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Having a skincare routine for summer is important. Experts weigh in on how to perfect yours - including why you need a hat or to apply sunscreen to your scalp. Photo: Shutterstock

How to create the best skincare routine for summer: remember sunscreen on your head, lip care to avoid burns

  • Summer skincare is so popular, stars like Kim Kardashian and Hailey Bieber are getting in on the action – but you might not get what you need from their lines
  • Experts weigh in on what you may be missing from your summer routine, from SPF to the importance of going easy on irritating or exfoliating skin products

You need only look at recently launched celebrity skincare lines, from Kim Kardashian’s SKKN to Hailey Bieber’s Rhode, to know that summer skincare is huge. But are you getting everything you need from them to keep your skin healthy this season?

Despite their popularity, do not rely on star-backed skincare to be completely comprehensive – especially if they are missing staples like SPF (sun protection factor).

“I’m not opposed to their core products because they don’t have SPF – as long as you’re not stating that you don’t need it,” explains Dr Michelle Henry, dermatologist and founder of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan, in New York. “It just means that you have to complement their products with your own SPF.”

We talked to dermatologists to find out what you may be missing from your summertime skincare routine.

A couple on Blyth beach, Northumberland, on the northeast coast of England. Sunscreen is important to avoid skin damage. Photo: AP

1. Don’t skimp on sunscreen

Just how vital is SPF in skincare products? Dr Samer Jaber, a dermatologist at Washington Square Dermatology in New York, calls it the “most important part of any skin care anti-ageing regimen”. It is also important in preventing skin cancer. He recommends using a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily.

Wearing a face mask? Get that your-skin-but-better look with sunscreen

“The biggest mistake I see in my patients is forgetting to reapply sunscreen. Remember sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours when you are outside. The other major mistake is not using a water-resistant sunscreen when sweating or swimming – please check the label!”

Henry adds that sunscreen is important no matter the season, but especially during the sunny summer months. It is also for everyone.
“All skin types,” she emphasises. “ Even the deepest, darkest skin.”
Wear a hat to protect your scalp from the sun. Photo: Shutterstock

2. Don’t skip your scalp

One place you may be forgetting to apply sunscreen with SPF is your scalp. If you have thin or balding hair, style your hair parted or are not wearing a protective covering like a hat, be sure to protect that skin as well.

Henry says she operates on skin cancers on the scalp “all the time”. “That’s an area that’s just getting chronic sun exposure over the course of your life and so it’s really important that we always consider those areas … and protect them.”
A surfer catches a wave at Old Orchard Beach in York County, Maine in the US. If you are in water, use a water-resistant sunscreen. Photo: AFP

3. Cater products to the season

Another mistake people make is not swapping their skincare for the summer season, Henry says.

“They don’t transition from their cream-based, heavier cleansers to a more robust foam or gel cleanser,” she explains. “Or they overdo it and don’t realise that you still have to consider your skin type.

“So just because it’s summertime, if you’re someone who’s quite sensitive, you can’t just jump to the harsher cleansers just because it’s summertime.”

Even if you are spending a lot of time in the hot sun and sweating, Jaber says you may want to take it easy on any irritating or exfoliating skin products.

“I see a lot of patients in the summer months coming in with facial dermatitis from overuse of products that compromise the skin barrier,” he explains.

Swap out your winter products for lighter summer ones. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Protect against salt, the A/C, chlorine

In addition to sweat and sun, our skin can be exposed to other things during the summertime, such as harsh air conditioning, pool chlorine and salt from the ocean – all things to consider in taking care of your skin.

“What’s most important is to listen to your skin,” Henry advises. “If you’re feeling like you’re too dry even during the summer months – although we’re not having that brutal cold that we typically get in the winter – those air conditioners can still leach moisture from your skin the same way that the radiator would leach moisture from your skin.”

Invest in a lip balm with SPF. Photo: Shutterstock

5. Let’s not forget lip care

Not only can lips get dry during the summer, they can also burn. Henry suggests investing in lip balms that have SPF.

“There’s so many on the market now. I see a lot of skin cancers on the lips as well, so you need to be careful.”