Summer Skincare: How to Take Care of Your Skin in the Summer
What time is it? Summertime.
We’ve waited a long long time for these sunny, cloudless days. For a minute there, it seemed like winter was never gonna end!
With the changing of the seasons in full swing, it’s important to change up your skincare routine. Put away your heavy moisturizers and full-coverage products—when it comes to summer heat, it’s important to let your skin breathe.
Check out what skincare ingredients are good (and not so good) for summertime, and our top tips for a flawless summer skincare routine!
Skincare ingredients to avoid during the summer
1. AHAs and BHAs
Hydroxy acids, largely found in chemical exfoliants and/or peels, are great for surface-level skin treatments. They can be used to treat conditions like acne, enlarged pores, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
But, because their job is to remove the top layer of your skin, your skin can become more sensitive when using AHAs and BHAs—making you way more sensitive to UV rays.
2. Heavy oils and/or butter
If you see ingredients like coconut oil or shea butter in your moisturizer, it may be too heavy for the summer.
For sensitive skin types, these ingredients can be comedogenic on a normal day. Adding heat and sweat to the mix is a recipe for disaster. Intense oils and creams will likely clog your pores and cause breakouts when used in the summer heat.
3. Citrus oils
Oils like lemon and orange are used in skincare products for their moisturizing, toning, and balancing properties.
However, these oils can also increase your skin’s photosensitivity (meaning your skin is more sensitive to UV rays) and make you more susceptible to sun damage—especially when the sun’s out 24/7!
Skincare ingredients to add to your summer routine
1. Vitamin C
This ingredient can be used year-round, but its effects may be more visible (and satisfying) in the summer sun.
Vitamin C serums are made to brighten and smooth your skin, giving you a gorgeous lit-from-within glow that’s perfect for summertime.
Niacinamide (AKA vitamin B3) is pretty common in SPF because of its insane protection properties.
This baby helps protect your skin against harmful UV rays, while also treating other skin concerns like redness, fine lines, and enlarged pores. What ingredient could be more perfect for the summer?
3. Hyaluronic acid
A powerhouse moisturizer, hyaluronic acid is awesome for your skin year-round.
In the summer, this should be your number one choice when it comes to moisturizing ingredients because it’s so effective and hydrating yet so lightweight. Like we said before, heavy oils and creams have the potential to clog your pores and suffocate your skin in the hot summer sun, so opt for the weightless hydration hyaluronic acid gives instead.
4. Aloe vera
No matter how diligent we are about our sunscreen, we all get a little too much sun sometimes.
Aloe vera is the perfect ingredient to use if you’re suffering from a sunburn. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe painful, itchy burns and can potentially help your skin heal faster!
Summer skincare tips
The most important of all: SPF!
While sunscreen is extremely important year-round (wear it daily, no matter the weather!), with the harsh summer sun, it’s non-negotiable.
Make sure your sunscreen is at least SPF 30 in the summertime—anything less than 30 won’t properly protect your skin from the harsher UV rays—and be super diligent about reapplying every two hours.
And don’t forget about lip protection! Pick out a lip balm with SPF to protect the delicate skin on and around your lips.
Also, as long as you don’t have sensitivity, make sure you’re using mineral sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens are generally better for you, your skin, and the environment!
Opt for a lightweight moisturizer
Because cold weather dries out your skin to the nines, winter is all about intense, constant moisturizing. While you still need to make sure you’re hydrating your skin properly in the summer, heavy moisturizers might be a little suffocating in warmer weather.
Switch out your weighted creams for lighter hydration that’ll allow your skin to breathe in the heat.
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer is a great summer skincare product, providing weightless hydration that works well with all skin types.
Wash your face less often
Although this is a general rule of thumb for year-round skincare routines, try to avoid washing your face too much in the summer.
We know—with the extra oil and sweat that comes with summer heat, it’s hard to avoid feeling like you need to constantly wash your face. But if you wash your face too often, you’re preventing your skin from creating its natural oils, which results in dry, flaky skin.
Try not to wash your face any more than twice a day. Better yet, rinse with lukewarm water in the morning and only wash your face at night (to get rid of the SPF and any makeup products).
This goes for the rest of your body, too. As much as you can, stick to showering once a day, and make sure you’re moisturizing afterward!
Watch your retinoid/retinol
If you use any products containing retinol or retinoids, make sure you’re taking great care of your skin in the summer.
Retinoids and retinol can make your skin more sensitive overall, which, in turn, makes you more sensitive to sunlight. Plus, some retinol and retinoid products can become less effective when exposed to sunlight.
While you don’t need to completely stop using these products during the summer, either dial it back or be extremely on top of your sunscreen game.
Switch to lightweight makeup
Heavy, full-coverage makeup products, especially foundation and setting powders, can be way more irritating to your skin in the summer.
Generally speaking, full coverage makeup products are thick because they’re made to act as another layer on top of your skin, effectively covering any blemishes or redness underneath. These thicker formulas can be super uncomfortable in the heat—not to mention they’re less likely to hold up when faced with sweat or excess oil.
Opting for lighter coverage cream or liquid-based products allows your skin to breathe even on the hottest of days, and helps you avoid pore-clogging and breakouts. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your makeup melting away in the summer sun.
Products like ILIA Beauty’s Super Serum Skin Tint or other tinted moisturizers are perfect for hotter months, as they’re lightweight and breathable.
Try some light exfoliation
For oily skin types, exfoliation is uber important because, due to sweat and excess oil production, oily skin is more likely to struggle with blocked or clogged pores during the summer. And, as we all know, clogged pores equals breakouts.
Don’t overdo it and definitely take your time working your way up to a consistent exfoliation routine, but consistent exfoliation can be used as a preventative measure when it comes to avoiding breakouts and keeping skin looking and feeling fresh and clean.
Pacifica’s Pore Warrior Soft Scrub is a great option for gentle exfoliation that works on all skin types.
Summer is all about fun, so make sure that your skin is having fun, too! Protect it, nourish it, and keep it shining throughout the hotter months with a few simple modifications to your winter routine.
Now that you know how to take care of your skin in the summertime, go out there and get your glow on!
Ashley Webb is a professional copywriter for the clean, vegan, and cruelty-free beauty industry. Using SEO and consumer research, she writes blogs, webpage copy, product descriptions, and emails for beauty brands that are committed to making a difference. Adopting her two kitties, Ivy and Binx, started her journey to advocacy for animal rights, and even led her to go vegan! Learn more about her and her work at ashleywebbagency.com
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