summer clean beauty brightening routine
While I embrace the freckles and sun-kissed skin in the summer months, I am not a fan of the blotchy pigmentation that comes along with it. A mix of hormones and sun damage over the years has caused hyper-pigmentation on my skin that I've worked really hard to remedy. While it’d difficult to completely get rid of all discoloration, especially during the summer months, it has abated dramatically. Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing a humid or dry summer--or if you're in Los Angeles, a bit of both! Either way, I find that I have to tweak my skin care routine to adjust to the changing seasons.
I don't suggest buying anything without trying it first, and stores like Credo Beauty and The Detox Market are really generous about providing free samples. Personally, I love treating myself to an hour hanging out at either of these shops, testing products and speaking to the professionals there. Many of the employees who work at Credo and The Detox Market are estheticians and are more than happy to provide free consultations and samples. There are a lot of options out there for clean beauty products that will likely achieve the same results, but here are some that work for my skin, along with my summer routine...
Exfoliate. During the summer months I up my exfoliation from once per week to 2-3 times a week. I love Doctor's Scrub Exfoliator from Dr. Goldfaden. While it is on the pricier side, it lasts a long time and is more economical than a lot of products out there. I actually got mine with points (free!) at Credo Beauty. You only need a small amount to exfoliate your entire face and neck. It is an intense scrub, so I suggest testing it out first. I generally focus on the areas that have more hyper-pigmentation or places that tend to break out. It is seriously
babies bottom smooth skin-smoothing! Don't use the products in areas with open blemishes as it may further irritate them.
Toner. I use a toner in the morning and evening with alpha-hydroxy acids to further exfoliate any dead skin cells and help lighten my hyper-pigmentation. I like this one by January Labs, this one by Marie Veronique (non-plastic packaging is a plus!) or this one by Indie Lee. Both may sting a bit upon application, albeit less so than other products I've used--just know that it's doing it's job!
Facial Mask. Including facial masks into my skincare routine has been a game changer. There are a ton of great options out there so I encourage you to try a few and decide which one works best for your skin. I really like this one by Dr. Goldfaden, it goes on clear and you only have to keep it on for 1-3 minutes. I also really really like the Goop Instant Facial, but it's just a bit pricey for me at $125 jar--yikes! In general, I like masks that don't take up too much of your time. And, it's always a plus if they aren't a scary green color. I usually apply a mask 2-3 times a week in the summer until my hyper-pigmentation lightens, and then once a week to maintain. I also really like this mask by Tata Harper; it also goes on clear but you have to leave it on for a longer period of time. If the weather is dry or you have dryer skin, it's a good idea to use a hydrating mask in conjunction with an exfoliating mask.
4. Face Oil. This is another product I usually change up between summer and winter. During the summer I don't need an oil that is super hydrating, but I do want one that helps combat sun damage. I really like Beauty Sleep Elixir by Beauti. Although it says "sleep elixir" I use it during the day as well. To be honest, I bought it initially because I heard Kate Middleton is obsessed with it...but, now I know why! As with anything else, see what works for you.
5. SPF. One of the most important preventatives for hyper-pigmentation is sunscreen. I like this one by Suntegrity; it is moisturizing and has anti-aging qualities. They have some other great SPF products that serve as a tinted moisturizer as well. Again choose a sunscreen that works with your skin; just lather up!
6. Night Time Moisturizer. I hesitate to recommend a night time moisturizer only because everyone's skin and preferences are so different. Some people prefer a certain texture or consistency over another. Again, with the changing seasons, I usually change my moisturizer. I gravitate toward ones with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's) as they keep my skin hydrated and help with cell turnover. But, I also like this compressed serum by Maya Chia. It contains vitamin C that helps brighten the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. I use it on my forehead and any areas that get extra dry, and a different moisturizer, like this one, with AHA's on my t-zone. It all sounds like a lot of work, but my skin gets sensitive with all the traveling and weather changes. Hopefully you can find one moisturizer that works for all your needs. Here are some that I have tested and recommend:
January Labs Retexturizing Night Cream (it does have a little bit of a dull smell, but it works!)
7. Eye cream. I'm still loving this one by Dr. Goldfaden. It's a brightening cream that helps reduce puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. It's about $50 and lasts me about four months (I use it morning and night).
8. Hydrating Toner/Mist. As always, I top off any beauty routine with some hydrating toner! I keep it in my cabinet, purse and take it anywhere I go. Here are some that I recommend: