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Summer prep is more than just buying sunscreen

Mary A. Castillo

There are two schools of thought on getting ready for summer.

One is practical and the other is much more philosophical. But when

you combine both, you might have the formula for a great summer.


“Before any seasonal change, I advise everyone to get a facial,” said

Catherine McGrath, spa director of Aquaterra Spa at the Surf and Sand

Resort. “The skin is affected differently by each season and also at this

time you should consider changing products.”


Even though you’ve probably heard it a million times, McGrath can’t

stress enough the importance of sunscreen.

“The sun robs the skin of elasticity and moisture,” she said. “The

best sunscreen is one with an SPF 30 rating and that has vitamin C, which

prevents free radical damage.”

She also recommends switching to lighter moisturizers that won’t clog

pores. Moreover, sunscreen won’t do you any good if you forget to use it

on the back of the neck, the hands and the decollete.


However, keeping your body’s largest organ healthy doesn’t have to be

hard. If work and responsibilities crowd out the number of days you can

spend at the beach, McGrath recommends Aquaterra’s aromatherapy or

hot-stone treatments as a mini-summer vacation.

“You not only inhale the essences,” she said, “but the oils are

absorbed through the skin and into the central nervous system, which is a

great way to renew yourself.”

Renewal is the keyword for the second school of thought in preparing


for summer. Summer isn’t a time for getting a spiffy wardrobe or a

bikini-ready body. It is a time for getting naked, said Sohiela Mozzafar,

fashion consultant with Couture Collection.

“Summer is a time to reveal your inner spirit and heart,” she said.

“Clothes are symbols of who we are and where we want to be.”

Mozzafar urges shoppers to invest in clothes that make them feel good

about themselves. Instead of paying attention to fads, her rule of thumb

is to focus on comfort and how a piece of clothing makes you feel.

To prove her point, she subtly gestures to a conservatively-dressed

client who makes a beeline for a gauzy halter dress reminiscent of

Marilyn Monroe.

“So many women come to me who have had to keep who they are and what

they really feel hidden inside,” she said. “Summer is a great time to

make that transformation and be more open with who we are.”

Along those same lines, getting the body in shape does not have to be

merely skin deep. Jason and Melissa Winn of Bikram Yoga Laguna Beach help

students work on their bodies from the inside out.

“Bikram Yoga heals the organs, strengthens core muscles and improves

digestion and the immune system,” said Jason Winn, who with his co-owner

and sister, Melissa is a certified Bikram instructor. “With those

benefits, students also experience a smaller appetite.”

Bikram Yoga, developed by Bikram Choudhury, consists of 26 asanas

(poses) and two pranayamas (breathing exercises) that are practiced in a

room heated to 105 degrees. To survive a 90-minute session, students must

drink plenty of water prior to class, practice on an empty stomach and

consider giving up cigarettes, alcohol and heavy foods.

The Winns are upfront that the practice is challenging and consistency

is key.

“You get a great awareness of your body,” said Melissa Winn. “At first

it can be frustrating when you find your limitations, but with hard work

you can see and feel the changes in your body.”