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6 Tips to Help Improve Your Skin Over the Summer

Summer is a trying time for your skin. The blazing sun and the scorching heat can be unforgiving. Pollution and other environmental contaminants take away your skin’s natural radiance, leaving it oily, dull and blemished. 

As the weather gets warmer and humidity increases in the environment, your skin’s sebaceous glands start producing excess sebum (natural oil). The oil secreted gets stuck on the surface of the skin, leading to stickiness, grease and blocked pores. 

Acne breakouts are the most common problem that occur in summer. People with oily skin are more prone to it as the bacteria and oils in the skin mix with the sweat using clogged pores and acne.

There are 6 tips to help improve your skin over the summer.

Exfoliate your skin

Winter skin can be dry, flaky and dull. It’s no surprise you want to shed that old skin before you head into spring and summer now that you’ll most likely be more exposed. The best way to do this is by exfoliating, which removes dead surface skin cells and reveals a fresher layer of skin. This allows your skin to absorb skin care products more effectively. Using a face exfoliator that’s gentle enough to use on a regular basis is important.

I use the Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Gel Scrub for the summer. I have combination skin so it does dry out my already dry parts and does a great job on the oily spots. 

“Given that you may be washing your face more frequently in the summer—all that sweat and swimming!—you may not need to exfoliate as often as you do in the wintertime. I recommend exfoliating only once or twice per week,” Dr. Zeichner says.

To help remove the surface layer of built-up dead skin cells, an exfoliator that contains “alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or polyhydroxy acids (PHAs). It can gently but effectively whisk away the dead cells without overdrying or stripping the skin.”

Step up your SPF

With more sunlight and warmer temperatures also comes more time spent outside and higher sun exposure. You should always wear at least SPF 15 sunscreen or moisturizer, but you may want to up your sun protection come spring and summer time. 

Sunscreen helps protect your skin from strong UV rays, which sadly age your skin. Wearing SPF daily can help prevent damage, so to be extra cautious, everyone advises wearing SPF 30 or higher. Not wearing sunscreen can lead to burning the skin and can increase the chances of skin cancer.

The sun's rays are more intense in the summer compared to the winter months, so “you want to be extra vigilant about sunscreen,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. This means you should actively safeguard your skin each morning—your face and your body—by applying sunscreen with at least an SPF 30.

Switch to a light moisturizer

A common mistake among girls is to stop using moisturizer in summer: don’t make this mistake! Your skin won’t need the heavy moisturizers that you were using over winter, but it’s going to need to be replenished and hydrated - especially after long hours in the sun. Make sure you continue to use your moisturizer daily and whenever your skin feels a little dry.  You might also want to invest in a moisturizer for your lips because  they can become very dry and rough during the summer months.

This CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion is a great and cheap summer moisturizer. It’s light, gives you soft skin and has the added bonus of having an SPF factor in it.

Bring a facial mist wherever you go

Spraying facial mist is a quick, effective way to cleanse and refresh your skin when you’re outside. This is especially important during warm months where dirt, pollen, and pollution are prevalent. Most face mists are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that also offer skin benefits that give your skin a burst of hydration.

Some good face mists are Neutrogena’s Soothing Clear Tunic MistElizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating MistOlay Mist Ultimate Hydration Essence Calming With Aloe Leaf & Chamomile and Garnier SkinActive Soothing Facial Mist

Stop using heavy foundation

Excess heat and humidity will leave your pores prone to sweat and dirt buildup. To prevent your pores from getting too clogged avoid using a heavy foundation and concealer during the spring and summer seasons. Otherwise, you might experience an acne breakout. 

Apart from using light foundation, get rid of your cream-based makeup remover and switch to micellar water instead. It does a great job of removing makeup and sweat, which is something most cream-based removers can’t do. Try using a light moisturizer like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

“It delivers hydration without weighing the skin down,'' Dr. Zeichner said. The secret: hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture from the air and delivers it to your skin.”


This may not pertain to skin care products or ingredients, but regular exercise is great for your health and skin. Exercise encourages blood flow and circulation to your face which can help flush out toxins. It also acts like a mini-facial for your face because when you sweat your pores open and expel dirt and oil. After a great sweat session make sure to cleanse your skin thoroughly because your face can be a breeding ground for blemishes at this time.

Summer skin care is simple. Just remember how much moisture you’re taking out of your skin and remember to put it back on. Make sure you have an SPF on your skin and any exposed skin to stop you from burning, whether you get this from your make up or from a sun cream product. Finally, don’t forget to keep cleansing your skin to get rid of the oil that can build up on a hot day. Enjoy the sun ladies!

Skylar Petrik

Maryland '22

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