A Top Dermatologist Shares Her Actual Summer Skin Care Routine
Curious to know how a top dermatologist takes care of her skin in the summer? Guess what, we’ve got answers! We chatted with a board-certified dermatologist to get the rundown on how she keeps her skin in pristine shape during the hottest time of the year. From double cleansing and exfoliating to eye creams and sunscreens, peep her entire skin care routine, below!
During the season of sunshine and beach days, we all have a few go-to products when it comes to our skin care routines—and dermatologists are no exception! If you’ve ever wondered what an actual dermatologist does to keep her skin in tip-top shape during the summer, today’s your lucky day. We tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dendy Engelman to spill not just her full summer routine but all the skin care tips and tricks she abides by when the weather heats up. Prepare to take notes, ladies.
STEP ONE: CLEANSING
Dr. Engelman’s routine begins with cleansing her skin thoroughly. (Are you surprised?) She follows a double-cleansing method in the summertime. After wiping her face down with a cleansing towelette, she reaches for an oil cleanser first. “I use a gentle oil cleanser and lukewarm water to help remove any residual impurities or stubborn makeup and sebum,” she says. Using an oil-based cleanser to remove oil may seem counterintuitive, but these formulas can actually help dissolve makeup, dirt, and excess sebum from the surface gently and effectively. To complete the double-cleanse method, Dr. Engelman follows with a cream cleanser. This step helps remove any lingering bits of the oil cleanser or impurities. Lastly, if she’s looking to exfoliate, Dr. Engelman reaches for a chemical peel that can help to remove dead skin cells and brighten her complexion.
Looking to treat yourself—and your skin—to an exfoliating at-home facial peel? We share six gentle—yet effective—facial peels from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands to try, here!
STEP TWO: HYDRATE & CORRECT
After properly cleansing the skin, it’s important to give the skin some moisture! Dr. Engelman uses a facial mist to deliver hydration and a cooling effect. (New to face mists? Discover the benefits—plus a few of our favorites—here.) Next, Dr. Engelman reaches for SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, or as she likes to call it, “the ultimate multi-tasker.”
Editor’s note: If you’re new to retinol or it’s been a while since you last used the ingredient, start with a lower concentration and slowly work your way up as your skin builds a tolerance. Keep in mind that retinol products should only be used in the evening and in tandem with Broad Spectrum SPF during the daytime.
STEP THREE: CARE FOR YOUR PEEPERS
The delicate skin around the eyes is one of the first places to reveal signs of aging, so it is important to care for it daily. To hydrate the eye area, Dr. Engelman uses an eye cream.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for a new eye cream to add to your arsenal, reach for one with Broad Spectrum SPF to help protect the area against harmful UV rays. If you’re headed outdoors, wear UV-protective sunglasses and avoid squinting as much as possible.
STEP FOUR: MOISTURIZE
Once her eye cream is applied, Dr. Engelman seals it all in with her favorite facial moisturizer. In the summer, she tends to swap out her thick face creams—which lend themselves to colder weather when loss of moisture is a big concern—for lightweight products. “I like hydrogels for warmer months,” she explains, “because they have a cooling effect, are not oily, and help to calm irritated skin.”
STEP FIVE: PROTECT WITH SPF
You didn’t think a dermatologist would skip sunscreen, did you? “While I believe in sunscreen all year round, it is very important in the warmer months,” Dr. Engelman says. “Not only are you spending more time outside in general, but the UVA/UVB rays can be more intense.” It’s important to apply and reapply Broad Spectrum SPF 15 or higher at least every two hours (sooner if you swim, sweat, or towel-dry). To up the protection ante, take additional steps—like wearing protective clothing, seeking shade, and avoiding peak sun hours—to reduce your risk of developing premature signs of skin aging or even some cancers. “Incidental sun exposure for only 10-15 minutes a day adds up over time and can cause significant sun damage and accelerated photoaging, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles,” Dr. Engelman warns.