28 Jul 2012

Beauty Routines… and the Summer


The summer in Provence is hot, hot, hot…. dry, dry, dry.

In the summer I am very happy to stay close to home, I want to enjoy the garden, the views and most of all I want to swim. Swimming is something that I have grown to love even though I am an Australian

That should mean a passport to excellence in all water sports but the powers that be forgot mine.

My family all swim like fish… maybe even better than fish… so I think that I amuse them as I struggle to complete my lengths.

I don’t mind the slow crawl because I feel the benefits that much more every day. My flexibility, aerobic strength and general posture… all seem better.

Swimming makes you sleep so well with that can’t-keep-my-eyes-open-any-longer kind of sleep.

~ ~ ~

There are downsides… beauty ones to a long hot summer.

My hair becomes terribly dry, even with a cap… and my skin… needs extra super duper nourishing.

My hairdresser recommends Moroccan oil or Argan oil, it is extracted from the Argan trees in Morocco, as a regular treatment to improve the texture and give a sleeker finish with or without a blow dry.

It really works and my hair is so much more manageable when I use it.

Just a small amount blended through, especially on the ends, is enough.

A few drops every day on freshly washed my hair… later in the season I use it only once or twice a week as a conditioning treatment.

When I have the time I will apply the Argan oil and then put a hot towel on my head, covering my hair and allowing the oil to really penetrate.

~ ~ ~

 Summer Beauty Routine

Argan Hair Oil  //  Moroccan Oil Treatment

and the vintage style caps… that’s what i will be wearing every evening as i crawl up and down the pool

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deborah Peterson Milne

Hello Vicki – Reading how your wonderful swims makes me long for our swimming pool in Houston. We all too loved to swim and it’s great family fun. I am dying to try YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum, heaven knows I need it. I too have been using Argan hair oil & it does works wonders. May you have a warm, fabulous weekend. You’ve had glorious weather and here in the U.K. it’s been the wettest summer on record. I think I chose the wrong place to call home!!

All my best to you xx

Anita Rivera

Oh Vicki, I trust your advice 100%. Like I said before on one of your posts, I need to RUN to find that YSL cream. At 54, I still look pretty good, but the old moisturizer is not doing the job that is required for a 54 year old!!!

THANK YOU for your tips and I LOVE a HOT and DRY Provençal day….enjoy! Anita

Heather in Arles

When I was at Yale, my mentor, the amazing Wesley Fata (who danced with Martha Graham and was in the original cast of “Hair”) always pushed us to swim, saying it was the ultimate workout but also the best way to fight aging. And he was walking proof, just as vital in his (at the time) late 60s as we were in our 20s and 30s! So good for you for swimming even if it doesn’t come naturally (nor does it for me).

And for your French readers, Monoprix has a great Argan oil (two actually, organic or not) for under 10 Euros. :)
Bon weekend!


Use the Argan oil since I found it on a Moroccan visit. It is much cheaper over there and I hope my stock will last long enough. Then I will return to the Kerastase hair products which for me are the best. I use the Eucerin hyl filler since 2 month . I am neither very impressed nor disappointed. Love the Clarins product much better and the price difference is not a matter. Enjoy your sunny days in the beautiful Provence

The Enchanted Home

I love discovering new beauty secrets…….so thank you for the list, I have written them down and am going to get them…I am overdue for new products!
I remember the “swimming pool hair days”….my hair turned green and dry, not a pretty combination. Thankfully there are all kinds of great products out there now to counteract that…..but swimming to me, is still one of the best exercises. If only I practiced what I preached:)

Carolyn Bradford

I am also writing down these new beauty secrets! So glad you shared them! I use Morrocan Oil shampoo already and have loved it this summer! I bet I will find myself in the pool swimming laps this afternoon after reading this! It sounds very soothing for some reason! Glad you are enjoying your summer! I also love Kiehls deep moisturizing cream for my face at night at well has their hand lotion…it works wonders!

Amy Kortuem

I’m not a swimmer, but for some reason my hair looks like it this summer! I’ve never had dry hair, and have been meaning to try Moroccan oil…now may be the time, after your beauty prompt here.

My summer beauty treat is never having to blow dry my hair. I do in the winter simply so it doesn’t freeze on my head (Oh, Minnesota!) – but in the summer I can let it air dry and turn into its natural self. Maybe the Moroccan oil will work some more magic on it now!


