We all love a good glow, but there’s a difference in healthy radiance and unwanted shine. So what is it about summer that leads to such slick and shiny skin? “It’s hotter outside and the air is more humid, so the sebaceous glands are producing more sebum,” explains Ranella Hirsch, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Cambridge, MA. Sebum isn’t all bad, as it’s responsible for keeping skin supple and moisturized, but an excess on your face can cause an oily appearance.
The good news: A smart skincare routine and strategic product choices can help control the overproduction of sebum—or, at the very least, sop up oil when it sets in. And while you’ve probably already swapped out your thick winter cream for a lighter moisturizer (with SPF we hope!), there’s actually more you can do to minimize summertime shininess. Follow these experts tips to shine-proof your skin this summer.
It may be tempting to go to town with your most deep-cleansing face wash, but it’s better take a gentle approach. “Overwashing and using harsh exfoliators or active scrubbing movements will only trigger the production of more oil,” says Dr. Hirsch. She also recommends avoiding ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, which strips the skin of essential moisture, and instead using a cleanser with oil-soluble salicylic acid to help keep oil under control. We like Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser ($9; ulta.com). After massaging it on, let the cleanser sit on the skin a bit longer than you otherwise would, Dr. Hirsch adds, explaining that the extra time allows the product to penetrate the pores more deeply for a more thorough cleanse.
Try Mineral SPF
Shiny skin does not give you a pass to skip SPF. If you're concerned about shine, opt for a mineral sunscreen, says Dr. Hirsch. Zinc oxide, an active ingredient in mineral blocks, is naturally astringent and oil-absorbing, she explains. Try StriVectin Full Screen 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($39; ulta.com), which features non-nano zinc oxide and leaves a smooth, matte finish. Powder sunscreens are also a great option, as they can be used for shine-erasing touch-ups throughout the day. We like the Supergoop Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45 ($30; sephora.com).
Consider Your Diet
Turns out we might be able to impact our oil levels—at least a bit—vis-à-vis our diets. "Though evidence is inconclusive, some experts believe that you can also limit oil and sebum production by eating foods high in vitamin A, like oranges, melon, carrots, and leafy green spinach," Dr. Hirsch explains. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too, making a conscious efforts to drink even more when you are spending time outside on hot, summer days.
Mask The Shine
Summer is the perfect time to do a detoxifying mask, especially one fortified with purifying clays or pore-clearing acids. Freck Foreclay Cactus Clay Mask ($22; revolve.com) features kaolin clay to degunk clogged pores and absorb excess oil, while cactus flower extract helps restore water loss in the skin. Another good treatment to try, Herbivore Blue Tansy Invisible Pores Resurfacing Clarity Mask ($48; sephora.com) uses a combination of salicylic acid and natural alpha hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate and decongest skin.
We don’t have to tell you how fast foundation can start to feel slick and icky during the dog days of summer. In fact, when you wear heavy foundation on a hot, humid day, “it melts and clogs your pores,” Dr. Hirsch says. Needless to say, it’s best avoid all that. If you’re looking for some coverage, get it with a BB cream or tinted moisturizer instead. Tarte Maracuja Hydrating Tinted Moisturizer ($29; sephora.com) is almost weightless and leaves a sheer veil of skin-evening coverage. Plus, it features one of the brand’s staple ingredients, maracuja oil, which is rich in antioxidant vitamin C.
Blot Away Oil
Keep blotting papers handy—they’re OGs for a reason. Boscia Black Charcoal Blotting Linens ($10; sephora.com) not only absorb excess oil and sweat, but activated charcoal helps detoxify the skin. If blotting papers aren't your thing, try a purifying facial mist, like Cocokind Raspberry Vinegar Toner ($16; cocokind.com); raspberry vinegar is packed with acetic acid, which has been shown to help balance excess oil.
You might also like: 6 Things You Should Never Do If You Have Oily Skin
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