ALONG WITH UPDATING your wardrobe for a new season, getting back to work means recharging your beauty routine. For expert advice on how to accomplish that, we went to Ada Polla, CEO of Alchimie Forever, a gentle, anti-aging line of skin-care products. She had just returned from a vacation in Greece when we talked about how she gets back to business.
JB: What’s one of the first things you do when you get back from summer vacation?
AP: I schedule an appointment to get my hair cut. Sun, water, wind, salt and chlorine wreak havoc on your hair. Get it trimmed.
JB: Okay, is this blasphemous to ask — what if you have just a tiny bit of color, ahem, tan, from your vacation break; how do you keep it for a while?
AP: Exfoliate your skin — use something gentle like Aveeno’s. Of course, I’m partial to Alchimie’s Gentle Refining Scrub. It will actually brighten your skin and make that light tan last longer. Don’t use a aggressive scrub or peel, though. On skin that already has a high melanin content, it can lead to hyper- or hypo-pigmentation.
JB: What if you spent the summer at your desk and look it? Any suggestion?
AP: Get that glowing vacation look without the rays. Use a bronzer, but only until the beginning of September. After Labor Day, a tan looks fake.
JB: What’s your take on facials?
AP: I’m a fan. Whether you have them routinely or not, post-vacation, it helps exfoliate your skin and get it back in good shape. It’s great to use a waterproof sunscreen, but that total sunblock you need can clog your pores.
JB: Should you then change your sunscreen after vacation?
AP: I use an oil-based, waterproof La Roche Posay product with a very high SPF when I’m on the beach, but when I return to the city, where my time outside is limited, I use one that’s not quite as serious. Still, don’t underestimate city sun; wear sunscreen.
JB: Any more post-vacation skin tips?
AP: Don’t forget about your feet. People get pedicures, but it’s not just how your nails look. Feet get a beating from constant exposure during the summer. Alchimie’s Dry Skin Balm softens and moisturizes the skin; any Jergens body lotion also does the trick.
JB: Final words of advice?
AP: Find yourself some attractive new office supplies. I go to Paper Source and Dandelion Patch. It’s easier to go back to work when your surroundings are cheerful.