As the seasons shift from cool and brisk to sunny and humid, our skin also undergoes noticeable changes. The transition to warmer weather can shock the delicate balance of oils in the hydration barrier, causing inflammation, excess sebum and dehydration. Skincare plays an important role in maintaining the consistency our skin craves despite these seasonal changes. A few simple changes to my skincare routine keep my skin happy in the summer.
1. Up the SPF
As someone with fair skin, I’ve given up on tanning as it can cause cellular damage that accelerates the signs of aging. While I try to wear sunscreen every day of the year, it’s true that the UVB rays that cause sun burns are stronger during the warmer months. The SPF 15 found in most makeup is not enough to sustain a full layer of sun protection, especially if you don’t reapply throughout the day. During the summer, I use an SPF of at least 30, but aim for SPF 50 or higher. I look for sunscreens that offer broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays, have a light/non-greasy finish and are ideally reef-safe*.
*Stream2Sea has a comprehensive list of common sunscreen ingredients to avoid that prevent a sunscreen from being biodegradable in fragile marine environments.
2. Lighter Moisturizer
With warmer weather comes changes in the skin’s oil production and overall hydration. Sweat can mix with bacteria and the natural oils produced by the skin, causing clogged pores and breakouts. I pare down my morning routine in the summer to just face wash, SPF, and a light moisturizer to help control excess oil throughout the day. The last thing I want in 90% humidity is to feel overly greasy, so I opt for moisturizers with a gel-feel that absorb quickly.
3. Mid-day Reset
When I do feel the need to “reset” my skin in the middle of the day, I’m not always home with access to my skincare cabinet or have the time to do a full routine. For this reason, I usually carry a facial mist for on-the-go hydration. Even in humid weather, heat can cause dehydration of our bodies and skin. Products with collagen and hyaluronic acid work to restore hydration without feeling heavy or oily and combat damage caused UV rays. A mist is refreshing enough to avoid a full wash and layering with a moisturizing SPF typically provides enough protection to last the rest of the day.
After a long day in the sun (burned or otherwise), a cooling mask does wonders in the evening for puffy, irritated skin. I love using a jade roller on top of a sheet mask to help the essence penetrate. I also keep my jade roller in the freezer for an extra-cooling effect. After about 20 minutes under the mask, my skin is calm and ready for my favorite night-time routine.
- By Carrie Wise (@skin.list)