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Should You Switch Up Your Skincare Routine for Summer?

When the warm weather hits, you gladly trade your sweaters for tank tops, swap your boots for sandals, and strip the heavy comforter off your bed. One more thing you may want to change: your skincare routine.

If your face isn’t showing any signs of distress, no need to do anything, says Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. But if it’s excessively oily, acne- prone, or extra sun-sensitive this time of year, tweaking your usual regimen can help you score clear, glowing skin again. Try these five summer makeovers and prepare for everyone to ask what your beauty secret is.

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Clean Up Your Cleansing Act

When your skin is oily, a creamy, hydrating cleanser just won’t cut it, says Gervaise Gerstner, M.D., consulting dermatologist for L’Oréal Paris. “Your cleanser should have some sort of de-greasing effect—especially at night, when you’re left with a day’s worth of buildup,” she says. Switch to a gentle foaming formula that will break down excess sebum.

Our pick: Philosophy Total Matteness Pore-Minimizing & Mattifying Cleanser + Mask ($25; philosophy.com), which includes glacial clay to draw out pore-clogging impurities.

Tone Trouble Spots

Forget those harsh, skin-stripping astringents of the past that relied mainly on alcohol to dry out skin. Today’s toners use a gentler approach, turning to botanical ingredients and essential oils that work as natural astringents while also hydrating and soothing skin. Post-cleanser, swipe a toner-soaked cotton ball over oil-prone areas like your t-zone.

Our pick: Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Face Tonic ($21 for 7 oz; olehenriksen.com) with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory camphor.

Give Your Night Cream a Rest

During sundress season, a rich nighttime moisturizer is like a fleece blanket—you just don’t need it. “Skin requires heavyweight hydration in the winter because the air is so dry,” Dr. Gerstner says. “But in humid conditions, you can get away with just lightweight serum.”

Our pick: L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Triple Power Concentrated Serum ($25; lorealparisusa.com). It provides just enough hydration via hyaluronic acid but doesn’t feel too thick.

CC Some Help

By now you’ve probably heard of the ever-popular BB cream, but this summer, it’s all about the CC, which stands for color correcting. In addition to lightweight makeup, hydration, and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, these multitaskers also include skin tone-evening ingredients— essential if you tend to get brown spots from sun exposure. But while SPF 15 or 20 is okay for day-to-day wear, “if you’re going to be outdoors, you’ll need additional sunscreen,” Dr. Gerstner says. Layer a broad-spectrum formula with SPF 30 or higher underneath your CC cream.

 

Our pick: Olay CC Cream Total Effects Tone Correcting Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($24; olay.com), which comes in three shades.

Eliminate Excess Exfoliation

Sloughing off the top, dead layer of skin may reveal a brighter complexion, but it can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, Dr. Frank says. If you spend a lot of time outside, you should still exfoliate since dead skin mixed with sweat and sebum is a recipe for clogged pores—just stick to once or twice a week and use a gentle scrub with smooth particles.

Our pick: Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Face Exfoliant ($32; sephora.com) with natural bamboo.