11 Lightweight Skin Care Products To Add To Your Routine For Summer

I think I can speak for all of us when I say that this summer definitely hasn’t gone according to plan. With travel plans, romantic entanglements, and social lives mostly on pause for the foreseeable future, it can be hard to feel like you have control of anything. But amid this miserable roller coaster of a year, one small thing we can stay on top of is our skin care. Instead of focusing on how lame this summer is compared to years past, put that time and energy into getting your summer skin care routine on lock.

If you don’t normally put much thought into your skin care regimen, switching up your products every season might seem extra, but it makes a lot of sense. While you might spend the winter fighting dry skin with heavy creams and moisturizers, summer is a whole different ballgame. Of course, each person’s skin care needs differ based on location, climate, and skin type, but generally speaking, summer skin care is all about keeping it light and breezy. Here are some must-have products that will keep you glowing (not from sweat) all summer long.

Laneige Cream Skin Mist

If you know about Laneige’s Cream Skin line, you KNOW how exciting this launch is. I admittedly was never a huge mist person until my friends coerced me into keeping a spray in my bag at all times, and now I’m actually unsure how I survived without one. The Cream Skin Mist is great because it gives your skin a natural glow, with or without makeup. A product like this is particularly important in summer, especially during quarantine, when the chances of me wearing makeup are about the same as the odds of me shaving my legs in the winter. This final step makes any routine feel complete, and the mist itself is super hydrating, long lasting, and perfect to bring on the go. The formula is lightweight, and enriched with amino acids from White Leaf Tea water.

Caudalíe Pink Limited Edition Beauty Elixir

If you’re looking for a clean, natural mist, look no further. When I heard the Limited Edition of the cult-favorite Beauty Elixir is back in stock, I had ~a moment~. There is something about this pretty pink bottle that makes this already great product even better. If you can’t relate to my passion for packaging, that’s fine. This product is filled with natural plant extracts that help visibly smooth the skin and tighten the pores. As someone with pores the size of planet Earth itself, this is quite important to me. This product preps and sets makeup, which is extra important in the summer months, because as you can imagine, sweat + makeup = a dangerous combo.

Kiehl’s Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream

I once won a giveaway for a year’s supply of Kiehl’s, and have since considered myself an expert on each and every one of their products. In winter months, my skin literally feels like sandpaper, so a heavy moisturizer is a MUST. But come summer, the Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream is my number one. I’ll be honest, this little guy is on the pricier side. That being said, if you know me (or if you’ve read any of my articles) you know I am cheap AF and that me splurging on a product means it is the real deal. The water cream claims to boost radiance (I see this claim from all brands, IDK what it actually means, but I do know that my skin is dewier using this product), reduces redness (can confirm this is true) and helps improve dry skin by softening and hydrating (also can confirm this is true). This is the kind of product that makes me want to skip foundation because my skin is actually glowing, and despite being ultra-hydrating, it’s lightweight and breathable. As I reread this *passionate* rant, I hope Kiehl’s sponsors me. My DMs are open.

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench® Cloud Cream Hydrating Moisturizer

I’ve got to say, this name is very overwhelming to type, but this Hyaluronic Cloud Cream is my other go-to in summer. Even if you’re into skin care at all, you still know hyaluronic acid is ~all~ the buzz right now, and for good reason. It’s hydrating, it’s not heavy, and it’s most definitely summer-approved. I love using this moisturizer after a beach day, because it’s cooling to the skin and helps calm any burning or peeling I may have obtained. It’s lightweight, super moisturizing, and wears well under makeup. This, like the previous cream, is worth the splurge.

Supergoop! Glowscreen (SPF 40)

If you don’t already know this, SPF is the most important thing in your skin care routine. As someone with textured skin (again, pores the size of planet Earth), I am very picky about my sunscreen. If sunscreen has any sort of white cast, it’s an instant horror show. If the sunscreen doesn’t agree with my skin type, my texture is exaggerated and it’s not a good look. And with that, I find myself reaching for my Supergoop! Glowscreen on the regular. It’s dewy and pearly (great for my dry skin pals) and allows for the true no-makeup makeup look (because you literally don’t need makeup). It’s hydrating, too, which is not always true for sunscreen.

