If you thought frazzled hair was the summer's biggest beauty bummer, you might want to think again. According to skin experts, the sticky weather can also wreak major havoc on your complexion — we're talking makeup slip-sliding, oil slicks, and even breakouts.
“In simple terms, humidity is the amount of water vapor held in the air," says facialist and Time Bomb skin-care expert Michaella Bolder. "Low humidity comes with colder temperatures and high humidity with warmer temperatures, but our skin likes balance, so either low or high humidity can throw it out of whack."
As Bolder explains, periods of high humidity tend to result in increased sebum production and sweat, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. "Plus, the damp, hot weather means our skin is more likely to become host to bacteria," she says. "If you already suffer from acne then you need to take extra care during hot summer months that you're keeping the skin as cool and clean as possible, but the same still applies for those with normal to combination skin types."
So what else can we do about it? Bolder insists that everyone needs to ensure they're cleansing their skin twice a day, every day, and suggests double cleansing in the evening, too. During the day, she advises staying away from any long-wear foundations or non-water-based SPF formulas. "These products won't allow for any perspiration to come to the surface and could potentially block pores and cause congestion," she says.
The theory that you need to lighten up on the hydration front isn't a lie you've been told in order to sell more moisturizer. Bolder puts it this way: "Think of your moisturizer in a similar way to your clothes — lighter in summer, heavier in the winter." She also recommends adding a salicylic acid serum if you have oily or combination skin, to help exfoliate and clear out any dirt and bacteria that cleansing alone can't reach. And for all skin types, Bolder says weekly exfoliation is essential. "It's important to slough off that top layer of dead, dull skin that builds up thanks to the extra sweat, SPF, and pollution," she explains.
Ahead, the best products for humidity-proofing your skin-care routine — so you'll look fresh-faced, even when you feel anything but.
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If your skin looks like an oil slick come lunchtime, treat it to a generous spritz of this before applying your makeup. Not only do the antioxidants in green tea act like a shield against environmental factors like pollution, but it also helps control sebum production. Plus, the addition of white willow extract is high in salicylic acid to prevent clogged pores.
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It may be a powder, but believe it or not, the main ingredient in this ingenious skincare-makeup hybrid is... water. A light dusting over the T-Zone stops excessive oiliness in its tracks and makes skin feel fresh, not suffocated. Even better? It's totally translucent, so it suits all skin tones.
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High humidity calls for ditching the occlusive creams and milky lotions for something ultra-light. Vitamins B and E in this water-based formula flood the skin, delivering hydration to the areas that need it the most. It leaves skin feeling clean and refreshed, and works perfectly under makeup for days you can't be bothered to layer on a primer.
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Unlike other primers, this unique formula comes in the form of an airy whip and melts on contact with the skin to blur pores and keep skin feeling matte for longer. The best part? It's ice cold on application, making it the perfect antidote to hot, humid summer mornings you can barely get your foundation on without sweating it off.
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"I personally opt for a moisturizer with a slight mattifying effect during hot, humid weather," Bolder says. This one is packed with moisturizing borage oil for deep hydration, and the hyaluronic acid complex creates what Bolder calls a "protective matrix" to firm and smooth the skin's surface instantly, without leaving behind any greasiness or a slippery residue.
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If your oil production goes into overdrive starting June 1, this foaming face wash is for you. It's gentle, but it uses a potent combination of lactic and glycolic acids to lift away dead skin and sebum to leave skin squeaky clean, but never tight or uncomfortable. The acne-prone in particular will want to stockpile this.