Those swim caps are lots of fun. I remember wearing one with flowers on it when I was a kid .. thankfully I don’t think there are any photos of that!

It’s always fun to share product lines. We all battle the same issues as we mature. Spending a little more on a product that relieves some of the visible signs of aging is worth every cent. There’s one line you mentioned that I’m not familiar with .. I’ll look forward to checking the link.


Fay Hamilton

Thanks for the swim hat information – will get on to them – love the floral one. Have been using the Argan oil for years since introduced to it by a hard selling Moroccan in the Casbar at Marrakech. Its good for the flappy bits on the arms too. Fay

Pamela Terry

Wonderful summer tips, Vicki.
I have been using Oi Oil for my hair for awhile now… since recommended by my trusted and beloved hairdresser. It’s marvelous for long hair. And I’ve also become addicted to SK-II. Fabulous, fabulous stuff. Makes my skin look like a six month old baby’s.

Helen Tilston

Hello Vicki

Enjoy swimming and the beautiful summer.
I, too, love the Moroccan oil and have been using it for several years, at my hairdressers recommendation. I love reading about skin care products.
Hope you watched the opening of the Olympics, how wonderful and beautiful.

Helen xx

Kit @ Chic Provence

HI Vicki!

A parallel day… just today at my hairdresser’s I asked for help for “swimmer’s hair” and was told the exact same thing here in Redwood City… Moroccan oil… and I too adore swimming, it takes you completely away from the “real” world, all you can see is water and all you can hear are your own thoughts.. like a meditation… I’m hooked too…

But that skin treatment sounds essential.. investigating that soon!

xoxo Kit


Those swim caps!!!! I love them. I don’t think I have a special beauty routine in the summer. I wear SPF year round, but I really should do something more special for the summer. I’m learning from you. :)


Love your site!!! we are visiting Provence for the first time this October & love reading about your experiences in Provence…..thankyou!!
From Brisbane Australia so also get hair issues- my hairdresser gets me to put a few drops of Morroccan Oil in with my hair conditioner, mix together then rub in your hair while you shower.
Once again many thanks for your suggestions especially concerning Driving in Provence!!


Thank-you for sharing some wonderful tips and products to keep us looking and feeling our best while we enjoy summer. I love coconut oil, which is edible and I use it once a week to wash my face.
It feels so good and works marvelously as a make up remover. I try to limit the number of products by keeping my beauty routine simple. Lots of Water. Good sunscreen and a hat always!


Oh, Vivki, that pic is so hilarious! It made me smile.
Argan oil has made miracles for my dry and coloured hair.
I’ve been using Kiehl’s products this summer, but that YSL serum sounds so tempting I probably go and buy it sooner than I empty the ones I’m having now…


As a former hair care salesperson, if you lighten your hair with foils etc. you ALWAYS want to cover your head with a hat – the sun will continue bleaching the hair with exposure, turning it dry and the color will become brassy. Also, wear a swim cap if in a pool – chlorine will ruin it too. There is a product for this: Malibu 2000 – they have products that treat all kinds of issues with colored hair. :-)

Mary Jo

I love that photo Vicki. I am using some new organic products from Hawaii and not sure how it will work out but so far so good. Hope you are enjoying this last weekend in July!

xo Mary Jo


I love the sound of the YSL serum & I love Lierac as a brand….I have a favourite pharmacie that I visit every August, I love to browse and choose whatever takes my fancy – although to be honest, it all always sounds so good!!

I have stocked up with suncare products…funny you should mention argan oil, I bought some a few months ago & definitely plan to use it on holiday. I am planning to take extra care in the sun with my hair this year & have bought some products specifically for that purpose – the sun (and constant holiday oiling & moisturising) is so good for my skin but it dries out my coloured hair so much. I have some great holiday hair products from Clynol & Ojon that I will be trying out.

Great post :) XX


That pic is fabulous! I’m staying out of pools and sun in general – in 100 degrees plus that’s just asking for trouble! Of course being this old damage control is a bit late! We were never aware of the danger the sun caused to our teenaged skin back then. Yes, I baked with the best of them on the beaches of SW England – not that it got that hot there – and now am paying for it!

