We love summer but hate what it can do to skin: Hot, humid weather wreaks havoc on an otherwise clear complexion. Before you resolve to stay inside your air-conditioned home until autumn, take a look at our strategies for avoiding summer skin care disasters.
Avoid heavy products.
Summer is not the time for heavy foundation or a full face of makeup. The last thing you need (or want) while sipping drinks on a patio or flirting with a great guy at a backyard BBQ is to have your mascara and foundation slowly sliding off your face. Plus, sweat makes makeup get lodged in your pores, causing hot-weather breakouts. Opt instead for tinted moisturizer and a touch of bronzer applied wherever the sun would naturally color your face. In summer, less is more: The less product you use, the better.
Try a faux tan.
A bit of bronze on your face evens out its tone and cuts the need for makeup. A daily moisturizer with a small amount of self tanner gives you a jump on your pre-summer glow -- plus it's safe and healthier than UV rays. Try Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer ($7.49), an oil-free lotion with a hint of self tanner. It takes about a week for the color to fully develop, but there's no mess or streaks -- just a subtle sunkissed glow.
Always wear sunscreen.
Summer means spending much more time in the direct path of the sun's damaging rays. Applying sunscreen before leaving the house may feel like a chore, but it's an essential skin care step. Put in on under makeup to ensure you're protected even on the way to the office. If you're doing anything active or decide to hit the pool, have sunscreen on hand to reapply throughout the day. Make sunglasses and a hat part of your summer handbag essentials, too.
Don't skip moisturizer.
Don't pack up your moisturizer along with your heavy sweaters. Skin needs hydration on a daily basis no matter the weather. Just switch to a lighter lotion or gel formula for summer, such as H20 Plus Face Oasis Ultra Hydrator ($40). It's a water-infused gel that provides instant hydration without feeling heavy or greasy.
Sun, sand and sweat -- not to mention makeup melting into your pores -- make exfoliation an important part of your summer skin care routine. Do so once or twice a week depending on your skin type. Sensitive skin is better off with only one scrub-session a week, but normal, dry or combination skin is fine with a double dose. We've been enjoying Bobbi Brown Buffing Grains for Face ($40), which can be mixed with water or your favorite cleanser for a gentle, customized exfoliating treatment. Otherwise, use our guide to finding the best exfoliator for your skin type.
Homemade lemon & sugar exfoliator
Learn how to make your own gentle exfoliator with this tutorial.