With summer rapidly approaching, it’s about time to start switching up your skin care routine to reflect what your complexion will require as the weather gets hot and humid. For some folks — especially those with normal, non-finicky skin—this could mean merely swapping your night cream for a lightweight lotion and amping the sun protection. But for those who struggle with skin concerns like acne or sensitivity, both of which can be exacerbated by heat and sweat, it can be incredibly beneficial to incorporate products that will help the skin stand up to the summer elements.
“It’s really important to adjust your routine ahead of summer so your skin is prepared for the change in weather,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. “For instance, if you have oily skin, your goal should be to prevent your face from feeling heavy and greasy, so switching your cleanser to one that contains salicylic or glycolic acid is a great idea,” he adds.
Additionally, for those with easily irritated complexions, Zeichner says you should be aiming to calm inflammation as much as you can with products that feature calming ingredients like aloe and rose. As for mature skin types, hydrating and free-radical fighting elixirs — along with ample sun protection — should be your religion come summertime.
Luckily, you can find highly effective, top-rated products to address your concerns right at your local Walmart. To make the process even easier for you, we narrowed down a selection of items beloved by shoppers — and with the rave reviews to prove it.
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This glycolic acid-packed cleanser from L'Oréal is perfect for anyone with acne-prone skin hoping to stave off excess sebum this summer. With 4.5 stars and nearly 3,000 impressive reviews from people who say it’s the “best cleanser for acne they’ve ever tried,” you can trust it’s going to get the job done. Its weightless consistency and cooling effect make it all the more perfect for the hot months ahead.
Dermatologist and founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology Sejal Shah suggests switching to gel-based moisturizers in the summer, as they absorb more quickly and feel light and refreshing on the skin. This best-seller from Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost line has hyaluronic acid to quench even the driest of complexions, albeit works like a charm on oily and breakout-prone skin too. The myriad of amazing reviews from over 500 people are just another selling point that shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Another ingredient Shah advises integrating into your routine if you have oily or combination skin is clay. “It can help to combat some of the extra oil production you may experience in the summer,” she explains. This slate-colored mask from L'Oréal contains a pore-refining blend of charcoal and three types of clay, all of which work to remove excess oil and acne-causing bacteria, while still leaving the skin soft and supple. With a whopping 10,000 reviews from happy customers, it’s definitely worth giving a shot.
While dermatologists don’t recommend over-exfoliating in the summer, as this can increase sebum production and aggravate sensitive skin, they do suggest using a gentle daily exfoliator with saliclyic acid and glycerin to soothe. These pre-moistened pads from Aveeno happen to contain both — plus, they’re free of common irritants like soap and alcohol, making them suitable for even those with highly reactive skin. And you know it’s a good sign if people are saying they hope Aveeno keeps making them forever.
Recommended by Rita Linkner of Spring Street Dermatology in New York City, Olay’s mask sticks work by absorbing oil and gently exfoliating the skin with kaolin clay. “I really like them for cleaning the pores without drying the skin out,” she says. Customers can’t seem to get enough, either — the foolproof mask has amassed over 700 reviews from folks who swear by the formulation for clearing their skin and keeping it balanced. The mess-free packaging is another plus people love.
Every dermatologist recommended incorporating a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, regardless of skin type. However, they stress the importance for those with mature skin hoping to delay the affects of aging caused by the sun (for example, fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation). This broad-spectrum formula from Bare Republic features SPF 50, as well as a blend of nourishing oils to hydrate and repair complexions in need of a reset.
Shah waxes poetic about La Roche-Posay sunscreens, and says this one, in particular, is a standout for sensitive and mature complexions because of how hydrating and soothing is it. The texture almost feels like water (hence its name) and sinks in instantly, leaving the skin with a subtle cooling sensation that works to calm redness and irritation on contact. It’s also an excellent option for the face and body, so you don’t have to lug around both with you.
This no-frills cleanser is ideal for those with acne and allergy-prone skin who need a lightweight face wash with soothing properties in the summer. Its pH-balanced formula gently whisks away dirt and bacteria without irritating the skin, leaving the skin looking and feeling softer and clearer after just one use. (Cheers to instant gratification, folks.)
Another “do” dermatologists recommend for summer skin care is upping the hydration as you are sweating more and prone to dehydration. This overnight eye mask from Clean & Clear is made with moisture-restoring seaweed extract and intensely nourishes the under-eye skin while you snooze. Customers say it helps with puffiness, dry patches and fading the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — what more could you ask for?
Another top-rated hydrator, this overnight face mask from Burt’s Bees features ingredients like avocado, castor and coconut oils to nourish skin that’s stressed out from too much sun exposure. Slather on a thick layer before bed and wake up to a dewy, calm complexion that’s decidedly clearer than the day before.
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