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How to Transition Your Skin Care Routine for Summer

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What should you focus your skin care routine on during the warmer months?

Changing seasons bring different weather conditions which have an impact on your skin.  Once the colder temperatures give way to warmer air, more intense sun and higher humidity, it’s important to consider how these changes interact with your skin care routine.  The focus should be less on hydration and more on sun protection and oil control.

What products should you swap out for summer?

Once the cold, dry air of winter is gone and we turn off our heaters which dry the air and dry our skin, it’s time to forget the heavy moisturizers and emollients that helped us to avoid eczema flares, contact dermatitis and winter’s itch.  Oil-free or serum based moisturizers are more beneficial during the heat of the summer.  Warmer temperatures cause our skin to produce more oil and more sweat.  The increase in humidity brings about more retention of oil and the possibility for increase clogged pores which can lead to acne breakouts.  Moisturizers should be light, non-comedogenic and contain a higher concentration of water.  Gone are the old-school witch hazel or alcohol-based astringents, but toners containing hydroxy-acids such as salicylic acid or glycolic acid can keep oil production to a healthy minimum and ward off blemishes and blackheads.  Cleansing the skin is also a good idea for those who suffer from more oily skin.

What products should you add to your routine?

Some may argue that acne and oil control are not problems for them – and this may be true!  In that case, a toner may not be necessary.  One thing is for certain, however…everyone should be using a moisturizer with sunscreen of SPF 30-50 every day of the year, but especially in the spring and summer.  The benefits are numerous:  prevention of skin cancer and precancers, protecting against the production of free radicals caused by the sun that contribute to wrinkles and premature aging and controlling melasma and the development of sunspots and other pigment problems to name just a few.  Aside from sunscreen, there are no products that are universally necessary and each person should evaluate their skin type to determine what changes are key for them.  For example, while some skin will significantly ramp up oil production as the weather turns warm, this is not universal. Some people have dry skin year-round and therefore will adjust their product regimen less drastically

Are there any ingredients/products that people should be more careful with during the summer months?

While there are many different chemical peel options that consist of many different active ingredients, one should take caution with deeper chemical peels.  While more superficial peels are fine to be used during the summer, it is advised that deeper peels be avoided during periods of intense sun exposure because they can make a person more vulnerable to the effects of the sun during the peeling period.  Skin is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, irritation and photosensitivity while peeling.  If acne is well controlled, it may also be advantageous to switch from a prescription retinoid to a retinol during the summer months since skin can be more irritated by these products when in the sun.