TULA Protect + Glow (Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30)

Something that is not spoken about enough is the fact that SPF should be worn inside. Yes. Groundbreaking, I know. bUt ThE sUn DoEsN’t ShInE iNsIdE! Correct. However, now more than ever, our skin is exposed to harmful blue light. From scrolling for hours, to being glued to our computer screens on work days, and of course binging Netflix, I am excited and impressed to see that TULA has launched Protect + Glow to protect you from damaging pollution and blue light. If you’ve purchased blue light glasses, add this to your list of must-haves. Even if you haven’t, still add this to your list of must-haves.

Peachy Prescription Retinoids

Retinoids are the industry’s best kept secret if you ask me. Summer is fun, but sun exposure leads to skin damage and wrinkles, and I for one want neither of those. I never knew (or cared) what Retinoids were until I was introduced to a local NYC business, Peachy (support local!). Retinoids are the prescription version of Retinol—and clinical studies show that they both increase collagen production and prevent collagen degradation. Increasing collagen results in plumper, stronger skin and the minimization of fine lines and wrinkles. So, in less science-y words, Retinoids are the botox of skin care (without the needles). It’s important that you get the right prescription from a trusted dermatologist and still take care of your skin in the sun (USE SPF), but this product is my secret weapon.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil

“Foundation, but make it skincare” are the first words that can be read under Kosas’ Tinted Face Oil description, and it sums this product up flawlessly. During summer months, a cakey foundation is awful, to put it simply, and this has been my personal solution. The product does a great job of giving your skin the “blur effect” but doesn’t overdo it. Think “is she wearing makeup or does she just have amazing skin???” type vibes. Overall as a brand, Kosas has multiple products that dabble in both the skin care + makeup category, but this stands out above the rest for me.

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

Summer Fridays is one of those brands that is actually worth the hype. Their products are great, their branding is great, their social media is great, their packaging is great, even their p-page images are great (few will understand, but those who do will appreciate this callout). Anyway, during summer months I often love replacing my lipstick with a clear balm and letting my lips go natural-ish. This Lip Butter Balm is actually considered a mask, and it’s created to soothe parched lips while sealing in moisture. I’m a big fan of this product because it’s not like other lip balms that feel amazing for the first 10 minutes and then leave your lips needing more soon after. This lasts what feels like hours, and it makes my lips look glowy like a gloss, but without the sticky feeling.

YSL Beauty Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick

If you prefer a little color in your summer lip look, an oil lip color is a great way to go. YSL Beauty launched their new Milk Tea collection (I’m fittingly sipping on milk tea as I write this) and the colors are reaaalllyyy pretty. I feel like we’re all on the permanent hunt for the “perfect nude” and this just might be it. The hydrating formula drenches lips in moisture while leaving a high-shine finish. Think lipstick-meets-balm. All day color and comfort? Yes please.

SheaMoisture African Black Soap

Summer brings an excess of oil and enlarged pores (sorry, I know you’re sick of hearing about my pores). SheaMoisture African Black Soap is THAT product that will help you maintain your natural glow while conquering oil and sweat (we all have it, so don’t pretend you’re better than me). More importantly, the soap won’t dehydrate your skin, which for obvious reasons is important here. This face and body bar is super affordable ($4.99) and is specially formulated with organic Shea Butter, Oats and Aloe to cleanse, moisturize and comfort irritated skin.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Body Scrub

LAST BUT NOT LEAST. I used to think body scrubs were a myth, but then I tried one and realized it wasn’t. Thrilling, I know. I’m a big fan of Sol de Janeiro’s OG Bum Bum Cream because it smells like vacation—even after being trapped inside for 100 days. The Bum Bum Body Scrub texture is soft yet gritty, and literally leaves my skin glowing. I think it’s important to be careful with body scrubs, because while you do want to exfoliate the skin, you don’t want the product to be abrasive. I think that BBBS (I’ve made up this abbreviation because Bum Bum Body Scrub is a mouthful) is the perfect happy medium, and the scent alone is enough to keep me coming back for more. WOULD recommend for *summer smooth* skin.

And there you have it, summer skin care, head to toe. Check back in winter for my 100-step routine.

