style · beauty · home

My Summer Skin Care Routine

One of the questions I get asked frequently is about my current skin care routine, or rather, how that changes seasonally. My skin care doesn’t typically vary much from summer to winter but I do like to update you all as I try new products and adopt new “staples” in my skin care routine. In the summer, I do find myself being more diligent with SPF and making sure that I exfoliate religiously. As someone with combination skin that is prone to acne, I make sure to double down on double cleansing to make sure my face is truly clean at night. While not an expert, I would consider myself a raging enthusiast who is constantly reading and trying to learn more about the science behind skin care. Here’s my current summer skin care routine with my current favorite products and alternatives for you. For more skin care content, you can read more of my skin care posts here

Wander Beauty – Baggage Claim Eye Masks // Obaji Professional-Câ„¢ Microdermabrasion Polish + Mask // Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment Serum // Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream // Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream // Tatcha – Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask // Revision Brightening Cleanser // Jordan Harper Glow Peel Pads II // Skinceuticals C E Ferulic // Obaji Professional-C Serum 20% // Beautycounter Countercontrol SOS Acne Spot Treatment // Revision D.E.J Face Cream // Revision Nectifirm® ADVANCED // Revision Skincare Serum, Vitamin K // Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream // Beautycounter Brightening Face Oil (Wrong product pictured) // SK-II – Facial Treatment Clear Lotion Toner // Gua-Sha // NuFACE Mini // Tinkle Eyebrow Razor

Tips for Summer Skin Care

  • In the summer I try to be incredibly diligent with SPF!
  • If you are prone to melasma like me, try to make sure you’re not getting too hot and sweaty if at all possible since heat is one of the things that can trigger melasma.
  • I am also prone to breakouts so I make sure I use a liquid exfoliator, like these pads, every day in the summer. I can use them daily because I have worked up to that point (more on that below), but I think it is a major factor in keeping my breakouts at bay.

Here are a few of my favorite SPFs for summer:

Basic Summer Skin Care Routine

If you are looking for the bare minimum routine I would cleanse with this Revision Brightening cleanser, use M-61 PowerGlow Peel or Barefaced Glow Peel Pads II either AM or PM and follow with this Vitamin C serum (currently 25% off) morning and night. Pick a great moisturizer like Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream or this one by Obagi and you’re good to go! If you want to take your summer skin care routine one step further, I would fully support a retinol like this one in the evening.

Current Summer AM Routine

Summer AM skin care routine

CLEANSER // I use the Revision Brightening cleanser. I also really like Tula’s cleanser and used it for years. You can save 15% on the Tula cleanser with code CRISTIN. Other cleansers that I recommend are Obagi Foaming Cleanser and Aveeno Foaming Cleanser if you need a drugstore option.

TONE + EXFOLIATE  // I have been using Jordan Harper’s new Barefaced Glow Peel Pads II in the am by themselves. In the evening I will use a toner before to make sure my face is extra clean! The M-61 PowerGlow Peel are also an excellent option!

Jordan Harper's Barefaced Glow Peel Pads II

EYE PADS // I love eye pads!! My favorite everyday eye patches are Pixi but I also love these. I wear them while I drink my morning coffee or even in the car! You can see all of my favorite eye pads and why they are good to use on this post.

Peter Thomas Roth Hydra-gel eye patches.

SERUMS // I think that if you are going to invest in one item then you need to invest in a medical-grade Vitamin C serum. You can read about the benefits here. I am currently using this Obagi Vitamin C and I honestly think that the SkinCeuticals and 20% Obagi are great options and interchangeable. You always want to put this on when your skin is slightly damp so that it seeps in to your pores. You press it into your skin on your face and then down your neck and chest. I even put on the back of my hands! Vitamin C helps your SPF work better and honestly, I would bathe in it. While Skinceuticals and Obaji has been my go-to Vitamin C serum for some time, I also really like the Revision C Complex.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C
Obagi Medical Vitamin C

SPOT TREATMENT // I don’t use spot treatments in the morning but if you were going to treat a breakout this would be where to do that. I have been using Beauty Counter’s spot treatment. Tula also has a good spot treatment that I used prior to trying Beauty Counter’s.

Beauty Counter Spot Treatment

MOISTURIZER // I love the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. I also love this one by Obagi, especially if you are prone to breakouts (currently 25% off).

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Revision DEJ Face Cream

EYE CREAM // I love the combination of this eye serum and this eye cream. If you are using both a serum and eye cream, apply the thinner product first.

SUNSCREEN // If I’m not wearing a foundation that has sunscreen in it I always follow with this EltaMD sunscreen or Revision Intellishade Matte.

