What My Combination Skin Did Best With All Summer

If my summer skincare routine seems effortless, it’s the mix of low key staples and emergency formulas I have to thank. This combination skin is not on its best behavior during travel, the humidity, or days filled with copious amounts of rose. There were quite a few nights when I “forgot” to wash my face before bed and woke up with dull looking skin and a significantly more congested T-zone. Ugh. Below is a round-up of tried and true solutions (not necessarily newly launched) that calm, balance, and revive my tired face when it needs it most.

Adsorb AntiBody Cleansing Wash

If you enjoy a cleansing foam, there is nothing better out there in my opinion. Yes, the Adsorb face wash is a splurge, but you need only use the the smallest amount as it froths something fierce. It will last months. This J-beauty gem deep cleans, purifies, and decongests the skin without the dryness or tightness many associate with a foam formula. Adsorb’s unique antibody technology utilizes humanely harvested ostrich egg yolks, (because did you know the ostrich has the strongest immune system in the animal world?) which help protect the skin against free radical damage. The formula also highlights nourishing botanicals such as Gotu Kola, Pine Bark, and Seaweed Extract. $78 (3.5 oz.) dermstore.com

ARCONA Cranberry Toner

My enthusiasm for ARCONA’s cranberry ancillaries knows no limit. I’ve been using the Triad Pads and Cranberry Gommage for years. Earlier this summer, I ventured into the toner category of this luxurious spa grade range. Fast forward a few weeks and my skin cannot get enough of this juicy, sparkling infusion. Worth a generous application, I soak a cotton pad and swipe it across the face after cleansing which revives my parched complexion instantly. The Cranberry Toner triggers almost a slight bubbling action on contact as the blend of Witch Hazel, Cranberry Fruit, and Rice Milk Extracts adjust the skin’s pH level, infusing it with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Some may find the tart, mouth watering cranberry scent (all natural) a bit strong. Personally, I consider it a great aromatherapy perk. $38 (4.05 oz.) dermstore.com

Avène Cleanance Expert (Lotion)

If excess sebum is your biggest summer skin care conundrum, the Avène Cleanance Expert Lotion is for you. It has been my most trusted moisturizer over the last few years and is also my must-have for travel, when the skin tends to be at its most unpredictable. This French pharmacy classic is fueled by the brand’s proprietary Diolenyl™ (limits the risk of bacterial proliferation), Ex-Pressin™ (helps reduce blackheads) and patent pending Monolaurin that regulates excessive oil production. Yes, there is Dimethicone, Shea Butter and Fragrance included as well, yet this moisturizer feels surprisingly lightweight. A tube of Cleanance Expert is a permanent fixture in my stash, especially during the summer. $26 (40ml) dermstore.com

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

The true unsung hero in the Drunk Elephant range, T.L.C. Framboos™ is among my all time favorite acid treatment formulas. The nifty blend of skin resurfacing Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids is combined with hydrating Raspberry Fruit Extract and Sodium Hyaluronate, making this effective exfoliating potion also non-irritating. Because of its gel texture, it absorbs incredibly well and layers greatly under a richer overnight solution (like an oil). My enlarged pores and uneven texture improve dramatically days after bringing Framboos™ back into my nightly routine. $90 (30ml) Sephora.com

Goldfaden MD Bright Eye

Real talk: I do not expect an eye cream to erase my dark circles. Such are genetic and can be exacerbated by sodium consumption and excess fatigue. I want my eye cream to make that undereye brightener last all day. Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes is a phenomenal year round option because of its creamy, non-greasy texture; it helps me look most rested after the usual eventful summer weekends. It also enhances that Tom Ford Illuminating Brightening Pen for hours. The impressive ingredient deck features Hyaluronic Acid, Arnica Tincture, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Soy Peptide, Squalane and Vitamin K1. $52 (15ml) dermstore.com

Mamonde Petal Purifying Bubble Mask

During the summer months and way too often, I find myself with literally only a minute to play with when trying to get out the door. Mamonde has been my favorite K-beauty discovery this past Spring and the Petal Purifying Bubble Mask quickly achieved ‘makeover in a jar’ status. It’s a blend of Kaolin and Bentonite clays to purify and refine the skin combined with nourishing Chia Seed Oil and real rose petals. The whipped creamy paste bubbles upon application and transforms into a full face of airy froth, which smells delicately floral. After just sixty seconds, you rinse it off to admire fresh and glowing skin. I’m hooked. $25 (50ml) ulta.com

OSKIA Restoration Oil

Since trying the OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel a few years ago, I’ve had nothing but great luck with this clean British brand. My recent crush, the Restoration Oil, has been a great nightly treatment that balances, nourishes, and revitalizes skin that has been a bit overexposed this summer. The bougie blend of Sea Fennel, Turmeric, and Rosehip Seed Oil is joined by the brand’s signature ingredient MSM, an organic sulfur extract that supports collagen production. Since I prefer to use facial oils at before bed, I massage a few drops into my skin using this impressive gua-sha tool. Did I mention the herbaceous aroma with notes of rose and orange? Yeah, there’s that, too. $95 (30ml) goop.com

IOPE Men UV Defense Sun Protector SPF 50+

It’s rare for me to be excited by a sunscreen formulated specifically for men. Unless it’s Korean! Elegant and user friendly, the IOPE formula is lightweight and fast absorbing with a gender-neutral fresh scent. It also combines well with Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi if you’re after some built-in glow. It’s uncommon for me to gravitate toward ‘just for men’ anything in the skincare department, but I am beyond thrilled with this one. For those new to the brand, IOPE invented the cushion compact. $25 (50ml) aritaum.com

Omorovicza Complexion Perfector

A few weeks ago, Omorovicza launched a handful of impressive formulas (that Cashmere Cleanser, OMG!) and the Complexion Perfector in Medium has blended seamlessly (pun very much intended) into my skincare regimen. This tinted moisturizer is available in three shades (Light, Medium, Dark) and provides sheer to medium coverage. Best of all, it looks incredibly natural with a soft satin finish. The subtle pigment helps to smooth out uneven tone and blurs minor imperfections. $83 (50ml) skinstore.com


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