Just like with your wardrobe, your skincare routine needs a little adjustment once the summer hits. As heat and UV rays increase, your complexion takes a hit. The obvious: you’re more prone to sun damage. But there are sneakier culprits too. A recent study confirmed that the heat results in more sweat, and therefore more sebum secretion (oil) and more transepidermal water loss (dehydration). Here’s how to keep your complexion from having a meltdown.
Your skin may feel a little greasier in the summer and experience more breakouts, due to the sweat-induced spike in sebum, and also the fact that “hot weather can actually heat up your skin’s sebum and make it feel oilier,” says dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, M.D., founder of Entiere Dermatology in NYC. (In its natural state, sebum actually has a waxy texture.) But the last thing you should do is skip moisturizer. In fact, foregoing one can actually cause skin to overcompensate with more oil, and make summertime dehydration even worse. Instead, look for a lightweight formula to balance your complexion, suggests Levin. Ingredients like hemp seed and grapeseed oil, found in the Clear Pure Radiance Oil, are known for their ability to moisturize without clogging pores or feeling heavy.
Double up on antioxidants
While sunscreen should already be a part of your daily routine (and if it isn’t, make that addition stat), you’ll want to be extra vigilant during summer. Since no SPF is perfect, though, Levin recommends wearing an antioxidant treatment daily, like the Vitamin C Booster. “This will help helps protect against infrared radiation, pollutants, other causes of free radical formation, and of course, ultraviolet radiation from the sun,” she says. Like sunscreen, antioxidants are good for your skin year-round, but upping your dosage to morning and evening applications during summer months is the best approach for avoiding and repairing damage.
Cleanse smarter, not harder
The sweat and humidity may make your skin feel dirtier, but resist the urge to over-cleanse, says Levin, as this can “wreak havoc on the skin by disrupting the barrier.” Over-cleansing includes washing more than twice a day, rubbing instead of gently massaging, and relying on harsh and drying ingredients in your cleanser. Instead, Levin recommends choosing a cleanser that is thorough without stripping, and utilizes mild exfoliating ingredients, like the black willow bark extract found in Clear Nourishing Cleanser. These types of ingredients will help “break down sweat, excess oil buildup, and sunscreen, and keep pores clear,” she says.
Speaking of exfoliating, you’ll also want to be more careful with this in the summer. No matter your method, exfoliating brings fresh skin to the surface, which makes it more susceptible to sunburn. While something like a willow bark cleanser isn’t on your skin long enough to make you more burn-prone, a lactic acid mask is. So be sure to mask at night to give your skin more time to recover, and be extra generous with the SPF the next day.