Ah, summer—when you break into a sweat as soon as you step out the door (or even the shower!), and need to stay constantly vigilant about sun protection.
Keep reading to hear more about:
- My summer skincare goals
- My morning skincare routine
- My nighttime skincare routine
- My extra skincare treatments
My Summer Skincare Goals
Truth be told, my skin hasn't been the best this season, leading up to the launch of The Skincare Edit! Added stress, late nights and slacking a bit on nutrition manifested on my skin as breakouts and dark circles. But I'm getting back on track now!
Here's what I'll be focusing on for the next couple of months:
- Acne: My approach is twofold. I have to be super-diligent with cleansing and acne-fighting topicals in the summer, because sweat tends to break me out. But it's also about lifestyle. When I'm working a lot and don't have good sleep and eating habits, it ALWAYS shows up on my skin!
- Pigmentation: I get loads more freckles in the summer, even with sunscreen, and they're not so cute when they're all over the sides of my face! But I'm not psychotic about it—I don't avoid the sun completely like some skin therapists do. You've got to live your life, right? Instead, my strategy is to load up on pigmentation-fading topicals and red light therapy (along with sunscreen, of course). Post-acne marks are my biggest worry, because if they darken from the sun, it can take YEARS to get rid of them!
- Sun protection: It goes without saying that high-zinc sun protection is a must. Even though there is no such thing as a safe tan, I used to always want "some colour" on my body. But now, I don't even want that! It helps that there are so many new body SPFs that don't feel gross to wear.
If you haven't seen my ingredient-checking tutorial, that will walk you through how I go about screening products and choosing what I want to put on my face! Most of what I am showing you here, I bought myself.
My Morning Skincare Routine
My day starts with Graydon Face Foam, reviewed here, in the shower. (This bottle looks untouched because I just bought my second one!) I love this cleanser so much. It's great for all skin types, not just sensitive, and even though it foams, it is sulfate-free. It's also fragrance-free and has a minimal, plant-based ingredients list.
2. Cleansing Brush:
I've started using the Foreo Luna Mini 2 in the mornings (with the Graydon Face Foam), to help buff away dead skin. Why? Because I started to find that twice-daily acid—more on that in a second!—was making my skin a bit flaky in places, such as the nose and chin. I just needed some gentle manual removal to get it off. I find you can't overdo things with the Foreo; it's not irritating at all and leaves you with a smooth, baby-soft surface.
Arguably, the most important product in my routine is the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, reviewed here. Yep, still using it, still loving it! I apply a thin layer all over my face, avoiding the eye area. It helps treat and prevent blemishes, brightens my skin and fades pigmentation.
For sweat-induced body breakouts, I like Alba Botanica Acnedote Deep Clean Astringent, a 2 percent salicylic acid toner. (You could use it on your face, too, but it could be a little drying due to the alcohol.) I don't apply it every morning, but you certainly could if body acne is an issue.
4. Niacinamide and EUK:
I've been going through a ton of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, reviewed here. This is another key product for me right now, as it's killing two birds with one stone: both breakouts and pigmentation/post-acne marks! Plus, it's hydrating and is an antioxidant. I wait 30 minutes after my acid to apply it.
I've also been testing The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1%, which is a new antioxidant alternative to vitamin C. Besides fighting free radicals, it's supposed to help with redness, another one of my issues. You're not supposed to use it with anything acidic, so I apply it at the same time as the niacinamide. I'm a bit nervous to start using it daily because of the oily texture, which could cause breakouts... I'll keep you posted!
For hydration, all I'm using are essences at the moment. I love how refreshing and watery they feel for the summer. The two I have in rotation are the Omorovicza Omoressence, reviewed here, and the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (this is a new bottle, I'm using up an older one). Since I'm wearing them under sunscreen, I don't find I need any additional moisture.
6. Eye "Cream":
I think I've mentioned this before—my eye area tends to be super-sensitive to the ingredients in most eye creams. So I tend to just use oils there instead! Right now, I'm alternating between squalane oil and coconut oil: Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil and RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream.
7. Face Sunscreen:
After writing not one, not two, but THREE sunscreen guides this year, I have a lot of SPF on my hands to use up! Some of my favourites from my face sunscreen guide include Ava Isa Pure Untinted Ultra Matte SPF 45, DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+, Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 and Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30. All of these, I reviewed here. I'm wearing them any time I step out of the house in daylight hours!
8. Body Sunscreen:
On my neck and chest, I've been applying Derma E Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, reviewed here. Technically, it's a face sunscreen, but it doesn't play nicely with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%—it tends to ball up. So I've relegated it to this area, for now!
9. Skin Makeup:
Otherwise, I do RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up on top of a non-tinted sunscreen. I don't know if it's because of laziness or or because I've been spending too much time zooming in on photos of my face... but I've wanted to show as much bare skin as possible lately, imperfections and all. I find it so annoying when I can see makeup sitting on top of my skin, even when I've carefully blended it! So I've just been applying the "Un" Cover-Up sparingly, as concealer, with the RMS Beauty Eye Polish Brush (they say it can be used as a concealer brush). For spots, I use the RMS Beauty Brightening Brush, which has a smaller tip.
