Summer Skincare Tips to Avoid Being a Hot Mess

One of the best things about living in Canada is the range of weather we get to experience across the seasons. For our skin, however, these changes are a major challenge. To help you transition to your summer skincare routine, I’ve broken down some of the season’s biggest skincare difficulties and rounded up my favourite products to keep you summer lovin’.

Summer Skincare Tips | Toronto Beauty Reviews

{Summer Skincare Tips to Avoid Being a Hot Mess}

Just as you wouldn’t wear your fave wool turtleneck outside in summer, you probably shouldn’t be using the same skincare products now as you do in winter. Summer skincare products should be focused on:

  • Light formulas that don’t clog pores
  • Sunscreen to protect you from harmful UVA & UVB rays
  • Moisture barriers to lock in hydration and keep out pollution
  • Exfoliants and cleansers to safely remove layers of product or dryness


What’s So Cruel About Summer?

Switching up your skincare routine for summer isn’t (just) about companies trying to sell you new products. Major changes occur in our environment and lifestyles during the summer months, and these changes can have a huge impact on our skin health. Some of the worst culprits are:

  • Lower air quality
    • Outdoors, this is caused by strong sunlight heating up the wet, still air and increasing its interaction with pollutants like pollen, car exhaust, smoke, and dust. Since the wet air is too heavy to evaporate quickly, the pollution hangs around longer, creating a visible haze. Basically, this means more smog interacting with your skin for longer periods of time.
    • Air quality is a challenge indoors as well. Humidity makes its way inside and allows for increased growth of mold, mildew, and dust mites. (Ew.) Using a HEPA filter or opening your windows on a windy day will help maintain healthy air indoors.
  • Humidity
    • Sweat is your body’s natural way of cooling itself down: your body expels water to evaporate it into the air, lowering your internal temperature. High humidity levels, however, make the air around us so saturated with water vapour that our sweat can’t properly evaporate. This means that our sweat stays on our skin, clogging our pores and allowing for bacteria to grow. In addition to faces and necks, many women are susceptible to clogged pores in the chest region (the boob sweat struggle is real), while men often experience trouble on their backs and shoulders.
  • More layers of product
    • Although you should ideally be wearing sunscreen all year, many of us layer it on extra thick in summer. This is hugely important for blocking harmful UVA & UVB rays, but it also means an added coating of product on our faces and bodies – one that we might not always remove properly. This allows bacteria and oil to get trapped inside our pores, which can lead to acne, dullness, bumps, and more. Blocked sweat glands can even result in itchy and red heat rash. So you should absolutely wear sunscreen, but you should also be mindful of properly cleansing your skin in the evenings to remove any product buildup.
  • Exposure to UV rays
    • There are two types of UV rays that affect our skin: UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates more deeply into our skin cells, aging us by breaking down collagen, which leads to weakened skin and wrinkles. When our skin tans, it’s actually reacting to UVA damage that has occurred (this damage affects your skin’s DNA, which can lead to skin cancer). UVB rays, on the other hand, are the culprit for sunburns. These rays don’t penetrate as deeply, but they are more intense than UVA rays, causing damage to the first few layers of skin that leaves it red and inflamed, while also increasing your risk for skin cancer. More sun during the summer means increased exposure to both types of UV rays.


Summer Skincare Products to Get that Healthy Glow

With all that being said, there are products available that will help you protect your skin and look your best. Here are some of our recent (and our favourite tried-and-true) picks.

Summer Skincare - Serum | Toronto Beauty Reviews


A serum can be a great alternative or complement to a face moisturizer for those who want a more lightweight formula. Serums absorb rapidly into the skin, providing a concentrated dose of active ingredients that can target specific skincare concerns. They’re often pricey, but since you’ll only use a few drops at a time, a bottle can last for months.

One serum that has absolutely blown me away recently is IMAGE Skincare’s A C E Serum. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, and E, plus antioxidants like green tea and Echinacea to brighten skin, reduce fine lines, and hydrate. A few drops of this leave my skin feeling glowing and nourished, and the light, fruity scent is an added bonus. IMAGE Skincare products can be purchased at select spa locations in Toronto, including Redwood Medi-Spa and the Four Seasons Spas.


Summer Skincare - Moisturizer | Toronto Beauty Reviews



During the summer months, regular moisturizing can ensure that your skin stays glowing and hydrated, protecting it from further damage and avoiding the dreaded post-sun scaliness. As an added bonus, a good face moisturizer can help your makeup sit more uniformly on your skin by evening out texture and creating a healthy barrier between your skin and your makeup.

My go-to face moisturizer of late has been BeautyCounter’s Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion ($60). This example of modern wizardry adjusts hydration levels throughout the day, giving your skin exactly what you need, when you need it. It’s the most lightweight moisturizer I have ever used, and has made my skin feel incredibly smooth.

Without a doubt, my new body lotion obsession is basd bodycare’s new Seductive Sandalwood scent ($25). This luxe moisturizer is cruelty-free and derived from plant-based ingredients, plus its fragrance is absolutely perfect for summer nights: sexy and spicy without being overpowering.



The type of sunscreen you should use will depend on your activities for the day and your personal preferences (Waterproof? Spray application? Natural ingredients?). Regardless, try to get a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, as this will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. If you’re going to be outside for more than a few minutes, it’s also a good idea to find an SPF of at least 30.

One of our favourite natural sunscreens is Zorah’s BIODEF Tinted sunscreen ($40). It evens skintone, is sustainably made, and has a broad-spectrum SPF of 30! Another reason to feel good about this sunscreen? Zorah donates 1% of sales from sun care products to the David Suzuki Foundation!



Regular exfoliation removes dead skin cells and improves circulation. During the summer, it’s also a great way to ensure that you’re fully removing all the products you’ve used to keep your skin healthy. Don’t overdo it, though! Be gentle when exfoliating: a light scrub a few times a week is all you’ll need. Any more than that and you could actually force your skin to create more oil in order to protect itself!

Before I shower, I use Saje Wellness’ “In the Buff” Dry Brush ($16). It doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, and it definitely helps maintain an even texture and slough off any excess. For my face, I love Rawceuticals’ Red Berry Dual Mask & Gommage ($75). After using this, my skin feels plump, clear, and glowing.



Summer Skincare - Cleanser | Toronto Beauty Reviews



While you don’t need to be exfoliating every day, you should definitely be cleansing your face (and body) regularly to rinse off the sweat, dirt, and oil that settle on your skin throughout the day. Proper cleansing ensures that your skin can breathe and rebuild overnight.

Looking for a cleanser derived from natural ingredients? Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($36) is a plant-based cleanser that is powerful enough to remove waterproof makeup, but gentle enough not to dry out your skin. It’s ophthalmologist- and dermatologist-tested for all skin types, so you don’t have to worry about irritation, even when removing eye makeup.


Hope you all stay sun-safe this summer! Will any of these products make it into your summer skincare routine?

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