A Top Facialist's 8 No-Fuss Tricks For Keeping Skin Balanced In The Summer
Certainly we've talked about summer skin changes before. We've gone on and on about how you need to be more diligent about sunscreen since you're likely spending more time in the direct sunlight. We've shown you how to update your routine with seasonally appropriate finds. We've explained how important antioxidants are—year-round, of course, but especially in the summer. We've even given you the inside intel on why your skin gets so shiny come summer (and how to embrace that all-natural highlighter should you want to).
But when I heard top facialist Taylor Worden, who works with clean and sustainable brand Alpha-H, and her no-fuss lineup to keep skin balanced all summer long, I simply knew I had to share. Why? Skin is a finicky thing, and so many of us struggle to find simple routines that will sustain us—no complicated products, treatments, and regimens required.
A facialist's must-try habits for dewy summer skin.
First up, a reminder on the major ways your skin changes in the heat. "When it gets hot and humid, your skin produces more oil and sweat. And the bigger the pore, the more oil will be produced in the sebaceous gland. When it's hot your body produces more heat, and the heat increases oil production and sebum," she says. "Your skin does the exact opposite in the winter by becoming more dry in the colder months."
Here, how she tells her clients to save their skin:
- Chill out. Skin care isn't just about what you put on your face; it's about how you treat your skin. And listen: Your skin reacts to heat and UV rays, so be sure to manage your contact with them if you want to manage your skin. "Stay cool by keeping some of your products in a fridge and by minimizing your exposure to direct sunlight," she says.
- Cleanse just enough. One of the biggest mistakes people make in the summer is going overboard on the face wash. They may feel they need to increase their time at the bathroom skin to up to three (maybe four!) times a day. Say it with us: Stop that. "Cleanse correctly by not over-cleansing the skin to strip the natural oils," she says. And, of course, find a gentle yet effective cleanser—this creamy option might do the trick.
- Don't forget your face creams. "You need to use a light moisturizer even in the summer! If you cleanse and don't put anything on your face, you will overstimulate your sebaceous gland and be left with a thick layer of oil," she says. If you are fearful of thick creams, try one of these balancing options.
- Add your SPF layer. This tip should come as no surprise—it makes the list for just about any skin care expert. "Wear SPF to protect your skin from UV rays and to help balance your sebaceous glands," she says. But want to hear the coolest part? If you opt for a zinc-oxide-based number, it may even help your oil output and acne. In fact, research has shown that zinc oxide is an effective treatment for zits1, and it's even an ingredient in many natural spot treatments.
- Skip makeup. Listen, I'm loath to tell others how to live their lives. And as someone with rosacea, I do appreciate a good BB cream to help temper my flushing. But I also see the importance of nixing makeup regularly (or at the very least, every so often). "Don't wear makeup like foundation: Makeup plus summer skin equals greasy, dirty skin," she says. "Your skin is your largest organ, and it needs to breathe! If you can't go without makeup, use waterproof mascara and noncomedogenic makeup."
- Slough off excess dead skin cells. "Exfoliate three times a week to keep your skin healthy," she says. (Learn more about how often you should exfoliate here.) Just be mindful to do so responsibly: Remember that alpha-hydroxy acids and retinoids do cause photosensitivity.
- Get used to blotting. If midday shine is an annoyance, opt for blotting papers instead of powders, which can make you look chalky or cause excess buildup. "Use these on your skin during the day to help absorb the excess oil," she says. We love these gentle, sustainable sheets.
- Work from the inside out. Certainly a tip we can get behind from Worden: "Stay from the inside out with drinking water, taking vitamins, and getting the right fruits and veggies!" Here's a list of the best foods to eat to stay hydrated.
We may feel that our skin is at odds with the elements, but if you just adopt simple habits in the summer, you don't have to feel like a sweaty ball of oil.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.