I would take the heat and humidity of the summer over the cold, dry air of the winter any day. Not only does it make me feel like I’m shriveling up, but the cold drys out my skin, breaks me out, and causes red patches around my face. For anyone with sensitive skin, I’m sure you share the same sentiments. My summer skincare routine has become one of my favorite rituals, and every year I adapt it just the slightest.
My skin is naturally on the oily side: this will be a good thing as I age, since dryer skin wrinkles and damages faster, but it has its downsides. Winter air causes my skin to lose its balance. Some parts of my face produce even more oils to counter the dryness of the air, while others dry up. Add hormonal acne to this, and its a hard to tackle problem. For me, dry skin and breakouts happen like clockwork every year from December to February. Once the weather breaks, my skin clears back up. Over time, I’ve gotten better at treating these issues, and for the most part they are much more manageable now.
With oily skin, the summer causes another set of issues: shininess and blackheads. However, compared to sensitive and damaged winter skin, these are simple to take care of! By using the right set of toners, moisturizers, and sunscreen, I keep my skin clear, save a few blemishes, all summer long.
- stay hydrated
- cleanse your face twice daily
- use sunscreen
A Clean Slate
During the summer, thanks to the heat and humidity, you’ll probably end the day with an oily face. If you’re out in the sun and heat, you’re probably also going to be sweating; combined with the oils of your face, this can spell trouble. You’ll want to use a gentle cleanser that won’t completely strip the moisture from your skin.
I always make sure to wash my face and neck twice daily (once in the morning, and then again when I shower at night). Personally, I rotate my cleansers to keep my skin from getting used to a certain product. I love the Face Bar that we make at Waxing Kara: it’s made with a gentle blend of plant based soaps, pink clay, and rose extracts, it lathers up and cleans the skin without drying out the face. The clays in this bar help to decongest pores, while the moisture rich coconut, shea, and oat bases protect the skin. Another product I rotate in is Neutrogena’s Facial Cleansing Bar: it’s formulated to gently cleanse the skin while also combating acne. The Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier is also a favorite of mine, as it’s light and decongesting.
I only exfoliate about once a week: if you overdo it, your skin will get irritated and unbalanced. Make sure to use something that is fine for your face (and avoid plastic bead exfoliants at all costs). Our Chesterhaven Scrub is specially formulated for the face, with fine salt crystals and nourishing oils to replenish what you wash away. I’ll also use our Spa Scrub as a sort of face mask, by gently buffing it onto my skin and then letting it sit for a minute or two. This lets my skin absorb all of the vitamins in the rose ingredients, which provide protection from dark spots.
Tone + Prep
After washing my skin, I always make sure to use a gentle toner to both balance out the pH of my skin and to blot up any remaining cleanser or excess oils that might be remaining. Witch hazel is perfect for this: I just use a cotton round to swipe it over my skin. This also helps to calm redness and combat acne. I always make sure to tone my neck as well, just to make sure it’s as prepped as my face. After using witch hazel, I apply a few drops of tea tree oil onto areas that typically break out. This prevents future breakouts while also treating active spots.
Your summer skincare routine will greatly benefit from the addition of a light serum or facial oil. I personally use Super Pure from Glossier after I tone my skin. This serum is super light, and is designed to kill acne causing bacteria while reducing redness from blemishes: and let me tell you, it does a mighty fine job.
A Bit About Oils
After using this serum, I apply 2-3 drops of our Rose Facial Oil into my hands before patting it over my skin. Made from a blend of oils like jojoba and rose hip, it nourishes and combats the shine that comes from an unbalanced face. Applying a light oil to your skin will actually help to counteract the excess production of sebum. Your face gets replenished, so it doesn’t pump out buckets of oil that leave you shiny and breaking out. I carry this oil down onto my neck as well.
Although it was designed as a body oil, I use our Sea+Tea Oil around my eyes. I just take a small drop of the product, and dab it around my under eye area to fight against discoloration. The sea buckthorn extract in this oil is packed with antioxidants that are perfect for the thin skin around your eyes.
Moisturize and Treat
The next step in my summer skincare routine is to apply a light moisturizer. I typically use the Dual Action Moisturizer from Clean&Clear, since it fights acne without drying out my skin. I use 1 or 2 pumps of the moisturizer, and gently pat it onto all areas of my face and neck. You don’t want to harshly rub anything into your face, so be gentle!
Following this, I use a Ponds cream around areas of my face that could develop lines and wrinkles. The undereye, neck, and forehead are perfectly suited for using a heavier moisturizer, as they will soak up the hydration readily. Ponds creams don’t clog my pores or break me out, and there are different formulations that target several concerns.
Finally, I apply my acne treatments to any areas that are breaking out. I do this after my moisturizers are applied, so that the benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acids don’t dry or burn my skin. If I’m going to be outside for a long period, I apply Murad’s Perfecting Day Cream, a sunscreen and moisturizer with an SPF 30 that doesn’t feel greasy or oily.