Whether you're on performance 1 or 21, sweaty stage makeup and layers of hairspray take a toll on your hair and skin. Read on for top tips from dermatologists and dancers to get you through Nutcracker season.
1) Wash Hair Daily: Dove DermaCare Scalp Dryness & Itch Relief Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, $4.89
Forget what you've heard about washing your hair daily being damaging. In fact, Pennsylvania Ballet principal dancer Dayesi Torriente swears by washing her hair each night, and New York City–based dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco agrees. "If you are sweating a lot, have thin, oily hair or dandruff, daily cleansing is important," says Fusco. She recommends a shampoo like Dove's for anyone with a sensitive scalp because of the pyrithione zinc, which hydrates while cleansing and eliminating flakes.
2) Go Alcohol-Free: Kenra Professional Shaping Spray 21, $19
While it's impossible to get your hair stage-ready without styling products, it is possible to avoid using anything that will cause more damage. Fusco recommends an alcohol-free hairspray like Kenra's since the alcohol in traditional hairsprays dries hair out.
3) Treat Hair While You Dance: Ouai Hair Oil, $28
For extra TLC, smooth a few drops of hair oil from the mid-lengths to the ends of your hair to hydrate and help repair damage before pinning it into a bun. If you don't have one in your beauty arsenal, Fusco says that coconut oil is a great alternative because "it penetrates the hair shaft and reduces damage and protein loss."
4) Deep-Condition: Wella Oil Reflections Luminous Reboost Mask, $22
Restore moisture and shine by switching out your conditioner once each week for a nourishing mask like this camellia-seed oil and white tea extract option.
5) Give Your Scalp a Clean Slate: R+Co Crown Scalp Scrub, $38
Once you've danced your last Waltz of the Flowers, remove product buildup with a gentle scalp scrub. R+Co's uses ingredients like salicylic acid and kaolin to lift away leftover hairspray or gel while promoting scalp health.
1) Start and End Your Day With Clean Skin: Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Face Wash, $40
If you don't already have a skincare routine that consists of gentle cleansers and moisturizers, make sure to get into a habit. The Vitamin C Face Wash from facialist Joanna Vargas exfoliates to remove pimple-causing dirt and also hydrates thanks to hyaluronic acid. We're also partial to Cetaphil Skin Cleanser, $13.99, if you're looking for a drugstore option that's safe for sensitive skin types.
2) Invest in a Multi-Tasker: Glossier Super Bounce Serum, $28
To avoid further aggravating your skin, leave your face makeup- free in the morning and during onstage run-throughs. Then, when you're ready to apply your makeup, use a serum that will help moisturize and act as a makeup primer. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care, recommends a serum with hyaluronic acid and dimethicone (like Glossier's) for "a treatment and primer in one."
3) Combat Cracked Lips: Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, $3.99
To prevent your lips from drying out as you apply and remove lipstick for every show, keep a hydrating and repairing balm like this by your side. Not only can you use it at bedtime, but you can also apply a thin layer under your stage lipstick to help avoid chapped lips in the first place.
4) Start Masking: Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask, $3.99Mask, $3.99
"I follow my skincare routine as I normally do during Nutcracker, but I will add some moisturizing masks," says Pennsylvania Ballet's Torriente. This drugstore option uses hyaluronic acid and chamomile extract to hydrate and calm any inflammation, which makes it perfect to use either in the morning before you head to the theater, or at the end of the night when you're relaxing at home.
5) Keep Skin Hydrated: One Love Organics Vitamin D Moisture Mist, $39
Kansas City Ballet dancer Amanda DeVenuta uses this lightweight moisturizer-and-toner hybrid in the morning, throughout the day and at night after cleansing. "I also try to stick to organic products because I have moderately sensitive skin and find they work best for me," she says.
6) Don't Leave Makeup Behind: Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover, $20
Another one of DeVenuta's must-have natural products smells like lavender and goes onto the skin like a hydrating oil. You can use it to remove stubborn makeup, like waterproof eyeliner and caked-on foundation.
7) Quick-Fix Makeup Remover: Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $6.99
When she's trying to get out of the theater fast, DeVenuta opts for makeup wipes. But relying on them solely can leave makeup behind and cause breakouts. "Clogged pores are most likely related to retained makeup and sweating," Tanzi says. "Make sure you wash your face well every night before bed and keep your room cool when sleeping."