Francesca Hung summer skincare tips

Summer Skincare Tips For Your Skin Type

Written by: Victoria Hanlon
Senior Writer

Summer’s coming, which means it’s time to pull your light clothes out of storage and dust off your dehumidifier. It’s also time to start thinking about adapting your skincare routine to suit the warmer climate, as the change in weather can impact your skin in a number of ways.

While you might love the feeling of the hot and humid environment that summer brings, this can directly affect the skin’s barrier function, potentially leading to dilated pores and excess sebum, which can cause blemishes. Furthermore, air conditioning might seem like a necessity to keep cool, however, prolonged exposure can be detrimental to the skin’s moisture levels, resulting in dull, dehydrated skin.

Although it goes without saying that sunscreen is a must for ALL skin types, any skinfluencer will tell you that skincare generally isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. It’s important to adapt your routine in line with your skin type, and each one - whether that’s blemish-prone, dull and dehydrated, or mature - has different needs. 

Blemish-prone skin

Use a foaming cleanser

Hot weather can cause oily skin to produce even more sebum[1], so it’s important to ensure you thoroughly cleanse your skin every morning and night to minimise build-up inside your pores, which can quite often be linked to breakouts. Use a water-based, foaming cleanser rather than a cream or oil-based one, as they are effective at cleansing the skin and less likely to leave a residue, which serves blemish-prone skin well.

Keep hydrated

Even combination and oily skin types are still prone to dehydration, which is why you should always keep hydrated inside and out. Keep hydrated on the outside by using a moisturiser that is lightweight in texture and easily absorbed. Adequate water intake has been shown to significantly improve skin hydration[2], so aim to drink the recommended 2L of water a day. 

Minimise intake of ‘oil-inducing’ foods

Alcohol, caffeine and spicy foods can all cause you to sweat[3], which can increase your skin’s oiliness. Also, there is evidence to suggest that sugar and high fat foods (such as milk) can cause a rise in insulin levels and increase your skin's oil production[4], so be mindful of consuming these foods if your skin is prone to breakouts.

Exfoliate more often

Oily skin sheds cells at a slower rate than other skin types[5], which can leave it more susceptible to blemishes. Increase your exfoliation levels during summer months to speed up cell turnover and allow for a deeper cleanse of pores - but we don't mean with a scrub! Consider established chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid and mandelic acids, which suit blemish-prone skin well for their ability to minimise excess sebum and reach deep within pores.

Dull and dehydrated skin

Wash in lukewarm water

As nice as it is to enjoy a hot bath, the increased temperature can strip your skin of its natural lipids, causing it to feel dry and dehydrated. Bathe and wash your face in lukewarm water during summer to help skin retain its moisture.

Use a face mist

A face mist can help to keep your skin revitalised in a hot environment and is great for giving dry skin a moisture boost on the go. 

Exfoliate – but don’t go overboard

Physical exfoliation is still important to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. However, be sure to choose a gentle exfoliator and don’t do it more than twice a week. As mentioned above, avoid scrubs as they can be abrasive, due to the roughness of the product’s particles combined with the user’s application technique. Instead, look out for gentle scrub exfoliants (opt for bamboo and walnut scrubs, which are natural and biodegradable, and avoid plastic beads which are environmentally problematic) and be gentle when applying them to the face.

Treat yourself to a face mask

Indulge your skin with a hydrating face mask at least once a week, to help restore moisture. Use it after exfoliating, when the pores are clean, allowing for the nourishing ingredients to penetrate deeper. Try putting it in the fridge first for a couple of hours before applying, in order to make it extra soothing. 

Mature skin

Moisturise every day

Even though the skin may not feel like it needs as much moisturiser during summer, it’s important to keep applying it twice a day to help prevent dullness caused by the drying effects of air conditioners and heat. Consider using a hydrating serum under your moisturiser for an extra boost.

Protect the delicate eye area

The skin around your eyes is more fragile than the rest of the body and therefore wrinkles more easily. Wear a hat and sunglasses when outside to keep the sun off your face, and use a hydrating eye cream twice a day. Apply it using either your ring or little finger, as they have the weakest muscles[6], so are less likely to drag the skin. 

Don’t scrimp on sunscreen

Yes, this tip is for everyone, but it’s particularly important for skin that is showing signs of aging. Wear sunscreen on your face every day, all year round in any weather, and ensure to reapply it in the summer months when the sun’s rays are stronger and sweat can wash it off. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your neck, décolletage and hands as well, as these areas are more prone to visible sun damage.

Choose skincare formulated for your changing skin type

As you get older, you may notice your skin type changes. Mature skin is particularly prone to dryness, as our skin produces less oil and experiences a slower cell turnover after menopause[7]. This dryness can be exacerbated in the summer heat, so choose products especially formulated to offer intense hydration.


  1. Endly DC, Miller RA. Oily Skin: A review of Treatment Options. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(8):49-55.
  2. Makrantonaki E, Ganceviciene R, Zouboulis C. An update on the role of the sebaceous gland in the pathogenesis of acne. Dermatoendocrinol. 2011;3(1):41-49. doi:10.4161/derm.3.1.13900
  3. What’s the go with body odour. Queensland Government, Department of Health. Published 17 March 2022
  4. Does diet really matter when it comes to adult acne? Harvard Health. Published 19 August 2020
  5. E. Anne Eady, Alison M. Layton, Jonathan H. Cove, "A Honey Trap for the Treatment of Acne: Manipulating the Follicular Microenvironment to Control Propionibacterium acnes", BioMed Research International, vol. 2013, Article ID 679680, 8 pages, 2013.
  6. Macdermid, Joy & Lee, Adrian & Richards, Robert & Roth, James. (2004). Individual finger strength: Are the ulnar digits "powerful"?. Journal of hand therapy : official journal of the American Society of Hand Therapists. 17. 364-7. 10.1197/j.jht.2004.04.006.
  7. Farage MA, Miller KW, Elsner P, Maibach HI. Characteristics of the Aging Skin. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2013;2(1):5-10. doi:10.1089/wound.2011.0356

Victoria Hanlon - Senior Writer