Why You Shouldn't Skip Moisturizer This Summer

Summer's all fun and games...until your skin gets too dry.

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Reason No. 1: Summer's Way Harsh

The summer has a unique mix of factors that affect how your skin looks and feels. "The sun, air conditioning, and chlorine all dry out our skin, causing it to look weathered," says Kat Burki, the founder of her eponymous luxury skin-care brand. "Year-round lifestyle events, such as long flights and drinking alcohol are also known dehydrating culprits." When everything around you has a hand in depleting your skin of hydration, then you need a sturdy and emollient moisturizer to replenish those dried-up cells!

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Reason No. 2: You Always Need a Barrier

Think of moisturizer as the complexion shield you can't leave the house without wearing. "The skin needs to maintain a balance, and staying hydrated is paramount to skin health and overall appearance," says Dr. Amanda Doyle, a dermatologist and skin expert for Vaseline. "The appropriate moisturizer helps to keep the skin barrier intact so germs and other irritants aren't as bothersome." This goes for your entire body, so make sure to apply hydrators from head to toe.

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Reason No. 3: Your Skin Issues Are Perennial

Caring for your complexion is all about knowing how your skin works, what irritates it and what doesn't, no matter the season. "Many individual skin types don't change from winter to summer," Burki says. If, for example, your skin is very dry in the winter, chances are it has some dryness issues in the summer as well. Let your year-round skin issues inform the thickness and consistency of the moisturizer you choose. "For normal and oily skin types, lighter moisturizers in the form of lotions or serums may be sufficient for daily use," Dr. Doyle says.

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Intense Hydration Day Lotion, $18, burtsbees.com.

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer, $9, target.com.

Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream by Kat Burki, $100, spacenk.com.

Ceramidin Body Lotion by Dr. Jart+, $28, sephora.com.

Reason No. 4: Oily Skin Is a Social Construct

Kind of. "A common misconception about moisturizer is that it makes skin more oily, but it can actually make skin less oily overall," Dr. Doyle says. There's some science behind this, of course. "You can opt for a lighter moisturizer in the summer, but don't go for products with alcohol—your oil glands may overcompensate and produce more oil from being unnaturally stripped of good oils," Burki says.

Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer by Boscia, $38, sephora.com.

Intensive Care Advanced Repair Unscented Lotion by Vaseline, $9, target.com.

Reason No. 5: Sunscreen-Moisturizer Combos Might Not Cut It

Yes, there are moisturizers with sunscreen, but it's a good idea to separate the two. "Some patients use their sunscreen/moisturizer in the morning, which is fine, as long as their faces aren't dry or flaky without an extra layer of hydration," Dr. Doyle says. If you find that your skin is peeling or itchy, pop a light or heavier moisturizer back into your regimen, then follow up with your sunscreen. "A good mineral-based SPF product will work to block the sun and shield you against excess sun," Burki says. Too much of a good thing won't hurt in this case, as it's better to be overprotected than not at all!

Force Field Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18, $53, ursamajorvt.com.

The Healthy SPF 40 Duo, $30, lavanilla.com.

Pep-Start Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 by Clinique, $20, sephora.com.

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