Dermatologist Tips: How to Treat Your Skin This Summer

The needs of your skin change from season to season, so your skincare routine must also change to accommodate the shifting needs. Different routines and products reflect the weather change, underlying skin types, and activity levels. People with a normal skin type may be lucky enough not to need to alter their routine — however, most are not that fortunate. Read on to learn what products should be a part of your summer skincare routine.

Key takeaways:

Skincare consists of the use of products that properly care for your skin. It is a must for everyone but can differ from person to person and season to season. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and one of its jobs is the protection of the body's vital organs. To get optimal benefits from your skincare routine, you must use these products every day. A good skincare routine keeps the skin healthy, functioning well, and looking its best.

Summer skincare: Why it's important?

The hotter and more humid summer weather can play havoc on your skin. Summer skincare focuses on different priorities due to the change in the weather. Summer weather causes an increase in oil production. Because you produce more oil, you would not think you need to apply moisturizer, but you do. The sun also causes dehydration.

It can be challenging to balance enough hydration without making your skin too greasy. Summer heralds more outdoor activities, which causes more exposure to the sun's damaging rays. This excess sun exposure increases the risk of premature aging and skin cancer, so sun protection is critical.

Skincare routine essentials for the summer

While the steps in your skincare routine for winter and summer are similar, the products you use may need to change to reflect the temperature difference. The change in weather will change your skin, giving rise to different requirements. Always consult your dermatologist before starting new products to ensure they are right for you.


Summer heralds warmer, more humid weather, which stimulates sebum production. This excess sebum makes the skin oilier and more prone to breakouts. If you have more breakouts, you may want to use an acne wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It is best to check with your dermatologist first.

With oilier summer skin, there is a temptation to overwash your skin. Excessive washing, especially with harsh soaps, can lead to overproduction of oil, making your skin worse. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day and after sports. If you are oily in between washings, use blotting paper.


Exfoliants can help remove dull, dead winter skin to reveal a brighter complexion for summer. Exfoliants can help remove dirt and oil while smoothing the texture of your skin. Be careful not to overuse them and damage your skin. Once or twice a week is sufficient.

There are 2 types of exfoliants: chemical and physical. Chemical ones are easier to use and less likely to accidentally harm your skin if you follow directions. Chemical exfoliants include hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, to break down bonds between dead skin cells and remove them. Physical exfoliants include brushes and cloths to remove dead skin cells.


The heavy moisturizing creams you use during the winter to hydrate your skin are usually not necessary in summer. These thick moisturizers may feel heavy on your skin and make it too greasy. You may want to switch to lighter lotion or gel moisturizers. However, listen to your skin. If you have eczema, you may need to continue with thicker creams. You do not want to discontinue using moisturizers completely in summer because your skin still needs them. Without hydration, your skin will overproduce oil.

Sun protection

The most important product you will use this summer is sunscreen to help prevent skin cancers and wrinkles. Select a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays from the sun with an SPF 50. If you are outdoors and sweat a lot or in the water, use water-resistant sunscreen. You must use sunscreen every day and reapply every 1-2 hours you are outside. Do not forget sunscreen for your lips.

In addition to sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, UPF clothing, and sunglasses will help protect your skin. Hats can help protect your scalp and parts of your face and neck. Sunglasses that block UV rays will help protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays, which can cause cancers and cataracts. UPF 50 clothing will help block out 98% of the sun's rays from hitting your skin and is a great addition if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Also, avoid peak times of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. if you must go outside.


Because it is hotter and more humid in the summer, you may want to use lighter makeup or avoid it altogether. Thick makeup and sweat do not mix. You may end up with makeup running down your face or clogging your pores. Also, be sure to remove it before bed to prevent acne breakouts. Many prefer tinted sunscreen or moisturizer in summer instead of makeup because they are lighter.


If you want a healthy sunkissed glow for your skin this summer, use a self-tanner or get a spray tan. It is a safer and quicker alternative to tanning in the sun or tanning bed. There is no such thing as a healthy tan from the sun. It just means the sun has damaged your skin permanently.


With more humidity and warmer weather, summer is the perfect time to try retinoids. Retinoids are great for your skin. They can help with acne, smooth the texture of your skin, rebuild collagen to fight wrinkles, and remove dark spots. Be sure to start slowly to avoid the potential drying side effects. Also, you must wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when outside. You do not want direct sunlight on your face while using retinoids.


Summer is a great time to use antioxidant serums, like vitamin C. Antioxidants will scavenge up the free radicals from the sun to prevent collagen breakdown and subsequent wrinkles. Vitamin C can also help rebuild collagen and remove brown spots. Some skin supplements may also boost collagen production from within.

Summer can wreak havoc on your skin if you are not prepared. Most must alter their summer skincare routines to adjust for warmer, more humid weather. Everyone's skin is different, and your personal summer skincare routine should reflect that difference. If you need help finding the right products for your summer skin, ask your board-certified dermatologist for help and guidance.

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