Summer left us last week in one big gust of humid rain.
It all seemed rather abrupt.
If you, like me, didn't treat your skin as kindly as you should have during the dog days of summer (Not enough sleep! Too much sun! Too much pore-clogging sunscreen! Unfortunate patches of residual self-tanner!), now is the time to hit reset.
Here are ways to detox your summer skin.
Tea tree cleanser. I picked up the Trader Joe's Spa Natural Facial Cleansing Pads with Tea Tree Oil ($3.99) on a whim while grocery shopping, and they are fantastic. I like to use them after I've been sweating, like after the gym or time spent in the sun. They make my skin feel incredibly clean, and have a gentle exfoliation.
Scrub. Sometimes, though, you need more than gentle exfoliation. When my skin needs a serious scrub (like to get rid of lingering self-tanner), I use the St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub, $3 at drugstores. It packs a punch, so only use it twice a week.
Clay masks. The ultimate pore detox. These suck out all of the gunk that might be trapped in your pores, and make them appear magically smaller. I love the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask, $2.47 at Walmart, which also can be used as a spot treatment to quickly clear up a blemish. Clay masks are very drying — which is great if you're oily — but should be used sparingly if your skin tends toward dry. Once a week works well for me.
Sheet masks. These are awesome for so many reasons. The one-time use mask is a pre-soaked piece of paper that comes in a foil packet, so it is amazing for travel. I'm a huge fan of the CVS store brand Beauty 360 Tissue Facial Masks, $3.99; I also love the Dr. Jart + Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask, $7.50 at Sephora. There's a sheet mask for every skin concern under the sun: detox! Antiaging! Moisturizing! Unfold the sheet, and line up the eye, nose and mouth holes so you can see and breathe while you wear the mask for about 15 minutes. Bonus benefit: You'll look like a creepy serial killer and scare your children while improving your skin.
Sleeping masks. You wear these masks all night long to really let the good-for-you ingredients sink in. (Let dry for about five minutes before you climb into bed so the product doesn't smear all over your sheets.) The one-time-use Sephora Sleeping Mask, $4, comes in eight varieties. I'm partial to the Pearl Mask, which promises to perfect and brighten.
I can't wait to be bright and perfect.