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Sure, your basic skincare routine can take your from fall through early summer -- but once the sweltering days of August and early September set in, those products you relied on all year can become too heavy, too goopy, and too pimple-producing. To help keep your skin clear and pretty through extreme heat and humidity, make these switches:
Switch from: A milky or cream-based cleanser Switch to: A gel-based cleanser Why: Milky and cream-based cleansers are excellent in colder months, because they're formulated with humectants, moisturizers, and water-binding ingredients, all of which hydrate the skin and lock in its own moisture. Cold- and mild-weather skin needs moisture, especially if it's prone to dryness. Come the end of summer, however, these cleansers can be too heavy, since your skin already produces more of its natural moisture (read: oil) when the weather gets hot and humid. Gel cleansers do a great job of washing away makeup, excess breakout-causing oil, and dirt, but don't leave a heavy, moisturizing residue behind.
Switch from: No toner Switch to: An alcohol-free toner Why: Toners -- especially those with alcohol as a main ingredient -- can strip natural oils from the skin. And in milder months, that can leave your skin exposed to harsh elements and prone to dehydration, flaking, and redness. But in the late summer, when the weather is very hot, a toner can be a great addition to your routine. That's because alcohol-free toners, when applied to skin with a cotton pad, can remove sweat and excess oil, refresh tired skin, and whisk away impurities that can lead to blemishes.
Switch from: Moisturizing lotion or cream Switch to: A sunscreen lotion or gel Why: Again, it's a hydration issue. Mild and cold weather merits a heavier moisturizer, as the weather prohibits skin from producing effective amounts of its own moisture. Adding a lotion to oilier skin, or a cream to dry skin, helps skin avoid dryness and flaking so common in winter months. But when things heat up, your skin doesn't need extra moisture, and can, in fact, turn the ingredients in a once-helpful lotion or cream into pore-cloggers. The dilemma: Many lotions and creams contain sunscreen, which is crucial in the summer. The solution: A lighter product with SPF 15 or higher to give the sun protection without the breakout potential. A lotion works well for those who require cream the rest of the year; a sunscreen gel is perfect for women who typically use a lotion.