When moisturizing, don’t forget those extra-dry areas: elbows, knees, and feet.

Incorporating these steps will help ease you into fall and make you feel better about eating those cheese curds!