Officially, the Philippines has two seasons: wet and dry. Personally, I think the categories should be “hot” and “hotter.” When the latter rolls around, not only do I switch my wardrobe from fashionable layers to light, airy clothes; I also alter my skincare routine a little.

Staying outside during summer in Manila is literally torture, and my skin already looks tired even before my day starts. That’s why I choose to adjust my skincare to adapt to the sweltering weather.

The Skin Needs a Different Kind of Care in Summer

The skin has to adapt to hot and humid air caused by the rising temperatures. If cold temperatures often dry the skin, then hot temperatures do the opposite. It usually makes the skin greasy since more oil gets trapped on the skin’s surface.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) explains that people are likely to experience skin problems during the hot season that can totally spoil the summer fun. These skin problems include:

  • Acne breakouts – the heat in the metro makes us sweat profusely, clogging our pores when mixed with bacteria and oils on the skin. Clogged pores, of course, are the main culprit for breakouts, especially if you have acne-prone skin.
  • Dry, irritated skin – hot and humid air causes dry skin. This usually occurs when you spend long hours in the sun, pool, and air-conditioning.
  • Prickly heat – this happens when the sweat cannot get out due to blocked sweat glands. The sweat builds up under the skin, resulting in a rash and tiny, itchy bumps. A prickly sensation occurs once the bumps burst and release sweat.
  • Sunburn – excessive sun exposure without adequate protection causes sunburn. Having sunburn not only ruins your summer but also increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Swimmer’s itch – this skin problem appears after swimming in a body of water, including lakes and oceans. The parasites in the water cause tiny red spots on exposed areas by burrowing into the skin.

I normally experience breakouts and prickly heat during summer. Sometimes I also get a sunburn, especially when I forget to apply sunscreen while at a beach. Adjusting my skincare routine for this season helps improve my skin despite the extreme weather.

Switching to Summer-Friendly Products

skincare products

You don’t need to change your entire skincare routine when summer comes. Making small changes contributes to maintaining your smooth, healthy skin throughout the season. The climates in the country have no drastic differences. I usually lean toward lighter products to avoid the heavy feeling on the skin since I sweat easily.

Cleanser

I prefer to use a gel cleanser in the summer months. It removes dirt without stripping the moisture from my skin. Currently, I’m using a foaming facial cleanser from Kedma, a luxury skincare brand available in the Philippines.

The cleanser contains Dead Sea minerals, the main ingredient the brand uses for its products. These minerals help maintain healthy moisture levels in the skin and protect it against pollutants.

Toner

Honestly, toning is not a regular part of my skincare regimen. But since my skin produces more oil during the hot season, I use it to remove acne-causing bacteria that normal cleansing can’t handle. My current toner is from the same brand as my cleanser. It contains a combination of Aloe Vera and the Dead Sea minerals.

I use the toner day and night to remove makeup residue, dirt, and greasiness. It doesn’t irritate my skin, unlike the toners I’ve tried before.

Moisturizer

I normally skip moisturizer in summer because my skin feels heavy when I apply it underneath my sunscreen. Instead, I use a serum. It has smaller molecules compared to creams or lotions, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate the skin easily. My favorite serum, which I use all year, is the Kedma Elixir++ Hyaluronic Day Serum and the Elixir+ Hyaluronic Night Serum.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) helps keep tissues moist and function properly by retaining water. Using products with HA contributes to maintaining soft and supple skin. I apply my serums in a circular motion after toning or after cleansing (if I don’t use a toner).

I also use Aloe Vera gel, mostly after I spend long hours in the sun. Aloe Vera provides cooling effects, leaving my skin feeling refreshed. I apply the gel to the areas that were exposed to the sun.

Sunscreen

I prefer using a gel type SPF in summer. Cream-based sunscreens feel thick when the skin starts to get oily. My sunscreen during the hotter season is SPF 50, higher than I use during the wet season, which is SPF 30.

Swapping Out Products to Improve My Skin

Woman touching her face

I used to stick to one skincare routine for the entire year. After I learned how the skin reacts to different seasons, I realized why I experience troubled skin when the temperature changes. Now that I know better, I decided to invest in products suitable for my skin based on the season.

Adjusting my routine reduces my breakouts. Although I still get acne, it isn’t as bad as before. My acne also stays less than three days instead of weeks or even months. I enjoy summer more now because my confidence to go out improved.

Additionally, using lighter products doesn’t irritate my skin. I still look fresh despite sweating heavily after walking outside or being stuck in traffic.

Maintaining Youthful Glow throughout the Year

Evaluating the products in your skincare routine regularly helps you keep your skin glowing all year. Your routine should match the temperature in your area to make sure your skin gets the care it needs. I always do research on a certain product or ingredient before purchasing. It pays to know whether the formula or the ingredients match our skin type and work well with the other products in our arsenal.

Apart from my regular skincare routine, I also use sheet masks for extra moisture and exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead skin. I visit a derma clinic every two weeks for a facial and for a consultation when I experience a skin problem.

Maintaining healthy skin, especially in a tropical climate, could be challenging. Consult a dermatologist to determine what you really need. Skincare routines depend on what skin type you have. After all, my routine was meant for me. It might not be as effective on you.

If we’re using the same products this summer, don’t hesitate to share your experience. Feel free to share your summer skincare routine, too. I would love to try them.

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