The Simple Skincare Swaps I’m Making Now That Summer Is Here

December 5, 2021

Despite the unseasonal cold snap we’ve had over the last few weeks, Summer is officially here now, and she’s here with a vengeance (we’ve already had a couple of 30°C plus days in Melbourne) and I’ve definitely thawed out any residual Spring frostiness left in me. Which means now is the perfect time to do a few small but mighty skincare swaps to make sure that you’re giving your skin everything it needs for this very trying time of year. Summer looks different all over the world; in some places it’s a dry and severe heat, for others it’s a humid, wet season and for others, it’s still cold by global standards, but just with a little more sunshine. Whatever Summer looks like in your neck of the woods, switching out a few products can make the world of difference. Below I’m going through a whole routine, step by step, and sharing the tips and swaps I use to help my skin look and feel its best all Summer long.

Summer Skincare - Overview

Cleansing is my favourite skincare step, I just really enjoy it. In Winter I love an indulgent cream or a luscious milk cleanser, and in full transparency, I love a gel in the colder months too. But when the warmth kicks in I almost exclusively reach for the light gel cleansers. Not all gel cleaners are created equally, but my favourites are equal parts refreshing and effective, and leave my skin feeling balanced and comfortable.
Mario Badescu Acne Facial Wash – a long time love of my mine. If I’m not up to my twentieth bottle of this over the last decade I’d be genuinely surprised. It’s a light second cleanse that gets rid of anything left from your first cleanse, but it also gets rid of the perfect amount of oil so that my skin feels truly clean and balanced after, but not at all stripped, tight or looking shiny. 
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser –  this was an instant love, and you can read the full review here, but basically, this thick and opaque gel is incredibly hydrating and kind to sensitised/heat-affected skin, but still really effective at cleansing the skin from even the most greasy SPFs.
NEW Murad Prebiotic 4-in-1 MultiCleanser – this is a newbie I picked up a little while ago and have been saving for Summer. It contains plant-based emollients, cleansing peptides and nourishing prebiotics, and it claims to hydrate the skin while it cleans. Sounds too good!

Summer Skincare - Cleansers

Depending on who you ask, toners and mists are either the holy grail of skincare or smelly, overpriced water. Personally, I really rate them both. They give you an extra opportunity to add great ingredients and hydration to your routine, and those are two things I won’t ever say no to. I use a toner every single day of the year (almost always Indie Lee CoQ10), but mists become essential for me in the warmth for a number of reasons. They are great for spritzing on hot skin during the day, they refresh when you’re feeling dried out but they also help layer extra hydration in between your other skincare steps.
Jordan Samuel Hydrate Mist – this is a really basic, hydrating mist. It doesn’t have any essential oils and added fragrances so it’s perfect for really sensitised skin. And although I love using it to sandwich extra moisture into my routine between the other steps, my favourite purpose I’ve found for it is misting before I apply/reapply SPF to dry skin. Without this, the sunscreen sometimes clings to dehydrated spots and can feel like it’s sitting uncomfortably on ‘top’ of my skin, but with a quick misting of this, SPF applies exactly like it does when I put it on first thing in the morning on dewy skin. Love it!
La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water Mist – instantly cooling, a bottle of this lives in my fridge from December through to March. Inevitably, someone will forget to put sunscreen on their back or not think to reapply between dips in the pool and a chilled can of this misted over hot skin is an absolute saviour. It’s a mineral-infused water that promotes calming and healing of skin too, so not just your average water spray.
Pixi Milky Tonic – soothing, hydrating and really calming. This is ace for heat-affected/unhappy skin that needs a light layer of TLC. It absorbs incredibly fast and is more soothing than cooling, but it’s gold nonetheless. This is especially good for flushed skin after a long hot day.

I think serums are possibly the thing I swap around the most. With the exception of two favourites that I seem to always have on repeat, I switch serums in and out based on how my skin is feeling fairly regularly.
Avene Hydrance Optimale Rehydrating Serum – is an absolute powerhouse. It works wonders on disrupted skin barriers (sunburnt/heat effected/reactive skin). I’d recommend picking it up when it’s (regularly) on sale because it’s not a cheap product and your skin will just drink it up. It’s a really light, thin cream that soaks in on contact and is instantly comforting to unhappy skin. It’s heaven on sunburn (after a day or two when the heat has faded) and it’s incredibly calming on flushed/red skin after a hot day.
Jordan Samuel Hydrate Serum – any hydrating serum that works for you is a must over the hot Summer months, my personal favourite is the Jordan Samuel – it’s light, absorbs quickly, isn’t sticky or tacky in the slightest, but most importantly it gives my skin a boost of hydration and leaves my skin feeling plump and rehydrated. Big love for this stuff, full review here.

