Summer weather means your skin is getting increased UV exposure and you're sweating more. And depending on where you are, you may also be experiencing increased humidity. All of these factors impact our complexions and how we should care for them. Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says that now is the time to go overdrive on protection.
"During the summer months when people are spending more time outdoors and are getting outside earlier in the day, it's important to just be consistent," says Dr. Garshick. That means adequately protecting your skin from UV rays and environmental stressors, keeping your skin hydrated without going overboard, and regularly exfoliating to prevent buildup. To do that, there are four summer skin-care ingredients that should be in your routine from now through Labor Day Weekend. Get the specifics and shop Dr. Garshick's favorite products below.
4 non-negotiable summer skin-care ingredients to keep in your routine
"Sunscreen should be part of your everyday routine, even in the other seasons, but of course, it's more important now," says Dr. Garshick. "Make sure it's part of your morning routine, just like brushing your teeth, so you don't forget it. It's important even on cloudy days, even if you don't necessarily see the sun shining, because UV rays can penetrate through the clouds and certainly can impact your skin."
“I generally like the Colorescience Total Protection Flex, which comes in lots of different shades,” says Dr. Garshick. “It actually comes out of the bottle as a whitish color and then, as you rub it in it’s more clear and it matches your skin tone, which is really great.”
“DRMTLGY makes a physical universal tinted moisturizer,” says Dr. Garshick. “And so this one’s a mineral blocking but also moisturizing sunscreen, so it goes on really nicely. It’s hydrating to the skin, but does provide a nice little tinted camouflage, so it helps to create a little natural coverage, especially for somebody who maybe doesn’t want to wear makeup in the summer months. It’s pretty lightweight, so it won’t leave the skin feeling greasy.”
2. Vitamin C
"In addition to sunscreen, if you're not already, it really is a good idea to incorporate some type of antioxidant, such as vitamin C," says Dr. Garshick. "I always say vitamin C and sunscreen work well to provide the most protection for your skin. Vitamin C helps to repair and protect against what's known as free radical damage."
Vitamin C is also great to deal with hyperpigmentation.
"Vitamin C also is thought to have brightening benefits," says Dr. Garshick. "During the summer months, people are often concerned about developing brown spots and sun spots and discoloration, so using vitamin C as part of your morning routine can be a helpful way to prevent that or improve the appearance of that as well."
“I like the Skin Better Science Alto Advanced, which is their newest version that just recently came out,” says Dr. Garshick. “This is choc-full of antioxidants, so it has your vitamin C in addition to 17 other antioxidants. It’s great really for all skin types, including those with sensitive skin. It’s easy to layer and generally I recommend doing once or twice a day, but definitely keep incorporating it into your morning routine is great after you wash your face and before you moisturize.”
“Vichy makes these vitamin C ampoules and I love these in the summertime because they’re great for on-the-go weekend travel,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s very easy to use and gives you that layer of vitamin C.”
3. Hyaluronic acid
"Just because it's the summer months doesn't mean moisturizer is a no-go. Many people will still benefit and everyone really should still be using it even if you have oily skin, so moisturizing ingredients are still going to be important," says Dr. Garshick. We always talk about hydration and drinking water, but hydrating your skin is also important, so things like hyaluronic acid, a humectant that helps to draw moisture in, can be important for a lot of people. It gives them that dewy glow that everyone likes during the summertime."
Keeping up with your skin hydration is especially important if you're using exfoliants and retinoids. "People oftentimes think that in the summer months, because things like exfoliants and retinoids can make you a little more sensitive to the sun, that they have to stop using them, but I would say that they're fine to continue using," says Dr. Garshick.
“The Neutrogena Hydro-Gel is a hyaluronic acid face moisturizer, so it’s going to help to draw in that moisture,” says Dr. Garshick. “Because it has this gel formulation it’s nice and cooling when it goes on the skin and very lightweight. It also layers well under sunscreen.”
“La Roche-Posay has their Toleriane line, and they have a matte moisturizer now that they just came out with which is great,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s especially good for those who are a little bit on the more oily side. since it has a mattifying effect to reduce that.”
“Vichy has their Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid booster, which is great,” says Dr. Garshick. “In the summer months, it can actually be sufficient to use by itself. Or if you are a little bit on the drier side, you can layer it and put your moisturizer on top of it.”
“Glow Recipe has their Hyaluronic Acid Plum Plump which is going to help to draw moisture in and help to plump the skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “It’s great to use all year round.”
"To achieve a summer glow, exfoliating can be a very helpful way to get rid of the dullness that we accumulate with the dead skin buildup from the winter months," says Dr. Garshick. Just be careful not to do it too frequently—once a week or twice a week max. To exfoliate, Dr. Garshick recommends using alpha-hydroxy acids like lactic acid or salicylic acid
“I like the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads and I think pads are a great option in the summer months,” says Dr. Garshick. “Obviously, you still want to apply it to clean skin, but it’s a nice way to wipe the skin. It’s delivering lactic acid and so it’s going to help to brighten the skin, it’s going to help to work with hyperpigmentation, and get rid of the dead skin cells.”
“For those who like more of a serum consistency, the Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid is a good option,” says Dr. Garshick.
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