(This is an updated version of a post I originally published on 6 February 2015 and 25 June 2016).
In a hot-and-humid kind of climate, we often struggle to find ways to keep our skin clear and properly hydrated, but grease-free. Over-moisturizing can cause clogged pores and greasiness, but lack of moisture can cause dehydration and acne too.
So, how do I keep my skin acne-and-oil free in hot & humid weather?
Related posts: Pregnancy Acne Skincare Routine, My Skincare Heroes, Sephora Favorites: Skincare, How To Make Your Makeup Last in Hot and Humid Weather
MY HOT WEATHER SKINCARE ROUTINE
The key is to keep it simple but effective, and to only use the most lightweight but hydrating products because dehydration can cause a lot of problems too, like acne and clogged pores/congestions.
There are only five steps to my skincare routine:
- Treat (when necessary)
- Remove Makeup
It’s as simple as that! Here’s a breakdown of all the steps and the products I currently use.
1. REMOVE MAKEUP
Whenever I use makeup, I make sure I double cleanse no matter what.
What is double cleansing? Basically removing makeup with a makeup remover and then using a separate face cleanser to cleanse the skin all over again. This ensures that all the oil, grime, and product residue are thoroughly removed.
I currently like using a cleansing balm or oil with a muslin or washcloth. Why?
- The balm/cream (when properly massaged into the skin) really breaks down all of my makeup;
- The cloth removes every single trace of it, down to the pores;
- The balm/cream is very moisturizing and thus won’t strip the skin off of its natural oils (thus causing more breakouts);
- The muslin cloth also helps exfoliate dead skin cells!
I love the Eve Lom Cleanser (reviewed here) so much, but the current one I’m using is the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, which is amazing too. It has a thinner consistency than the Eve Lom so I think people with oilier skin types will appreciate the Liz Earle more. Even though my skin is typically normal to dry, I love using the Liz Earle because in hot and humid weather, balms with thinner consistencies will be better for the skin. My mom and grandma, however, swears by their Evelom – they’ve been using it for years! So I think people with mature skin will love Evelom more.
I love using gel cleansers in hot and humid weather because they’re very lightweight. My favorites for Summer are the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, mentioned in my My Skincare Heroes post, and the Biotherm Biosource Fresh Foam Hydra-Toning Cleanser. Foam cleansers are amazing at stripping off excess oils, but stripping too much of the skin’s natural oils actually cause dehydration. The Biotherm cleanser tones the skin too, so my skin is left at a very balanced state.
If I have problematic skin (with acne and clogged pores), I opt for the La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser because it contains 2% Salicylic Acid.
On days when I don’t use a muslin cloth to exfoliate, I use the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Polish in place of a typical gel or foam cleanser to exfoliate my skin.
Toner is one step in my routine that I’ve just recently added. I find that it surprisingly made a significant difference in my skin’s texture and hydration level! Ever since I started incorporating toners in my routine, my skin is able to absorb anything I put on top of it so much faster, and better.
I won’t go into much detail as you can easily read this fun infographic about toners below:
My current favorite toner is the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner, which is a cult favorite! They’re sold in travel sizes too!
My choice of treatment products really depend on what issue(s) I want to tackle and I honestly skip this step on most days, so I use these products only when needed.
For acne, I swear by the Dermalogica Breakout Control, featured in my Pregnancy Acne Skincare Routine post. It’s a gel consistency and is very lightweight, it literally feels like nothing is on your skin! I use this as needed, up to twice a day, underneath moisturizer and SPF.
For dehydration, I currently use the Artistry Hydra V Serum Concentrate, which is a very lightweight gel serum that sinks into the skin immediately after application. It simply gives the skin a boost of hydration without all the tackiness and slime. I use this once a day at night and always wake up to plumper and brighter skin whenever I use this. I also like the Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster!
For blackheads or congestions, I love using the Glam Glow Supermud just around the T-Zone area (because it’s so expensive LOL). I leave it on for about 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off. Another similar product that I also love is the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque, which is more of an all-in-one mask that also exfoliates the skin. It’s featured in my Pregnancy Acne Skincare Routine and February 2016 Skincare Favorites posts.
Picking a moisturizer can be tricky in hot weather, for obvious reasons, and really depends on your skin type.
My husband has oily skin, and the Artistry Hydra V Serum Concentrate is usually moisturizing enough for him, so he uses that as moisturizer.
However, since I have dry skin (sometimes combination), I do need a little more boost of moisture and hydration, but I opt for something very lightweight. I love the Lancome Hydra Zen Nuit Anti-Stress Moisturizing Night Cream for Summer because it smells wonderful and it’s very light and silky on the skin. Even though it’s marked as a “night cream”, I use it day and night, and my skin loves it! Also, the beautiful scent reduces stress! If you’re sensitive to fragranced skincare, I highly recommend the Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion! Completely grease-free, but hydrates the skin really well.
Don’t forget to moisturize your undereye area too! Get something with a lightweight gel texture like the Context Vitamin C All-Day Eye Cream, which I reviewed here.
As usual, always apply SPF in the morning! Sun protection not only protects your skin from burning (UVB), but aging – including wrinkling and age spots (UVA)! In fact, most of the damage our skin experiences are caused by sun exposure, so never leave the house without SPF!
If you have dry skin, opt for something slightly more hydrating like lotion or cream textured SPF. The Kicho Ultra Moisturizing Sun Cream SPF 50 PA+++ is my ride-or-die! It’s so moisturizing that I skip moisturizer in the morning if I’m going to use this.
If you have oily skin, stick to lightweight gel-textured ones which are best produced by Japanese companies. I’ve raved about super-lightweight Japanese sunscreens in my previous blogpost here. I promise, it’s so runny like water that once you apply it, you cannot feel it on your skin at all. It’s basically like applying water on your skin.
If you’re going to be needing one that is water resistant, my top picks (proven to be clog-proof) are as follows:
- MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 (has a silky, smoothing, powdery finish – great for all skin types!)
- Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50 (has a thicker texture but blends out really well and doesn’t have a greasy finish)
- Hawaiian Tropic Sensitive Face Sun Lotion SPF 30 (my personal fave as it’s great for sensitive skin but also very lightweight and non-greasy!)
I always have either one of these when I go to the beach or when I go snowboarding!
Lastly, you don’t want to skip out on moisturizing your body even though you’re very likely to sweat in hot weather. That’s why it’s important to go for a moisturizer that is super duper lightweight, non-greasy and feels silky on the skin. However, I only dp this at night before bed.
My favorite current favorite is the Jergen’s Daily Moisturizer. Not only is it very affordable, it literally feels like nothing on the skin, it just makes the skin feel so silky smooth. Spray lotions like the Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer is also amazing because of their thin consistency.