By Elsa de Berker
At some point, after diligently cleansing before bed each night, sleepily spritzing a calming mist each morning, and occasionally forgetting which day it is, summer has arrived in the midst of our new lockdown reality. Depending on where your zip code falls in the country, maybe you’re already toasting with rosé on a rooftop somewhere, but for the rest of us, it’s likely that this summer is going to look a whole lot different from anything else we’ve ever experienced. But even in times of great change, some constants remain—like the fact that summer can be the best, or the worst, of times when it comes to skincare.
Between the increased sun exposure (golden kisses! freckles! premature aging! hyperpigmentation ) and the humidity (dewy skin, or is that just sweat?), it also presents a unique set of seasonal dilemmas, particularly for those with oily skin. Before embarking on a rigorous new skincare regimen, it’s wise to first take a closer look at your complexion, and then tweak accordingly.
“A lot of people think they have oily skin when they’re actually not,” explains Laura Cline, Youth To The People’s Director of Education. “Skin types are something that you’re born with; in relation to being oily, it depends how much of your skin’s surface area is producing oil. People with true oily skin have visible pores on more than half of their face, whereas people with combination skin (which is more common) often think they’re oily from a surge in sebum production.”
Looking for clues about your skin type? Read more about combo skin here.
Tapping into Cline’s infinite knowledge, we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet for those looking to differentiate between the two—and that’s not all. Read on for her ultimate guide to making the most of some extra-sizzling summer sheen while the drinks run cold and the weather runs hot.
Identify the cause
The first priority: look at your jawline. “It’s where you have the least amount of oil production, so if you’re not oily there, your skin is probably combination and experiencing a change in sebum production due to the environmental shift or other lifestyle factors,” says Cline. If you fall in the latter camp, a good place to start is to up your daily intake of water.
Be a conscientious cleanser
Summer inevitably means more sweat, “So cleansing morning and night is the first thing that’s going to help you feel in control if you think you have oily skin,” continues Cline. “A product like the Superfood Cleanser gets rid of dirt and oil buildup and helps balance skin’s pH, keeping the microbiome balanced and healthy. Over time, it can actually alter how much sebum your skin produces.”
Moisture, moisture, moisture
The biggest misconception about caring for oily skin is that you should avoid moisturizer and oils.
“I understand not wanting to put anything on your face, but healthy skin—no matter what age or type—needs both water and oil to do a good job of protecting us.” Cline’s general rule of thumb? Apply a lightweight moisturizer in the morning and a flash-absorbing oil at night. Try the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream and the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil.
Leave time in-between
Exfoliation is vital year round, but even more so when perspiration levels peak.
“Acne bacteria love dead skin, so if you’re oily and blemish-prone, you want to make sure that you’re getting rid of those cells effectively.” That being said, be wary of over-exfoliating too. “Our resurfacing Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial is the best choice here. Use it once a week initially, and build up to as many as three times a week, alternating nights.”
Reset with a spritz
Crucial to Cline’s must-have arsenal for oily skincare devotees? This not-so-humble Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist. Use it throughout the day to perk up melting complexions and deliver targeted moisture. Says Cline, “It contains shea butter and hyaluronic acid to counteract transepidermal water loss, without weighing skin down.”
Cool it off
Of all the expert tips, sometimes the most potent advice comes in the most basic form: Cline recommends keeping products in the fridge to prevent them—and you—from overheating. “It might not have long-lasting or transformational effects, but you can’t underestimate how refreshing a moisturizer fresh from the cooler is!”
Written by Elsa de Berker for Youth To The People