My Summer Skincare Routine

skincare products on a tray

You probably don’t wear the same type of clothes year-round, so why should you put the same products on your face year-round. As the weather is warmer, and the sun shining more than usual, it’s definitely time to be updating your skincare routine to suit the summer.

In the winter, the cold, windy weather and drying environment from the central heating means that your skin needs gentle cleansing and intense moisturisation. However, in the hot summer months, our skin is likely to be a bit greasier, and so our skincare needs change. You’ll likely want a more intensive cleanser and exfoliator, but a lighter moisturiser.

To help you better understand what your summer skin needs, I’ve shared my own skincare routine for the summer here! You can discover an alternative summer skincare routine by checking out Hannah’s post on Not-Another Blog.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin
Step 1: Cleanser

In the summer, I tend to be more active and spend more time outside than I would in the winter. Paired with the hot weather that will make me a bit sweatier, in the summer months I need a more intensive cleanser.

Because of this, I usually double cleanse to ensure that my skin is as clean and clear as possible to start the day. I will either start with the Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser from Jurlique or the Angels On Bare Skin cleanser from Lush. These remain refreshing for the skin while doing a decent job of cleansing.

Then, if my skin needs it, I will follow up with a charcoal-based cleanser. As someone with quite oily skin, I find that charcoal skincare products are an absolute must for the summer, as I find they work best for me at this time of year.

My absolute favourite is the Yes To Tomatoes 2-in-1 Scrub and Cleanser Stick, which is both a cleanser and exfoliator. Usually, I am against physical exfoliators, but I find this one to be pretty gentle, but incredibly good at clearing my skin – it just feels so smooth and fresh after using! Otherwise, I will use Lush’s Dark Angels cleanser, which is also charcoal-based, but tends to be a bit messier to use!

yes to tomatoes scrub
Step 2: Exfoliator

A couple of days each week, I will use a chemical exfoliator to help get rid of any dead skin cells. This is important as it helps to unblock your pores, keeping your skin clear and smooth and reduce skin issues. As I have oily skin, I will use salicylic acid in the summer months, as this removes dead skin, reduces redness and decreases the amount of oil produced by the skin.

Use Sunscreen

In the summer months, you should remove retinoids and AHA acids from your skincare, when it is hot and sunny, as these acids can make your skin too sensitive to the sun.


Lush Tea Tree Toner
Step 3: Toner

In the summer months, I use the toner step as a way to cool and refresh my skin during my skincare routine. I love using a Tea Tree Toner, which you can find at Lush, or cheaper versions at Boots. I find Tea Tree really effective for preventing breakouts, and for ensuring my skin is as clean and clear as possible. While you can find tea tree in oil or cream formats, I love this spritz for the summer as it cools and refreshes my skin when applied.


three bottles of skincare serum on a tray

Step 4: Serum

After your skin is cleansed and toned, you should apply any serums you use so that they can sink into your skin easier, before you apply heavier products like moisturiser. I change which serums I use based on the needs of my skin, and which other products I have been using.

Vitamin C serums are a must for me during the summer months, as it aids in protecting your skin from sun damage. I use the Superdrug Vitamin C serum, or the Mila Simone Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid serum on days when I need a little more hydration.

I also love The Ordinary’s serums, and one of my go-to’s is their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, as this helps to regulate sebum and minimise pores, which helps my skin to feel less oily in the summer.

Reads: Do not layer vitamin C with AHAs, Retinol and Niacinamide


patchology moisturiser

Step 5: Moisturiser

Unless you have really dry skin, you’ll probably need a much lighter moisturiser for the summer months. When it’s hot out, you don’t want heavy creams sitting on your skin that start to feel like they’re melting after five minutes!

My personal favourite summer moisturiser is the Patchology Aquaflash Daily Gel Moisturiser, as it is water-based and super light. It contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, so it is very hydrating and smoothing, without clogging pores or leaving a sticky feeling – it is honestly a dream come true!


sunscreen lipbalm

Step 5: Sunscreen

Perhaps the most important step for summertime skin, you shouldn’t leave the house without sunscreen on. This is especially important if you have used a chemical exfoliant (particularly AHAs or retinoids), as these will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

You can get a moisturiser with SPF in, which may allow you to skip the moisturisation step. This may also help to reduce greasiness which can happen if you apply regular sunscreen to your face. Be careful with these though, as sometimes the SPF will be too low to protect your skin enough.

I have used the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Facial Suncare SPF50+ in the past, which is one of the stronger options out there. Currently, I use the Hawaiian Tropic Aloha Care Sun Protective Lotion SPF 30, as it has a mattifying effect and doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy.

I also use a sunscreen lip balm, which I got from Boots, during the summer months, as it is important to remember that the skin on your lips can be damaged by the sun too! This really helps to keep them healthy, and it also serves as a way for me to touch up any areas of my skin that need a bit of extra coverage when I’m on the go.


Do you have any skincare tips for the summer? Leave me a comment below to let me know the products you love!

This post is written in collaboration with Not-Another Blog – check out the post she wrote on her own summer skincare routine!

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  1. Jenna Von
    21st May 2020 / 5:24 pm

    I am so ashamed to say I don’t have a skincare routine but I’ve started coming out in spots since lockdown so really need to invest some money in to a good skincare routine.

  2. Elle
    19th July 2020 / 7:00 pm

    Hi Ellen. Nice to know you. I’m Elle from Malaysia. I was the one who is obsessed with skincare too. I just want to get your permission to use all photo of yours The Ordinary for my business matter. Can i ??

    • ellennoir
      5th August 2020 / 1:47 pm

      Hello, thanks for showing an interest in the images. Due to the amount of work that went into creating them I would ask for a fee for them to be used, in addition to the credit.

      Thank you