Pack Light: Understanding Summer Skincare for Melanin


Sweaty t-zones, blackhead build up, runny makeup are just some of the horrors that drastic summer heat can bring. As I write this I am listening to a report about how this summer will be one of Houston’s hottest summers and can I say how I am NOT ready for that intensity, but my skin is!

I’m sharing some tips and tricks to use when the weather is warming up to help my skin to stay clear of dead skin, built up pores and crazy breakouts. Check it out below!

  1. Let’s talk lifestyle. While I know we are all aware of the healing powers of water, it can’t be understated. So this summer, have some fun and pack your favorite fruits in a batch of infused water. Let it sit overnight for a slightly sweet cup and bring your reusable water bottle wherever you are. Throughout the day you should be hydrating especially when traveling.
  2. Cleanse: Your cleanser should provide you with a clean canvas by gently yet thoroughly cleansing your skin. You should be cleansing in the morning and at night. Before starting your skincare routine, wash your hands of any germs or bacteria then proceed. When applying your cleanser, wash your face for 60 seconds to really give your cleanser the chance to work. Also, don’t forget your neck!
  3. Exfoliate: This becomes really important in summer months. Exfoliating 2 - 3 times per week depending on your skin type and sensitivity will make a huge difference in hotter months. For example, Glycolic Acid is a common go to acid used to exfoliate dead skin, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, etc. Using a mask, toner or moisturizer with this ingredient is a form of chemical exfoliation. If you have a facial brush, this is a form of mechanical exfoliation which can be used to apply your cleanser and give your skin a gentle scrub. You can also use a physical exfoliator like a scrub to gently buff dead skin, sweat and bacteria. The scrub should have very small particles that are not course so that they do not cause micro-tearing on your skin (very small tears on your skin) that will cause damage.
  4. Chilly Treat: Picture this, it’s 2 in the afternoon. It’s 90 degrees outside and you pull out your chilled Vitamin C Toner and give yourself a mist! Just like that you feel immediately refreshed, focused and the heat is less intense! Putting your toner in your fridge and taking it out with you on the go can be a great way to give yourself a nice facial mist in midday heat. Be sure not to leave your product in the hot vehicle, carry it in your purse so that you do not disturb the product’s quality.
  5. Light Moisture: Anything that is too heavy as a cream or moisturizer can potentially clog your pores and cause a serious outbreak! Your moisturizer should be incredibly light almost gel like, especially if you have oily, acne prone or combination skin. If you have eczema or dry skin, you will want to closely monitor if you need to switch out your moisturizer depending on the needs of your skin. Your moisturizer may do well for you during summer months or it may need to be switched for a lighter one. It’s important to pay close attention to what your skin is telling you.
  6. Sunscreen: So many companies are just not as considerate about the health and wellbeing of women of color specifically black women despite our buying power. That said, many of us are unaware of the dangers of sun damage. That’s why it’s so important to use sunscreen. You will want to find a tinted, mineral moisturizer as this ensures it is clean and will not give you white cast that leaves you feeling and looking foolish. Here’s one of my favorite moisturizers!
  7. Eat more Fruit & Vegetables: For melanin skin, it’s not only important that we apply Vitamin C but eat it as often as possible! Apples, bananas, pineapples, watermelon, blackberries are just a few items that are pretty cost effective to create a yummy fruit salad. Smoothie bowls, infused water, juicing are a just a few ways to increase your intake of plant based foods. Here’s a small challenge, have a meatless breakfast, replace one meal with a smoothie bowl or smoothie. This will make a world of difference in your skin as gut health is the key to great skin! If  you have build up in your colon, your skin will try to rid your body of these toxins in your pores. Clear up your stomach, you’ll clear your pores!

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