Summer is here — which means sun, warmth, and more time outside. It also means it’s time for a new skincare routine. The seasonal transition into heat, humidity, and UV exposure changes how your skin behaves, and your products and habits should reflect that change.

So, what happens to your skin in the summertime?

For one, the hot weather results in more water loss from your body, which can cause dehydration. The high temperatures and humidity levels also increase the activity of your sebaceous glands and sweat glands, leading to more sebum, or oil, production. This can aggravate acne and cause bacterial or fungal infections if you aren’t properly taking care of your skin. Higher UV indexes in the summer also put you at an increased risk of sunburn and skin sensitivity.

As the seasons change, it’s important that you adjust your skincare routine to best support your skin in summertime conditions. These five tips from Shelly Murphy, licensed esthetician at PALM Health, can help you smoothly transition into a routine that encourages hydration, sun protection, and oil control, keeping your skin healthy through the summer.

  1. strawberry rhubarb hydratorTransition to lighter-weight moisturizers. While heavier creams are great for quenching your skin in the drier winter weather, it’s best to switch to a lighter-weight moisturizer for the summer. Because your oil glands are already more active in the summer, heavier creams can contribute to the “greasy” effect on your skin and clog your pores, causing breakouts. Shelly recommends the Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Hydrator, which works great for all skin types.
  2. exfoliantSwap out your mechanical exfoliant for a chemical or enzyme exfoliant. During the summertime, the goal of your exfoliant is to keep oil and sweat off of your skin as much as possible. Mechanical, or physical, exfoliants stimulate oil production by using small particles to buff your skin, which is necessary in the dry winter months. In the summer, however, you don’t want your skin to produce any more oil than it already is. Chemical and enzyme exfoliants use acids to dissolve oil and dirt in your pores, calm inflammation, and increase healthy skin cell turnover. Shelly’s favorite is the Phytomer Vegetal Exfoliant with Natural Enzymes, which works to eliminate impurities and refine texture on all skin types.
  3. Up your antioxidant use. With increased exposure to UV rays in the summer, your skin is more susceptible to damage from free radicals. To counteract this, using antioxidant-rich products is key. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that slow and prevent damage by shielding your skin from the oxidative reactions that cause damage when exposed to sun. Try products that boast high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, which help normalize, brighten, and heal the skin, as well as Coenzyme Q10 (“CoQ10”), which is revitalizing and anti-aging.
  4. Invest in sun protection and recovery products. It’s no secret that your skin is at a higher risk of sun damage in the summer. But did you know that sun damage and free radical damage account for 80-90% of your skin’s aging? In the summer months, it’s more important than ever to use a broad-spectrum SPF (ideally SPF 30-50) product daily — and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours! If you do get sunburned, aloe vera creams are your best friend for repairing your skin’s barrier and calming irritation. “Another tip is to buy several hydrating sheet masks, store them in the refrigerator, and apply them to your face for instant relief when you’ve had too much sun exposure,” says Shelly.
  5. facialDrink (and eat!) your water. The number one rule for healthy skin, especially in the heat, is to stay hydrated. While products are great supplements for this, it’s best to hydrate from within by drinking enough water and eating healthy. Aim to incorporate more water-rich foods into your diet, like raw fruits and vegetables. These are not only hydrating, but also filled with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are generally beneficial for your health and immunity.

If you’d like more guidance, schedule a facial with one of our licensed estheticians at PALM Health for more personalized recommendations and support.


PALM Health is an innovative, whole-person medical and wellness company that helps people reach and maintain well-being. Our experts in medicine and wellness empower people to transform their health, become more resilient, and feel their personal best in mind and body.