The essential summer skincare routine in 3 simple steps

Interested in finding out what your skin really needs? Follow these 3 essential steps to keep your skin happy and healthy this summer

Woman applying skincare in bathroom
(Image credit: Sora Shimazaki / PEXELS)

Skincare routines seem to be getting more and more complicated by the day. The amount of cleansers, exfoliators and serums out there are endless, and it can be extremely daunting if you’re in the market to try something new. If you’re like me, your bathroom shelf will probably resemble a skincare graveyard, full of half-empty bottles that I’ve decided I no longer like. But is all of this product actually helping our skin? 

Skin can become extra sensitive in the summer due to fluctuations in temperature, UV rays, perspiration and dehydration, so it’s important to keep it cool, calm and protected. However, let me tell you a secret - it doesn’t take 92 different products to do this! We’ve compiled our top 3 simple skincare steps for you to glow this summer. 


Cleansing your face should be the first step in any skincare routine as it clears away any impurities responsible for clogged pores and blemishes. Whilst it’s fine to cleanse both morning and night, it is more effective to just do it in the evening so you can wipe away any grime from your day. This will also keep your pillows nice and clean, preventing any future break-outs. If you prefer, you can also use a cleansing brush to really get in there. Here are some suggestions based on your skin type: 

Oily skin: Luckily, labels make it easy to find cleansers for oily skin, but it’s important to pick a gentle formula that doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped. Look out for ingredients like niacinamide and salicylic acid as they provide the hydration, exfoliation and barrier replenishment that oily skin needs. 

Acne-prone skin: Look for gentle cleansers over harsh ones. You can still remove the day’s dirt and grime without stripping skin of oil and moisture. This can lead to the skin producing more sebum to overcompensate, potentially causing more spots. 

Sensitive skin: Think simple and avoid cleansers formulated with exfoliating acids and harsh textures. Focus on ingredients such as ceramides, chamomile and aloe vera to keep your skin feeling soothed and soft. 

Dry skin: Be on the lookout for ingredients such as shea butter and glycerin, which help to replenish moisture lost throughout the day. 


You were probably expecting a few steps in between this one and the previous one. Luckily, there are so many moisturisers now that do the work for you, containing individual ingredients that treat your skin in just one step. Moisturiser acts as a protective barrier for your skin, keeping it hydrated and healthy, so it’s important to do it daily. Here are some tips: 

Oily skin: Try lightweight or gel-based products that are oil and comedogenic free. It will help reduce the risk of breakouts, whilst still hydrating the skin. 

Acne-prone skin: Water based formulas are perfect for acne-prone skin as they absorb quickly and won’t clog pores. 

Sensitive skin: Look for products that will nourish and calm your skin such as hyaluronic acid and panthenol. They’ll also help replenish skin’s hydration levels after cleansing. 

Dry skin: Choose a rich, thicker formula with hyaluronic acid so you can lock in moisture and make your skin feel more comfortable. 


Lastly, protecting your skin with a good SPF is probably the most important thing you can do.  Go for a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher and make sure to apply it daily even when you don’t think you need it. Whilst you may not see any short term effects (apart from preventing sunburn of course!) the long term effects are extensive. Find out what the benefits are if you’re interested. If you're doing your skincare in the evening, you don't need SPF so replace this step with an eye cream or  night moisturiser!

Oily skin: In a similar way to moisturisers, lightweight and gel-based sunscreens are the best for oily skin. Some sunscreens also include mattifying ingredients which can help shine-proof the areas of your face which gather the most oil. 

Acne-prone skin: Your skin may react to the chemical ingredients or the thick texture found in some sunscreens, so aim for products as minimal as possible. it's also best to avoid fragranced sunscreens!

Sensitive skin: Mineral SPF products (containing filters such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are best for sensitive skin. This will also help with unwanted redness throughout the day. 

Dry skin: If you have dry skin, avoid spray or gel sunscreens with alcohol. These will only dry your skin out further, causing it to become irritated which can become painful in the hot weather. 

Have we got your attention? Find out about 5 different products that will help protect your skin this summer!

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.