- July 28, 2021
As the seasons change, so, too, should skincare routines. Once the weather reaches warmer temperatures in the summer months, most people will experience a shift in their skin — from extensive dehydration or dry patches to excessive amounts of oils caused by sweat. There are countless reasons for this, ranging from the added humidity in
As the seasons change, so, too, should skincare routines. Once the weather reaches warmer temperatures in the summer months, most people will experience a shift in their skin — from extensive dehydration or dry patches to excessive amounts of oils caused by sweat. There are countless reasons for this, ranging from the added humidity in the air to spending a little — or a lot — more time in the sun. As your days become centered more around outdoor activities, such as hiking or swimming in salt or chlorine water, the various environment could potentially wreak havoc on your skin. A key way of neutralizing these “skin shifts” is by adding exfoliation to your summertime skincare routine.
Exfoliating your face will help unclog pores and speed up skin cell renewal. Exfoliating during the summer can also help oily-prone skin and, if hyperpigmentation is a concern, removing dead skin cells by exfoliating can help even out your complexion. Exfoliation, in general, allows fresh new skin cells to come to the surface and helps moisturizing products to further penetrate the skin for extra summer hydration.
There are a couple of dos and don’ts to summertime exfoliation. While exfoliation is great for giving your skin a smooth glow, if you’re adding this step to your standard beauty routine, you may end up irritating your face. Here are a few tips and tricks for exfoliating in summer.
First up, finding the right exfoliating ingredient for your skin type. There are specialty scrubbing cleansers and polishes and tools like battery-operated brushes. I find the Olay face brush works best for me. Then there are chemical exfoliants, like toners and peels, containing acid-based ingredients like hydroxy, glycolic, and lactic acids for their brightening properties and reductions of fine lines and wrinkles. Products with salicylic acid are particularly suited for acne-prone skin. However, it’s best to spot test these ingredients if you have sensitive skin before making that product a part of your regular regime.
Speaking of routine, how often you exfoliate is important for maximum benefits. During the summer, once a week is enough to help your skin adjust to this new process. After a few weeks, you can exfoliate between two and three days in the evening. Morning exfoliation will leave your skin vulnerable to sun damage, while a good night’s rest will help boost the glow exfoliation can bring to the face.
What not to do when exfoliating in the summer is skipping out on sunscreen. Without a good SPF, exfoliating your skin will leave it susceptible to more sun damage and cause additional irritation. The second big no-no when it comes to exfoliating is doing it too often. As tempting as it may be to use your new scrub or exfoliating toner every day, or even every other day, exfoliation is definitely a less-is-more situation. Take note of how your skin reacts and adjust your routine as needed — that will be your best practice to achieve that smooth, glowing complexion all summer long. Also, if retinol is part of your skincare regime, don’t use your exfoliating product on the same nights you also apply retinol. Both exfoliation and retinol encourage skin cell turnover, and the doubling down can cause some major irritation.
To actually exfoliate your face, apply your product to dry skin, massage with fingers, or an exfoliating tool. If using a peel or toner, don’t “scrub” your face; use a light touch. Follow the directions for how long to leave on your face, and then rinse with warm water. Finish with a moisturizer or moisturizing sheet mask.
Lastly, listen to your skin — how it’s feeling, looking, and reacting to new products so that you can reap all the benefits without disrupting your epidermis. Exfoliating alone won’t be the answer to all of your skincare woes, but doing it as often as your skin needs is particularly beneficial during the summer months of fun, sun, and swimming. So, all in all, go slow, patch test, exfoliate at night, apply plenty of SPF, and use your product a few times a week.