One (very obvious) sign of the transition to summer is the weather; humid in some areas and desert dry in others, something we can all agree on is the need to change your skincare routine to fit.
The summer heat and humidity means sweat and oiliness, which is enough to sour anyone’s mood. Since the process of cleansing remains constant through the seasons, I’m going to be focusing on what comes after; the way we rehydrate and nourish our skin.
*As usual, I’ve made sure to only recommend products that I’ve tried and love; everyone’s skin is different and I can’t be held responsible for any reactions or variations in how the product performs for you! If you’re unsure, make sure to check the ingredients list before you purchase any products!
Part of getting that glowing and radiant skin that we all love is exfoliating and this is where exfoliating toners come in. Unlike physical exfoliants (e.g. scrubs), chemical exfoliants such as acid peels and exfoliating toners use AHAs and BHAs to get rid of dead skin cells. AHAs are gentler and do this on the outermost surface of the skin while BHAs work a little deeper.
It can be a little confusing if you’re new to the acid game, so here’s this awesome video from Beauty Within to get you up to speed.
Using chemical exfoliants can really help to improve hyperpigmentation, scarring and the rate of absorption of your other products. However, I’d advise working up to more concentrated acids, especially if it’s your first time to prevent (or at least reduce) skin irritation.
Of course, always make sure to read and follow the instructions and ingredients for each product you try and never forget to use SPF.
Products I like:
- Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel
- Botanical Lab Pumpkin & Papaya Enzyme Daily Exfoliator
- The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
To tone or not to tone
The first step after you cleanse needs to be replacing the moisture you’ve just lost; whether this is through a toner or a face mist, you need enough product on your skin before you go into your thicker serums.
Rather than your skin being wet, the toner you use should be well absorbed into your skin, with enough slip so that when you massage your face (to increase blood flow, duh), you’re not dragging on your skin. In my case, I like to pat or swipe on a toner and then go in with a face mist.
Products I like:
- Garnier Natural Rose Water Toner
- Superdrug Vitamin E Hydrating Mist
- B. Hydrated Hyaluronic Acid Spritz
- L’Oreal Paris Fine Flowers Toner
Arguably the most interesting part of a skincare routine, serums aren’t just the icing on the cake, they’re the flour, eggs, butter…you get the idea. There are plenty of serums on the market at a variety of price points, but at the end of the day, you want something that works.
The first step in selecting the right serum for your skin type is to know your skin type and skin concerns; there’s really no point slapping on anti-aging serums when you’re 16 (or just turned 20).
In my case, I have dry skin with a tendency to get excessively oily on my nose, which is why I look for ingredients that increase hydration such as hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a really great ingredient for dry skin, as long as you use it properly. Much like other humectants (ingredients that retain moisture), hyaluronic acid holds several times its weight in water and draws moisture in.
To ensure you’re not doing more harm than good, after applying your hyaluronic acid serum (on top of your toner), add another spritz of your favourite mist and go in with your favourite moisturiser. Another ingredient I love and you’ve probably seen talked about everywhere is Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helps in the production of collagen (, the protein responsible for the elasticity of your skin, amongst other things) and is a big player in cell regeneration.
At the moment, my favourite way of incorporating Vitamin C into my routine is in the form of a powder. This solves one of the biggest issues around Vitamin C; its volatility. If constantly exposed to air and light (or just being left for too long), it can ‘go off’. Basically, it deteriorates and loses its benefits.
Vitamin C powders are great since they allow you to create a fresh portion whenever you need one, or control the concentration as you see fit. Vitamin C activates with water and so is best paired with water based serums or moisturisers (you can even use just water). It’s also more cost effective than buying pre-mixed Vitamin C serums, which can become expensive to replace, especially when you’re a frequent user like myself.
Either way, the key is to understand the ingredients in your serums and how they work together to make sure that you’re getting the best out of your products.
Products I like:
- Nip+Fab Dragons Blood Fix Plumping Serum
- Superdrug Vitamin C Booster
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
- The Ordinary 100% L-Ascorbic Acid Powder
The biggest difference between the kind of moisturiser you’d use in the summer compared to the winter lies in the consistency. The colder months tend to strip moisture and leaves our hair and skin feeling more brittle whereas the higher summer temperatures can ‘melt’ your moisturisers, leaving skin feeling greasier.
The best way to combat this is to switch to a lighter moisturiser (preferably with SPF). Even if you have very dry skin, paired with serums or an oil, a light moisturiser should be enough to get you through the day.
Products I like:
That’s all from me on this! As you can probably tell, I love skincare and always try to take the opportunity to try something new; if you have any other ideas on transitioning to summer skincare, make sure to drop a comment below!