Images: Margot Pandone / Unsplash; Provided by Laneige; Caudalie; Kiehls; Peter Thomas Roth; Supergoop; TULA; Provided by Peachy; Provided by Kosas; Summer Fridays; Provided by YSL Beauty; Provided by SheaMoisture; Provided by Sol de Janeiro

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Lip Balms That Are Drying Out Your Lips & The Ones You Should Use Instead

No one likes crusty lips. They aren’t attractive, make you look like you ate sand for breakfast, and can cause your lips to bleed—making everyone you run into question whether or not a vampire kid. It’s true. The bleeding, dryness, and generally chapped appearance that you’re struggling with is actually the fault of many of the ingredients present in some lip balm, making a bad situation worse. According to Style Caster and dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD, “Lip balms with humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin make lips worse … these ingredients pull moisture out of the skin, especially in a dry environment, and then the water evaporates away.” But before you throw away everything with a humectant, Baumann goes on to say that as long as the product has occlusive ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, and some oils, you’ll be fine. Those ingredients help hold water, so the two things can work together.

Here are the best and worst lip balms for you as we (barely) trek into spring.

The Best Lip Balms

Tatcha Camellia Gold Spun Lip Balm

Are you bougie enough to wear gold flecked lip balm? Duh. Allure awarded this brand with a Best of Beauty stamp for 2017 thanks to its high content of vitamins, fatty acids (amazing for your lips), and hydration powers.

Camellia Lip Balm

Aquaphor Lip Repair Healing Ointment

It can be used for eczema, which proves it’s perfect for calming down the dry, chapped, and cracked lips that have come to be our go-to accessory this winter. It isn’t fancy, tinted, it comes in a cute tube—which makes it super legit in our book, and NY Mag’s, apparently, too. Don’t worry, it’s great for sensitive skin.

Aquaphor Lip Repair Lip Balm

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

Tinted, minty, and used by our favorite weirdos, the Olsen twins, Smith’s Rosebud Salve is amazing because it can be used ANYWHERE your face is chapped. It also has a super slight tint—perfect for rubbing into lips and cheeks for a nice, subtle glow. NY Mag, HuffPost, and Total Beauty can’t all be wrong.

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

Allure loves it, The Fashion Spot loves it, HuffPost loves it, so you should, too. With a combo of shea butter, vitamin E, AND sunscreen, you definitely need to start using this lip balm. It goes on a super smooth, and actually heals your lips as opposed to just coating them in weird chemicals.

Fresh Sugar Lip Hydrating Balm

This tinted and slightly shiny balm is listed on several sites including The Fashion Spot, Style Caster, and BeautyEditor as a great chapped lip treatment. It does contain several of the no-no ingredients like fragrances and perfumes, but the high percentage of natural oils derived from apricot, grapeseed, and black currant helps to moisturize even the crustiest lips.

Vaseline

Sometimes you just need something simple that will get the job done. Even if you’re not using the ~fancy~ new Vaseline lip tins that come in varieties like Aloe and Cocoa Butter, this product has been with you since day one. Probably literally—I bet you still have that 10 gallon tub of Vaseline you bought in 2008. Vaseline is the ultimate ride or die, and it’s good for your lips, too.

The Worst

We’re by no means saying don’t, like, EVER use these three, but we’re putting it out there that the internet says they aren’t so great. So, like, buyer beware.

Carmex

It isn’t going to kill you, doesn’t contain formaldehyde, and doesn’t contain cut glass. According to The Cut, though, the reason it may be irritating or making your lips drier is due to the benzocaine (which many people are allergic to) and the salicylic acid (which you’ll recognize from every acne product ever). The higher levels of menthol feel cool on your lips, but can actually dry them out further.

Chapstick

Sigh. Unfortunately for those of us who pick up packs of this classic and been-around-forever lip balm, Chapstick is likely making your lips worse. It kind of just sits on the top of your lips without actually healing it, causing you to constantly reapply. If you want a classic, plain, normal lip healer and helper, go for the Vaseline or Aquaphor.

EOS Lip Balm

HEAR ME OUT. I know we all love the little spherical shapes and pastel colors of these cutesy lip balms. But don’t forget the lawsuit from January 2016, which alleged this product caused blistering, rashes, and other negative effects for one user.

The case was quickly settled, but by November there were at least 10 more class action suits which EOS also settled alleging the same blistering, rashes, and other not-cute side effects. You and I may use EOS with little to no issue, but it’s worth mentioning that two lawsuits and a lot of people in the past few years have claimed something is up with these lip balms.

Images: RW Studios /Unsplash