School is out, temperatures are rising, and we’re declaring it summertime. So, whether you’re heading to the beach, logging in some hours on the tennis court or simply jumping into a sweltering hot car after leaving the office each day, you’ll probably want to make some adjustments to your skincare routine. We sat down with Mary Kathryn Yeiser, Regional Sales Manager at Therapy Systems, The Cosmetic Market and Private Edition, to get the lowdown on summer skincare essentials. Here are her top recommendations, and be sure to scroll to the end for a convenient buyer’s guide of where to find each of the products mentioned.

Foamy Cleanser

Hot, humid days lead to extra oily skin, so Mary Kathryn recommends a foamy cleanser to remove excess grime and leave skin feeling clean.

“A lot of people may use a cream cleanser in the winter when skin is more dry, but in the summer months, our skin changes,” Mary Kathryn says. “We think a foam cleanser is better from June to August because we are all outside doing more activities, and we need to step it up a bit, because our skin is producing more oil.”

A favorite foam cleanser she recommends is Therapy Systems Sensitive Herbal Cleansing Foam ($37), which contains turmeric, to reduce inflammation, and shea butter to ensure skin does not get too dry.

Exfoliant

The Therapy Systems folks are huge believers in exfoliating, and though Mary Kathryn says there are a lot of ways to get the job done, she prefers a mild enzyme exfoliator or a micro exfoliating cream in the summertime because it doesn’t increase sensitivity to the sun (like retinol or glycolic products). She recommends Therapy Systems Energizing Enzyme Peel ($40) and Therapy Systems Micro Exfoliating Cream ($52).

For gentle exfoliation, Mary Kathryn recommends Therapy Systems Energizing Enzyme Peel.

For gentle exfoliation, Mary Kathryn recommends Therapy Systems Energizing Enzyme Peel.

“They really do the trick in getting all those dead skin cells removed from the surface of your skin, and they also help clean out pores and help all other products you use penetrate the skin more easily,” she says.

But, Mary Kathryn warns, if you insist on sticking with the glycolic or retinol all summer long, discontinue when having extended sun exposure, and make sure you use the next essential, which is sunscreen.

Sunscreen

In reality though, Mary Kathryn reminds us, sunscreen is a must regardless of the season. It is the #1 thing you can do to protect your skin and help prevent the signs of aging. And, by the way, the sunscreen in your moisturizer or foundation isn’t going to cut it.

“You really need to wear a full-on sunscreen every single day,” Mary Kathryn says.

She says women sometimes avoid sunscreen because they say it clogs pores or they’re allergic to it, or they do not like the way it feels. As a result, she recommends a lightweight mineral sunscreen, which is gentle on the skin and typically causes less breakouts.

“La Roche Posey ($41), Avène ($28), Revision Intellishade ($65) and Coola ($36), which is an organic option, make great lightweight mineral sunscreens that you can use on a daily basis, that do not look ‘white’ when applied to your skin,” she says.

Using a foundation with sunscreen won't cut it. “You really need to wear a full-on sunscreen every single day,” says Mary Kathryn Yeisner, regional sales manager for Therapy Systems.

Using a foundation with sunscreen won’t cut it. “You really need to wear a full-on sunscreen every single day,” says Mary Kathryn. Here are three she recommends: Avène, SkinCeuticals and Coola.

In addition, whether you’re heading to the beach or just running errands, make sure to pack a touchup sunscreen to use throughout the day.

“Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, which we know is easier said than done,” she says. “Even if you’re just carpooling the kids back and forth or going to the baseball field, you may say, ‘Oh, I put my sunscreen on this morning,’ but you really need to touch it up.”

She likes the Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush ($64), which is SPF 50 and comes in four tints, and the Avène High Protection Compact ($36) that is also SPF50 and comes in two tints.

“You put it on top of your makeup and it doesn’t affect the look,” she says. “It’s just like touching up your powder.”

Lightweight Moisturizer

Though you may think you can skip moisturizing because your skin is oilier in the summertime, think again, Mary Kathryn says.

“Lightweight hydration is essential to keeping skin healthy,” she says. “It’s also really soothing and healing to the skin.”

She likes Therapy Systems Oil Free Moisturizer ($46), which has aloe in it, as well as Balancing Moisturizer by Omorovicza ($135) and Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil Free Moisture Cushion ($58).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and antioxidants help protect from free radicals and act as a shield to protect the skin.

“We always like to say it lightens, brightens and tightens,” Mary Kathryn says. “It does a fantastic job brightening the skin and helping to fade sun damage and dark spots on the skin.”

Her favorites are SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($163), SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF ($163), Therapy Systems Vitamin C Cream ($69) and Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($95).

When it comes to Vitamin C products, Mary Kathryn recommends Her favorites are Skin Ceuticals CE Ferulic, Skin Ceuticals Phloretin CF and Therapy Systems Vitamin C Cream.

When it comes to Vitamin C products, Mary Kathryn recommends SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF and Therapy Systems Vitamin C Cream.

Eye Cream

Mary Kathryn recommends a lightweight eye gel or cream in the summertime that you can use morning and night. She likes Therapy Systems 24 Hour Eye Cream ($29.50), as well as Kat Burki Rose Hip Intense Recovery Eye Serum ($125) and Omorovicza Reviving Eye Cream ($145). These eye creams provide hydration but are light enough not to crease under makeup during the hot summer months.

Mary Kathryn's preferred eye cream is Therapy Systems 24 Hour Eye Cream.

Mary Kathryn’s preferred eye cream is Therapy Systems 24 Hour Eye Cream.

Practical Application

When it comes to application, Mary Kathryn says it’s important to put the most active product on the skin first. “An active product is defined as something that affects the anti-aging process and changes the skin,” she explains.

So now that you have all of your products, when should you apply them and in what order? Here’s a simple breakdown to guide your summer beauty routine:

In the a.m.:

  • Cleanse
  • Vitamin C
  • Lightweight moisturizer
  • Eye cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup

In the p.m.:

  • Cleanse
  • Exfoliate (but only once a week)
  • Moisturize
  • Apply eye cream

And, of course, don’t forget to use that touchup sunscreen throughout the day! By the end of summer, your skin will look healthy and refreshed!

Buying Guide

Here’s where you’ll find these fabulous products:

  • Therapy Systems Sensitive Herbal Cleansing Foam: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Therapy Systems Energizing Enzyme Peel: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Therapy Systems Micro Exfoliating Cream: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • La Roche Posey: Private Edition
  • Avène: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Revision: Private Edition
  • Coola: The Cosmetic Market
  • Colorescience: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Therapy Systems Oil Free Moisturizer: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Omorovicza: Private Edition, The Cosmetic Market (Brentwood location only)
  • Dr. Dennis Gross: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • SkinCeuticals: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market (Franklin & Green Hills locations only)
  • Therapy Systems 24 Hour Eye Cream: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market
  • Kat Burki: Private Edition & The Cosmetic Market

This article is sponsored by Therapy Systems, Inc.