The first step here is to recognize that your skin needs change drastically throughout the year, and you really should switch out your products seasonally. I always recommend a monthly facial, as that's the best way to maintain great skin. However, if you're strapped for cash or time, getting a seasonal facial is the next best thing. The most important times to do this are the beginning of summer and winter due to the extreme shifts in weather. Ok, so after your summer facial:
Tackling Congestion & Breakouts:
The first step is to prevent future congestion and breakouts by double-cleansing. I'm not always a fan of double-cleansing but in the summer, with so much SPF caked onto my face, it's truly the only way. First, start with either a gentle physical exfoliant like the Reflekt Daily Exfoliating Face Wash or Pai's Eco-Bead Exfoliator. Sometimes I even start with a Powder Cleanser which also gives a super gentle exfoliating and foaming effect. I'm currently loving the MBR Enzyme Cleansing Booster. Following the first cleanse, move on to a gentle cleanser to remove any remaining dirt or grime. I'm currently loving the Haoma Cleansing Balm for this step.
To Fight Existing Blemishes:
Introduce a clarifying mask into your routine. Dr. Sturm and Lernberger Stafsing both make an amazing clay mask. The clay helps to extract debris out of the pores and calms blemishes at the same time. Use the clay mask a minimum of 1x weekly, but when dealing with stubborn breakouts, use the mask 3x weekly until things calm down. Everyone has different levels of sebum production, so it's best to assess how many times a week works best for your unique skin.
Next Up, Tackling Hyperpigmentation:
Of course, the best thing you can do is to focus on preventing any additional sun damage. Wear hats outside, make sure you apply SPF regularly, and don't forget your décolletage and your hands! It's so easy to forget those areas and no matter how young your face looks, it doesn't matter if you can't hide your aging neck and hands.
While prevention is best, once sun damage has occurred an easy way to address it is to use an antioxidant serum after cleansing. Some great options to help are Skin Design London's Vitamin C Serum or Dr. Sturm's The Good C Serum. For pronounced sun damage, I'm also a huge fan of the Bynacht Reverse Sun Radical Recovery Serum. Then apply at least 2 full finger-lengths of SPF. And remember, don't forget your neck, chest, or the back of your hands.
If you're looking for an SPF you can apply over your makeup, I love the Decree Day Shield SPF. It's an easy-to-apply aerosol spray and it goes on clear. As a bonus, it's packed with antioxidants to help with the aging process.
Preventing Summer Dehydration:
Although the summer months can be humid, it's also important to remember that the sun is at its most powerful and is likely drying out your skin. I am an avid user of Irene Forte Hyaluronic Toner and find that using it before my serum makes a huge difference in my moisture levels. Plus, Irene just did clinical trials on her organic, sustainable range, and the before and after photos make me want to bathe in this toner.
As far as a moisturizing summer serum, I can't get enough of the Pai Back to Life Hydrating Serum or the Dr. Strum Hyaluronic Serum in the morning and the Bynacht Hypercharged Glass Serum in the evening.