Skin Care

Sun-kissed skin: summer skincare routine

Written by Audra BajorinaiteUpdated on 19 Jun 2024
Skin Care

Sun-kissed skin: summer skincare routine

Written by Audra Bajorinaite.Updated at 19 Jun 2024
Summertime brings a fresh breath of air into our lives. Longer days change our energy levels, warmer weather brings us more opportunities for outdoor activities, and festivals and summer holidays keep us out and about enjoying nature and the company of others. However, all the heat, humidity, and unavoidably high sun exposure pose a challenge to our skin. Whether you're hitting the beach every weekend, getting immersed in your gardening for hours on end, or simply spending your whole summer in the city, your skincare routine needs a few tweaks during summertime to stay happy, healthy, and fresh.

Why do we need different skincare in summer?

Our skin goes through a lot during summer, mainly due to the heavily increased sun exposure, heat, and humidity.

1) Sun

Sun exposure is probably the biggest threat to your skin out there. It's a good idea to identify your skin colour using the Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype scale or the more comprehensive Monk Skin Tone Scale to determine your skin's response to ultraviolet (UV) light. This will help you understand how high your risk of getting a sunburn is and how easily your skin tans. The fairer the skin, the higher SPF sunscreen you should use and the less direct sun exposure you should have.

2) Heat

Summer heat inevitably leads to more sweating, which can affect your skin's natural oil production. Everything that you put on your face and neck, including serums, creams, and makeup, should be lighter in the summer season. Just like your entire body needs more water whenever you sweat more, your face needs some extra hydration, too. A strong SPF all day every day is a non-negotiable in a summer skincare routine. Opt for sunblocks specifically designed for facial protection, as they tend to have a lighter mattifying consistency.

3) Humidity

Higher temperatures come with higher air humidity that challenges our skin even further. The fastest ageing is photoaging from sun exposure.We might not necessarily sweat more in a more humid environment, but the sweat doesn't evaporate as easily. If your sweat lingers on your face for too long, it starts blocking pores and makes it easier for bacteria to breed. This could lead to rashes and acne breakouts. Humidity helps with this. All of these threats can be counterbalanced with a thorough cleansing routine at the end of the day as well as in the morning. It's also important to keep your face fresh by opting for light or no makeup during the day and refreshing your face with sprays and mists.

Top Summer Skincare Tips for All Skin Types

1) Cleansing twice daily

As the summer heat makes us sweat more and the humidity keeps that sweat and pollutants on our skin, a thorough cleanse in the evenings is essential. It is also important to start your morning with a gentle cleanse to get rid of oil buildup from the night. Choose products designed for your skin type. If your skin is oily or combination, try a cleanser with salicylic acid to reduce sebum production.

2) Active serums

After cleansing, enrich your skin with an active serum. Use a serum with vitamin C in the morning and a serum with retinoids, such as retinol, in the evening. Vitamin C serums can add extra UV protection. They are rich in antioxidants. They even skin complexion, reduce hyperpigmentation, and help to prevent premature ageing. A serum with retinol in the evening will strengthen your skin after a day in the sun, heat, and humidity. It will also stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and promote cell regeneration and exfoliation, improving skin health, complexion, and elasticity. Build up your retinol use slowly and start using it once a week to avoid irritation. Don't combine it with other active ingredients to avoid damaging your skin barrier.

3) Lightweight moisturizer

After your serum of choice is absorbed by your skin, reach out for a light moisturizer with hydrating ingredients. Because of its hydrating effects, hyaluronic acid is a very beneficial active ingredient to look out for in your daytime moisturizer. Some moisturisers are enriched with SPF for UV protection, but this protection is not enough - use a dedicated SPF cream.

4) Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Even if you forget everything else, always remember to wear your SPF. This is hands down the most important summer skincare step. Harsher UV light and longer days make our skin especially susceptible to the damaging effects of direct sunlight, such as premature aging and the risk of skin cancer. When it comes to sunscreens, you can choose between chemical and mineral formulas. Chemical sunscreens don’t need to be reapplied as often, but they might pose risks to humans and the environment. Mineral sunscreens might be a better and safer option if you're concerned about the chemical ingredients, or if you have sensitive and acne-prone skin. No matter which one you choose, scientific research proves again and again that wearing some sort of sunscreen, as well as reapplying it throughout the day, is essential in preventing sunburn and skin cancer.

5) Night-time skincare routine

Cleansing your face and neck at night is crucial to get rid of the remnants of your sunscreen, environmental pollutants, makeup, and sweat. Add gentle exfoliation 1-2 times a week to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and improve overall skin health. In between exfoliations, treat yourself to a hydrating face mask.

The Best Summer Skincare Tips for Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination and Sensitive Skin

The first step in finding the best products for your skin, summer or winter, is to identify your skin type. Here's a breakdown of the tell-tale signs of all 5 skin types and the special treatment they require.

1) Normal skin

Normal skin is an ideal skin that is neither dry nor oily. It has few imperfections, small pores, soft texture, and even complexion. When it comes to summertime skincare for normal skin, the only difference is using a higher SPF sunblock and focusing on cleansing and exfoliating to remove that extra dust pollution and sweat.

2) Dry skin

Dry skin is easy to spot. If your skin is dull and flaky, then your skin definitely needs extra hydration during the day and nourishment at night. Don't strip your skin from its natural oils with excessive washing, cleansing, or exfoliation. Opt for a lighter and non-abrasive cleanser, don’t over-exfoliate, and add hydrating masks to your skincare routine at least once a week.

3) Oily skin

Oily skin is usually the result of genetic and hormonal factors, as well as improper skincare. A lot of people experience it in adolescence. It's easily identified by a greasy feel, shiny look, and larger pores. People with oily skin will need a stronger cleanser to remove excess oil and prevent acne outbursts. Use oil-free products when it comes to makeup and sunscreen. Purifying masks, like Moroccan clay, are extremely helpful. Gentle exfoliation once a week can be useful, too.

4) Combination skin

Combination skin can be identified with a combination of oily and dry patches on the face. It's often the T-zone – forehead, nose, and chin – that is oily with other parts of the face feeling dry. To manage combination skin in summer you'll need a variety of products to keep both oiliness and dryness at bay. Choose an oil-free moisturizer for the oily parts of your skin and avoid over-exfoliating to make sure your skin doesn’t get too dry.

5) Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin will show increased sensitivity to touch and many cosmetic products, especially those with acids. It may become red, itchy, and possibly have a burning sensation. Sensitivity can vary greatly from person to person. Choose products specifically designed for sensitive skin. Avoid perfumes, alcohol, retinoids, sulfates, parabens, and citrus in your skincare products. Treat your skin with cooling ingredients such as aloe vera or soothing components like centella or ceramides.

Skincare Mistakes To Avoid In Summer

  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Wearing sunscreen is not enough to protect you from damaging UV light. Use physical barriers, too, such as a hat and UV-200 sunglasses. Stay in the shade whenever possible.
  • A hydrated body means hydrated skin. Don't forget to drink your water and enrich it with natural electrolytes. Avoid dehydrating drinks, such as alcohol and coffee. Hydrate your body with more veggies and fruits in your diet.
  • Go easy on makeup in summertime. Let your skin breathe and rest more often from that extra weight and chemicals of makeup.
  • Opt for cool or cold showers and face washes to help refresh your skin and tighten the pores.
  • Treat your neck and décolleté (exposed chest area) with the same products and skincare routines as your face.