Should you change your skincare routine for summer?

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Do you spot changes to your skin when the weather transitions from winter into spring/summer? You’re not alone. Warmer weather can trigger changes to the texture and appearance of your skin, potentially leaving you with more blemishes and an oilier base. 

What’s the fix, then? If you haven’t already made changes to your skincare routine to suit the new season, you should consider doing so, says Dr Qian Xu, founder and medical director at Skin Aesthetics.

 “It’s usually necessary to make some subtle changes to your skincare routine as the season changes because the conditions in the summer and winter are very different, and the skin often cannot acclimatise to the new conditions quick enough to protect itself adequately,” explains Dr Xu.

“During spring and summer months, the weather is warmer and the air is more humid, so you may only need a light moisturiser. On the other hand, during the winter, the cold winds and indoor heating can dry the skin out too much, compromising its barrier function. This means you’ll likely need a richer moisturiser.” 

 So do we still need to use moisturiser in the summer months?

Yes, but as Dr Xu advises, swap to a lighter formula. Steer clear of words on packaging like “rich”, unless your skin really needs it – and then try to keep thicker formulas to night time. Overly heavy formulas in the day can clog pores, particularly in those with oilier skin, causing blemishes and skin texture.

“In order for the skin to function properly as a barrier, it needs to have adequate hydration among other things. Dry skin can crack and let in harmful bacteria, which can lead to rashes and breakouts,” says Dr Xu.

Top tip: switch to a serum

If you’re using a hydrating serum with an SPF layered over, you might not need an additional moisturiser. For days when you want a skin-plumping boost and a whack of hydration, try Warda Skincare Collagen Skin Lifter Boost Oil Serum, usually £49.99 but available for just £4.95 for new subscribers in this month’s OK! Beauty Box.

This super serum combines hydrolysed collagen, glycerin, almond oil and pomegranate extract into a luxurious daily formula that’s hydrating yet lightweight, and will put the bounce right back into your skin.

Is there anything extra I need to add to my skincare routine in summer months?

SPF should be a year-round addition, but in warmer, sunnier months, it’s important to wear the highest factor you can. Skincare experts recommend using a minimum SPF of 30 as the last step of your skincare regime, every day.

What should a summer skincare routine look like?

“I have an acronym for the perfect skincare routine which can be adapted to everyone’s needs, and it spells out the word CREAMS. This is also the order that the products should be applied,” Dr Xu says, listing these steps as a good way to clearly see what to include in your summer skincare regime…

C for cleanser – the vital first step, and to be repeated twice a day.  

R for resurface – this involves gentle exfoliation of the skin, and depending on the product, method and skin condition, can be done daily, once a week or every couple of weeks.  

E for eye cream – anyone over 25 should consider starting to use.

A for active ingredients – this includes treatments containing vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol. The active ingredients hold the key to improving skin condition.

M for moisturiser – as mentioned before, you might not need it at all if your skin is healthy, so this is an optional step depending on your skin condition.  

S for sunscreen – everyone should be using this. Preventing premature ageing is the best strategy to stay looking great.