Summer Skincare

Summer skincare guide: 13 essential tips from dermatologists

Summer skincare guide: 13 essential tips from dermatologists

Summer’s sun-kissed days may feel like paradise, but they can be punishing for your skin. As we embrace beach outings and poolside lounging, our skin grapples with the onslaught of UV rays, increased sweat, and the unforgiving heat. Ever wondered how to truly protect and nurture your skin during these challenging months? Imagine a summer where your skin doesn’t just survive but thrives — looking radiant, healthy, and moisturized even under the sun. We’ve got the golden ticket to make this dream a reality. Dive into our guide, curated with insights from leading dermatologists, revealing 15 essential summer skincare tips that will revolutionize your own skin care routine, and let your skin shine brighter than the summer sun.

Why is Summer Skincare important?

Summer skincare is paramount not only for maintaining a radiant complexion but also for protecting the skin from the potential hazards of the season. With the increase in UV rays and elevated temperatures, the skin becomes more susceptible to damage, dehydration, and premature aging. Incorporating a diligent summer skincare routine, complete with broad-spectrum SPF, lightweight moisturizers, and antioxidants, shields the skin from excessive sun exposure and environmental aggressors. Prioritizing summer skincare ensures that your skin remains healthy, hydrated, and glowing even in the most sun-soaked conditions.

So what are the 13 essential tips?

1. Wear Sunscreen

More than just a summer essential, sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF is your skin’s best defense against UV damage and excessive sun exposure. However, the true power of sunscreen lies in its correct application. Many individuals apply it sparingly, diminishing its protective capabilities. The diverse world of sunscreens presents two primary choices: chemical formulas that absorb UV rays, and physical ones that reflect them. For those seeking protection coupled with aesthetic benefits, tinted sunscreens are a godsend. To ensure you’re consistently safeguarding your skin, consider using apps as reminders to reapply. After all, a steadfast shield is key to maintaining radiant skin. Including a vitamin C serum prior can also boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen.

2. Topical antioxidants

Summer’s intense sun can be tough on our skin, ramping up the harmful free radicals that lead to damage. This is where antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, step up to the plate. Vitamin C isn’t just about brightening—it’s a powerhouse that combats these damaging free radicals, preventing things like early aging signs. While it’s good to know about other antioxidants such as Vitamin E and green tea, Vitamin C really takes the lead. Including products such as a Vitamin C serum it in your summer skincare routine helps fend off the season’s damage, keeping your skin glowing and youthful.

3. Brightening agents

Summer, with its prolonged sun exposure, can often accentuate hyperpigmentation, leaving behind sunspots and an uneven skin tone that can mar our skin’s natural glow. Thankfully, brightening agents come to the rescue. Niacinamide not only enhances the skin’s barrier but also reduces dark spots. Kojic acid specifically targets melanin production, minimizing sun-induced hyperpigmentation. Meanwhile, azelaic acid works double-duty, reducing inflammation and evening out skin tone. Embracing these ingredients in your summer skincare routine can be the key to combating those stubborn sun traces, ensuring your skin remains as luminous as the season itself.

4. Retinols

Summer’s intense sun can leave lasting marks on our skin, from fine lines to deeper sunspots. Enter retinols, a trusted ally in the skincare world. These vitamin A derivatives are renowned for their ability to boost collagen production, helping to smooth out wrinkles and reduce the appearance of sun-induced aging. Additionally, retinols can accelerate cell turnover, aiding in fading those stubborn sunspots and giving the skin a fresher, more even look. It’s essential to use retinols only at night, as they can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen the following day to protect your now more-sensitive skin. Incorporating retinols post-summer can be a game-changer, aiding in reversing and repairing the toll taken by those sunny days.

5. Light moisturiser

Summer’s warmth, while delightful, can sap our skin’s natural hydration. This makes moisturizers crucial, even in the midst of humidity. Lightweight, non-greasy formulations are ideal, keeping our skin hydrated without an oily feel. Many moisturizers now serve a dual purpose, offering sun protection alongside hydration. Incorporating a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen into your summer skincare can be a game-changer, keeping our skin hydrated, supple and shielded from the sun’s intensity.

6. Gently Exfoliate

As summer graces us with its golden glow, our skin can get clogged with dead skin cells, sweat, and sunscreen residue, leading to a dull complexion. This is where AHAs and BHAs, two standout chemical exfoliants, shine. These acids effectively break down the buildup of dead skin cells, unveiling radiant skin beneath. While they’re powerful allies in summer skincare, it’s essential to use them mindfully to avoid over-stripping. And with freshly exfoliated skin being more vulnerable, always ensure you apply a robust sunscreen post-exfoliation to guard against the intensified sun

7. Wear Sun Protective Clothing

While slathering on sunscreen is a top summer skin care staple, reinforcing your defense with UV protective clothing/gear is a skincare game-changer. Hats with broad brims, UV-blocking sunglasses, and clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings can add an extra layer of protection against the sun’s harsh rays. These accessories not only shield your skin from direct sunlight but also reduce the risk of sunburns and premature aging. In the peak of summer, combining UV gear with your skincare routine is a smart move to ensure you enjoy the sun safely.

8. Cleanse

In the height of summer, the mix of sweat, dust, sunscreen, and natural oils (leading to oily skin) can particularly challenge acne-prone skin. This is when a facial cleanser containing ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid become crucial. Salicylic acid delves deep into your clogged pores, exfoliating from within, while benzoyl peroxide battles acne-causing bacteria. Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, further aids in exfoliation and skin renewal. These cleansers not only effectively wash away the day’s grime but also target the root causes of breakouts. By selecting cleansers with these ingredients and using them consistently after sun-drenched days, you ensure your skin remains clear, refreshed, and prepped for subsequent skincare steps.