Revision Intellishade tinted moisturizer
Tula daily sunscreen

DAY CREAM OR FOUNDATION // My two favorite foundations right now are itCosmetics CC cream (wearing light medium currently) for everyday wear and this Charlotte Tilbury foundation in shade 5 for a thicker coverage.

it Cosmetics CC cream

Summer PM Routine

Summer Skin care routine for night time.

CLEANSER // At night I “double cleanse” meaning I remove my makeup and then I clean my skin. I usually remove my makeup, go take a shower and use the same Revision Brightening cleanser as my morning routine.

EXFOLIATING TREATMENTS // If you dermaplane at home this is where you would do it. I dermaplane every other week.

Tinkle Razors for dermaplaning at home

TONER // At night I use the Bioderma toner or this drugstore dupe from Garnier. If you do an exfoliating treatment and you have sensitive skin you might want to use a calming toner. Then I follow up with the Glow Peel Pads II.

Garnier micellar cleansing water

SERUMS // At night I use the same Vitamin C serum as I do in the AM. As a reminder, apply your serums right after cleansing and toning, in order of thinnest to thickest consistency.

SkinCeuticals Vitamin C serum
Obagi Vitamin C serum

TREATMENTS // At night I apply my Tretinoin, aka Retin-A, and then any spot treatments. If you are very sensitive to Tretinoin start off my mixing it with your moisturizer and applying every couple of days. Then try to apply it every couple of days and follow immediately with a moisturizer. Once your skin is conditioned, you should put it on and let it sit for a bit before you apply your moisturizer for maximum benefit. For those looking for a retinol treatment to purchase without a prescription, I recommend the Obagi Retivance.

Tretinonin Retin-A

FACE OIL // A common myth is that you can’t use face oil if you have oily or combination skin when in fact if you don’t give your skin the hydration it needs then it will just produce more oil. I love the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Oil and BeautyCounter’s Brightening Face Oil if I’m feeling extra dry or if I’m using a Gua-Sha

Beauty Counter brightening face oil
Kiehls Midnight Recovery Face Oil

EYE CREAM // I love the combination of this eye serum and this eye cream. I also like the combo of this Elemis serum and this eye cream. Additional eye creams I like include BeautyCounter and Revision.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Serum

MOISTURIZER // At night I ALWAYS use moisturizer, even after using a face oil. The Elemis Night Cream is meant to be used after a face oil and as the final step in your skincare routine because it holds everything else in!

Elemis Night Cream

Favorite Summer Beauty Products

Summer Makeup look from Beauty Blogger Cristin Cooper

Go watch this IGTV where I explain all of them and do an easy summer am routine. I included a lot of options for products in the video and have linked them for you below!


Barefaced toning pads // Obagi 20% Vitamin C // Skinceuticals HA Intensifier


Elta MD // Skinceuticals Matte // Revision Intellishade // Tula Sunscreen: (15% off with CRISTIN) Tilbury Healthy Glow


Sephora Clear & Cover // Cle De Peau // Beauty Blender

Powder & Bronzers

Hourglass Luminous Light // NARS Matte Bronzer // Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Matte Bronzer


Charlotte Tilbury Brow Lift


NYX Lip Liner in Nude Pink // Neutrogena Lipgloss in Ballet Pink


L’Oreal Super Voluminous // Loreal Primer // Covergirl Exhibitionist // Tarte Light Camera Lashes // Tarte Light Camera Splashes // Marc Jacob Mascara

Highlighters & Blush

Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter // Becca Champagne Pop // NARS Cheek Palette // NARS Blush in Torrid // Milani in Luminoso // Beauty Counter in Nectar

Setting Powders

Hourglass Veil Focus // Becca Glow Shield // Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray // Supergoop SPF Setting Powder

The Order I Apply Skincare

Here is the order I apply skincare in! Feel free to pin it for later!

Best order to apply skin care in the summer.

read & Leave a comment





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Maddy says:

    Hi Cristin,
    Love your content!
    I think it’s important to mention that for your night routine, you don’t want to use vitamin C and retinol at the same time.
    Applying rules if using both:
    1. Use C in the morning and Retinol at night
    2. Use C and Retinol on alternate nights
    3. Apply C and retinol 30 minutes apart at night
    4. And if you really want to use them at the same time, you could use a C derivative and retinol

  2. melissa sawyer says:

    Serious question! I bought the bioderma micellar water (sensibio one) but used it before the brightening cleanser as my first cleanse but I see you use it after as a toner and then glow peel pads (I’m using toning pads 1). Should I switch my order around? I always thought it was a cleanser but it does make sense if it is more of a toner…any advice would be appreciated!