Your Guide to Summer Skin Care For a Radiant Glow

summer skin care

Believe it or not, changing your skincare routine to match the seasons will do your skin wonders. As humidity levels rise and fall and temperatures change, you want to find products that can maintain your skin’s glow all year. 

The Cincinnati aesthetic experts at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates work with all different skin types, textures and tones to help our clients achieve the best results. Understanding how skin changes from season to season can be a little tricky. But as spring turns into summer, we are here to guide you through your skincare journey! 

1. Start with a clean slate 

Before summer begins, don’t forget about your spring cleaning! No, we’re not talking about scrubbing every surface and floor in your house. Instead, we’re talking about exfoliating every surface of your skin. 

You may notice that winter has left your skin a little drier and tighter than usual, and that’s completely normal. During the winter, air becomes drier, which means dry air pulls moisture from any source it can find, even your skin. Along with dry skin comes patchiness and flakiness. That’s where exfoliation comes in!

But hear us out before you head to your nearest drugstore. That apricot scrub you’ve been using since you were a teenager isn’t great for your skin. In fact, a lot of harsh, abrasive scrubs don’t just exfoliate dead skin, they can also cause damage and leave micro cuts to pores. With continued use, your skin barrier could take a hit, which may lead to uneven texture, redness, irritation, breakouts, and more. 

While there are great physical exfoliators that don’t harm your skin, also consider adding chemical exfoliants as you prepare for summer. Chemical exfoliants promote cellular turnover by dissolving the links that hold skin cells together. 

Exfoliating ingredients include:

AHAs – glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid

BHAs – salicylic acid 

Retinoids – retinol, tretinoin, retinoic acid

For a deeper chemical exfoliating treatment, try professional-grade medical peels. Professional chemical peels use stronger concentrations of exfoliants mixed with other high-quality ingredients for maximum skin rejuvenation.

2. Never, ever forget your SPF

Whether you’re spending all day lounging outside or watching movies inside, you need to wear SPF. No excuses. Keep in mind that the built-in SPF in foundations or moisturizers aren’t enough protection; you need actual sunscreen. 

Some people believe that they only need to wear sunscreen when they’re out in the sun, but that’s not the case. UVA and UVB damage doesn’t just come from being outdoors. 

So what happens when I don’t protect my skin?

We have two words: Sun. Damage. 

Sun damage isn’t something you want to take a risk on. Light that travels from the sun comes in short and long wavelengths. The longer wavelengths, similar to radio waves, are harmless and won’t damage your skin. On the other hand, shorter wavelengths like UVA and UVB rays are the ones that cause the problem. UV rays can penetrate deep into the skin and manipulate the underlying cells, negatively impacting how your skin cells grow and look.

Sun exposure can reduce the skin’s elasticity and collagen production that leads to a leathery, rough, and wrinkled appearance. When you’re younger, you don’t notice the sun damage as much. One reason for this is because the skin can better repair itself by shedding old, damaged layers frequently. However, as the years pass, your body’s cellular turnover rate slows down, and all that sun damage builds up. Often, you won’t see the true effects of sun exposure from your youth until decades later. 

Signs of sun damage include:

  • New freckles
  • Dark spots
  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Dryness
  • Textured skin
  • Thin skin

Can You Reverse Sun Damaged Skin? Learn the answer here.

3. Pack away heavy creams and moisturizers

Summer air is a lot less dry than winter air. That means your skin won’t require the same thick moisturizers you once used. Over moisturization could cause oiler skin, which may clog your pores and lead to breakouts. 

If you have oily skin, stick with a light oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen. At night, make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin to get rid of any excess product before moving forward with your nighttime routine. Note that we never said eliminate moisturizers all together. The last thing you want is to dehydrate your skin and cause it to produce even more oil. 

For dry skin, you may find some relief from flakiness and tightness during the summer months. However, you still want to make sure your skin gets the hydration it needs so it’s ready for cooler months down the line. While you can probably opt for a lighter moisturizer, you may still want to use a hydrating serum like hyaluronic acid to keep everything in tip-top shape.

4. Don’t forget about vitamin C

You probably already know the benefits of vitamin C for immune health, but did you know it’s also great for summer skin care? We often recommend vitamin C products for many patients since it’s generally safe for all skin types—even sensitive skin! 

Benefits of topical vitamin C include: 

Brightens & evens skin: Vitamin C can help fade dark spots without altering your natural pigmentation. 

Promotes collagen production: With consistent application, vitamin C may promote collagen production to reduce visible signs of aging. 

Protects against sun damage: This one is the big kicker for summer skin care. Since vitamin C is so antioxidant rich, it can fight against free radicals from UVA/UVB rays. 

Aids with sunburn healing: Vitamin C can boost cellular turnover rates, which can help shed sunburned cells faster. 

When choosing a vitamin C product, you don’t want to pick anything you can find. Some products claim to have enough vitamin C to make a difference, whereas in reality, the concentration could be tiny. 

