How 15 Dermatologists Change Up Their Skin-Care Routines for Warmer Weather

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We wouldn’t wear a thick sweater in the height of summer, so why wouldn’t we swap out our richest skin-care formulas for lighter ones? Here, how 15 top dermatologists mix up their skin-care wardrobes when warmer temps begin to hit.

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1 / 15

“My skin-care routine is easy, so there isn’t a lot to swap. I use ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica ($55) each morning as my sunscreen/moisturizer on my face, neck, décolletage and hands. During the winter months, I apply Caudalie Premier Cru Crème Riche ($140) before or after for extra moisture. For my arms, legs and body after showering, I apply either Caudalie Body Butter ($34) or Avène TriXera Nutrifluid Balm ($29) during the winter. Once I start wearing short sleeves, I switch to either my same ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica or Elta UV Lotion ($35) for my arms.  I also use one of those for my legs if I’m wearing a skirt or shorts. Finally, I make sure that my purse has a mineral sunscreen powder in it at all times—either Colorescience Sunforgettable Powder ($65) or ISDIN Mineral Brush on the go.” —New York dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD

2 / 15

“I swap in an exfoliating scrub once a week, as opposed to the gentle cleanser that I use during the colder months. I also increase the strength of the tretinoin I use nightly to better stimulate collagen induction and keep my pores open and small, and I swap out my thicker moisturizing cream for something lighter, like Neutrogena HydroBoost ($21.50) with hyaluronic acid.” —New York dermatologist Robert Finney, MD

3 / 15

“I go back up on the strength of my retinoids, which I usually decrease in winter to prevent dryness.” —New York dermatologist Susan Bard, MD

4 / 15

“I switch from a body cream to body lotion, and swap out my gentle face wash for a foaming cleanser for better oil control.” —East Greenwich, RI dermatologist Caroline Chang, MD

5 / 15

“When warmer weather hits, I try to tone down my moisturizer from thicker to lighter because my desired dewy glow would be out of control. I’m really liking the SENTÉ Dermal Repair Cream and how much it moisturizes throughout the day. I also opt for thicker sunblocks with the more intense summer sun and outside activities. Colorescience EvenUp ($125) is legit if you are going to be sweaty and outside for awhile—I did hot yoga and it was still on nice and thick! Otherwise, my favorite lighter sunblocks are Coola Tinted Sunscreen ($36), PCA Sheer Tint ($50) and TiZo.” —Brea, CA dermatologist Kimberly Jerdan, MD

6 / 15

“I reduce the use of retinoids in the summer, as these vitamin A products make skin more susceptible to sunburns, and I increase the use of topical antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which reduce free oxygen radicals that lead to skin cancer and aging. I also increase the frequency of sunscreen usage, as we are more exposed to the sun in the summer months. I reapply every 90 minutes when outside, whether it’s sunny or cloudy, as UV penetrates the cloud cover.” —Chicago dermatologist Jordan C. Carqueville, MD

7 / 15

“I switch my thick winter moisturizer for a lighter lotion. I also make sure to increase my SPF protection, either by combining an SPF in my moisturizer or CC cream, or adding a mineral sunscreen powder on top.” —Quebec dermatologist Jordana Schachter, MD

8 / 15

“I use more exfoliants in the summer to combat shave bumps and sweat pimples.” —Germantown, TN dermatologist Purvisha Patel, MD

9 / 15

“The cold, dry winter weather means dry, sensitive skin. For that reason, my winter regimen includes more moisturizing, a lower-strength retinoid and a more gentle cleanser. Once the warm, more humid weather arrives, I recommend a lighter, yet effective moisturizer such as Avène Cicalfate ($32). I also increase the strength of the nightly retinoid, and add an exfoliating wash such as Replere Deep Clean and Clarify Face Wash ($38). Additionally, I add a daily facial sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30. I recommend MD Solar Sciences Tinted SPF 30 ($32). Its active ingredients, titanium and zinc, reflect the sun off the skin, but the very light and gentle formulation doesn’t clog pores.” —Harrison, NY dermatologist Jennifer S. Kitchin, MD

10 / 15

“I switch from SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic ($166) to SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF ($166). The Phloretin gives me better protection against unwanted pigmentation from the sun’s harmful UV rays and is a little better suited for oily skin, which is more common in the summer months.” —Neenah, WI dermatologist Victoria Negrete, MD

11 / 15

“I like to swap my Revision Intellishade Original Sunscreen ($75) for Intellishade Matte ($75). I also increase my retinol strength and exfoliate more. For the face, I love my Clarisonic brush, which I use a couple of times a week. For the body, I love Replenix Clarifying Brightening Polish ($46).” —Blacksburg, VA dermatologist Dr. Aleksandra Brown

12 / 15

“Living in the desert, I swap my normal sunscreen for a tinted one once the weather warms up. This eliminates the need for heavy foundation! My favorite is Revision Intellishade TruPhysical ($75).” —Scottsdale, AZ dermatologist Dr. Mariel Bird 

13 / 15

“I go from using Skinbetter Science AlphaRet ($120) every night to using prescription-strength tretinoin three nights a week.” —New York dermatologist Lilly-Rose Paraskevas, MD 

14 / 15

“I swap out heavier moisturizers for lighter ones that are mainly hyaluronic acid–based. I will also use an oil-free moisturizer with water-resistant sunscreen in the warmer months, like the new Elta MD Replenish ($32). I will also use stronger retinoids, like prescription-strength as opposed to retinols or retinoids in cosmetic products.” —New York dermatologist Ritu Saini, MD

15 / 15

“When it’s warmer, my face tends to be greasier, so using a moisturizer that is gel-based, such as Neutrogena HydroBoost Gel ($21.50), is helpful. Also using a topical like OC8 ($30) can help mattify for oil control, or I will use La Roche-Posay BB Blur ($30) over my sunscreen, Alastin Hydratint ($50). During weeks of heavier sun exposure, I will use a retinol instead of prescription tretinoin to reduce my sunburn risk and then switch back to RX strength during weeks when I’m not getting as much sun exposure. Also, taking Heliocare ($30) or Armor Dermalogics Skin Armor Vitamin Supplements help to reduce sun damage from sun exposure.” —Laguna Hills, CA dermatologist Jennifer Channual, MD

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