9. Soothe sunburnt skin

Sunburns can be an unfortunate side effect of those sun-drenched summer adventures. Thankfully, there are skincare heroes ready to offer relief. Aloe vera stands out with its renowned cooling and healing properties, delivering immediate comfort. Calendula and chamomile come to the rescue with their anti-inflammatory benefits, reducing redness and easing skin irritation. Cucumber extract, packed with vitamins and antioxidants, further soothes and hydrates the affected areas. Turning to products containing these ingredients can significantly assist in treating and comforting sunburnt skin during the summer months.

10. Remember to care for the Neck and Chest

Dermatologists often regard the face, neck, and chest as a single cosmetic unit. While many focus on facial skincare, the neck and chest also deserve care due to their unique skin characteristics. With fewer sebaceous glands, these areas can dry and age faster and might be more sensitive to strong ingredients like retinols. If using retinols, opt for milder formulas for these areas to avoid irritation. This summer, ensure your neck and chest receive tailored care in line with your facial routine.

11. Remember to care for your Arms, Hands, and Legs

While the face, neck, and chest often dominate our skincare conversations, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of caring for our limbs and hands during summer. Our arms and legs, constantly exposed in shorts and sleeveless tops, endure the brunt of the sun, risking dryness and sunburn. And let’s not forget our hands, which age just as quickly due to sun exposure. Regularly moisturizing, diligently applying sunscreen, and even incorporating retinols to these areas will prevent sun damage and keep them feeling soft and rejuvenated. This summer, make it a mission to provide all-round skin care everywhere, ensuring every part of you feels nourished and protected.

12. Face Mists

When the summer sun scorches, face mists stand out as an oasis of hydration. Not just a water spritz, today’s face mists are imbued with potent skin-loving ingredients like rosewater for soothing, chamomile for its anti-inflammatory properties, and green tea for its antioxidants. These ingredients work in synergy to calm, refresh, and protect sun-exposed skin. Whether you’re beach-bound or just enduring a hot commute, a quick spray not only hydrates but also delivers these active ingredients to your skin.

13. Consider using Aesthetic Lasers

As we bask in the summer sun, some of its effects aren’t always welcome. From sunspots to uneven skin texture and tone, the aftermath can be less than desirable. Aesthetic lasers come into play here, offering advanced solutions to address these concerns. These treatments can target and minimize sun-induced damage, revitalizing the skin’s appearance. However, it’s vital to note that post-laser skin can be extra sensitive to sunlight. If considering a laser treatment during summer, always follow your dermatologist’s advice on sun exposure and ensure you’re diligently applying and reapplying sunscreen to protect the freshly treated skin


Summertime evokes images of golden sunsets, beach waves, and balmy nights. But as much as we adore this season, our skin might tell a different story, navigating challenges like scorching UV rays, increased sweat, and unexpected sunburns. Fortunately, with the right skin care regimen, radiant summer skin isn’t just achievable—it’s a promise. By integrating these 13 dermatologist-recommended tips into your routine, you can embrace summer’s beauty wholeheartedly, confident that your skin is not just surviving, but thriving. So as the sun sets on another summer day, rest easy knowing that armed with knowledge and the right products, your skin is as luminous as the season itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the basics of a good summer skincare routine?

A: A solid summer skincare routine emphasizes sun protection, hydration, and gentle exfoliation. Regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, lightweight moisturizers, and a mild exfoliant will keep your skin radiant throughout the summer.

Q2: How does summer skincare differ from other seasons?

A: Summer skincare priorities are protection from increased UV exposure and managing excess sweat and oil production. As temperatures rise, lightweight and non-greasy products become essential.

Q3: What should skincare be in summer?

A: It should be lightweight, hydrating, and protective against UV damage. Focus on products with SPF, hydrating ingredients like glycerin, and antioxidants like Vitamin C to combat sun-induced free radicals.

Q4: How to layer skincare in summer?

A: Begin with a gentle cleanser, followed by a toner if you use one. Next, apply your serum, followed by a lightweight moisturizer, and always finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. If you wear makeup, apply it last.

Q5: How can I take care of my skin naturally in summer?

A: Drink plenty of water, consume antioxidant-rich foods, use natural oils like coconut or jojoba for hydration, and always wear a hat or protective clothing when exposed to direct sunlight. Natural face mists, like rose water, can also refresh and hydrate the skin.

Q6: Should I use serum or moisturizer in summer?

A: Both can be beneficial. Serums typically contain concentrated active ingredients and can target specific skin concerns. Moisturizers hydrate and lock in skin’s natural moisture. In summer, opt for a lightweight, hydrating serum and a non-greasy moisturizer.

Q7: What helps glowing skin in summer?

A: Stay hydrated, exfoliate gently once or twice a week, use products with brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, and maintain a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly!

Q8: Is exfoliation still crucial in a summer skincare regimen?

A: Yes, but moderation is key. Exfoliating helps remove sunscreen residue and dead skin, but always follow up with sunscreen as the new skin is more sun-sensitive.

Q9: Can I use retinols in my summer skincare routine?

A: Retinols can be beneficial year-round but make skin more sun-sensitive. If you decide to use them, ensure they’re applied at night and always follow up with sunscreen during the day.

Q10: Do I need a separate summer skincare routine for my body?

A: While the face often gets the spotlight, the body also requires summer skincare. Regularly moisturize and apply sunscreen, especially to often-exposed areas with dry skin, like arms and legs.

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