We love blotting papers. (Especially these.) But when the heat and humidity require a dozen or so just to get you looking like your pre-sweat self, you might need something stronger. Something that acts like your workout tank and essentially wicks.
But here are a few summer-heat skin-care solutions that you might not have thought of—like a bar of charcoal soap or (don’t freak out!) facial oils.
All eight can help your skin stay on the acceptable side of dewy even when everyone else looks drenched. —Melisse Gelula
If you haven’t used one yet, a charcoal-infused soap is a serious skin-saver. Not only does it help keep you on the good end of the glowy-to-sweaty continuum, it’s a gentle fighter of skin freakouts, redness, and batches of acne, too. Put one in your shower if your pimples are more pervasive, a common issue this time of year.
An Active Face Mist
Pretty much anything you mist yourself with will feel amazingly refreshing on a hot day. But to tamp down shine, your spritz of choice should include active ingredients like witch hazel, willow bark, or exfoliating fruit enzymes (like bromelain or papain) to help regulate oil production and keep pores clear.
Mychelle Fruit Enzyme Mist, $27.99
It’s hard as a rock when you buy it, then a bit weird and wiggly when activated with water. But it’s become a cult-fave way to reduce saucer-size pores, exfoliate, and deeply cleanse (even sensitive-ish skin). The green clay has a drawing action on pores that doesn’t leave you feeling tight or dry. And you can use it alone or with a cleanser.
Add this product to your heat advisory skin-care regimen. Mattifiers typically contain shine-absorbing ingredients like rice powder and zinc PCA, which give your skin a smooth, matte finish and help control oil production. These ingredients also won’t dry out your skin (yay!), which would just signal your glands to pump out more oil (boo!).
Little known fact: Mineral sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium dioxide reduce shine and make skin matte while they protect your skin from a broader range of UV rays. Many sunscreen-moisturizers work the same magic, minimizing your shine-to-sweat ratio. They also make great makeup primers.
When you slough off dead skin cells, your skin looks and acts better. So, don’t wait for your next facial: use an exfoliating mask at home that contains lactic acid, alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, or active fruit enzymes. Plus the mask works overtime as a pore-declogger and a deep cleanse—ideal if you’re wearing all that extra summer sunscreen.
Okay, we’re going to give it to you straight: You cannot sop up oil with water. Only oil balances oily skin. We’re talking plant oils like skin-balancing neroli, argan, grapeseed, and neem—all of these are shine fighters. (If you need something more astringent or anti-bacterial, also look for tea tree, thyme, camphor, and anything in the citrus or mint family.) Apply a couple drops to your face at night, and watch your skin respond to the summer heatwave in a whole new way. Need more convincing? Read this.
Take a Facial Mud Bath
Most facial muds are really clay. And clay has this cool push-pull action. It pulls crud from your skin and the pores (including blackheads), and it’s a vehicle for driving in good ingredients you want. A great pairing is algae; they’re like superfoods of the sea that have superpowers when it comes to balancing skin and shine.
Osea Ocean Cleansing Mudd, $16–$42