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How to Keep Your Skin in Summer Shape

Summer is the time to show a little skin.  But keeping your epidermis in shape for summer can be a part-time job.  From body acne to ingrown hairs to rough patches, the last thing you want is to be forced to cover up on a hot day because your skin isn’t looking its best.

Through much trial and error, I’ve discovered a few products that help keep my skin in summer shape.  Here are the best of them, followed by a few short reviews.


Skinceuticals LHA Solution Toner ($28)

For a long time, I used Glytone’s body acne spray with mixed results.  It was effective at keeping the acne at bay, but it was so drying.  And if you didn’t spray it in a well-ventilated environment, the air quickly became toxic.

A few weeks ago, I discovered this LHA Solution from Skinceuticals, and I love it.  It’s gentler than the Glytone and just as effective.  But if you experience a bit of dryness after applying anti-acne products to your chest and shoulders, try this Say Yes to Tomatoes moisturizer.


Dial Acne Control Body Wash ($7)

This is the most effective drugstore acne body wash that I’ve found.  If you need some added punch, use it with an exfoliating cloth every other day.  (Your skin needs a rest from constant exfoliation to look its best.)


Tend Skin Roll On ($17)

Ingrown hairs can make your bikini wax an utter nightmare.  I love this Tend Skin roll-on for keeping things bump free.  But sometimes, if I get a bad wax (quality aestheticians are sorely lacking out West), I need more serious intervention.  For that, I turn to maximum strength Stridex pads, cortisone cream, and aloe vera spray.

One of these days, I’m just going to break down and buy an at-home hair reduction machine.  I like this look of this one from Illuminage, but if someone has a better recommendation, I’d love to hear it.


O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet ($7)

I’ve talked about my love for O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet before, but my passion is strong.  Heels, elbows, knees…there’s no skin this product can’t soften.  And since a little goes a long way, a jar lasts forever.


Supergroup Sun-Defying Oil ($34)

If you’re taking your skin for a walk in the sun, you need to protect it.  First, read this informative article on what SPF really means and how to protect yourself from sun damage.

I like this oil sunscreen from Supergoop because it’s not drying.  I usually do a first application with this and then supplement with a spray-on sunscreen for ease.  And if you’re looking for a great facial sunscreen that won’t clog your pores, I like this sunscreen from Coola.

If you have a favorite summer skincare product that you can’t live without, leave it in the comments!



  1. GoGoGo says:

    I know I ought to invest in a facial sunscreen for regular days and not just the beach, since I have a decent walking commute to work.

    Any tips on how to manage makeup and a sun-screeny face? I usually wear pretty minimal makeup to work, mainly just a BB cream and eyeliner, but I imagine it could all get kind of creamy.


    May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Addie says:

      I thoroughly rub in my sunscreen and let it dry completely before applying foundation on top. I’ve never had a problem. However I don’t moisturize in the morning, that did feel like way too much on my skin. I moisturize at night now and the sunscreen I use does provide a little moisture.

      May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I mix a little into my BB cream, which already has sunscreen in it. Usually if you choose a foundation and primer with it in it, you don’t have to add more.

      May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Molly says:

      Yes to Grapefruit CC cream in it has real sunscreen in it – not the tiny amount of chemical sunscreens in most face lotions that work for a short time, if at all. Try replacing your CC cream with a product like that (look for zinc/titanium dioxide).

      May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Katie says:

      The suncreen in your makeup products is usually not sufficient. You need a full 1/4 teaspoon of product to cover just your face and most people do not wear that much foundation (FYI – another 1/4 tsp for your neck and a full ounce for your body). Mixing sunscreen into your foundation is also not a good call – again, you aren’t getting enough product and some sunscreens, especially chemical sunscreens, include stabilizers that don’t play well with other products.

      Ideally, if you are using a chemical sunscreen on your face, you want to apply as the last step in your morning skincare routine. If you are going to wear makeup on top of it, you should wait 15-20 minutes after applying so the sunscreen ingredients have time to bond with your skin and aren’t disrupted by your foundation.

