With the unofficial start of summer now underway, the official start of my summertime skincare routine is here. After all, what may work wonders in the wintertime may become superfluous when temperatures and humidity begin to soar.
Of course, my regimen switch-up also has to take into consideration upcoming vacations and overseas travel that necessitate a pared-down, more efficient routine. So I’ll be following these tips to ensure that my warm weather regimen is easy, efficient and escape-friendly, whether for a last-minute road trip for the long weekend, an extended jaunt to an exotic land, or simply a staycation at home.
When I’m traveling, I try to bring as many “disposable” skincare products as I can, whether that means sample sizes of moisturizers or one-time use serums that will help lighten my luggage load as the trip wears on (and my souvenir pile grows). Usually, it’s a bit harder to find cleansers that are “disposable,” but May Island Bubble Bean Cleanser is a genius find. These little cleansing “beans” are little solid balls that you crush and mix with water to reveal a bubbly cleanser. It’s made with mineral-rich, exfoliating Jeju volcanic ash and nutmeg tree extract, a natural astringent and anti-inflammatory, perfect for purging skin of all that oily, sweaty buildup from a day of running around outdoors. Even cooler: The different colored beans focus on different skincare needs — like white for deep pore cleansing, pink for brightening — so you can mix and match depending on how you’re feeling that night.
After cleansing, the last thing you feel like doing before a long day of sightseeing is going through a two-digit-step skincare routine. Just take along one multi-tasking product, like Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule. The Honey Bomb is a 3-in-1 treatment that serves as toner, serum and moisturizer. It’s packed with three types of honey — manuka, royal jelly and propolis extract — all of which are amazing sources of amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. You can even use this as an overnight mask for the fastest, most efficient nighttime routine ever.
Cool It Down
Whether you’re heading to the coast for a seaside getaway or meandering inland for a dose of nature, the sun is starting to rev up to its full summertime potential. That means keeping skin cool becomes all the more important (studies have shown that heat can exacerbate hyperpigmentation).
One beauty product I can’t live without — traveling or otherwise — is a cushion compact. It’s pretty much the perfect beauty product in that it provides coverage, protects from the sun, and yes, cools down the skin with its unique hydrophilic puff applicator. It’s also perfect for traveling because of its compact format and spill-proof sponge-soaked-in-foundation formula, and it’s the only effective way I know to reapply sun protection when I’ve got a face full of makeup on. My favorite cushion of all time is Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion, which beautifully covers my sunspots, hydrates my skin with its proprietary five-plant Jaumdan water and fatty acid-rich apricot kernel oil, and keeps me protected throughout the day (SPF 50 PA+++). It’s got a flexible film polymer that lasts for up to 12 hours, and yet it feels incredibly lightweight — lighter than most foundations — so it’s super easy to reapply throughout the day without feeling sticky or gross.
Yuri Pibu Arpen Aqua Cushion is another cushion with skin-beneficial ingredients like galactomyces ferment filtrate, a yeast ferment known for skin brightening (aka, the pitera in SK-II’s cult fave Facial Treatment Essence), and Centella asiatica extract, a medicinal herb rich in flavonoids and fatty acids that has been shown to boost collagen.
Another getaway must-have is a facial mist. Not only does a facial mist cool your skin and provide a nice little pick-me-up — anytime, anywhere — but Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist provides a shot of much-needed antioxidants, especially important if you’re spending any time outdoors (the little olive leaf in the bottle is a nice touch), while AmorePacific Moisture Bound Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System is water-free (bamboo sap is its base) and is loaded with minerals and amino acids. Even better: Mists do double duty as a post-cleansing toner, so you’ve already shrunk your getaway bag just that much more.
And after spending all day in the sun, you’re going to want to lower the temp even further with Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum. Made with 63% crystal iceplant extract, a Saharan plant with great moisture retention as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the Pressed Serum has a cooling gel texture that doesn’t skimp on the hydration — you’d never guess it’s also formulated with fermented argan and olive oils, it feels that light. Best of all, it’s a serum and moisturizer in one, with fermented radish root, soybean ferment and a huge list of botanicals to nourish and protect the skin, so you don’t have to worry about a prolonged nighttime regimen after a late night out under the stars. I like to use it as a day mask, after my serums and treatments and before my moisturizer, to cool down my skin and give it a nice shot of hydration before I ply on the sunscreen.
Protect Your Skin
Sure, you may be on a carefree weekend getaway, but that doesn’t mean you should be carefree about your skincare. By now, it goes without saying that a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must 365 days a year, and this becomes even more important whether you’re on a beach holiday or a wine tasting weekend. Try Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30, a mineral sunscreen with resveratrol and other antioxidants, as well as a hint of tint, or Dr. Oracle EPL Daily Sunblock SPF50 PA+++, a lightweight sunscreen with a super-high SPF and skin-soothing ingredients like lavender and chamomile.
If you’re one of those who dislike the feeling of sunscreen and the sometimes-white residue it can leave behind, you may like Goodal Mild Protect Sun Essence. It’s another high SPF sunscreen (SPF 50 PA+++) but with an ultra-lightweight, essence-like texture that absorbs quickly. After all, sunscreen is only good if you are willing to use it and in sufficient amounts (don’t forget — a nickel- to quarter-size dollop is necessary to get the full SPF protection on your face).
Or make it easier on yourself (and your weekend luggage) with a 2-in-1 like Whamisa Organic Flowers Sun BB. A physical sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to minimize skin irritation, this BB cream also has a light tint to cover blemishes but still keep you looking road trip-worthy fresh. (After all, nothing looks worse on a carefree weekend jaunt than a face full of heavy makeup.) And since it’s from Whamisa, you can rest assured that what you’re putting on your face is organic, from aloe vera and olive oil to shea butter and Damascus rose, and that it’s as gentle on your skin as it is on the environment.
After a day in the sun, even if you stayed in the shade and wore sunscreen, there’s always a bit of UV rays that sneak through or reflect off concrete and sand. So it’s a good idea to ameliorate the damage, post-sun, with a hearty dose of antioxidants. Incorporate an antioxidant serum, like Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, into your summertime evening routine. What I love about this serum (other than its dropper packaging) is its potent antioxidant ferulic acid, naturally found in the seeds of some fruits and vegetables, as well as some nuts and grains. Even better is the fact that this serum can’t be rinsed away — once you apply it, its antioxidant power lasts on skin for 72 hours, which is super important now that scientists have discovered that the UV damage incurred during the day continues on your skin well into the night.
Another antioxidant option is Lindsay Vitamin C Holic 20 Serum, which features 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbate (a form of vitamin C), which has been shown to penetrate skin well and reduce hyperpigmentation. This powerful serum also contains arbutin, a natural hydroquinone alternative derived from the bearberry plant, and white peony extract, a potent antioxidant, so you’re getting double protection against UVA rays’ most damaging side effects: dark spots and oxidative stress.
After all, isn’t the whole point of a weekend getaway to purge ourselves of stress, oxidative or otherwise?
Adapted from my story originally published on Glow Recipe.