It’s officially the season of hot, humid, and sticky. You’ve probably already noticed a change in your skin, especially after a long day. There’s a greasy sheen on your forehead, your pores are suddenly clogged, and it feels like you’re wiping off a layer of sludge at night. We have at least three more months of smog ahead of us, so it’s definitely time to switch up the old beauty routine.
We asked the pros to tell us what our daily summer skin care regimen should be in order to combat excess oil production and environmental stresses such as sunlight, exhaust, and sunscreen. Now, who’s ready for a summer of clear skin?
01. Foam Cleanser // 2x Morning + Night
- Use first thing in the morning and after makeup removal at night
After your winter skin hibernation, you may not realize that it’s important to switch your cleanser. To fight cold weather dryness, many of us used a creamier cleanser, but now that you’re combatting humidity and heat, your face will be producing more oil and accumulating grime throughout the day. Switch to an oil-free foam cleanser that will cut through the grease without adding more oil. If you struggle with acne or oily skin, Dr. Sonam Yadav recommends using a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which combat acne.
02. Natural Toner // 2x Morning + Night
- Use after cleansing
Dr. Neal Schultz, an NYC dermatologist, host of DermTV.com, and creator of BeautyRx, encourages the use of toner. “Toners are unsung heroes in skin care regimens, especially when it’s warm and/or humid,” he says. “Toners remove pore clogging dirt, debris, oil, and dead skin cells as well as any leftover cleanser.” After cleansing, take a cotton swab and apply a gentle all-natural toner to polish your skin and prepare it for the rest of your routine.
Verily’s Style Editor, Lilly Bozzone, can’t say enough about Thayer Witch Hazel Rose Petal Alcohol-Free Toner. Free from harsh chemicals, the toner removes excess oil while naturally moisturizing skin and fighting acne. It also reduces redness and the appearance of pores. This toner is ideal for sensitive skin types as it doesn’t sting or burn.
03. 30+ SPF // 1x Morning + Throughout the Day
- Use after toner
Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Dr. Schultz emphasizes that sunscreen is a nonnegotiable no matter what the season, but it’s especially important in the summer. “While we all know about the benefits of sunscreen, let me remind you just how crucial this is to help fight a slew of forms of sun damage, including lines and wrinkles, sun spots, broken capillaries, premature aging, a weather-beaten skin, and, of course, skin cancer,” he says.
Dr. Yadav recommends using 1 teaspoon of sunscreen on the face, neck, and hands and repeating throughout the day, especially for extended time outdoors. He warns against BB or CC creams, as they usually don’t have a high enough SPF (30 at the lowest). Check out our selects of non-oily moisturizers with SPF—because who needs an extra layer of oil added to their face?
04. Moisturizer // 2x Morning + Night
- Use after SPF in the morning and after toning at night
Most moisturizers come with SPF, so you can kill two birds with one stone. “Moisturizers are applied after sunscreen, but in the summer when it’s warm and humid, do you really need a moisturizer?” Dr. Schultz asks. If you have super-dry skin and need the added moisture, apply a light water-based moisturizer after sunscreen. He suggests BeautyRx Light Rehydrating Lotion for its oil-free, lightweight formula that is ideal for the hot weather.
For your nighttime regimen, give yourself a soothing treat. Dr. Yadav recommends putting your moisturizer in the fridge. After a hot day, this sounds like a welcome addition to our nighttime ritual!
05. Makeup Remover // 1x Night
- Use before cleansing at night
Even after a day at the office, our skin can accumulate a layer of grease and dirt in the summer. Start your nighttime routine by removing the leftover smog from your face with a makeup-removing solution such as micellar water. The micelles will gently remove all makeup, dirt, and oil from your face without agitating your skin. The dirty cotton ball will be proof that it’s working!
06. Treat // 1x Night
- Use after moisturizing at night
For your evening skin regimen, Dr. Schultz recommends a topical vitamin C serum to protect and repair your skin from environmental stressors such as pollution and sun damage. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, which can damage proteins, lipids, and DNA in your skin and cause cell damage. Vitamin C also encourages collagen production, and long-term use can improve your skin’s elasticity and brightness. Dr. Schultz recommends using BeautyRx Triple Vitamin C Serum.
07. Exfoliate // 2x Weekly
- Use once or twice a week at night after cleansing and toner but before moisturizing
It’s especially important to exfoliate your skin during the summer when you’re regularly battling oily skin, wearing sunscreen, and being exposed to environmental pollutants. Dr. Schultz and Dr. Yadav both recommend using glycolic acid for a gentle chemical exfoliation. Glycolic acid is a part of the alpha hydroxy acids family and helps prevent congested pores and encourages the growth of healthy, glowing skin. Dr. Schultz explains, “Glycolic acid works by gently dissolving the glue that holds the dulling, clogging discolored dead skin cells, revealing smooth and even-toned skin.” Better yet, glycolic acid also prevents acne breakouts and reduces oil.
Try using glycolic pads or a glycolic face mask once or twice a week, after cleansing and toning your skin. Be sure to not use your vitamin C serum or any retinol after using glycolic acid, as it will deactivate their properties.
Photo Credit: Horn Photography