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Layering Skin Care for Summer: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Photo courtesy of Jim Lafferty/The Licensing Project

Layering Skin Care for Summer:
A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you put sunscreen on first or last? Does the serum come before the spritz? What about the oil? Layering skin care in hot weather involves some strategy—the key is choosing textures that sink easily into skin—but the payoff is fresh, glowing, healthy-looking skin all season long.

Step 1:

Vitamin C

No matter your skin type, put vitamin C on first thing in the morning. It’s especially great in summer because it helps fight free radicals from UV rays and other environmental factors while brightening, clarifying, smoothing, and refining the texture of skin. This one maximizes potency with a two-part system that mixes 20% vitamin C powder with a hyaluronic acid serum.

  1. Skin-Brightening Magic


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

Step 2:

Spritz

Because they’re water-based, spritzes clear the way for treatment ingredients (those in the spritz itself and those in products that go on afterward) to go deeper into the skin. This one is made with super soothing botanicals like witch hazel and willow bark extract for softer, ultrahydrated, practically poreless skin.

  1. Rose-Infused Mist


    Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence

    Tata Harper
    Hydrating Floral Essence
    goop, $72

    SHOP NOW

Step 3:

Serum

With your skin damp from your spritz, a treatment serum sinks right in to address issues like breakouts, dull skin, and more. Each of these is targeted for specific benefits, and the results are powerful.

  1. To Calm and Smooth Fine Lines


    de Mamiel First Fix Serum

    de Mamiel
    First Fix Serum
    goop, $216

    SHOP NOW

  2. To Hydrate and Plump


    Mary Allan Skincare Pressed Flower Milky Hydrating Drops

    Mary Allan Skincare
    Pressed Flower Milk Hydrating Drops
    goop, $185

    SHOP NOW

  3. To Nourish and Even Skin Tone


    Beauty Thinkers Antioxidant Boost Facial Oil

    Beauty Thinkers
    Antioxidant Boost Facial Oil
    goop, $78

    SHOP NOW

Step 4:

Moisturize
(If You Need It)

Most skin types benefit from extra hydration even when it’s humid out; look for lighter textures to smooth, refresh, and plump your skin.

  1. The Face Oil with Clinical Results


    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil
    goop, $98/$89 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  2. Antioxidant Gel-Cream


    Alpyn Beauty Triple Vitamin-C Brightening Bounce Cream

    Alpyn Beauty
    Triple Vitamin-C Brightening Bounce Cream
    goop, $49

    SHOP NOW

  3. Light-as-Air Skin-Boost Moisturizer


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion
    goop, $58/$52 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  4. Melts-in-Instantly Balm


    Furtuna Skin Rinascita Delle Olive Replenishing Balm

    Furtuna Skin
    Rinascita Delle Olive Replenishing Balm
    goop, $185

    SHOP NOW

Step 5:

Mineral Sunscreen

Because mineral sunscreen sits on top of skin to create a physical barrier from the sun, make it your last step (by contrast, chemical sunscreens, which goop recommends against, go on first, as they need to sink into skin to work).

  1. Tinted to Blur Imperfections


    ILIA C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40

    ILIA
    C Beyond Triple Serum SPF 40
    goop, $64

    SHOP NOW

  2. Silky-Smooth


    MARA Algae + Zinc Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum

    MARA
    Algae + Zinc Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum
    goop, $52

    SHOP NOW

  3. Velvety Semimatte


    EleVen Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

    EleVen
    Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35
    goop, $50

    SHOP NOW

Before You Layer, Optimize Your Skin

No matter your skin type, cleansing and exfoliating make a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels and also in the way your treatment products perform.

    Every Day

  1. Gentle, Skin-Polishing Cleanser


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Cloudberry Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Cloudberry Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser
    goop, $28/$25 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  2. Retexturizing Toner for Baby-Soft Skin


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Flower Acids Resurfacing Toner

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Flower Acids
    Resurfacing Toner

    goop, $45/$40 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  3. Every Few Days

    Facial in a Jar


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  4. Once a Week

    Glowifying
    Exfoliating Treatment


    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid Overnight Glow Peel

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid Overnight Glow Peel
    goop, $125/$112 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

Bonus: Summer Layering, Body Edition

Oils and creams leave your limbs gleamy and sexy-looking, mineral sunscreen is great for body protection, and we love aloe vera gel to soothe and cool—especially when we’ve been at the beach all day (or just had a wax).

  1. The Ultimate Soothing Summer Gel


    Dr. Barbara Sturm Aloe Vera Gel

    Dr. Barbara Sturm
    Aloe Vera Gel
    goop, $70

    SHOP NOW

  2. Spritzable Body Oil That Smells Like a Garden


    Seed to Skin The Serenity Time Defying Dry Body Oil

    Seed to Skin
    The Serenity Time Defying Dry Body Oil
    goop, $162

    SHOP NOW

  3. Citrusy Butter for Firm, Healthy-Looking Skin


    goop Beauty GOOPGENES Nourishing Repair Body Butter

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES Nourishing Repair Body Butter
    goop, $58/$50 with subscription

    SHOP NOW

  4. Amazingly Silky SPF Lotion


    Unsun Hydrating Full Coverage Body Lotion SPF 30

    Unsun
    Hydrating Full Coverage Body Lotion SPF 30
    goop, $32

    SHOP NOW

Related Reading

3 Ways to Layer Skin Care with Sunscreen

The Best Face Masks for Summer



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