The Skincare Saviors Your Skin Desperately Needs

Summer is lovely. Whether it’s a verb or a noun to you, I’m sure we can all agree that this time of the year is wonderful. However, summer can sure be a real son of a b*tch to our delicate skin.

The glaring, unforgiving, cruel sun whose rays rain down continual abuse. The sandy, harsh beaches with their ever-drying saltwater. The accursed chlorine-ridden pools. Not to mention (for us adults out there) the ever plentiful alcoholic drinks that seem to just refill themselves in summer. Who can say no to a margarita on the rocks during a hot summer day, or a nice chilled glass of sangria? As fun as alcohol is to our minds, it wreaks absolute havoc on our skin, drying it out much like that poor honeydew melon that never gets touched and just sits out until it gets thrown out, all the while casting shady glances of jealousy at her tastier cousin the watermelon.

So what do we do when our skin starts to wither and dry, when it gets red and irritated, when the angry bumps and itchies rear their ugly heads. The answer, we seek solace, shelter from the storm, repose, and tranquility.

You may now consider me to be your skin’s spirit guide, taking it out of the storm and into the light. With these products your skin will be redeemed and given more than shelter from the storms of summer, it will be rebirthed in health, comfort, and happiness. So sit back, relax, and rest assured that although I may sound high and lofty (and bordering on downright silly) I am as serious as it gets with providing you with a list of products that will nourish your skin back to health and comfort. Nothing is worse than not being able to enjoy summer because your skin is flaring up and acting out. So let’s calm it together, starting with the gentlest of cleansers.

Cleanser – Kale + Green Tea + Spinach + Vitamins – Superfood Cleanser by Youth To The People

This cleanser is lovely. It’s one of the gentlest that I have ever had the pleasuring of using. It removes all traces of makeup, SPF, dirt, and oils, will not be stripping your delicate skin of any moisture. In fact, unlike most cleansers out there, after rinsing it off and patting dry, your skin will feel even more moisturized. No uncomfortable tightness or prickles that other cleansers can be prone to. Superfood Cleanser by Youth to the People is a gel cleanser that is loaded with cold-pressed nutrient-rich superfood extracts to give your skin a super-effective cleanse removing buildup while balancing your pH in a gentle, nondrying way. It’s got a fantastic blend of kale, spinach, green tea, alfalfa, vitamins C, E, B5, and chamomile and it’s 100% vegan. It also smells great, it reminds me of the vegetable and herb garden my mom used to grow. There’s nothing more lovely and refreshing than an early morning walk through the dewy garden, well, except for starting your day off with a gentle cleanse with Superfood Cleanser that is.

Micellar Cleanser – Hydra Life Micellar Milk – No Rinse Cleanser by Dior

dior cleansing milk

While on the subject of cleansers, let’s talk Micellar water. Once the summer hit I quickly realized that I’d be retiring my regular micellar water, it was just a little too intense for the harsh summer. It always felt a little too drying and left my skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. For a while, I just went sans Micellar altogether but then I started looking for an alternative, after all, it’s just so convenient to be able to use this quick cleanser and be done. (Or use it for a double cleanse, or to take off stubborn eye makeup). I also wanted something that had a no-rinse option, as sometimes even a splash of water can be too drying (especially when you don’t have the time to properly moisturize after)! I found Hydra Life Micellar Milk No-Rinse Cleanser by Dior and much to my delight, my prayers were answered. This cleanser is tough on makeup, removing even the most stubborn of waterproof mascaras, while still being gentle and highly moisturizing to the skin. I also love how easy it makes removing eye makeup. If ever there were an area that I want to be extra gentle, it’s the delicate skin of the eye. No pulling, or aggressive rubbing wanted. Hydra Life Micellar Milk is as gentle as it could possibly get, you just massage a little bit over the eye and gently wipe it off using a cotton puff or soft washcloth and off comes all traces of liner, mascara, and shadows, leaving your eye area feeling clean, comfortable and moisturized.

Moisturizer – Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer by Glow Recipe

When you think of this ultra-nourishing, restorative skin treatment of rejuvenating stressed-out summer skin, you may think of slathering on a thick layer of moisturizing cream, but hear me out, do you really want that thick, heavy cream sitting atop your skin in the hot, sweaty summer? No, ma’am. You want the moisture, yes, but the heaviness, no. Thankfully, I’m about to let you have your cake and eat it too, with the help of an ultra-moisturizing, nourishing, but featherlight moisturizer. Glow Recipe truly outdid themselves with their Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer. It’s so light, it feels like a bordering on a watery gel, but it leaves your skin feeling like it had just sat in a mask of the heaviest, oiliest, thickest moisture mask ever. And it smells like watermelon candy. And it’s the loveliest baby pink. You know what to do, hit up Sephora, get it in your life. After all, who doesn’t want more watermelon in their summer?

