My summer beauty must-haves

Even though I have already discussed most of these products in various recent (and not-so-recent) posts, I decided to round up all the beauty essentials I’ve been reaching for regularly this summer. I noticed that I’ve been gravitating towards antioxidant-rich products to keep my skin healthy despite being exposed to more environmental stressors than usual, given that I spend a ton of time outside this time of year.

No one should go through summer without a trustworthy facial sunscreen. After a couple years of religiously applying Clinique’s to the high points of my face, I switched to Glossier’s Invisible Shield after it debuted a couple months ago.

Two years in the making, this first-of-its-kind daily sunscreen+ has SPF 35, which protects the skin from sun damage. The “+” means that it also protects against pollution and free radical damage. And the best part? As the name suggests, it wears completely invisible, leaving no white cast whatsoever. It doesn’t clog pores or disturb makeup, either.

A good facial spray is essential during the summer months to refresh and revive skin. On a given day, I found myself spritzing Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea quite a few times. And, I’ve already ordered a backup bottle of it.

Speaking of green tea…

Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser, in its unique stick form, is ideal for traveling. But, even when I am not on the go, this cleanser is amazing!

Matcha green tea is packed with antioxidants that do the body good; turns out, those same antioxidants also detoxify and purify skin. With the help of algae extract, skin’s natural defenses get a boost–and instant hydration!

Like any good cleanser, this one also gently exfoliates, while the matcha and lavender essential water soothe skin and calm redness.

During the summer months especially, I need to be able to leave the house with just sunscreen on my face; I cannot stand the feeling of makeup on a sweltering day unless it is absolutely necessary. That being said, I am not immune to breakouts–especially when summer days leave my face dirty, sweaty and sunscreen-y. So, I need all the help I can get when it comes to fighting problem pimples.

At the first sign of a breakout, I’ll treat my skin with Glossier’s Super Pure serum as the third step in my beauty routine. This niacinamide/zinc combo instantly reduces redness, helps even out texture and prevents breakouts from worsening. Three to four drops of this bottled magic are all it takes to dramatically shorten a breakout’s lifespan. (I’ve also been treating my skin with Super Glow 2-3 times a week because it contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.)

When it comes to whiteheads, I’ve tried just about every spot treatment there is–and I’ve finally found the one! Though Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is pricier than most, it makes all my whiteheads disappear overnight. As soon as I put this product on after moisturizing, I can feel it working. And when I wake up in the morning, almost all of it has soaked into my skin, drying out the pimples and leaving them virtually invisible.

There are few skincare dilemmas witch hazel (available at drugstores) can’t solve; for my normal-to-oily and super sensitive skin, it is a must-have at all times.

When my complexion isn’t at its best, I’ll add witch hazel to my routine after cleansing and before toning. After 2-3 days of doing so, my skin looks–and feels–better than before!

I can’t resist a good face mask, but I always find myself coming back to Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack throughout the summertime. Because it contains avocado oil and aloe, it is definitely gentle enough to use twice a week–which is a major plus this time of year because hot and humid climates leave my skin feeling super grime-y. Still, it contains kaolin clay to draw out oil and buildup from the pores, as well as bitter orange peel to exfoliate the skin and balance its oils.

Leafy greens like parsley, spinach and cress sprout, with the help of eight different super-fruit extracts (including acai, aronia and bilberry), protect the skin from environmental pollutants that cause skin damage.

Kat Von D’s Lock-It Blotting Powder is new to my beauty collection, but it didn’t take long to become one of my skin saviors. I was in the market for a new powder when I noticed YouTuber Kathleen Fuentes (aka KathleenLights) raving about this one, so I decided to give it a try, and I am so happy I did!

Like Fuentes mentioned, this powder leaves me virtually pore-less. And because it’s a blotting powder, it does a great job of controlling oil and keeping my makeup in place. With a good setting spray, this finely milled powder has a natural–never cake-y–finish.

Glossier’s cult favorite skin salve is a necessity no matter what the season, but Balm Dotcom in Mint is perfect for the hotter months because it has an amazing cooling effect. Just like all the other BDCs, a little Mint goes a long way, and it lasts for hours on end. It’s my go-to, do-it-all lip balm that quickly replaced all the others in my collection.

Lastly, it just isn’t summer without a yummy tanning oil! My fav is the SPF 6 watermelon scent from Bali Body. All of BB’s tanning and body oils leave skin silky smooth and glowing–never sticky.

Watermelon seed oil, packed with minerals and antioxidants, naturally hydrates and nourishes the skin. It also stimulates the body’s melanin production, resulting in an unbeatable bronze.


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