5 Ways to Adjust Your Skincare Routine for Summer

There’s nothing more exciting than realizing summer is just around the corner. We have three whole months that we can spend outside in the beautiful weather without the worry of essays or exams. But with all that time spent in the sun, heat, and humidity, our skin tends to suffer, especially if we’re not careful about taking care of it according to the season. And sometimes it can be pretty tricky to figure out what the best strategies are for your skin type. We spoke with several beauty and skincare experts to get you the scoop about the best practices for your summer skincare routine.

1. Wash your face with lighter products

We’d love to think that a healthy summer glow is the result of relaxation, but it’s more likely a lovely sheen of sweat and oil. Blotting sheets become our best friend, and it’s hard not to check our complexions less than three times an hour if we’re out in public. The most basic solution to wash your face, but be wary of what products you’re using.

Ira Green, a natural beauty expert and founder of Freedom deodorant, advises that you clean your face with products that are easier on the skin. “Wash...regularly with products that are gentle on your skin and natural,” she says. “You don’t want a lot of chemicals on your skin [as] they can be harder to wash off. [If you don’t wash your face], you can clog your pores, get infections and breakouts; nobody wants that!”  

Jenna*, a freshman at Drexel University, also recommends trying out different products to see what works: “My skin gets super funky in the summer, so I wasn’t sure what brand of face wash to use. I went to the travel section of my local drug store and bought a bunch of samples to try them out.”

It’s really easy to just use a makeup wipe when you’re tired at the end of the day. Taking the extra five minutes to wash your face free of dirt and sweat with gentle products will not only make your skin feel good but look good, too!

2. Wear sunscreen daily

We all remember when our parents used to slather sunscreen on every visible (and non-visible) part of our bodies, whether it was sunny or cloudy. We didn’t understand then, but now we’re old enough to know just how important it is to protect our skin from sunburn now to prevent cancer down the road. Dr. Sandra Lee, also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, is the founder of SLMD Skincare and assures us that we don’t have a wear a heavy sunscreen under makeup.

“Try a moisturizer that has sun protection in it, [and it’s] one less step that you have to worry about,” she says. “The key to using sunscreen, no matter the SPF, is to apply carefully and reapply less frequently. Make sure there’s sun protection ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Also, look for something that’s non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores.”

If you invest in a good sunscreen and use it daily, you’ll definitely thank yourself for taking the initiative to protect against sunspots, wrinkles and cancer. Some great clear sunscreens—perfect for all skin tones—include Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF 35 and Neutrogena Clear Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin SPF 30.  

Related: 7 Skincare Habits All College Girls Need to Have

3. Exfoliate regularly

In addition to washing your face on a regular basis, learning to incorporate an exfoliation technique can make all the difference in keeping your skin looking fresh and healthy. Using a soft-bristled scrub brush with an exfoliating cleanser can be beneficial in removing dirt and dead skin cells. It can also help you get rid of any peeling skin from past sunburn, which can be an absolute lifesaver if you have to be looking your best for a party or date.

Lisa Winarick, a beauty expert and founder of Doll Face Beauty, believes that a using a face mask in addition to a gentle cleanser can help exfoliation even more. “Doll Face Invigorate Cleanser daily, along with our Konjac Pretty Puff sponge foams away and gently exfoliates to restore a natural glow without upsetting your well-balanced oils,” she says.

Just make sure you’re washing your scrub brushes and sponges regularly, or else you’ll only be subjecting your skin to more dirt than removing it.

4. Skip the heavy makeup

One of the worst parts about summer heat and humidity is walking outside and having your full face of makeup virtually just...melt off. We’ve all been there at some point or another, and it’s made us rethink our makeup routines for the warmer weather. If you normally spend a good hour on makeup everyday, you might want to think about cutting back during the summer for skin care  purposes. There are plenty of makeup alternatives to heavy foundations and concealers.

“Try to wear a BB cream during summer to avoid a lot of makeup that might clog pores when sweating,” says Jennifer Yen, a beauty expert and founder of Purlisse. “One of the products I recommend is our BB Tinted Moist Cream, a lightweight tinted moisturizer that leaves skin glowing while protecting with SPF.”

Not only will wearing lighter makeup make your skin feel less sticky, but you’ll also save yourself time putting it on in the morning and taking it off at the end of the day. Why wouldn’t you want to shorten your skincare routine?

5. Hydrate and moisturize well

We wouldn’t think that keeping skin moisturized would be a problem in the summer, because cold winter temperatures are so often associated with dry, cracked skin. However, your skin can become dry if you’re not using a moisturizer or if you’re dehydrated. Drinking enough water is so essential during the summer, especially if you’re spending more time outside at the pool or on the beach. Moisturizers can also be beneficial if you’re using daily cleansers that prevent acne, as they can cause dry patches.

Dr. Ava Shamban, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE, stresses the importance of knowing your skin type and then choosing hydrating skin products. “My advice for young women who may be looking to switch up their summer skincare routine is to begin with understanding whether the skin is oily or dry and depending on the quality of skin and the climate, intelligent choices can be made,” she says. “Options include, switching out your moisturizer for a more lightweight moisturizer, or using a cleanser that takes off oil and summer grit.”

Your summer skincare routine shouldn’t just be about adding a new moisturizer or using switching up your daily cleanser. It should be about understanding your skin type and how to best take care of it to the best of your ability. Having beautiful skin year round can be achieved if you take the time to pay attention and adjust accordingly.