The multi-hyphenate (she's a body acceptance advocate, an influencer, an entrepreneur) tells us how to beat the heat this season, as well as the chafe, sweat, and odor that comes with it.
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katie sturino
Credit: Jamie Magnifico

For Katie Sturino, founder of Megababe, entrepreneur, body acceptance advocate, and author, it all started with a single summer beauty conundrum: chafing. "We launched Megababe in 2017 and it was all inspired by the fact that I, every summer, would start asking my community about what we were going to do about chafe season," she tells MarthaStewart.com. "We were trying all these different products to find something that was effective, clean, and fun and celebratory, not embarrassing." According to Sturino, she didn't find a single option on the market that hit all three categories: "Far from it, actually. Even today, most chafing products are designed for men or athletes."

Thigh Rescue ($14, ulta.com), an anti-chafe stick that can be applied anywhere you need a little bit of slip (between your thighs, where your arms hit your torso, and so on) changed that. It was the first product of many in the Megababe arsenal designed to solve "taboo" beauty nuisances, many of which arise as the temperatures climb. "I partnered with my sister and my best friend from childhood, and we decided that we were going to make a brand that was going to tackle these taboo issues," she says. "We launched with Thigh Rescue and then did Bust Dust ($15.99, target.com), our talc-free all natural powder that I put in a pump. I wanted a hands-free way to apply it."

megababe thigh rescue
Credit: Courtesy of Megababe

That powder does exactly what its name implies: It prevents sweat from trickling down your décolletage and bleeding onto your clothes. She's since release Body Dust, a full-body product designed around customer feedback. "Jump to this summer. When we heard that people wanted a different way to apply powder, we made Body Dust ($20, ulta.com) and put it in a bigger canister without the pump." And then came the Dust Puff ($18, megababebeauty.com), made of cozy polar fleece; the oversize applicator grabs the powder and allows you to place it, well, just about anywhere you experience perspiration.

Summer, however, leads to more than sweating and chafing, notes Sturino. For many women, melasma (a common pigmentation disorder that results in brown patches on the face that typically appear symmetrically on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip) is the most difficult warm-weather beauty challenge of them all. Triggered by sun exposure, "melasma requires a 24-hour defense job," explains Sturino, noting that it doesn't take much to cause those telltale brown spots to appear. She introduced bright, colorful Beach Paint ($11, megababebeauty.com), a physical zinc oxide blocker (SPF alone will not do the trick!) that should be applied over affected areas. "When you are at the beach or the pool, you need to put on Beach Paint and you need to put it on thick. It's going to be visible; it just is what it is," she says. Like the rest of Sturino's line, it's fun to use. Available in rose gold ("It looks good on every skin tone," she says) and sea blue, the opaque product feels more like face paint than protection. Needless to say, this isn't your old-school down-the-nose stripe of zinc.

megababe body dust
Credit: Courtesy of Megababe

Her line continues to solve one hot-weather issue after the next: There's Toe Deo ($14, anthropologie.com), a first-of-its-kind spray that kills foot odor-causing bacteria before it starts with plant-based alcohols (spray it directly onto your feet!), saving every pair of your summer shoes in the process; the glycolic, malic, and azelaic acid-rich Le Tush Butt Mask ($22, ulta.com), which eliminates pesky bumps on your glutes; and a broad range of natural deodorants and armpit products that actually work. We're partial to The Smoothie Deo ($14, megababebeauty.com).

According to Sturino, it's important to make happy, upbeat products that dispel the shame surrounding our natural human existence; sweat, chafing, and body odor happens, she explains, but our reactions to them don't have to be cold or clinical. This perspective is just one of the reasons why Sturino wrote Body Talk ($16.19, amazon.com), her just-debuted illustrated workbook that encourages women (and men) to change the way they talk about and view their bodies. "Through everything that I do, through Megababe and Body Talk, it's always about putting the power back into our hands," she tells us. "It's about relieving ourselves of these feelings of embarrassment and shame. I want us to reclaim our brain-and get that power back."

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