Retinols – Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme by Olehenriksen & Retinol Eye Cream by Pixi

Retinols should be a staple in every single skincare routine. If you value keeping your skin looks young and fresh that is. Instead of going on and on about the merits of retinols, I’m going to leave some super informative videos featuring experts who can give you a really great education and insight on retinols, why they are so important and how to use them. The first is by Liah Yoo, where she gives a great video explaining retinol, it’s a great overview if you’re new to the product or want to increase your knowledge. The second is by Dr Dray, where she brings us a super informative video on the science of retinol, I would highly recommend this video to anyone interested in skincare and prolonging the youthfulness and health of their skin.

Now that we’ve established the importance of retinol, with help of two of my favorite skincare Youtubers 🙂 Let’s get into my new favorite retinol products. So as the videos mentioned, retinol products can be harsh for the skin and I noticed that once the summer heat got really underway, my skin started having issues tolerating my usual retinol products. I noticed it was feeling irritated, red and super tight and also became even more sensitive to the sun. Since giving up on retinol is an absolute no-go, I started looking for gentler alternatives and I found the new retinol loves of my life, Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme by Olehenriksen and Retinol Eye Cream by Pixi.

Goodnight GLow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme by Olehenriksen

Goodnight Glow is made with bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative that delivers all the benefits of retinol without any of the usual harshness. I will say that I do think a higher strength retinol product will have a more pronounced and powerful effect on the skin, but if you are unable to deal with the harshness of retinol products or you are interested in a natural form, definitely check out Goodnight Glow. I personally can’t actually tell too much of a difference between my regular retionols and this Bakuchiol based creme. I notice that when I wake up after a night of using Goodnight Glow, my skin looks absolutely radiant and clear, and it never feels irritated in the slightest.

Retinol Eye Cream by Pixi

Next up is Retinol Eye Cream by Pixi ($22). So previously I would just apply my regular retinols to the eye area, just in a smaller layer. But alas, summer demanded that I find something gentler. Enter Pixi to the rescue. Their retinol eye cream is a super nourishing, gentle retinol cream made specifically for the delicate skin of the eye area. It’s packed with retinol for smoothing and refining the skin, also caffeine to depuff and energize the skin and peptides to firm and revitalize the eye area. I have loved how gentle this cream feels and how easy it is to apply, it’s applicator makes it super easy to use. I have noticed that since using it the skin around my eyes looks not only smoother, but less puffy as well, and there’s never any irritation or redness.

Super Soothing Skin Treats for Summer

Ceramidin Cream by Dr Jart, Dreamskin Cushion by Dior, Hydrating Milky Mist by Pixi, Eau Thermale Spring Water by La Roche-Rosay

These next few products I have mentioned previously in other posts and while I use them year-round, you better believe I am reaching almost exclusively for these gentle, yet powerful skin saviors during the rough summer months. I cannot live without my Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream, it’s so nourishing, yet super lightweight, perfect for summer. I always apply it under my makeup, I find that it makes my foundation last way longer and it keeps my skin feeling hydrated and calm for hours on end.

I have been simply living for Dream Skin Cushion by Dior lately. It’s a cushion foundation that has light to a buildable-medium coverage. It’s so light on the skin, it’s like air. It feels nothing like a traditional foundation, yet it has great coverage. It also has Dior’s Dream Skin serum, which is an amazing skincare product, ultra-nourishing and is loaded with antiaging benefits. The best part, SPF 50.

The last, but of course, not least of my skincare treats for summer are my favorite facial mists! Pixi’s Hydrating Milky Mist and La Roche-Posay’s Eau Thermale Spring Water. Like a cool glass of water (or your favorite chilled alcoholic beverage) these facial mists are just what you need to quench your thirst and make your skin feel relaxed and calm under the hot summer sun. I’m putting them in the skincare treats category because they are just that, treats. They aren’t going to make or break your skincare routine, but I do believe that they help significantly in making your summer days more comfortable, and happier. They are fun and refreshing and in these 90 to 100 degree days, I don’t need any other reason than that to keep them close at hand.

Hannah Flack
Hannah Flack

I am a USC grad with a passion for beauty, health and science. I reside in beautiful California with my husband and puppy (@sebastian.thecavalierking).

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