This is the ‘best’ summertime skin care routine, according to a dermatologist

·4 min read

I Didn’t Wake Up Like This is Yahoo Life’s beauty series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their skin care and beauty regimens, from their favorite products to the daily routine that keeps them looking healthy and glowing.

Summer is here, which means you’re likely busy catching up with friends and family, having barbecues in the backyard, and traveling. But that doesn’t mean your skin care routine should fall by the wayside.

With that in mind, Dr. Sheila Farhang, a board certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology and Aesthetics in Tucson, Arizona, is sharing what she calls “the best summertime skin care routine” with Yahoo Life. The good news? It’s only four steps, making it easy to take care of your skin — even when you’re on-the-go.

Step 1: Wash face with a gentle cleanser

Washing your face with a gentle cleanser is a “must” initial step, according to Farhang. One of her favorite drugstore products is CeraVe Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser, which she says is “ultra gentle” for sensitive skin. It removes makeup and has ceramides, as well as hyaluronic acid, to help skin maintain its moisture.

Just make sure the water isn’t too hot when washing your face: “You want to use tepid temperature water so you don’t want to strip the natural oils,” Farhang tells Yahoo Life. When you dry your skin, Farhang suggests patting it dry with a towel rather than rubbing aggressively. “You want to be ultra gentle and give some love to your skin,” she says.

Step 2: Use an anti-aging product

As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to applying products day or night, “you want to go from the thinnest to thickest,” notes Farhang. “So after washing your face you want to apply your serums before your creams and oils.”

For daytime, after cleansing your face, Farhang recommends applying an antioxidant serum with vitamin C. “That is a must-have in my skincare routine,” she says. Farhang likes Roc Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Daily Serum, which contains a 10 percent active vitamin C blend and peptides to brighten and tighten skin.

For nighttime, switch out the antioxidant serum for an anti-aging product with retinol, such as Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Cream. “What retinol does is it increases cell turnover,” Farhang explains. “You are almost making the skin renew faster — like a mini peel every night.” While you should apply retinol to your face and neck, Farhang recommends avoiding the delicate eye area.

Step 3: Apply eye cream

The type of eye cream you should use “really depends on what you want to focus on treating,” says Farhang. If you want to target crepey skin around the eye area, she recommends finding an eye cream with anti-aging properties. “If you have undereye bags, you want something to get that puffiness away,” she says, such as eye cream that contains caffeine, which helps constricts the blood vessels. If you have dark circles brought on by hyperpigmentation, Farhang suggests looking for an eye cream that contains brightening ingredients, such as green tea and vitamin A (aka retinol).

While Farhang is a fan of drugstore brands, she says the one item worth “splurging” on is eye cream. Farhang explains that it’s specially formulated to treat and care for the eye area’s thin, sensitive skin, and “you really want it to work,” she says. Farhang’s favorite eye cream is Revision Skincare DEJ Eye Cream, which contains peptides to help smooth fine lines and vitamin C to help brighten and even out skin tone.

Step 4: Slather on sunscreen

It’s no surprise that a dermatologist would emphasize the importance of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis. Farhang recommends choosing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for everyday use. If you’re doing activities outdoors, such as going on a boat or hiking, Farhang suggests using a sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.

Farhang’s favorite sunscreen? La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer with SPF 30, which has both UVA and UVB protection. “Fun fact — UVA actually goes through windows,” she notes, “and so when you’re driving the car or if you’re inside and you think, ‘Oh I don’t need sunscreen,’ you actually do because the light from the windows [and] the blue light from the screen can actually worsen a lot of hyperpigmentation-caused aging.” Regardless of which SPF level you choose, remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours or right after sweating or swimming.

Video produced by Jenny Miller.

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