7 Easy Steps to the Perfect Summer Beauty Routine


Summer is officially here! Of course, for those of us who live in the northern part of Kentucky, it has felt like summer for several weeks. We went (as usual) from temperatures in the 30s and 40s to temperatures in the 80s and 90s. I would love to get some mid-70 temps for at least a month! Spring, where did you go??

Hot, humid temps mean that if I don't want my face to look greasy or have my makeup products literally slide off my face within a couple of hours, I have to be sure to make adjustments in my beauty routine. Ain't nobody got time for blotting all day!

I basically subscribe to the theory that if you need lighter/cooler clothing, then the same is probably true for your skincare and makeup. Of course that won't be the case for everyone, but for the most part, I think it's a safe bet.

Let's talk about skincare first:

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser - one of my favorite cleansers for sensitive, breakout-prone skin!

(This post may contain affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). You are free to use the links or not - if you do, I thank you!)

1) Switch to a lightweight cleanser
Depending upon your skin type and the cleanser(s) you use, you may need a lighter cleanser in summer. Especially if you have combo or oily skin. By "lighter", I mean one that doesn't contain a ton of ingredients that are left behind on your skin - like a creamy moisturizing cleanser. Those with dry skin may still need that extra moisture, but it probably makes the rest of us feel hot and sweaty.

I use lightweight cleansers year round. The ones I've been using most since my rosacea diagnosis work well for me in all temperatures. I use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser, or Acure Seriously Soothing Cleansing Cream. They're gentle and don't make my skin feel dry or greasy.


Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid Serum - a vitamin C serum is one of the top three products on my must-haves for anti-aging skincare list. I'm a fan of this Timeless serum, and it has a great price point!

2) Use anti-aging products with a gel or serum base
Anti-aging products come in all shapes and sizes as well consistencies. If you usually use one that has a heavy cream base, you may find that switching to one with a lightweight serum or gel consistency works better in hot weather. And again, this will be especially true for those with combo or oily skin.

My anti-aging products are mostly serums that are lightweight and easily absorbed, so they work well year round. I use Timeless Vitamin C+E+Ferulic Acid, Timeless CoEnzyme Q10 Serum, and Argireline™ Solution 10%, Buffet Peptide Serum, and Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum from The Ordinary.


CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion - this reasonably-priced moisturizer contains ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. My sensitive, acne-prone, mature skin loves it

3) Try a lightweight moisturizer
I'm talking to my combo and oily girls here, because unless you have super dry skin, you're probably going to feel better using a lightweight moisturizer during the dog days of summer. Keep in mind that everyone is different and you should do what works best for your skin.

When it's hot, I either use a moisturizer that also contains 30 SPF (and some anti-aging ingredients) or a foundation that is an all-in-one product. I'm all about less layers of product on my skin. Fewer layers feel lighter and are also less likely to slide off my face in the heat. My favorite general daytime moisturizer/sunscreen is the RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30 from Paula's Choice. It's lightly tinted, fragrance-free, mineral-based, and also contains antioxidants, including resveratrol. If I'm at the beach or going to be outside for an extended time I skip the moisturizer and just use a sunscreen with at least 50 SPF. At night, I use Pretty Pearlfection Cream and CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.


Wearing a sunscreen daily is the number one thing you can do to slow down the aging process. I even wear sunscreen on days I stay inside! Paula's Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense is one of my top 5 favorites!

4) Find a sunscreen that dries to a matte finish
How many times have you heard me say that sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do to combat the signs of aging? If you're spending money on anti-aging products/procedures and not using daily sunscreen, you're throwing your money away!

The trick is to find a few sunscreens that work well for you. For instance, I look for a mineral sunscreen to use on my face because chemical sunscreens burn my eyes and irritate my skin. It has to be fragrance-free, absorb completely and leave no tackiness on my skin. It also has to play nice with my skincare/makeup. For my body, I'm less picky. It can be a chemical sunscreen, but it still has to absorb completely without leaving my skin feel greasy - and be fragrance-free or only lightly fragranced. I mentioned my favorite facial sunscreen above, and you can read more about the rest of my favorite sunscreens in a past post.


