A Dermatologist's Summer Skincare Routine + Product Recommendations (including her fave sunscreen)

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Playing A Dermatologist's Summer Skincare Routine | Rachael's Dermatologist Dr. Anne Chapas

Skincare should be a priority all year round (read that again!)—but it's especially important in the summer when you're spending more time in the sun.

That's why we asked Rach's very own dermatologist, Dr. Anne Chapas, to share her summer skincare routine.

"Sun damage happens all year round," Dr. Chapas says. "It's important to protect your skin all year round. But what's really important, especially in the summer, is you really have to change your skincare regimen. I'm happy to share my regimen with you for how I prepare my skin for the season."

STEP 1: Use a gentle peel.

PRODUCT DR. CHAPAS USES: 

Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel

Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel

Dermstore
$58

"This one has lactic acid and fruit enzymes to gently get rid of dull winter skin and help with fine lines and wrinkles," the derm explains. "You want to take a small amount and apply a light layer all over the face, really gently. It's important to pick a peel that's gentle, because harsher peels with glycolic acid and other substances can make your skin more sun-sensitive. A gentle peel a couple times a week can also help prevent 'maskne.' Just clean it off with a really gentle washcloth and cool water. Start in the middle of your face. Cool water is a great way to calm down the peel. Your skin should feel nice and smooth and fresh."

STEP 2: Apply antioxidants.

PRODUCT DR. CHAPAS USES: 

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Dermstore
$166

BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTIONS 

La Roche Posay 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum

La Roche Posay 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum

Amazon
$40

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Concentrate

L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Derm intensives 10% Pure Vitamin C Concentrate

Amazon
$24 $20

"Antioxidants are super important in the summer, because they make your sunscreen even more potent—and they fight environmental damage," Dr. Chapas explains. "There are all different types of antioxidants, but some of the most potent are vitamin C. Vitamin C should be found in 10 to 20 percent concentration. They should be in a dark bottle or in an airtight container, because they can be oxidized if they get exposed to light or air."

STEP 3: Use a light moisturizer. 

PRODUCT DR. CHAPAS USES:

Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

Obagi Hydrate Facial Moisturizer

Dermstore
$52

"In the summer, our skin makes a lot more oil, so you really have to lighten up on your moisturizer or skip it altogether," the derm says. "You don't need a lot—just enough to kind of help smooth the skin."

Some people just like hyaluronic acid gels, Dr. Chapas says. For that, she recommends Olay Regenerist MAX Hydration Serum With Hyaluronic Acid.

Olay Regenerist MAX Hydration Serum With Hyaluronic Acid

Olay Regenerist MAX Hydration Serum With Hyaluronic Acid

Olay
$44 $13

STEP 4 (the most important one!): Apply sunscreen.

PRODUCT DR. CHAPAS USES:

EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+

EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+

Dermstore
$30 $24

"It's a mineral sunscreen, so it can be applied at any step in the process," Dr. Chapas says. "Applying sunscreen should be done year round, but it's super important before you go outside in the summertime. Don't forget your lips. If you have short hair, I always wear a hat, but make sure you also get your ears. Don't forget your neck. Then I use the rest for my arms." 

"If you're doing your whole body before you go to the beach, you need about one ounce or a shot glass amount of sunscreen to really make sure you get your full body protected," she continues.

Dr. Chapas also likes La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Gentle Lotion Mineral Sunscreen.

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Gentle Lotion Mineral Sunscreen

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Gentle Lotion Mineral Sunscreen

Dermstore
$23

BUDGET-FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN OPTION

Neutrogena Sheet Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen

Neutrogena Sheet Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen

Walmart
$11

What SPF do dermatologists use? 

"Typically, I wear an SPF 30 if I'm just going to my office—but if I'm going to be outside for long periods of time, I use an SPF 50 or higher," the derm explains.

Can you layer sunscreen?

"One of the things I love about sun protection now is you can layer them," the derm explains, "as makeup brands are putting mineral sunscreens in sticks, compounds and powders. 

"After I put on my full SPF lotion, I like to layer a little bit of color with a compact. I don't like to wear a lot of makeup in the summer. I just like to use a little compact foundation with SPF in it."

Dr. Chapas also likes this Mineral Powder Pollution Protection Brush.

Isdinceutics Mineral Brush

Isdinceutics Mineral Brush

Amazon
$55

"This is my go-to stick. I love sticks, especially these zinc-based baby sticks," the derm says about the Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick. "They're mineral sunscreens with SPF 50. Although they're meant for children, they can be used by people of all ages. Anyone who's playing sports outside that doesn't want to get their hands dirty, it's a real quick way to freshen up your SPF with a mineral SPF 50.

Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick

Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick

Amazon
$10

Get Dr. Chapas' advice on treating sunburn here and her best heat rash prevention and treatment here.

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