If you’re not sure where to start, SkinMedica’s Vitamin C + E Complex is one of our top picks at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates. The Vitamin C+E Complex helps prevent exposure to free radicals to give you smooth, even-toned skin. As vitamins C and E gradually release throughout the day, it brightens your complexion for a more youthful glow. Apply the complex after cleaning and toning your face, then follow up with your favorite moisturizer and SPF.

5. Slowly transition your skincare routine

You never want to revamp your skincare routine all at once. If you change your cleanser, serums, moisturizer, and SPF at the same time, your skin could have troubles adjusting. Plus, you won’t know which products do your skin favors and which one could cause more problems. 

Instead, start slow. Switch out one product at a time and give the new product a few weeks to make an impact. This allows you to gauge whether the product works for you or whether you need to find something else. 

With any new product, especially chemical based ones, make sure you patch test first. Choose a small area of your skin to test out the product. If you notice lingering irritation, then you know you don’t want to use that product over your entire face.

This process will take time, but you never want to rush anything! That’s why it’s so important to transition your skincare weeks before summer begins.

6. Treat yourself with medical aesthetics

Medical aesthetic treatments take your summer skin care to the next level. One thing to note is that no matter what kind of treatment you get, you must have a strong skincare regimen to back it up. Your results won’t be as effective or last as long if you don’t take care of your skin at home. 

Combined with quality skin care, some of our favorite aesthetic treatments include:

Laser skin resurfacing

It would be unfair to not start this list off with laser skin resurfacing. However, you want to be careful when receiving laser treatments during the summer. That’s why we highly recommend getting regular treatments throughout the cooler months to prepare your skin for summer. So by time June rolls around, you will have glowing, radiant skin. 

With that being said…

We won’t say lasers are miracle workers, but they sure are close. Laser energy penetrates the skin to vaporize damaged skin cells. New cells “resurface,” helping you fight against dark spots, fine lines, and other visible signs of sun damage. 

In terms of laser technology, there are two main types of wavelengths that lasers use:

Ablative wavelengths: Ablative wavelengths remove the epidermal layer, producing dramatic skin-resurfacing results. This effect promotes collagen formation and retraction of the dermis and epidermis to tighten the skin. 

Non-ablative wavelengths: Non-ablative wavelengths are not nearly as aggressive, but can treat the skin for other conditions such as acne and uneven skin tone. The wavelengths do this by drilling small thermal injuries into the skin to kick-start collagen and elastin production. 

Laser resurfacing options at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates: 

CO2RE CO2 laser skin resurfacing: uses laser technology to remove columns of sun-damaged skin. 

IPL Photofacial: goes beyond laser technology by penetrating the skin with intense pulsed light to target dark spots and visible blood vessels. 


Unlike the dermarollers you can buy for at-home care, true microneedling is the professional treatment that gives real skin rejuvenation results. Microneedling uses an innovative device with dozens of tiny needles to puncture the skin. The needles create micro channels that trigger the body’s natural healing process. As a result, it boosts cellular turnover and collagen production. Microneedling treatments are often paired with skin-loving serums such as hyaluronic acid or vitamin C to give you the best age-rewinding results possible. 

Specifically at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates, we can combine our microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to create the best Collagen Induction Therapy  in Cincinnati

We also offer the state-of-the-art treatment Morpheus8 RF microneedling, which amplifies the results of traditional microneedling. With a traditional treatment, a handheld piece runs along your skin to create tiny micro-wounds. Those micro-wounds jumpstart the body’s natural healing process, leading to a boost in collagen production.

Radiofrequency (RF) energy increases the temperature of skin tissue, which causes thermal damage (it sounds worse than what it is, trust us). Thermal damage then stimulates something called neocollagenesis—in other words, the collagen-making process. 

During the treatment, RF energy radiates from the tips of the needles for the ultimate skin rejuvenation treatment. Plus, with little to no downtime, you may start noticing results within 24 to 48 hours! 

Microneedling is a great way to reverse sun damage and other skin conditions such as:

  • Acne scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Stretch marks
  • Enlarged pores


If you have minor skin damage such as excess dryness and fine lines, then dermaplaning could work great for you. Dermaplaning uses a surgical-grade blade to gently scrape away dead skin build up. Plus, the treatment triggers the body’s healing process, which means you get a collagen boost and exfoliant in one session! At Amy Brenner MD & Associates, we love combining this treatment with our chemical peels too! Dermaplaning can help reduce: 

  • Fine lines
  • Acne scars
  • Dark spots
  • Dull skin
  • Rough texture
  • Peach fuzz

Prepare your summer skin care routine with our experts at Amy Brenner, MD & Associates

Let our skin experts help you with your summer skin care and give you the skin you’ve always wanted. As a medspa and medical practice, we are uniquely equipped with the ability to not only treat your skin, but also help you maintain your overall health. 

We’re here to offer a warm, friendly environment while providing the highest quality treatments and procedures to help you look great and feel great. 

Get started today by using our virtual consultation tool or scheduling an appointment. 

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