Photo: Dmytro Zinkevych
We spend the winter months willing the manifestation of summer, thinking of pool days, vacations, park dates, and summer wardrobes. What often slips our minds is the adjustments to our skincare routine that become necessary with the arrival of warmer weather.
You feel it happening even if you haven’t consciously made the correlation — when the air becomes warmer, as much as we love it, it sucks the moisture right from our skin. For those with oilier-leaning skin, this means your sebaceous glands kick into overdrive to overcompensate for the lack of moisture, leaving you with skin that looks even oilier than normal. For those with drier skin, this can mean developing rough, dry patches during the summer.
Misinformation about summer skincare is often spread, leading to the popular misconception that you should altogether forgo oils and moisturizers in the summer to avoid over-hydrating. Similarly, there is a misconception among the Black community supporting the belief that melanin eliminates the need for sunscreen, neither of which are completely accurate.
Ahead, here are 10 tips that ensure your smooth and glowy complexion survives the summer, and the Black-owned brands that have everything you’ll need to stay on track.
Summer Skincare Tips: Stay hydrated
Because the air sucks moisture from our skin in the warmer months, staying hydrated in the summer is extremely important. Even the beloved summer activity, swimming, aids in this phenomena — chlorine is known to strip the skin of moisture as well. If you’ve yet to introduce a face mask to your skin routine, now’s the time to kick it into gear and consider masking twice a week. Clay masks in particular are known to unclog pores and rejuvenate and purify the skin.
Summer Skincare Tips: No, you can’t skip sunscreen
Unless you’re okay with an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging, sunscreen is non-negotiable. This applies to women of color, too. While melanin does decrease the chances of skin cancer caused by the sun, it doesn’t eliminate the risk altogether. To thoroughly protect your skin from the sun, apply a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) to your face every two hours when in direct sunlight. Additionally, dermatologist, Dr. Giles told InStyle that evidence supports the theory that oral intake of vitamin E and C may aid in decreasing risk for sunburn. Think vitamin-enriched foods like berries, tomatoes, and nuts.
Summer Skincare Tips: Continue to Moisturize
You may be understandably tempted to skip out on moisturizer in the summer. Combined with heat, creamy-based moisturizers are prone to contributing to that unwelcome sticky, sweaty feeling. Instead, opt for a gel-based moisturizer (extra points if it doubles as an SPF). Contrary to belief, some form of moisturizer is still needed in the summer to lessen the activity of your oil glands.
Summer Skincare Tips: Plenty of vitamin C and antioxidants
Vitamin C and antioxidants are ingredients to be familiar with year-round, but they can really work magic in the summer. Vitamin C is widely used as a skin brightener, and NYC dermatologist, Anna Chapas even tells Vogue that the vitamin helps combat SPF rays your sunscreen may not have fully blocked. On the other hand, antioxidants serve as protection against free radicals, which are particles in the air that attach to your skin’s collagen, weakening its natural elasticity.
Summer Skincare Tips: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Summer months are actually the time to amp up the exfoliation, as heat can make your skin less sensitive to this oftentimes harsh practice. Exfoliation will also speed up the skin’s process of overturning dead skin cells, and help reduce pore size.
Summer Skincare Tips: Treat your face to a mist
Consider face mists your personal pick me up. Most are great for applying right after cleansing your skin, and then handy to keep by your side throughout the day for a refresher from the heat. Face mists moisturize and revitalize tired-looking skin, bringing a ‘glow from within’ look to your complexion.
Summer Skincare Tips: The ‘Alicia Keys’ routine
In general, it’s helpful to reduce your face makeup in the summer, or go the Alicia Keys route and forgo makeup completely. Products like foundation which tend to melt on your face as the day progresses are often the culprit in clogged pores and increased oiliness. Understandably, there are occasions when you’d rather not go without makeup. In that case, the number rule is to always be sure to cleanse your skin before bed.
Summer Skin Care Tips: Alternate your face cleanser
As with your moisturizer, the heat brings on the need for a cleanser revamp. Similarly, you’ll want to shelf the heavy, cream-based products and instead opt for a gel or foam-based facial cleanser. In general, all sectors of skincare will follow these rules in the summer: less is more, and the lighter, the better.
Summer Skincare Tips: Double it up
Before dipping into the aforementioned gel cleanser, particularly after spending the day outside or in makeup, wash your face first with an oil cleanser. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? We’re trying to avoid oilier skin in the summer. But, because like attracts like, cleansing with oil actually strips unneeded dirt and oils from the skin, leaving it balanced in the end. Then, proceed with your gel cleanser.
Summer Skincare Tips: TLC for the eyes
Because the skin surrounding your eyes is the most delicate on your face, it’ll need some extra care during this time. When the sun attacks the skin, causing aging and wrinkles, this is likely where it’ll start. Serums, balms, and masks will keep the area protected and moisturized.