Summer Skincare - Sunscreen

Thin and light eye creams are a must for me at this time of the year. I’ve shelving anything thick and rich (I’m talking about you, Kiehls Avocado Eye Treatment…) in favour of thin and watery lotions that won’t over hydrate the area and trigger Milia. In full transparency, I don’t always use an eye cream, especially in Summer. If I’m using a thin and relatively basic (meaning no actives/stimulating ingredients) moisturiser I’ll just tend to take that all the way under my eyes. But if dehydration has gotten the best of me I’m reaching for…
La Roche Posay Toleriane Eyein the heat I’m all about the hydration, and this eye cream does exactly that. It nourishes and soothes and boosts the moisture in the delicate eye area without overloading the skin with greasy creams and clogging the pores. This performs well under makeup too, making it perfect for AM and PM routines.

Summer Skincare - Closeup

Moisturisers, despite the name suggesting that they all do exactly that, are not all created equally. It’s probably the category of skincare with the most diversity when it comes to texture, active ingredients and promises. Now’s the time to switch out the rich and indulgent creams you relied on all Winter for light gels, soft creams and thin lotions. Lighter layers will absorb better into the skin and provide hydration and moisture without clogging and congesting, plus they’ll oftentimes feel a lot more comfortable to wear too.
Kiehls Ultra Facial – my year-round go-to cream. It’s thin, absorbs quickly, plays nicely under sunscreens/makeup and on top of hydrating serums, and it comes in a massive 125ml tub for less than the price of many 50ml tubs of similar quality creams. Full review here.
NEW Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream – this is new to me, I was originally intrigued by the reusable packaging, but then the ingredients list and texture description well and truly won me over. Plus, it has quite a few rave reviews among beauty writers too. It contains Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Watermelon Seed Oil, Cactus Flower Extract and Aloe Vera Juice… Here’s hoping I can add another positive review very soon.

Summer Skincare - Pots

I know a lot of people love a mask, but if I’m really honest, it’s not really something I regularly make the time for. However, when my skin is feeling like it needs it I’ll put a thin layer of a hydration-focussed mask over the top of my PM routine, and my skin always looks and feels better for it in the morning. *Note to self; do masks more often.
Avene Hydrance Mask
– this has been in my beauty stash for a while now and I think it’s one of those products that is going to be just as good for heat-affected Summer skin as it was for dehydrated Winter skin. It’s a thick gel that feels instantly refreshing on the skin and gives a ‘glazed-donut’ appearance for about 10 minutes before it soaks in beautifully.
NEW Chanticaille Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask  – I picked this up in the Caroline Hirons x Hall Of Fame kit bag recently and oh my word, the packaging is luxury personified. It has the most stunning, solid glass pot and feels so heavy and indulgent to hold. I haven’t actually brought myself to tear the foil off it yet, but I have it on good authority (Caroline said in her Instagram lives) that this is absolutely incredible for warm weather. It contains Jasmine Flower Extract, Vitamin B5 and Bisabolol (to calm and soothe redness).
PIXI DetoxifEye Eye Patches – I bought these over the Winter, but they have already become a go-to product on warm mornings after a sleepless night when the heat just won’t quit. Depuffing and cooling. You just can’t go wrong.

Summer Skincare - Chantecaille, LRP and Bondi Sands

We all know that sunscreen is an every day of the year kind of thing, not just a hot weather thing, but SPF is vitally important here in Australia during the Summer so here are the few that I’m stocked-up on. Finding a sunscreen that you actually like is more than half the battle, because once you find one that you actually don’t mind wearing it won’t feel like such a chore to apply it every day/multiple times per day. Look for one that is SPF50+ and in a finish that you like the look of (dewy or more matte). Then look for your personal preferences; tinted, un-tinted, sensitive, hydrating, water-resistant etc. Personally, my criteria is SPF50+, kind to sensitive eyes and preferably a natural finish. My favourite at the moment is the Bondi Sands Fluid, followed closely in second place is the Bondi Sands Lotion. The bronze medal goes to Ultra Violette which I use as a topper.
Bondi Sands Hydra UV Protect SPF 50+ Face Lotion – this has been a favourite for a while now, I think I’m on my third or fourth pump bottle. It’s kind to sensitive eyes, wears comfortably, isn’t too shiny, layers well for application and is SPF50+ protection. Lots of pluses over here.
Bondi Sands Hydra UV Protect SPF50+ Face Fluid – this has become a fast favourite. It’s got all the features of the Lotion, but has a less shiny appearance. I wouldn’t say matte, but it definitely dries down to a more natural ‘skin’ finish.
Ultra Violette Clean Screen – this tinted sunscreen has a really dewy finish and I find the colour extremely buildable. For me (and my chronically pale face) I find the colour too pigmented when I use the amount you need to in order get real sun protection, so I apply clear/un-tinted SPF as normal, and then apply one pump of this over the top if I want my skin to look a bit more even and put-together.

So those are my top swaps and product recommendations for the warm Summer months we have ahead of us, what are your heatwave must-haves?

Comments (1)

  • Anika

    December 8, 2021 at 12:17 am

    The Mario Badescu wash is definitely on my list, sounds absolutely amazing and I know so many adore the brand! Thanks for sharing.

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