With long holiday weekends, rooftop happy hours and countless parties, the warm sunshine can definitely change your normal routine. Though you might skip a few workouts in favor of taking an impromptu trip to the beach, you can’t forget to prioritize your skin care habits, no matter the weather. Just like you swap out boots for sandals and gloves for floppy hats, your moisturizing, exfoliating and cleansing routine also needs some adjustments during the warmer months to keep your pores healthy and radiant.
Here’s what dermatologists suggest to make sure you can spend more time lounging and enjoying your glass of white wine and less time worrying about dry skin, breakouts and your T-zone.
More time outside means that your skin is getting exposed to your shifting environment even more. Between sand sticking to your sunscreen, salt from the ocean settling onto your skin and the humidity causing you to sweat more, your pores are under a lot of stress in the summertime. That’s why New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Kristina Goldenberg suggests giving your skin a good exfoliating treatment two to three times a week. But before you grab your old stand-by, she warns against ingredients like retinol, since they could increase your sensitivity to the sun and your risk of sunburn.
Even if you’re not challenging yourself to an outdoor boot camp or sitting outside for a long brunch with unlimited mimosas, you might still find that your skin goes from being balanced and smooth to super oily. Although this is common during the hotter months, Dr. Goldenberg says that’s no reason to stop your daily moisturizing habit. It’s just as important, especially if your morning routine staple includes an SPF, too.
However, if you want to use your moisturizer to achieve a summer-inspired look, dermatologist Dr. Sharyn Laughlin says you can swap out your go-to moisturizer with a lighter, non-greasy formula. “Your skin still requires moisture and the sun can be very drying for the skin. You can choose one with a texture that gives you the right level of desired ‘dewiness’ to the skin,” she says.
No matter the season, a toner can be a great addition to your routine—helping your skin keep its bounce and youthfulness. However, the biggest benefit isn’t just in checking off a step in your regimen, but rather ensuring the toner you pick follows two important rules: it contains an antioxidant for anti-aging and doesn’t dry out your skin.
Dr. Laughlin also adds that a hydrating mist is a must-have summertime beauty product that will cool you down and can help refresh your makeup throughout the day.
What will your Snapchat followers do if you don’t update them on your mask pick of the week? No worries! Don’t fret about disappointing your fans because dermatologists give facial masks a summer seal of approval. Just make sure you’re mindful of ingredients, as Dr. Goldenberg advises to be careful when using masks with retinol since they may increase your risk of hyperpigmentation and sunburn. You may also want to skip a mask that has alcohol since this may cause breakouts and dry out your pores.
Dr. Laughlin recommends trying a few masks specifically formulated for summer conditions, featuring ingredients that will help you battle any post-pool issues. “Choose a mask that has some anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric or other antioxidants,” she says.
Try this product: Juara Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask
While chemical and laser peels are effective at treating acne scars and improving fine lines, wrinkles and diminishing pore size, they can also make your skin extra sensitive. “The sun makes skin very reactive so someone that might normally tolerate a peel with no issues might react more during the summer months. You should generally be less aggressive in your approach,” Dr. Laughlin says. Though your dermatologist should be able to offer a different solution to fulfill your skin needs, if you absolutely have to get this treatment for some reason, Dr. Goldenberg says you should make sure to lower the strength of the peel that you would typically get during the winter.
And if you do get one, now is the time to go big with your sunscreen—using at least an SPF 50, preferably with zinc oxide. Another thing to try? Water-based peels! This new breed of peels features a water-based formula with soothing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and nourishing botanicals.
Try: Aquareveal Satin Bright Soft Water Peel for Face
If your normal pre-swimming suit routine includes a bikini wax, you’re in luck! Dermatologists still say it’s safe to book your appointment during the summer. The only catch is that your skin is more reactive and vulnerable during warmer months, so after a fresh wax, you should always use an SPF 50 to protect the delicate areas. If you want to be extra cautious, Dr. Laughlin says to stick to shaving, threading or plucking instead, especially if you’re removing unwanted hair on the face.
According to Dr. Goldenberg, facials aren’t just nice-to-haves during summer. “During the summer months, many of us experience oilier skin. This increases the likelihood of clogged pores and acne flare-ups. Therefore, I recommend getting a facial once a month to minimize risk of breakouts,” Dr. Goldenberg says. However, instead of going for typical treatments like microdermabrasion, consider a less abrasive approach and ask your facialist for a milder formula that also moisturizes your skin while still giving it a thorough cleanse.
Try: No time to go to a medspa? Not a problem! This Olga Lorencin Skin Care Red Carpet Facial Kit mimics the result of its corresponding in-office treatment, which is, by the way, a celebrity favorite.