Best Skincare Products

The Best Skincare Products for Every Season | How to Adjust Your Routine

If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship or know someone who has, you know that repeated behaviors aren’t simply mistakes—they’re showing you who they are. Our routines are what define us, and the same goes for your skin.

Sure, some factors that affect your skin are beyond your control, like your genetics and stress levels, but that just means you have to prioritize what you can control—your skincare routine. Your environment also plays an important role in your skin’s health, affecting its look and feel, so it’s important to make informed adjustments to your routine as the weather changes. 

So, how do you find the best skincare products for every season? At Smart Skin, we’re dedicated to helping you make smarter decisions for your skin, so our providers are breaking down everything you need to know about tweaking your routine to maximize your results. 

Why is skin care seasonal?

Alabama’s temperature drops as low as 10° in the winter and rises up to 100° in the summer, so it’s no wonder that your skin can have a difficult time transitioning. You don’t think twice about changing your wardrobes with the seasons, and skincare should be just the same!

Warm, humid weather sends your skin’s oil production center into overdrive, leading to clogged pores, acne, and an oilier complexion than usual. On the other hand, cold, dry weather can trigger conditions like eczema and psoriasis, as the lack of humidity dries out your skin. Using the same heavy cream moisturizer that your skin loves in the winter may exacerbate congestion and oils in the summer. On the other hand, a light gel formula may not nourish your skin the way it needs throughout the winter months, even if it does wonders for your skin in the summer.

Seeking the expert advice of our estheticians can be the best breakthrough for your skin’s health and appearance. A professional can help you make the right changes to your routine at the right time, from finding the best skincare products to nailing down the order of their application—ensuring they work with, not against one another—and differentiating your morning and night regimens. Not all skincare ingredients are compatible, whether that’s with one another or with your skin type during a specific season.

The Science Behind Seasonal Skincare

Seasonal skincare isn’t some marketing scheme, there’s scientific evidence behind our recommendations. Studies show that when your skin produces more sweat in warmer environments, sebum secretion, TWEL, and greasiness increase, while your skin’s pH levels decrease. Oiliness and hydration are not the same thing, as overactive oils tend to dehydrate your skin, enlarging your pores and opening the floodgates for acne-causing bacteria. When heat depletes your body’s—and your skin’s—water supply, your skin may also feel irritated and dry, appearing more red and inflamed than normal. 

Several studies show that cold weather, which is significantly less humid, triggers conditions like dermatitis. This all comes down to how your environment affects your skin’s moisture barrier, as disrupting this natural “wall” makes your skin more prone to developing skin diseases. 

What to Include in Your Routine Every Season

We know—we’ve been talking all about how adjusting your routine with the weather is crucial to maintaining your healthy glow year-round. That being said, there are some basic steps that should remain the same, although the products themselves may change. Before you begin your search for the best skincare products for summer, make sure you have these products on your shopping list. 

The best skincare products are medical-grade products. Unlike drugstore skincare, these formulas are intentionally curated with pure, concern-specific ingredients and held to high medical standards of efficacy and safety. Medical-grade skincare does not contain the same miscellaneous, typically irritating fillers as over-the-counter products, which is why they offer better results in less time. 

1. Cleanser

Cleaning your skin every morning and evening is the crucial first step to any routine. Beyond washing away the day’s makeup, sweat, and other impurities, cleansers can also hydrate, remove dead skin cells, improve your microbiome, and target your specific concerns—like acne and aging. 

The main types of cleanser formulas are:

  • Gel
  • Foaming
  • Cream
  • Oil
  • Clay
  • Micellar

None of these formulas are inherently better than others, but rather contain different ingredients that precisely target concerns for a specific skin type during a specific season. Don’t worry—our skin specialists will help you find the best face cleanser for your needs! 

