August 30 2014

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A Few Simple Tips To Fight The Humidity


This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail

This summer’s hot and humid conditions have been especially cruel to my skin and hair. Are there specific cosmetic formulas that really prevent makeup from melting and tresses from frizzing up, or am I doomed to looking greasy and poofy for another month?

In hot weather, we perspire and our skin becomes oilier—that’s a simple side effect made worse by the kind of intense humidity we’ve been experiencing lately. From a scientific perspective, there’s only so much oil that even a pressed powder-type makeup product can absorb. Once you exceed that point, as you’ve been experiencing, the product can actually begin to sag and clump on your skin. I can’t really offer you a magic bullet, but to keep things as sweat-free as possible, follow a few basic pieces of advice: First, clean your skin before you put on any makeup to eliminate any residue; always choose an oil-free foundation to minimize grease; and finish with face powder to help set your makeup. It’s simple, but this formula works. As for frizzy hair, I’m a big fan of Living Proof’s No-Frizz system, which is made with polyfluoroester. The molecule is very effective for preventing frizziness in all hair types—even in high humidity. It’s the gold standard.

James Hammer is a cosmetic chemist who analyzes and formulates products for the beauty industry. He works with the Pharmasol Corporation in Easton, MA.

Photo: Courtesy of Living Proof

The Doctor Is In