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5 Ways To Update Your Summer Skincare Routine

There’s nothing more exciting than realizing summer is finally here. You have (at least) three whole months to spend outside in the beautiful weather without worrying about essays or exams. But with all that time spent in the sun, heat, and humidity, your skin can suffer, especially if you’re not practicing a regular skincare routine. Sometimes, it can even be tricky to figure out the best strategies for your skin type. To help, here are five best practices for your summer skincare routine, according to experts.

1. Wash your face with lighter products

While many of us would love to think that a healthy summer glow is the result of rest and relaxation, it’s more likely a lovely sheen of sweat and oil. During the summer, it’s hard not to check your complexion less than three times an hour if you’re out in public, and chances are, blotting sheets are your best friend right now. If this sounds like you, one basic solution is to be wary of what products you’re using to wash your face.

Ira Green, a natural beauty expert and founder of Freedom deodorant, advises that you clean your face with products that are easy on the skin. “Wash…regularly with products that are gentle on your skin and natural,” she tells Her Campus. “You don’t want a lot of chemicals on your skin [as] they can be harder to wash off. [And 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, recommends trying different products during the summer to see what works best for you. “My skin gets super funky in the summer, so I wasn’t sure what brand of face wash to use,” she tells Her Campus. “I recently went to the travel section of my local drug store and bought a bunch of samples to try them out.”

You also want to make sure you’re washing your face regularly during the summer. It’s easy to just use a makeup wipe when you’re tired at the end of a long day, but taking an extra five minutes to wash your face 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 lather sunscreen on every visible (and non-visible) part of our bodies, whether it was sunny or cloudy outside. We may not have understood it then, but hopefully you now understand how important it is to protect your skin from sunburn and, of course, prevent cancer down the road.

Sandra Lee, MD, also known as Dr. Pimple Popper, is the founder of SLMD Skincare and says that during the summer especially, you don’t necessarily have to wear heavy sunscreen under your makeup. She tells Her Campus, “Try a moisturizer that has sun protection in it, [and that’s] one less step that you have to worry about. The key to using sunscreen, no matter the SPF, is to apply carefully and reapply less frequently. Make sure [it has] sun protection ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.” Dr. Lee also recommends looking for products that are 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 — great for all skin tones — include Glossier’s Invisible Shield SPF 35 and Neutrogena Clear Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin SPF 30.

3. Exfoliate regularly

In addition to washing your face on a regular basis, incorporating an exfoliation routine can make all the difference in keeping your skin looking fresh and healthy. For example, using a soft-bristled scrub brush with an exfoliating cleanser can help remove dead skin cells and buildup from the summer heat. It can also help you get rid of any skin that might be peeling from a prior sunburn, which can be an absolute lifesaver if you spent a little too long at the beach last weekend.

Lisa Winarick, a beauty expert and founder of Doll Face Beauty, believes that using a face mask in addition to a gentle cleanser can help your skin glow even more. She recommends using the Doll Face Invigorate Cleanser daily, along with the Pretty Puff Konjac Sponge. “It foams away and gently exfoliates to restore a natural glow without upsetting your well-balanced oils,” Winarick tells Her Campus. Pro tip: always remember to wash your scrub brushes and sponges regularly, or else you’ll only be subjecting your skin to more dirt instead of 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 can definitely make you rethink your summer skincare and makeup routine. If you normally spend a good hour on makeup everyday, you may want to think about adjusting your summer skincare routine once the weather gets hotter. Fortunately, there are plenty of makeup alternatives to heavy foundations and concealers if you don’t want your look melting off the minute you step outside.

Jennifer Yen, the founder of Purlisse, tells Her Campus, “Try to wear a BB cream during summer to avoid a lot of makeup that might clog pores when sweating.” 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 can wearing lighter makeup make your skin feel less sticky, but by using a lighter-coverage product, you’ll save time applying it in the morning and removing it at the end of the day. During the hot summer months, why wouldn’t you want to make your skincare routine more efficient?!

5. Hydrate and moisturize

You wouldn’t necessarily think that keeping skin moisturized would be a problem in the summer, especially because dry, cracked skin is often associated with cold, winter temperatures. However, your skin can become dry if you’re not using a moisturizer or if you’re dehydrated — drinking enough water during the summer is essential!

Ava Shamban, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKIN FIVE, stresses the importance of knowing your skin type and then choosing hydrating skin products. She tells Her Campus, “My advice for young women who may be looking to switch up their summer skincare routine is to begin with understanding whether their skin is oily or dry. 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.

Emily Schmidt

Stanford '20

Emily Schmidt is a junior at Stanford University, studying English and Spanish. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she quickly fell in love with the Californian sunshine and warm winter temperatures. Emily writes a hodgepodge of pieces from satiric articles for The Stanford Daily to free-verse poetry to historical fiction. Just like her writing repertoire, her collection of hobbies are widely scattered from speed-crocheting to Irish dancing to practicing calligraphy. When she is not writing or reading, Emily can also be found jamming out to Phil Collins or watching her favorite film, 'Belle.'