Sunscreen is certainly a must during the summer, but there are plenty of beauty products you can (and should) do without when it’s hot and sunny.
Retinoids: Anti-aging creams that contain vitamin A derivatives—especially the extra-strength prescription versions with retinoic acid, like Renova and Avage—are inactivated by the sun and should always be applied only at night. These products can also leave skin more susceptible to sunburn. Swap them for less powerful wrinkle fighters like creams with peptides unless you’re house-bound, or super-committed to sun protection. “I advise patients to wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen every day on their face, and if they are going to be out in the sun, I suggest wearing an SPF 50+ and sun protective clothing such as hats,” says dermatologist Dr. Anne Chapas, assistant professor of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine.
AHAs: Sun exposure following an exfoliating peel—whether performed at home or at the spa—can be risky. “Glycolic acid and other AHAs have a thinning effect on the upper layer of skin, making skin more vulnerable to sun damage,” says dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, Miami Beach dermatologist and author of The Skin Type Solution. To avoid a bad burn, skip the peels until the fall and instead try treatments and products rich in antioxidants. “I think everyone should use antioxidants in the summer to prevent damage,” Baumann says.
Foundation: No matter how vigilant you are with sunscreen, your complexion is probably slightly darker these days—which means you don’t need to slather on so much foundation.“By getting a little summer sun on the face and body, the skin tends to look more even, thus requiring less foundation coverage,” according to Chad Hayduk, makeup artist and co-founder of Three Custom Color Specialists. Tinted moisturizer may be all you need to perfect your skin tone. Another option Hayduk recommends: Try mixing a small amount of your foundation with a dollop of your favorite moisturizer then blend into skin with a damp sponge. You can also use this lightweight, DIY formula to spot conceal during the summer.
Cream blush and eyeshadow: This makeup texture is too heavy for summer’s heat. “The moisture in cream blush keeps it from lasting on the skin,” according to Hayduk, who suggests reaching for a cheek stain instead. “These formulas are a terrific option to last throughout the humidity.” And because creamy eyeshadow tends to crease in heat and humidty, powder is a better choice on the eyes.
Hair gel: “Gels, which typically give great holding power, will actually weigh your hair down when exposed to the summer heat,” says James Crawford, celebrity hairdresser for contactnyc. Strong-hold hairspray can also negatively affect hair during the summer, as it reacts with heat and humidity to create a sticky buildup that can be difficult to remove with washing alone. Hair serums and mousse work better during the summer, according to Crawford, as they both have a lighter consistency that won’t leave hair limp and are easy to shampoo out.