How To Save Your Skin From Oil & Breakouts This Summer


oily skin

Source: Rudo film/Shutterstock

There’s so much to look forward to in the summer: rosé on rooftops, beach bonfires, and of course, rocking all those cute AF outfits you waited all year to break out. But along with the warmer weather comes a ton of potential beauty bummers that can cramp your style if you’re not armed with the right products to wave them “bye Felicia”. We’re talking about makeup meltdowns, oil spills, and seeing red-scenarios, but thanks to these tips from dermatologist Dr. Daniel Belkin and some of the newest skincare stars, we’ve got you covered.

“Unlike winter when pretty much everyone is prone to getting dry skin, your skin in the summer really depends on the local climate. In a hot, humid summer (like in Dubai), moisturizing becomes a little less important, but you’ll want cleansers that are more powerful at degreasing, primers that can soak up excess oil and sweat, and light breathable sunscreens. In a dry heat (like in LA) moisturizing with weekly treatments is still paramount and SPF is crucial.”

1. Come Clean

Now may be the time to stash away those cleansing milks and creams and power up with an acid-based face wash that can better clarify your congested complexion after being out in the humidity. “At the end of the day, you’ll want a cleanser that is a little stronger than gentle so it can effectively remove all of that buildup sitting in your pores.”

best facial cleanser

Source: Dr.Dennis Gross

We’re digging Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel, $38, since it cleanses and exfoliates, which will help “strip off the dead skin cells that cling onto the skin when there’s excess oil and sweat,” according to Dr. Belkin.

2. Prime Time to Prime

While cutting back on your skincare steps is generally the way to go in the summer, wearing a primer under your makeup is one layer you don’t want to leave out. “Primers with silicone derivatives (dimethicone being a common one to look for) are a good way to add a barrier to prevent water loss, but unlike oils and waxes, they are porous and permeable to air so they won’t feel heavy on the skin,” says Dr. Belkin. Plus, they’ll help your makeup stay put rather than becoming a hot mess (literally) when temperatures are peaking.

silicone primers for summer

Source: Rimmel,  La Roche-Posay

We’re living for Rimmel’s new Lasting Finish Breathable Primer $6.99, or if you’re looking for your moisturizer to double as a primer, reach for a “mattifying gel that can soak up sebum” like La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Mat, $31.99.

3. When in Doubt, Mask

From a flushed face to a shiny T-zone, the summer can bring about a number of different complexion conditions that you may not experience during the rest of the year. “A weekly hydrating mask with a high water content can go a long way to quench skin, whether you’re in dry heat and prone to dryness or you’re recovering from being out in the sun,” says Dr. Belkin.

best summer face masks

Source: Patchology, Ole Henriksen

We’re into Patchology’s new Flashmasque® Hydrate 5 Minute Sheet Masks, $30 for four, on days (or nights) when our skin is extra thirsty for some TLC but we don’t have 20 minutes to sit around. When we need to bust shine and diminish the appearance of pores on a sweltering day, we’re all about Ole Henriksen’s brand-new Cold Plunge Pore Mask, $36, which is basically like putting your face into an ice bath (especially if you store it in the fridge).

4. Protect Yo’ Self

Arguably the most important skincare step you should never skip in the summer is SPF (but you already knew that). Though being sun-kissed can make you feel that little bit extra, “you will inevitably trade in your tan for wrinkles, sun spots, and barnacles later in life,” warns Dr. Belkin. “Instead, use products that give you a natural glow like glycolic acid, bronzers, and vitamin C.” See what can happen to your skin when you forget SPF here.

best spf

Source: Physicians Formula, EltaMD

To brighten and shield simultaneously, we’re swiping on the new Physicians Formula Vitamin C Brightening Facial Oil Stick SPF 30, $9.95, which is so lightweight you don’t even know you’re wearing it. And if sunscreen tends to make you break out, “an SPF with niacinamide can reduce inflammation associated with acne bacteria,” shares Belkin. We like Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $33, because not only does it have niacinamide, but it’s also oil-free.

If you’re prone to getting super oily skin during the summer, check out 9 ways to keep your oily skin in check here.