Ward Off Greasy Skin With These Warm Weather Skin Hydrators

Courtesy, Cameron Hammond.

Editor: Alexandria Taliaferro, @clapbacksandcontours

Skin Type: Combination

Skin Concerns: Texture, Hyperpigmentation

As we begin to transition into warmer weather and bluer skies, it’s important to take stock of your skin’s moisture wardrobe. Think: lighter weight products and less product laying to keep you cool but hydrated all summer long. Keep reading for a deeper look at my favorite skincare staples for warmer weather, and more details on how to keep your skin hydrated (but not greasy!) during the spring and summer months.

Step 1: Cleanser

One of the most common warm weather skin issue is an overproduction of sweat. As our body temperature rises, sweat glands spring into action to try and keep the body cool – and while some of that sweat does evaporate, the rest of it ends up sitting on your skin, resulting in major discomfort and a buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria on the skin which can eventually lead to things like breakouts, clogged pores, and added texture. If you have excessive sweating conditions during the summer months, consider double cleansing! Incorporating an oil-based cleanser into your nighttime routine is a great way to help wash the day away and pump up the benefits of the creamy cleanser that follows before moving on to the rest of your routine.

Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm, Farmacy Beauty ($22)

Made from a sumptuous blend of sunflower oil, ginger root oil, papaya enzymes, and moringa extract, Farmacy Beauty’s Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm gently exfoliates and melts away long-wear makeup and impurities without stripping, drying, or leaving any residue. This unique cleansing balm stays a sorbet-like solid in the jar until it makes contact with skin and transforms to a silky oil (and then a luxe, milky lather), making it the perfect product to throw into your suitcase or overnight bag when you’re on-the-go!

Precleanse, Dermalogica ($45)

Another great double cleansing option, this oil-based cleanser melts makeup and impurities from the skin without clogging pores. Like the previous cleansing balm, Dermalogica’s Precleanse is made from a fatty blend of botanical and citrus oils (like sunflower seed, grapefruit peel, orange, and safflower seed oils) that, when combined with water, transforms from a juicy oil to a light, silky emulsion that gently dissolves excess sebum, dirt, and environmental pollutants that build up on the skin throughout the day.

Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, Krave Beauty ($16)

Once you’ve successfully washed away that first layer of ick with your oil-based cleanser, it’s important to follow up with a gentle, creamy cleanser to fully clarify the skin. Krave’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser uses coconut-based surfactants, matcha, and hemp seed oil to deeply cleanse without stripping and restore essential amino acids and antioxidants to the skin. The delicious ingredient list, combined with its bouncy gel-to-lather formula, make this cleanser the perfect option for gentle-yet-effective cleansing without that dry, tight after-feeling.

Step 2: Serum

Another way to avoid excess sweating and general discomfort during the summer months is to switch out some of your heavier hydrators for more lightweight products, like serums. Made up of smaller molecules than regular moisturizers, serums are mega-potent alternatives to traditional hydrators. Due to their molecular structure and their ability to hold moisture in extremely high percentages, serums have the capacity to penetrate deeply and directly into the skin to deliver higher concentrations of active ingredients in thinner, lighter consistencies than standard moisturizers.

Truth Serum, Ole Henriksen ($50)

Made from a luxurious, hydrating blend of Vitamin C, collagen, aloe juice, and orange and green tea extracts, Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum is like a daily multivitamin for your skin. Gentle enough for everyday use but potent enough to make an immediate, noticeable difference in your skin overnight, this fast-absorbing, oil free formula delivers both immediate results (like adding hydration and major glow to the skin), as well as long-term benefits (like brightening, firming, and tightening of the skin over time).

Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum, Herbivore ($54)

Derived from the Ayurvedic Babchi plant, Bakuchiol Serum is a 100% natural treatment to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while sealing in hydration. While not as potent as retinol, this is a great alternative for those with sensitive skin, or for those who want to use a retinol-like product daily. The Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum from Herbivore has a uniquely bouncy, jelly-like texture that allows the water-based serum to spread smoothly over skin, instantly providing hydration and leaving skin silky soft. Pair with your favorite facial roller for a beautiful glow and lifted appearance. 

Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum 5%, Naturium ($16)


Formulated using a combination of four different molecular weights of pure, skin compatible hyaluronic acid, Naturium’s Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Serum helps replenish essential moisture for long-term hydration and visually plumps and reduces fine lines and wrinkles for more youthful looking skin. This is a great option for people who are looking for a simple hydrating formula without a ton of additional targeted actives.

Step 3 & 4: Moisturizer + Sun Protectant

While UV protection is important year-round, it becomes especially important in the spring and summer months as we begin to spend more time outside. SPF products are divided into two categories – physical and chemical – and it’s important to know the difference when deciding which sunscreen is for you. The most significant difference between the two is in their composition: physical sunscreens utilize active mineral compounds like titanium or zinc oxide, leading to their thicker, often chalkier appearance, while chemical sunscreens are more lightweight and rely on carbon compounds like avodenzone, octinoxate, or oxybenzone to block those harmful UV rays. Because of these differences in properties, chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin, while physical sunscreens do not. Ultimately, your choice of SPF comes down to which formula you like wearing the most. In warmer weather, I always prefer to utilize a moisturizer that already has sunscreen in it, combining both of these steps into one and cutting back on the amount of product layers needed to complete my routine.

Note: In an effort to become more environmentally conscious and cut down on coral bleaching, some brands are opting out of the inclusion of oxybenzone and octinoxate in their sunscreens. If you plan on using your sunscreen at the beach or in the ocean, consider opting for a “reef-safe” sunscreen to protect both yourself and the world around you!

Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40, Supergoop ($38)

This moisturizer-sunscreen combo provides intense hydration and SPF 40 in one, protecting the skin from harsh UVA (aging) rays and UVB (burning) rays while nourishing and plumping the skin. The formula itself is lightweight but extremely plush, and it wears beautifully under makeup. Bonus: it is reef-safe. Superscreen Daily Moisturizer is a non-negotiable for me — it should be in everyone’s skincare cabinet.

Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30, Black Girl Sunscreen ($18.99)

Black Girl Sunscreen is an everyday moisturizing sunscreen lotion for the face and body that is specifically designed for people of color, protecting against harmful UVA/UVB rays without that annoyingly chalky, white cast. Infused with natural ingredients like avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil, and made without oxybenzone or octinoxate, this reef-safe sunscreen soothes, hydrates, and protects your skin, leaving you with a smooth, even skin tone over time.

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