It may be called “The Good Old Summertime,” but when it comes to skin and skin care, summer can be a very strange time. Humidity and perspiration can really wreak havoc on your skin by clogging your pores with dirt and oil or just generally getting your oils all out of balance. That said, an arid heat, especially with very intense sun, can completely dry your skin out, especially if you have dry skin to begin with.
Add to that the fact that you’ll most likely be increasing your activity levels, spending much more time outside, and using more sunscreen than normal (at least you will be if you take our advice!) and your skin can really feel like it’s going bonkers. In some ways, it’s almost as if you have to figure out a summer skin care routine for two people with two entirely different kinds of skin.
Luckily, there are ways to modify your normal skin care routine to help not only keep your skin under control but protect it from lasting damage caused by the sun! That’s why in this article, we’re going to talk about dealing with heat and humidity, protecting your skin from the sun, summer skin care routine tips for different skin types, ingredients to incorporate into your summer skin care routine, and finally, some miscellaneous tips on improving your summer skin care routine!
Here are some tips and tricks for making sure your summer skin care routine is on point!
Dealing with Heat and Humidity
The problem with humidity isn’t really the humidity itself, it’s the fact that humidity can cause sweating, which can cause your pores to get super clogged up. Add to that the fact that that sweat is getting all mixed up with the natural oils in your skin, sunblock, and probably make-up, and your poor old pores are left gasping for breath! The key is making sure your summer skin care involves keeping your skin really clean and free of dirt and oil.
1. Cleanse your skin! - We know this sounds like a given, but it’s important to remember that one of the biggest defenses against problem summer skin is keeping it clean. No matter what you add to it, your summer skin care routine should always start with cleaning the skin in the morning and at night, preferably with a lightweight, water-based cleanser that’s gentle on the skin, removes dirt and make-up, and above all, will cleanse without drying the skin.
2. Use a Chemical Exfoliator - Another surefire way to keep your skin clean is to make sure it’s well exfoliated. Since physical exfoliation involves rubbing the skin with a brush or washcloth, incorporating chemical exfoliation into your summer skin care routine is really the way to go (unless you like rubbing skin that’s been in the sun all day!).
Chemical exfoliation means using an acid to exfoliate the skin. Although that may sound daunting, it really just means using a product with a gentle acid in it. A great choice is something with glycolic acid which helps restore a youthful, glowing look that evens out skin tone. Glycolic acid, which is in the AHA (or alpha-hydroxy) family of acids, is an acid found naturally in milk, fruits, and sugarcane.
Because they work mostly on the top layer of skin, they’re more gentle than BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids that work on a deeper level of the skin (which is why they’re great for summer skin care). AHAs essentially exfoliate by dissolving the bonds that hold skin together. Even though it’s gentle, glycolic acid helps expose new skin and really gives it a glow.
3. Make sure you’re getting the sweat off your face - Sweat can really cause dirt and oil to clog up pores so be sure that if you’re sweating a lot, you’re not letting perspiration sit for hours on your skin (especially if you’re also wearing make-up!). Cleaning your skin twice daily is a great first step, but a deeper clean one-to-three times a week to really dig out impurities and cleanse the pores is super important.
Protecting Your Skin from the Sun
The truth is that the best way to keep your skin from sun damage is to just stay out of it, but since that can be very, very hard to manage, the next best thing to do is to incorporate sunscreen and sun protection in your summer skin care routine.
Here are a few tips about sun protection that should be a part of your summer skin care routine:
1. Throw out really old sunscreen (but keep the sunscreen from last summer!): Theoretically, sunscreen is supposed to be effective for three years so if you happen to find some old sunscreen in a back drawer from a year ago, it’s probably fine. That said, if you find a tube from say, the early 2000s, you might want to think about tossing it. You do not want to get out in the hot sun and realize your sunscreen is way past its prime!
2. Make sure you’re protecting your lips, scalp, and eyes from the sun: Generally, when most of us put sunscreen on, we do it pretty quickly, slathering it all over our faces, which is why, much of the time, we forget to protect our lips, eyes, and especially our scalp. These are all areas that get a lot of sun without us really realizing it.
Lips and eyes in particular are areas that have a tendency to wrinkle easily, anyway. Don’t make it worse by not protecting them!
And whatever you do, make SURE you get your hands and feet!
3. Make sure to reapply sunscreen: Between perspiration, outdoor activities, and the heat of summer, sunscreen has a tendency to melt off the skin, especially if you’re spending a lot of time in the water. Make absolutely certain you reapply every couple of hours to get the best possible protection!
4. Increase your SPF: If you’re one of those people who is great at wearing SPF all year long, have a look at what you use and think about upping your SPF game for summer. Most experts agree that a 30 SPF is the minimum you should wear to really protect yourself from the sun, especially in the summer.
