Why it’s stressed-out: Cleansing too frequently or harshly (as you tend to do when you’re sweating a lot) can strip away three components of your skin that keep it moisturized—natural oils on the surface, ceramides (or fats), and natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), which are substances that retain water from inside the body, says Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City. Without them, your skin won’t be as effectively hydrated, and the natural process of cell turnover may slow down, leaving skin dry and dull.
What you can skip: To start, sidestep your morning cleanser. Hopefully, you didn’t sleep in your makeup, so you don’t really need to lather up. Instead, splash your face with water and apply sunscreen or, if that’s too oily for you, a light moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. Evening-only cleansing will suffice for most, except those with very oily or acne-prone skin. If your skin is normal to dry, once a week throughout the summer eliminate your evening cleanser, too. If you’re wearing makeup, remove it gently with a wipe, such as Neutrogena Make Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes Hydrating ($7 at drugstores). And while you’re (not) at it, after your once-a-week, water-only wash in the evening, skip any moisturizer you might normally use. This may help reduce oiliness during the day and prevent clogged pores, says Mona A. Gohara, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. If you can’t fathom a night without moisturizer, at least downgrade to a light lotion or a serum, applying to dry areas only. Try Dior Hydra Life Skin Protect ($67, dior.com).
Spa treat: “A mask of plain full-fat yogurt and oatmeal can help replenish moisture and exfoliate all skin types,” says Stephanie Tourles, a holistic aesthetician in Orland, Maine, and the author of Organic Body Care Recipes ($19, amazon.com). The treatment also cools and calms overheated skin, red skin, and heat rash. Mix ½ cup of each ingredient, leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse. Repeat up to three times a week.
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