We did wear bathing caps though – I recall some very ugly ones!!!!

Love your post as always Vicki.
Hugs – Mary

shiree hanson segerstrom

I loved this post Vicki. I was interested to hear you were from Australia originally. One of my favorite trips with Jim and Christian was to Carnes. We enjoyed Sydney too, the zoo, the opera house, the shopping. But for me, the trip to the Great Barrier Reef was the best memory of my life when Jim was alive, and Christian was young. Shiree’

Debbie McMillan

I love argan oil. It’s amazing. I only used to buy chemist skin care products and make-up, but now that I’m older I am now indulging in the dept. store brands. I love Clarins skin care products and am now using a Chanel foundation and powder. The Vitalumier Aqua liquid foundation is light and you can layer it if you want more coverage. The Vitalumiere Eclat compact makes a great finish over the foundation. It’s a splurge for me but you dont use a lot so it last a long time. The finish is natural yet you get a nice coverage. The only Chemist foundation I’ve liked is Almay.
I have tried so many chemist foundations over the years and I have a drawer full that are not suitable for my skin. So in the long run it’s cheaper and you look better after expert advice.

Melanie Snyder

If you like Argan oil, Josie Maran makes a wonderful sunscreen.

Jennifer Butcher

Classically beautiful photo’s Vicki. Love a long hot summer, and love to swim, as does my daughter who learnt to swim in Australia at age 6 months and hasn’t stopped since. We now live in Johannesburg which is bone dry most of the year. We can go 6 months without a drop of rain. My tips on saving hair : definitely wear a cap if you are swimming in a pool for extended periods with colour treated hair, all manner of things can go wrong. Not convinced this works for a beach look!! Rather take some leave in conditioner & just run it through & broad comb after swimming. Always keep hair out of the sun, tied up in a twist, a plait or under a hat. Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax is amazing both before a blow dry and in the ends of your hair before bed, its just absorbs. As is henna oil under a shower cap for 10 mins in the sun, or just your body heat under the cap will get it working. Wash out with shampoo & condition & dry as normal… & be amazed. I have also learnt to combat dryness from within – up your Omega 3, 6, & 9’s or Linseed Oils, orally, via capsules. In winter I take about 4000mg a day (I also am not fond of fish so this helps anyway!!). Keeps hair, skin & nails in tact! Drink more water than you think you need. Tissue oil the most hard hit areas. Finally, sleep with a humidifier on for a free dose of moisture whilst you dream of your next long hot summer day. Its your best investment ever. Hope this helps! x Jen from Oz & Africa


I am with you Vickie as far as far as sunscreens is concerned :…. Don’t like them…don’t use them!! As I trained as an estheticienne in Rue de la Boetie ( off Champs Elisee ) Paris in my youth, I feel like the chemical involved in sunscreens are as harmful to the body or worse than the sun….
The only sunscreen I have ever used ( when I used to sail on the Pittwater) is from Phyts Aromatic a beautiful herbal all natural Bio product which you can only buy in specific beauty salon in France ( not pharmacy, not health shop), it smells good and I never burn while on the water. Australia would not allow it to be sold as sunscreen here because the lack of chemicals would not allow an SP rating
PS : I did find a beauty salon in Avignon which sold the Phyts products which by the way are fantastic natural skin care range I highly recommend ; try them !!..


Vicki, I couldn’t agree with you more, I too hate sunscreen. I live in Brisbane but fortunately have never been a beach bunny. I have always ‘done the right thing’ with my skin but avoided sunscreen. I have never put cheap skin care on my face and now at 60 my skin looks 15 younger then my friends who didn’t acknowledge the power of a great serum and moisturiser. Sunscreen with titanium dioxide…yuk.

Wendy Shippee

I agree, argan oil is great for the hair. It defiantly keeps the frizzies at bay. Pure organic coconut oil is also a great conditioner. If you are going to the beach or pool or even at home for the day, just apply thru the hair and let it sit for a while. If you are outside, put a hat or scarf over hair. Shampoo and condition as usual. I also love Rodin oil for the face. I am also trying Shiva Rose, Rose Oil for the face. It is supposed to be amazing! Other than those products I am totally addicted to La Mer eye cream and regular old Cream La Mer. For me it is the best. I love reading what products others are using. I have heard SKII is very nice products too.


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