Now let's talk summer makeup:

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream is one of my favorite foundations!

5) Switch to a lightweight foundation
I bet you know what I'm going to say! Are you sensing a theme yet? Yes! You're going to most likely want a lightweight foundation for the warmer months. I wish I could get away with just using a tinted moisturizer. But I need some coverage, and I have yet to find a tinted moisturizer that provides that. I suspect that at least some of  you are in the same boat.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a lightweight foundation that also offers at least medium coverage. And doesn't settle into lines. And comes in the right shade. It's such a process, am I right?

The two that I'm reaching for in the heat are Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream and IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC Cream.

The Missha BB Cream has a lighter consistency as well as decent, buildable coverage and SPF 42. The downside is the lack of colors - there are only seven. I blend three of their shades in the summer - #21 Light Beige, #23 Natural Beige, and #27 Honey Beige. I know that sounds excessive and you're probably thinking "I don't have time (or money) for that". But I promise - they're available at drugstore prices. I also wear this in the cooler months, but I only use one or two colors. (Read more at Product Review: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream and Product Review: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream (2017))

 IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Betterâ„¢ CC Cream isn't full coverage for me, but it does have lightweight, medium coverage as well as broad spectrum physical-only SPF 50+.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Your Skin But Better™ CC Cream. I stopped using it for a couple of years because I received a faulty tube and customer service on the IT Cosmetics website and I disagreed on how that should be handled. (You can read more about that here if you're interested.*) I found a sample tube in my stash that I started using a couple of  weeks ago and this stuff is so great on my skin with a light faux tan. I find that the Medium shade works best for me in the summer. It's great because it gives good medium coverage (I've never found it to be full-coverage as they advertise) and it also contains anti-aging ingredients and offers SPF 50. On most days I can skip moisturizer/sunscreen when I use this foundation because it's an all-in-one product.

(*I'm going to be purchasing a new tube - but I will buy from Sephora this time since they have great return/exchange policies. I struggle with knowing that I'm giving my money to a company that had poor customer service, but I'm comforting myself with the fact that IT Cosmetics is now owned by L'Oreal. I'm hoping their policies have changed, but I still recommend purchasing from a place that has a good return policy.)


e.l.f. High Definition Powder is my favorite setting powder - and it's only $6!

6) Use a setting powder
Setting powder can help keep your makeup in place as well as take the shininess away. I use setting powder year round, but it's especially important for me when the weather is hot. I don't mind a little "glow" but I don't want to look like the dudes in Raiders of the Lost Ark when their faces melted off. Plus I feel like I can reapply throughout the day when/if needed without my face getting that "caked-on makeup" look.

My favorite is super inexpensive - e.l.f. High Definition Powder in Sheer. For me, it works even better than expensive brands - and I've tried many of those. (read more at How Does e.l.f. HD Powder Measure Up?) It's also available in a compact if you prefer pressed powder to loose (and it's nice for throwing in your handbag). I also like the e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Powder (read more at How Does e.l.f. HD Undereye Setting Powder Measure Up?).


Skindinavia The Makeup Setting Spray is one of my favorite setting sprays!

7) Definitely use a setting spray
Once you have all of the above on, you want to make sure it stays on, right? Then you need some setting spray! This is another product that I use year round, but I can't be without at all for summer.

I've tried several, but I like Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray and Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray best. If you haven't tried those, I recommend them both. (I've heard that Skindinavia makes UD's spray, so that's probably why I like them both.) I'm currently using the Skindinavia and it's fabulous at keeping my makeup in place. I know some people are concerned that it contains denatured alcohol, but I've never had a problem with it drying my skin.

Sometimes the beauty routine that works great for you in fall and winter just isn't right for spring or summer. I'm going to tell you how to adjust your routine to make it perfect for warm weather!

And there you have it - my tips for getting your beauty routine ready for summer! What do you usually do to change your routine for summer? Let me know in the comments, on Instagram, or Snapchat!

Kim A.
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