I've also gone back to using RMS Beauty "Un" Powder, pressed on with a puff. It does take more time—I was slacking before, and using an eyeshadow brush—but you get a better result, as it doesn't cling so much to dry skin and hairs. On spots, I'm dabbing the powder with the RMS Beauty Powder Eye Shadow Brush... it's a bit of a back-and-forth layering process that has to happen with it and the "Un" Cover-Up!
Then comes bronzer, the RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer, which I'm applying as blush with RMS Beauty Skin2Skin Blush Brush. And last but not least, RMS Beauty Living Luminizer on the high planes of the face, buffed in with the RMS Beauty Kabuki Polisher. I'm wearing all of this makeup (but not the CC cream) in the photo at the top!
10. Face/Body Mist:
I love a good mist in the summer, and my newest discovery is BIOeffect Osa Water Mist. What's unique is that it is mattifying as well as hydrating, thanks to silica and hyaluronic acid. It's also fragrance-free, and the tube is a good size to toss in your purse.
Another mist I love is Caudalie Grape Water, reviewed here, which has anti-inflammatory properties. When I'm really hot, I like a pure thermal water like Avène Eau Thermale to drench my face and body!
11. Lip Balm:
For lips, I have a bunch of new discoveries to tell you about. All I want to wear is tinted balm right now—and if you're looking for one with SPF, look no further than the COOLA Mineral Liplux SPF 30. I bought every shade, and I love them all! I'm wearing Firecracker in the photo.
In non-SPF balms, another amazing choice is the Henné Organics Luxury Lip Tint. Again, bought all the shades, and they're just SO good.
I've gone through my Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm, reviewed here, so quickly that I had to have it in tinted form. The Lanolips Tinted Lip Balm does not disappoint either. I will do reviews of all of these!
My Nighttime Skincare Routine
1. Makeup Remover:
Moving on to nighttime... my first step is swiping my face with Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water on a Shiseido Facial Cotton pad. This is just to remove most of my makeup and surface sunscreen before cleansing my skin. (The bottle looks untouched because it's the new packaging... I'm using up an older one!)
Next, I wash my face at least once with a gel cleanser. Sometimes twice, if I feel I need it to get all my sunscreen off! I'm still enjoying the Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser, which is sulfate-free. I don't expect it to actually clear blemishes, but I like it as a mild cleanser for normal to oily and acne-prone skin.
I also JUST bought the new Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser, so that is my next one to start testing this month. I'll let you know what I think!
3. Cleansing Brush:
In conjunction with my face wash, I'm using the Foreo Luna 2 for Combination Skin every night, to leave my skin thoroughly clean. This one has longer bristles than the Luna Mini 2 model from the morning, so it's more powerful and leaves your skin even smoother. One of my top must-have beauty tools!
After 30 minutes (if I haven't fallen asleep!), I do another round of The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Before, I was only using it in the morning and doing retinol at night. But I usually avoid retinol in the summer, just to be extra-careful, because of this study. I want to experiment with the niacinamide to see if twice a day gives me even better results!
6. Lash Serum:
I'm on maintenance mode with Latisse now, so I only need to apply it to my lash lines every other night. Not that my lashes look crazy-long now, but I definitely got some improvement!
7. Eye "Cream":
As my "eye cream," I just dab on the RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream. At night, I prefer the coconut oil instead of squalane because it's easier to control the amount (and prevent it seeping into my eyes or the Latisse!).
8. Lip Balm:
Here's a little tip... Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, which is marketed as a nipple salve, is the exact same thing as the Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm. Both are 100 percent pure, medical-grade lanolin, but one is a lot cheaper! Since I go through so much of it, I bought the Lansinoh to use at home, and keep the Lanolips for my purse (since it's smaller and prettier).
9. Sleep Mask:
My Summer Skin Treatments
Red Light Therapy:
With my goals of treating and preventing acne and pigmentation, I've been doing even more red light therapy than ever before! I use my Red Light Man Red Light Device at least once a day, if not twice a day (morning and night). And I really do notice a difference in how quickly breakouts heal and fade. Red light also prevents pigmentation after sun exposure.
I love a good clay mask in the summertime, such as MV Organic Skincare Signature Mineral Mask, reviewed here, and Safeas Illite Pure Lava Clay, reviewed here (this is the old packaging). Both of these should be mixed with water until creamy; then I mist my skin while they're on to keep them moist (about 10 minutes). While I think BHAs are ultimately more effective for acne, these are a nice little pick-me-up and can help calm the skin.
Now you know what's been going on in my routine lately (if you're interested in these minute details!).
I always say this—don't dive into a routine exactly like mine if you're new to acids. My skin has built up a tolerance over a long time!
Also don't feel like you need this many products/steps. I'm not a minimalist because I'm always testing and experimenting with things. You may very well find you don't need multiple hydrators, mists, masks, etc.
Need more help with building your routine? I've JUST updated my free Better Skin in 7 email course! It's got my most important tips and latest product recommendations, covering everything from cleansing to exfoliating to hydration. You can sign up right here!
Shop My Skincare Routine
Have you tried any of the products I'm using?
What's your summer skincare routine?