      May 26, 2015/Reply
  2. Megan says:

    I love (and can’t live without) the banana boat hydrate and protect sunscreen. It’s the only sunscreen I’ve found that I can’t feel on my skin once it’s rubbed in, and doesn’t smell like sunscreen. I live in DC and commute by metro, so there’s a fair amount of walking in my day. I have a family history of skin cancer and super pale skin, so this is key for me in the summer for everyday. I don’t mind smelling like sunscreen for a day at the beach or a hike or something, but this I can use before heading to the office and I don’t feel or smell gross.

    I also really like the supergoop city sunscreen serum for my face, but I haven’t repurchased from the sample I have since it’s kind of pricey.

    May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Megan says:

      I meant to also add: I just got a sample of supergoop’s makeup setting spray with spf. I haven’t used it enough to have a solid opinion on it yet, but I love the idea of being able to just spray on my face on top of makeup later in the day.

      May 26, 2015/Reply
      • Belle says:

        That is an interesting product idea. Let me know how you like it.

        May 26, 2015/Reply
  3. Lexi says:

    I’m allergic to chemical sunscreens so I use physical/mineral sunscreens. Swear by Skinceuticals, they make a thin, tinted sunscreen that doesn’t give a white cast (and kinda acts as a primer). I love it. They also recently came out with a matte sunscreen. For body, I use their sport.



    May 26, 2015/Reply
  4. Mo says:

    Very interesting that the Illuminage claims to work on Gingers. I didn’t think we were candidates for permanent hair removal.

    May 26, 2015/Reply
  5. Katie says:

    Not exactly a product, but I’m three rounds into laser hair removal on my underarms & bikini line, and I definitely recommend it if you get a lot of ingrowns and/or are sick of shaving/waxing/etc.

    I’m pale with dark hair that grows quickly, so 12 hours after I shave, I already have a dark shadow. I’ve thought about trying the laser forever and I’m so glad I finally did it. It’s working really well, and is not that expensive when you consider how much waxing costs. Plus no more spending money on pricey bliss ingrown pads/tend skin!

    May 26, 2015/Reply
  6. Emily says:

    I live in hot, humid Texas and am a pale skinned redhead, so sunscreen reviews always attract my attention.

    Does anyone have a tip for a real sweatproof facial sunscreen for exercising? I play tennis and am so tired of the burning and stinging of sunscreen streaming into my eyes, but not wearing it just isn’t an option for me. Would love to hear any suggestions!

    May 26, 2015/Reply
    • Molly says:

      I used Eucerin’s titanium dioxide sunscreen (https://www.amazon.com/Eucerin-Protection-Moisturizing-Lotion-Spectrum/dp/B00008MNZH) for marathon training, but I wore a visor or a hat and didn’t put sunscreen on my forehead because no sunscreen is going to be completely run-proof. Should work with any sunscreen. Can definitely still wear it everywhere the sun touches with no problems, and I never got any sneak sun on my forehead, either!

      May 27, 2015/Reply
    • Mo says:

      No idea why but the Coppertone Sport is the only thing that doesn’t burn the skin under my eyes when my pores get open and sweaty.

      May 27, 2015/Reply
      • k-t says:

        I second Coppertone Sport lotion for staying on and not stinging your eyes. It is the only one my family will wear sailing (and my dad sweats a LOT). Apply before getting dressed (and let it dry, or you might stain anything light colored). I generally don’t need to re-apply either.

        May 29, 2015/Reply
  7. katherine says:

    I swear by Elta MD sunscreen for everyday. I use the 30+ SPF and apply it right before I apply makeup – its like a moisturizer and has ZERO white cast. Its the only facial sunscreen my stubbly husband will use as it wont collect in his beard.

    I’ve got their 40+ that has a light tint on order but the reviews are raving….

    May 27, 2015/Reply
  8. Melissa says:

    Heads up on the Tend Skin roll-on or other roll-ons like Whish Flawless — I got a minor skin infection after a wax and used a roll-on before I knew I had it. The infection spread everywhere. It was extremely unpleasant. I recommend using a bottle and disposable cotton balls.

    May 27, 2015/Reply
  9. Lindsay // Belle Belle Beauty says:

    Hey! I am a new reader so not sure where you are out West but when I lived in California I did a bikini laser. I had so much trouble with ingrowns and it seriously was a lifechanger. This was a decade ago so I am sure it is even better these days and totally worth it.

    May 28, 2015/Reply