With spring on the horizon, it's time to start making swaps in your skin-care routine. "Your skin requires different things in the summertime when humidity is higher and the sun is stronger," Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC, previously told Well + Good. And one of the most important changes derms want you to make is with your moisturizer. As temps start to heat up (and sweat, grease, and oil start to set in), you'll want to trade your heavy, occlusive creams for lighter, gel-based lotions packed with humectant ingredients.
That's where the Make Beauty Succulent Skin Gel Cream ($28) comes in. This lightweight cream (which actress Mandy Moore used to prep her skin ahead of last weekend's Critics' Choice Awards) is formulated with ingredients found in the desert, which are by nature designed to retain moisture in hot climates. The types of cacti that you'll find in the product are filled to the brim with vitamin E and essential fatty acids to keep skin hydrated and cool—which is precisely what your complexion needs throughout the sweltering months ahead.
First up on the ingredients list is aloe vera, which is beloved for its ability to soothe redness and reduce inflammation. But this succulent can do so much more than that. As board-certified dermatopathologist Gretchen Frieling, MD, previously told Well + Good, "aloe vera leaves are abundant with water, so it helps to hydrate the skin and seal in moisture." Plus, according to research, the ingredient can reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Next, there are cactus extracts, which Julia Dalton-Brush, makeup artist and founder of B3: Brush Beauty Balm, says are effective for protecting skin on hot summer days because they "come from a climate where plants need to constantly protect themselves from dryness and sun damage." Because of their ability to withstand some of the hottest temperatures, "it makes sense that these plants produce oils that are also beneficial to our personal use," she adds.
Finally, there's prickly pear, which has become a skin-care staple for many reasons. It contains linoleic acid, which pros say nourishes the skin and eliminates dullness. It's also got high levels of vitamin K, which is known to brighten dark under-eye circles (and is lauded as the one ingredient everyone should be using under their eyes by the time they hit 50).
In addition to these desert-derived ingredients, this luxurious gel cream also features a few familiar faces. It has niacinamide, an antioxidant beloved for fading hyperpigmentation, and glycerin, a humectant that locks in moisture and is friendly for all skin types. Overall, this powerhouse moisturizer is jam-packed with extra nourishing ingredients that leave skin protected, healthy, and hydrated all spring and summer long.
Sun protection is (obviously) important in the summer, too. Check out the video below for a derm's tips on picking the best products.
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