Monday, 26 January 2015 13:32

What’s your recipe for the perfect summer skin routine?

Written by   Ahmed Abdullah, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.I.C.S.

You might notice that clients are increasingly savvy about how to properly manage their skin at home. With the availability of skin care lines and anti-aging formulations in a range of price points, most of the women (and many men) I encounter have put together a skin care routine that generally meets their needs; that is, at least, until the seasons change. As skin responds to fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels in summer and winter, clients often fail to recognize that the skin care regimen that works so well during the moderate days of spring and fall may require some tweaking. Instead, they continue implementing the same routine, day after day, year after year, with varying levels of satisfaction.

While summer seems quite far away, late winter is actually an appropriate time to begin talking with clients about the skin care challenges they may encounter as the temperature begins to warm. What follows are several best practices that ensure skin looks and feels its best until the leaves begin to fall:

  • The rise in heat and humidity signals the sebaceous glands to increase production of sebum, which mixes with dead skin cells to clog hair follicles. This can lead to breakouts. I recommend clients switch to an acne cleanser that contains salicylic acid during warm weather months – whether or not they have a history of acne. For those with sensitive skin, acne cleanser should only be used once a day.
  • Moisturizers with heavy emollients work wonders on dry, dehydrated skin. During the summer, however, they can also cause pores to clog while causing discomfort. Those with normal to oily skin types should utilize a serum or lighter-weight moisturizer instead.
  • Generally, I do not advocate the use of toners, simply because their abilities have been over-sold to consumers. However, in the summer when skin is at its oiliest, they can certainly make a difference. I recommend that clients use a gentle, alcohol-free toner throughout the day to balance the skin’s pH, reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, help control oil, and simply refresh the skin.

Of course, sunscreen is key when venturing outdoors to ensure skin is kept free of sun spots and other signs of damage. However, there is another tool that should be in clients’ skin care arsenal. When applied regularly, antioxidant serums have been proven to prevent free-radical damage to some extent.
Regardless of the time of year, skin requires just four simple steps – cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, and protect. By ensuring each of these are incorporated into clients’ routines and they use products that are properly formulated for the climate, they will experience beautiful year-round skin.


Dr. Ahmed Abdullah, a board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon, is CEO and co-founder of Lexli International, Inc. A recognized expert on the restorative and medicinal effects of aloe vera, he has authored several published studies, including “Effects of Aloe Vera on Gap Junctional Intracellular Communication and Proliferation of Human Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Skin Fibroblasts”(2003). He is a member of the International Aloe Science Council (IASC) and has served on its board of directors. Abdullah is also a clinical associate professor in plastic surgery at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine. He owns and practices at Plastic Surgery Institute PC and the Lexli Skin Care Center.

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