The 7 Ingredients You Should Be Using This Summer

Summer means sun, surf, sand and—dare we say it—skin damage. “The sun is the most aging element to the skin at any age and it affects all the layers of our skin,” says celebrity aesthetician Nerida Joy. Because skin is more exposed to the sun come summer, it’s important to switch up your beauty routine for even more protection. If you’re not sure where to start, and what to use, we handpicked the essentials for you.

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Use SPF

Rule number one for the summer season, and every season, is to use sunscreen. Without it, you’re asking for sun damage and an increased risk of skin cancer. New York dermatologist Anne Chapas, MD, says to buy waterproof, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with antioxidants and an SPF of 30. “SPF expires, so pick up a new bottle for summer.” Look for a formulation that’s compatible with your skin type—acneic and oily skin should use a gel, dry skin works best with a cream or lotion, and easily irritated and sensitive skin should always go with a physical blocker.

Our pick: Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50, $42

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Treat Your Tresses With Argan Oil

Argan oil has become a mainstay hair ingredient for the simple fact that it pretty much does it all. “It’s rich in fatty acids and vitamin E,” says Dr. Chapas. Derived from Moroccan argan tree nuts, argan oil conditions, smooths, eliminates frizz and adds shine, making it a must for summer. And the best part? It comes in just about every type of hair product imaginable.

Our pick: Healthy Sexy Hair Soya Want it All, $20

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Spot Treat With Salicylic Acid

Summer means sweat, which equates to breakouts. “Skin produces more sebum, which is why comedonal acne can get worse in the summer,” explains Dr. Chapas. Rather than having to worry about battling blemishes for the season, take a proactive approach and use a gentle clarifiying product with salicylic acid and spot-treat problem areas. If your skin tends to get dry from acne products, make sure to layer on a lightweight moisturizer to keep flaking at bay.

Our pick: Renée Rouleau BHA Clarifying Serum, $48

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Go Faux With Your Tanner

You don’t have to be a slave to the sun in order to get a pretty golden glow. Instead of incurring damage, opt for a self-tanner—be it an instant or one that develops over time. The latest versions also contain good-for-your-skin ingredients, think antioxidants and anti-agers, so you’re getting even more out of it.

Our pick: Clarins Golden Glow Booster for Body, $45

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Fight Inflammation With Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has been used for hundreds of years for its myriad of beauty solutions, one being a reduction of inflammation, which runs rampant year round, especially come summer.

Our pick: Jouer Anti-Blemish Matte Primer, $38

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Add in Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a summer cure-all, and the most natural go-to for soothing sunburned skin. And, it also makes for an excellent hydrator without clogging pores. Extracting it straight from the plant, which is easy to do, is the best way to get the purest version of it, but it does wonders for skin in beauty products, too.

Our pick: Phyto-C Superheal O-Live Lotion, $130

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Bump Up the Vitamin C

“During the summer months, it’s best to increase the potency of vitamin C, which is critical for maintaining healthy skin and preventing premature aging,” says Joy. “You may also want to add other vitamins, like P and K, into the mix. By doing this during the summer, skin’s sensitivity to the sun is reduced and it helps to reverse broken capillaries and excessive redness in the skin.”

Our pick: Nordic Beauty Healing Face Oil Serum, $190