Lighten Up Your Summer Look

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In the height of summer, an involved skin-care routine shouldn't rank high in your list of priorities, but that doesn't mean you should abandon you regimen altogether. In fact, the heat creates its own set of issues, from breakouts to a perpetually greasy complexion, making this a crucial time to stick to a program.

What to lose: For the hottest months, ease up on potentially harsh anti-aging products, such as retinol and alpha hydroxyl acids. While these ingredients deliver real benefits, the glare of the summer sun can make your face extra sensitive, resulting in irritated skin.

How to lighten up: Simplify, simplify, simplify! Choose an oil-free moisturizer that also contains sun protection. Although SPF 15 can be found in many moisturizers and foundations, you're not entirely protected against the sun for the whole day without frequent touch-ups. A better bet is to top your protective moisturizer with a protective sunblock.

On the other end of the skin spectrum are breakouts, even for women with typically well-behaved skin. The culprit, says New York City-based dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., is sweat, which gets mixed with sebaceous oil from the oil glands; this combination can potentially clog your pores. The solution - aside from locking yourself up in an air-conditioned room until Labor Day -- is to gently exfoliate with a facial scrub at least twice a week and to be diligent about cleansing. If you use face powders, then look for one with built-in SPF, or carry blotting sheets with you when you are on the go.

Psst... If you can't bear to part with your favorite foundation, the pro suggest mixing it with a dab of oil-free moisturizer, such as Nivea Visage All Around Protection Lotion SPF 15 ($8.99). You'll get coverage that's light as air but still flawless.

Great to try: NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator ($70) is a light oil-free moisturizer. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance Exfoliating Wash - part of the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Radiance System ($27.99), helps give you skin a clean sweep. Laura Mercier Hydra Soothing Gel Mask ($30) can cool sunburned skin. Lumene Energy Cocktail Pampering Drops ($17.99) are chock-full of skin-repairing vitamins.


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