Easy Ways to Step Up Your Summer Skincare Routine

Vacation vibes, fun get-togethers, cute dresses—is there anything better than summertime? And with sunny, brighter days comes a desire to keep our skin happy, too. The best way to do it? Start a new summer skincare regimen. From lighter products to more SPF, your summer skincare should be as easy-breezy as the season while still keeping you hydrated and protected. We tapped New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD to share the summer skincare tips everyone should know. Read on for everything to know.

1. Lighten up your skincare

We’re all about sticking to a skincare routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up with the seasons. “I recommend different skincare routines for summer, especially in areas like the east coast where temperature changes are quite different during the seasons,” says Dr. Markowitz. Specifically, your moisturizer can be more lightweight during warmer, humid months. “While it’s always good to moisturize, you don't always need occlusive or thick skincare products,” the derm explains. to prevent any dryness, try a weightless gel cream. And if you don’t typically use an antioxidant serum, now’s the time to add one into your routine.

2. Wear sunscreen—every single day

Even if your daily beauty products like moisturizer or foundation contain SPF, added sun protection is never a bad thing. “My sunscreen recommendation is to have anywhere between 30-70 SPF—that’s the sweet spot,” advises Dr. Markowitz. And don’t forget to apply underneath your clothes, too. “Another misconception is that you can’t get sun exposure when wearing clothing, but a light cotton T-shirt only provides, at best, SPF 15,” says the derm. 

3. Don’t neglect your scalp, lips, and ears

“People often forget those locations,” says Dr. Markowitz. “All over the body, face, scalp, feet, hairline, behind ears, lips, etc.,—there isn't a part of the body that doesn't need protection from the sun.” To avoid painful burns, throw a lip balm containing SPF and sunscreen stick. And don’t forget those sunglasses, either. “Even retinas can be damaged by UV, so eyes need to be protected,” she adds. 

4. Use the right products for your skin type

If you have acne-prone or oily skin that flares up during the summer, your skincare products may be contributing to your breakouts. Use a gentle foaming cleanser to wash away any excess oil and grime, and look for non-comedogenic formulas. “You want to lean towards a mineral sunscreen or mineral combo if you have acne-prone skin, and should also avoid oils, oil-based, ceramide-based or shea butter-based products as they can potentially clog pores,” says Dr. Markowitz. Those with sensitive skin may prefer mineral sunscreens too, as chemical formulas can sometimes cause irritation. 

5. Tend to over-sunned skin

No matter how many times you reapply, sometimes sunburns are inevitable. “If you have a burn, use aloe vera—I like the soothing benefit—and an anti-inflammatory like 1% hydrocortisone oral antihistamine,” recommends Dr. Markowitz. For extra skin-soothing benefits, “keep cool compresses and creams in the fridge to apply afterwards.” Finally, be sure to hydrate and stay out of the sun until the burn heals.