Summer is here, and that means it’s time to head to the beach, soak up the sun and enjoy the outdoors in any way you can. But, with a lot of hours spent outside—coupled with the stress stemming from a global pandemic—comes a need to take care of your skin in any way you can.
So, we chatted with beauty maven and owner of Old Town-based Bellacara Angela Sitilides to get some expert advice on prioritizing skin care this summer. From the importance of self-care to curating your very own facial from home, this is everything you need to know.
Why do you think including a beauty or self-care regimen is so important in general, and more specifically right now during a time of stress for our country?
I think that taking care of your physical well-being always helps your mental well-being. As many of us have been under increased stress, it is even more important to take care of ourselves physically. This includes taking walks, getting fresh air, talking with friends and yes, even pampering ourselves. A nice, relaxing bath or a face mask can really give us some much-needed rejuvenation.
Talk to me about at-home facials. How can one do a facial from home?
I like to start by cleansing my face really well. I generally begin with an oil-based cleanser to remove any makeup or debris from the top of my skin. I pump a little into my hands and work it around in upward, circular motions on the skin. A warm, damp, microfiber cloth is a great way to remove the cleanser. I follow with my regular cream, gel or milk cleanser, and I generally remove this the same way. Second, I exfoliate. I like to use a chemical exfoliator like a glycolic or blend of acids. Usually, peel pads like Dr. Gross or Cane and Austin.
I follow that with a mask. The type of mask I choose depends on the needs of my skin at the time. I either use a soothing, brightening or hydrating mask, which I spread on my face and let sit for about 15 minutes. If you have an at-home steamer, it’s great to precede the mask with about five minutes of steam to really open up the pores. Remove the mask with a warm, damp cloth. Lastly, spritz your face with your favorite essence and follow with your moisturizer of choice.
Are there specific products or companies you swear by for the perfect at-home facial?
What self-care regimens have you been taking part in recently to give you solace?
I’ve been taking more time to do my nails and I’ve been trying to get a relaxing bath in a couple times a week.
Now that summer is basically here, what products do you recommend for protecting your skin and why?
Sunscreen is essential. Aside from its anti-aging benefits, it’s crucial to protecting ourselves from melanoma. I carry a variety of sunscreen lines from SkinCeuticals, Coola, Supergoop and Soleil Toujours. There are items in each line that I love for different reasons. I say the best sunscreen is the one you’ll wear. I try to offer a variety of different textures and application techniques (creams, sprays, sticks and powders) so that everyone can find something they’ll use.
There has been so much innovation lately in sunscreen. Supergoop makes a glow screen that is actually an illuminating makeup primer with SPF 40 that is so great, I keep selling out. Soleil Toujours makes one of my favorite lip gloss and balms and it has an SPF 15. There really is no good reason not to wear sunscreen anymore.
For more conversations with beauty experts of the region, subscribe to our weekly Shopping newsletter.