I am, for lack of a better phrase, a total sun-worshipper. It’s not that I’m addicted to tanning or anything (trust me, sun-induced premature aging means I am slathered in SPF 50 all summer long)—it’s just that I really love the heat. As someone who lives in London where we spend the majority of the year wrapped up in waterproof jackets, fighting broken umbrellas, and wearing down the soles of heavy-duty boots, the laid-back, carefree nature of summer gets me excited.
And I think it might have finally arrived. With the mercury finally hitting 72+, I have flung open the windows, pulled out the fan, packed away my sweaters, and pulled out my dresses and shorts. However, my wardrobe is not the only area where I have been making substitutes. As the heat from the sun gets more intense and the days become more humid, I’ve also had to make some changes to my skincare lineup.
You see, the summer brings with it a whole new bunch of skin issues. Whereas in the winter our routines are usually all about moisture and combatting irritation, come summer, our attention tends to turn towards sun protection, oil production, and exfoliation. So, as I sat cross-legged on my bathroom floor last night, I started whittling down my product in an attempt to fine-tune my skincare routine for the summer ahead. Keep scrolling to see what products I decided to keep hold of, the ones I have stashed away for winter, and which formulas I've added to my routine.
Quite possibly one of my favorite skincare products ever, I rely on the powers of this salicylic acid cleanser all year round. While I might switch out the formulas for my first cleanse, using this stuff as a second cleanse is imperative if I want to keep my blackheads at bay. In the winter, thick moisturizing creams cause build up in my pores, while in the summer it's more as a result of oil production. This cleanser, however, tackles both causes.
As much as I really love thick cleansing balms, come summer, when my skin is producing more oil than normal, I need something a little harder working. Plus, because my skin is already naturally quite oily, anything that leaves a nourishing film over the skin is likely to cause problems in the warmer months.
Okay, I might have cheated on this a little bit because it's a body product, but I couldn't not mention it. This body cream is a year-round essential in my routine. Jam-packed with salicylic acid to slough away at dead skin cells and prevent the build up that causes pores to create skin bumps, it keeps flakiness in check in the winter and bumpy skin at bay in the summer.
I love this toner. Instead of using potentially irritating alpha hydroxy acids to exfoliate, it uses more gentle, poly hydroxy acids. It buffs away dead skin cells while leaving skin hydrated. And, as much as I love this stuff and it could work for the summer too, with oil production at an all-time high, it's time for something a little more aggressive.
Not only do I really like that this exfoliating treatment only takes about 30 seconds to work (which makes it perfect for busy summer evenings), but it also gives skin the most beautiful glow and minimizes the appearance of pores immediately. With lactic acid, fruit enzymes, and alpha hydroxy acids, it's seriously hardworking. And while AHAs can cause increased sun sensitivity, I'm sure to only use this at night and, of course, apply an extra layer of SPF in the morning.
It's $210, I know, but I'm trying to be as honest as possible. Yes, I've been using this since it launched in the winter, and my skin has absolutely loved it. I still have a little bit left and I am absolutely taking it into the summer months with me. For when skin has been negatively impacted by harmful UV rays, this regenerating serum is sure to soothe and get it back functioning as it should be in no time at all.
I absolutely loved using this glow-giving oil elixir during the colder months. It contains a blend of calming and nourishing essential oils along with collagen boosters and omegas to leave skin plumped and glowing. And as sad I am to put it into storage ready for the autumn, I find applying oils in the summer quite unenjoyable and they leave my skin feeling suffocated.
If this stuff didn't cost $166 believe me when I say I would use it all year round. However, not only is it not the sort of thing I can't afford to use 365 days a year, but my skin is also strangely sensitive to vitamin C—especially during the winter when it's at its driest. Come summer, though, it's important to get your antioxidant protection in where you can. Using a vitamin C serum like this one not only keeps the lasting signs of sun damage at bay, but it also helps protect the skin from further damage.
Containing essential ceramides to keep the skin barrier working as best it can, this lightweight lotion isn't going anywhere. With both dryness and sun-inflicted irritation causing disruption to the barrier, a nourishing lotion is equally as important in the summer as it is the winter. Two pumps patted into skin morning and night is all my skin needs to stay looking and feeling healthy.
In the winter, it's normal that your skin might need some more intense nourishment and moisture due to cold weather and other external aggressors like wind and central heating. Although this thick moisturiser saw me through the winter, it's just a little too rich for my oily summer skin.
For days where my skin needs a little more moisture than the Curél lotion can offer up, this new ceramide-based moisturiser from Sunday Riley is a nourishing treat. It's thick, sure, but it melts into skin leaving behind a cooling, soothing effect as it sinks in. Oh, and it gives the healthiest-looking, plumped glow.
Usually, I don't use an SPF 50 every day in the winter, especially if I'm not leaving the house. However, it just so happened that I discovered this product in the winter, and it was so good I didn't want to stop. Glow-giving, comfortable, and non-pore-clogging, it's by far one of the best face SPFs I have ever used. Needless to say, this won't be going anywhere now that my skin needs sun protection more so than ever.
Okay, fine, I'm not actually stashing this because it is my fave foundation, but I'm going to use it to illustrate a point. You know how I just said in the winter I don't wear SPF 50 every day? Well, the SPF in foundation products usually provides the absolute minimum amount of protection the skin might need on overcast days. However, the SPF in these products is in no where near high enough quantities to protect your skin on sunny days.
When things get really hot, one application of SPF first thing isn't usually enough to keep your skin protected all day. I'm adding this mist to my everyday lineup to top up my SPF throughout the day. Simply spray over the face for super high protection. Plus, it's virtually invisible so doesn't disturb makeup too badly.
Yes, I did miss the "stash" section. The truth is, there isn't really any miscellaneous skincare to steer clear of as, most of the time, we adopt extra products for a specific reason. The latest addition to my line up? These gradual tan-enhancing booster drops. Just add a few drops to your skincare for the most natural-looking glow.
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.