Should You Exfoliate More or Less in the Summer? We Explain
Your skincare routine is like your wardrobe. The basics don’t change that much from season to season—jeans, T-shirts, dresses etc. all stay in rotation—but how you wear them (and how often you wear them) does. And while you’ve probably already switched out your heavy-duty night cream for a lighter moisturizer, you may not have given much thought to your exfoliation habits.
Keep reading to find out how often you should exfoliate in the summer!
Yes and no. If you’re a sworn sun-shunner who always covers up and who takes sun protection seriously, then you can keep your exfoliation habits as is. But if you plan on being outside more than you were in the winter and, occasionally, outside without a hat on, then you need to take a step a back from your usual two-to-three-times-a-week exfoliation plan. According to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, “Exfoliation can increase sun sensitivity by up to 45%.” She says when you remove some of your skin’s protective layers (which is exactly what exfoliation does, by removing the dead skin cells), your skin becomes more reactive to the elements and more vulnerable to sun damage. Switch to once- or twice-weekly exfoliation in the summer and even less on weeks you plan on being in the sun for extended periods of time.
Chemical exfoliation allows for a little more leeway from mechanical exfoliation. For your scrubs, you can follow the general rule discussed above. If you're using a gentle exfoliating acid serum at night—we like Ren's Resurfacing AHA Concentrate ($45)—that can remain the same. Just skip it if you plan on being in the sun the next day. The same rule applies to use of vitamin A (or retinol). But if you're using a prescription-strength retinoid, like Retin-A or Tazorac, discontinue use five days before your next pool day.
How do you adjust your skincare routine for summer? Tell us below!