Festival season has kicked off and spring break has come and gone, which, in beauty land, signals more than a return to '90s space buns and a re-up on spray tans: Summer is about to happen, meaning it’s about to get hot AF. Some beauty adjustments are intuitive this time of year, like having an elastic at the ready to pull hair off of sweaty skin. But knowing how to pivot in the skin care department is a much trickier game.
Take some of our top workhorse ingredients, like retinol and alpha and beta hydroxy acids. These actives are known to make skin more photosensitive. Does that mean we have to shelve them once happy hour-ing turns into an outdoor affair? And then there’s the comfort factor: Anyone who has partied in Coachella Valley knows how quickly skin can turn dry and flakey in warm, arid conditions — and how gross it can feel to apply a heavy cream as a remedy. To find out exactly what kind of moves we need to make to get the most of our must-have actives, we pried into the minds of six dermatologists who seem to know it all. Ahead, get their top recommendations for how to use acids, sunscreen, moisturizers, retinol, and vitamin C come summer months.