Cleansers to Use in the Spring and Summer

Throughout the warmer months, a general rule of thumb is to stick to a light, gel-based cleanser like SkinBetter Science’s Cleansing Gel. When it comes to summer cleansers, the best skincare products will combat oil production and boost hydration. 

Cleansers to Use in the Fall and Winter

In the colder months, a creamy, moisturizing cleanser is ideal for removing impurities without disrupting your skin’s delicate moisture barrier. Here, you can opt for heavier formulas with more fatty acids, antioxidants, and ceramides, like Colorescience’s Barrier Pro 1-Step Cleanser

2. Exfoliant

Contrary to common misconceptions, you should be using an exfoliant, no matter your skin type. However, the type of exfoliant and how often you use it are where things differ—especially with the seasons. 

Exfoliants to Use in the Spring and Summer

Thanks to the sun, your skin’s cellular turnover rate increases in the summer, which means that exfoliation is more important than ever. The best skincare products for summertime exfoliation contain AHAs and/or BHAs—such as SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser—as these ingredients gently dissolve dead skin cells. 

Exfoliants to Use in the Fall and Winter

Your skin is more sensitive in the colder months, and too harsh of an exfoliant can worsen dryness and irritation. A product that contains glycolic acid, like Alastin’s ReSURFACE Skin Polish, is key for gentle exfoliation—but remember not to overdo it. 

3. Moisturizer

News flash—even if you struggle with oily skin, you need to be using a daily moisturizer. In reality, a lack of moisture can worsen oil production, so this is an important step, no matter your skin type. The best skincare products for moisture focus on protection and combat water loss

Moisturizers to Use in the Spring and Summer

In the warmer months, stick to lighter formulas to avoid clogging your pores. If you struggle with sun spots, hyperpigmentation, or freckles, consider a product that contains hyaluronic acid, like SkinMedica’s Replenish Hydrating Cream

Moisturizers to Use in the Fall and Winter

During the fall and winter, opt for a thicker cream formula to replenish your skin’s hydration without stripping its natural oils, which are already declining due to a lack of humidity. Look for formulas that contain glycerin, like Skinbetter Science’s Trio Luxe Moisture Treatment, as these are the best skincare products for locking in moisture. 

4. SPF

Everyone should be applying sunscreen every day, no matter the season. Even when the sun doesn’t feel intense, its rays are still permanently damaging. After all, research shows that people who use sunscreen every day are 24% less likely to show signs of aging—from wrinkles to sunspots. Just look at the difference that suncare makes among identical twins!

Sunscreens to Use in the Spring and Summer

Whether you’re spending every day by the pool or only outside for a few minutes a day during the summer, suncare is crucial. Beyond preventing a burn, which increases your risk of developing skin cancer, this step is also key to preventing premature aging. We love powder formulas during the humid months, like Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50, for mattifying while protecting. 

Sunscreens to Use in the Fall and Winter

You should always be using a formula with at least SPF 30, but in the winter months, it’s okay to lean towards the lower side. The best skincare products for winter sun protection are mineral formulas, like Alastin’s HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, as this formula remains on the surface rather than absorbing. Plus, this formula has a seamless, natural-looking tint to simplify your routine!

Unlock Expert Guidance at Smart Skin

woman delighted by custom combination treatments from a med spa in homewood

We know that this is a lot to consider, but we’re here to help! Our team is dedicated to your success story, and we have the extensive experience and scientific knowledge to optimize your routine—no matter your age, gender, or skin type—for every season. We’re not here to waste your time or money; our award-winning medical spa is all about real results, not fluff. We don’t provide anything that hasn’t been exhaustively tested, researched, and proven, so you can rest assured that you’re making a smart investment. 

If you’re ready to begin a professional partnership and get your skin to wherever you want it to be, request an appointment today! We welcome questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us at any point in your journey to discuss the best solutions to your concerns, and we’ll create your custom plan. For instant recommendations, try our free, convenient virtual consultation tool

Don’t forget to browse our extensive collection of the best skincare products online or in our office!

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