5. Use a foundation with an SPF: If you just really hate the idea of adding the extra step of putting on sunscreen, consider at least wearing a foundation with a little SPF in it.
6. Self-tanning: As proponents of SPF and staying out of the sun in general, you can only imagine what big fans we are of self-tanning. That said, we also understand how carefully it has to be done in order for it to look right! Before you self-tan, be sure to exfoliate, otherwise, you’ll end up with big streaks across your face!
7. UV clothing: Did know there was such a thing? There is! And while we hate to sound like your mother, if you think you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun this summer, you might want to think about getting a piece or two.
8. Après-sun: What to do if you get a burn? Well, why would you need this advice? You’re going to use an SPF, being careful not to miss any spots, remember?
Summer Skin Care Routine Tips for Different Skin Types
Summer Skin Care for Dry Skin
Dry skins, we have three words for you: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Intense heat and sun can not only make having dry skin unattractive but genuinely painful. Worrying about too much oil is not something you need to worry about so go ahead and make sure your skin is staying hydrated. Needless to say, a hydrating moisturizer is an absolute must but you should also make sure you’re using a good eye cream to keep the area around your eyes well hydrated.
Summer Skin Care for Oily Skin
Oily skins have a tough time in the summer since heat and humidity can really make the glands that produce sebum, the oil skin naturally produces, go into overdrive. The key here is choosing products that help balance and control excess oils. Oily skins in particular also need to make sure they’re keeping their skin really, really clean so that dirt and oil don’t have a chance to clog up pores.
Summer Skin Care for Sensitive Skin
You may have heard that spending time in the sun solves issues for sensitive skins and while it might be true that the sun may temporarily create the appearance of a smoother complexion, there is no doubt it is a terrible long-term solution that may cause much more serious, potentially irreversible problems later on.
Summer Skin Care for People in their 20s and 30s
Since you’re in the age bracket that will probably be the most active, it is super important to make sure you’re getting that sweat off before it starts clogging your pores.
Also, you’re in the group least likely to use sunscreen so please, we beg of you, USE SUNSCREEN! No one who has ever lived to see sunspots or worse ever wished they’d used less sunscreen (if you don’t believe us, ask someone over 40), so please, please take our advice and make sure it’s part of your summer skin care routine!
Specific Ingredients to Incorporate Into Your Summer Skin Care Routine
Some ingredients really help soothe and moisturize the skin, lending themselves to summer skin care in particular. Here are some of the ingredients you should think about incorporating into your summer skin care routine:
- Natural ingredients – We realize this is a little general but it’s just a reminder that summer is not the time to use harsh artificial chemicals and fragrances in your skin care. Make sure you’re sticking to natural ingredients in the summer.
- Green tea – Green tea is an especially gentle ingredient, which contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), a compound that helps control sebum production.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is like the Queen Bee of soothing ingredients. Nothing will help calm skin like aloe vera!
- Rosehip Oil – Rosehip oil is wonderfully hydrating, making it great for summer skin that’s been dried out by the sun and heat!
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a perfect ingredient for those that love the outdoors!
- Ferulic acid – Ferulic acid is known for helping vitamin C perform at maximum capacity.
- Chamomile – Chamomile is so well known for its soothing properties that it’s almost comforting just to say it! Look for it in your skincare products!
A Few Pieces of Random Advice About Your Summer Skin Care Routine:
- Carry a toner: We know we usually suggest using toner twice a day, but there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use a gentle, water-based toner throughout the day. Spending all day in the sun and heat can really play with the oils and hydration levels in your skin. To make sure everything stays really balanced, carry your toner around with you during the summer and treat yourself to a little spritz. Not only will it control excess oil and hydrate your skin, it just plain feels great (especially if you keep it in the fridge the night before!).
- Keep skin care products in the fridge: If you’ve never tried it before, there’s nothing better on a hot day than a little dab of eye cream that’s been in the fridge for a few hours! The cold can also help reduce the look of puffy eyes as well! Obviously, you’ll want to make sure the temperature settings aren’t set to freezing and maybe just check the website of whatever product you’re using to make sure it can’t be refrigerated, but most products are not only just fine there but are actually better off in the fridge. For example, our Nectar of the C serum lasts longer if you keep it cold!
- Cool it on the hot showers: You’ll probably do this intuitively anyway, but if you don’t, think about turning down the heat on your summer showers so you don’t risk drying out your skin more than necessary.
- Increase your water intake: This cannot be understated. Sure, you can hydrate your skin with products, but you can also help it by taking in more water. Make sure you up your water intake during the summer.
- Treat yourself to a big hat: Who doesn’t love an excuse to buy something new? Order yourself to a big sun hat to help keep the sun out of your eyes. Go ahead! We said you could!
So those are our tips for keeping your skin healthy and happy in the summer! No need to thank us now—you can do it in 20 years when you look half the age of all your friends!