Expert tips for taking care of your skin in summer

A pro’s advice for seasonal skin maintenance

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / November 15 2022

When it comes to seasonally appropriate skin care, we tend to focus our energy on ensuring our skin makes it through winter. 

But besides the sunscreens we can wear under our makeup, we’re a little clueless on how to switch up our skin care routine come summer. 

That’s why we sat down with Cosmetic Doctor and Skin Proud Skin Consultant, Dr Yalda, to get professional advice on how to weather the warmer months.

What are the skin care non-negotiables in summer?

“[It] depends on your skin type, but our skin barrier is more compromised due to higher UV exposure,” says Dr Yalda. Confused on how to select an SPF? Check out our summer sunscreen guide for expert tips on staying sun safe. 

However, “in the Australian summer heat, something like Skin Proud's Refresher Hydrating Face Mist ($18.99 at Priceline) is a great lightweight hydrator” that works for a multitude of skin types. 

Skin Proud's Refresher Hydrating Face Mist

Summer skin care for dry and sensitive skin

“You need to be kind to your skin over the summer months,” Dr Yalda advises. “Use a hydrating wash like Skin Proud Velvet Cloud Cleanser ($25.99 at Priceline), moisturise liberally and don't forget your SPF. I would [also] avoid strong active ingredients.”

Skin Proud Velvet Cloud Cleanser

“Active ingredients such as retinoids, AHAs, and BHAs will speed up our skin cell turnover and exfoliate the skin,” she explains. “By using these products, you bring new skin cells to the surface and they are more photosensitive and likely to be damaged by UV exposure.”

Summer skin care for oily and acne-prone skin

These skin types tend to be “more congested and break out more frequently in the summer months,” says Dr Yalda. Therefore, it’s important to use something like a “salicylic acid face wash in the morning” — we love the CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser ($17.99 at Chemist Warehouse) — and an oil free SPF, “[which] can help to prevent clogged pores [that lead] to breakouts.” 

CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

Want to continue to use your retinoid products in the summer? Dr Yalda suggests opting for a “weaker version such as a retin ester (over retinol or retinaldehyde).” Personally, we’re reaching for The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane ($18.30 at Adore Beauty).

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane

Summer skin care for pigmentation and dull skin

“Make sure to use products with ‘anti-pigment’ qualities,” Dr Yalda advises. 

What should you be looking for on an inkey list? 

Ingredients such as arbutin, kojic acid, vitamin C, liquorice extract and tranexamic acid should be on your radar if you’re shopping for skin care this summer. 

The PEACE OUT SKINCARE Peace Out Dark Spots Serum ($48 at Sephora) triumphs tranexamic acid, kojic acid and alpha-arbutin in its anti-hyperpigmentation formula. It can help to brighten skin and improve the appearance of dark spots over time. 

PEACE OUT SKINCARE Peace Out Dark Spots Serum

The best in-clinic treatments for summer

While Dr Yalda admits this will “massively depend on your lifestyle, how much UV exposure you are likely to get pre and post-treatment, and what your skin concerns are,” summer is the optimal time to get treatments such as injectables. 

Not only are they a safer option than skin peels, needling and lasers (which require you to stay out of the sun for at least two weeks post treatment) but treatments like injectable skin boosters (think: injectable hyaluronic acid such as the popular profhilo) and skin bio remodelling injections “are perfect for the summer months as a skin pick-me-up”. 

However, Dr Yalda cautions that those with darker skin should exercise care when getting in-clinic treatments during summer, “as they are at higher risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.”

Skin care myths to ignore this summer

1/ Everyone needs to use a moisturiser daily

One size does not fit all; in fact, the belief that "everyone needs to use a moisturiser daily" can cause congestion and breakouts if you have oilier skin.  

“If you find that both a moisturiser and SPF is too heavy for day use and you are breaking out,” Dr Yalda recommends leaving the moisturiser out of your morning routine and sticking to a balancing, hydrating niacinamide serum instead — The BEAUTYcrew Review Crew® members really rate the La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum ($71.95 at Adore Beauty).

La Roche-Posay Pure Niacinamide 10 Serum

Most SPFs contain a slew of moisturising ingredients that’ll keep your skin hydrated throughout the day anyway — save the face cream for your nighttime routine. 

2/ UV exposure is a great way to treat acne

“This is a really dangerous myth,” Dr Yalda warns. 

“Often those who suffer from acne use products like retinol and acids such as salicylic, [which can] make you photosensitive and can put your skin at risk [of skin cancer],” she explains. 

Not to mention, “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne can also get worse and get darker in the summer.”

3/ Skip SPF if you want to increase your vitamin D intake

Dr Yalda reiterates that “this is also another very dangerous myth.”  

In fact, “clinical studies have not been able to prove that daily sunscreen use leads to vitamin D deficiency.” 

“Those who wear sunscreen can still maintain their vitamin D levels and not put themselves at risk of skin cancer,” she insists. 

Regardless of skin type, we’re slathering on these gradual tan products like nobody’s business — sun damage is so last year. 

Main image credit: @maisie_williams

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).