This TikTok-Approved Doctor Reveals How To Maintain Flawless Skin All Summer Long
Board-Certified doctor and TikToker favorite, Dr. Kay Durairaj, shares her sought-after advice for ageless skin and which products and treatments to avoid using during the summer.
No matter how much you’ve perfected your beauty routine, summer often has a way of throwing you for a loop. What’s the best way to keep your skin radiant, protected and free of breakouts this season? We asked Dr. Kay Durairaj, the go-to doctor and skin expert for celebrities and TikTokers to share her tips with us. Not only is she a board-certified facial cosmetic surgeon who also runs a popular Instagram page and beauty podcast, she also has her own skincare line. Needless to say, she knows a thing or two about luminous skin. Here, her coveted tips for a glowing complexion.
What factors affect our skin during the summer?
Along with the heat, which puts pressure on the skin, comes more sweat during the summer. Dirt and dust can clog the pores, trapping in perspiration. This can result in itchy rashes, blisters or mini-bumps. Summer heat also tends to lead to more oil and speedier skin cell production. When dead skin cells mix with excess oil and sweat, it’s hello, acne breakouts. Additionally, it is important to factor in the possibility of sunburns due to an increase in UV ray exposure, as well as heat rashes, which can take a toll on your skin during.
Which product (s) are essential during the summer?
The key to flawless skin, not only during the summer but all year round, is wearing sunblock. Even on cloudy days, 80% of the sun’s rays can reach your skin, putting you at risk for wrinkles and brown spots. The biggest mistake people tend to make is not wearing sunscreen and forgetting to reapply. Just as wearing a face mask has become a vital ritual for many of us, applying sunscreen should also be a must. In my opinion, mineral sunscreens like the KD Perfecting Sunshield or the KD Clear Sheer Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50, green tea polyphenols, antioxidants, and ceramides, offer physician strength protection that a lot of chemical sunscreens cannot.
When searching for a mineral sunscreen, seek out formulas with active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These powerhouse minerals are highly effective at reflecting light. Plus, they minimize the appearance of oily skin as an added benefit. By blocking UV rays and allowing them to bounce off the skin, they also potentially protect against ionizing radiation. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, can often be detected in blood levels depending on the compound contained. Mineral sunscreens are better suited to those with melasma or skin pigmentation challenges. The best practice is to apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside to allow it to take full effect, and reapply it every two hours.
Beautytap Advisors (aestheticians, facialists, makeup artists, and beauty professionals) recommend this sunscreen for the summer, Earth Recipe Waterful Sun Gel.
What’s the best way to deal with summer breakouts?
Summer breakouts are mainly due to an increase in heat and humidity, which intensifies the skin’s oil production, and often leads to pores becoming clogged with dirt. To prevent this, I recommend exfoliating regularly. Incorporating a gentle exfoliating cleanser or treatment into your skincare routine will help prevent dead skin cells from accumulating and further clogging pores.
But remember not to overdo it. My patients also often experience breakouts due to over-exfoliation and dead cells building up when their skin’s moisture barrier has been stripped. This, in turn, causes the skin to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. Believe it or not, even those with oily or acne-prone skin can benefit from hydrating serums. No matter your age, hyaluronic acid is your skin’s best friend in the fight against aging.
Beautytap Advisors (aestheticians, facialists, makeup artists, and beauty professionals) recommend this fresh green tea exfoliator, Neogen Green Tea Bio Peel.
What are your suggestions for deeper skin tones?
My patients with darker skin tones have really taken to my brightening pads in the summer months. Brightening pads help even skin tone and get rid of dark sports – which are perfect for those with hyper-pigmentation. Especially for those with melasma, it is important to use brightening pads to help reduce and prevent dark spots and prevent them from being permanently tattooed onto your skin. Besides brightening pads, I have also seen a rise in popularity with my Vitamin C Serum, which also helps to brighten the skin and improve skin texture for a more even complexion.
Beautytap Advisors (aestheticians, facialists, makeup artists, and beauty professionals) recommend this popular vitamin C serum for brightening your summer look, Sandawha Vitamin C Brightening Serum.
What are your tips for those with sensitive skin?
For dry and sensitive skin, I recommend a water-based gel moisturizer, as it is incredibly important to hydrate the skin even during the hotter months. I specifically recommend my Deep Blue Hydration serum, one of my bestsellers. The serum hydrates the skin without making the skin oily. Further, getting a facial once a month during the summer can be extremely beneficial to clean out the pores, especially after all of the excessive heat and sweat. Again, SPF every day is a MUST!
Beautytap Advisors (aestheticians, facialists, makeup artists, and beauty professionals) recommend this popular water based moisturizer, Whamisa Water Cream.
Should we be making any changes to our skincare routines when the mercury rises?
A rise in mercury obviously means an increase in sweat, which leads to more dirt that clogs the pores. Therefore, it is important to clean your skin regularly – at least once a day. Exfoliation is beneficial too. Everyone should be exfoliating at least once a week – but no more than 2 times a week, as over-exfoliating can also lead to an increase in oil production. Using a glycolic wash to prevent breakouts and smooth the texture of the skin is also helpful this time of year. My KD Glycolic Acid Cleanser specifically helps to gently exfoliate and cleanse while also calming the skin with antioxidants and green tea.
As far as switching products, use water-based moisturizers or products with green tea in the summer months in order to ensure that your skin is still locking in moisture without getting too oily. Products with green tea also help to lessen the appearance of redness from rosacea.
Beautytap Advisors (aestheticians, facialists, makeup artists, and beauty professionals) recommend this green tea set, Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Skin.
Are there any treatments, ingredients or products we should be easing up on or even skipping altogether during the summer?
I receive a lot of questions and comments from patients about doing peels and being more sensitive to the sun after a peel during these warmer months. I recommend straying away from peels during this time, because UV rays are stronger, and being exposed to summer UV rays after a peel can lead to brown spots. Instead, opt out of the peels and get facials once a month during the summer. I also suggest avoiding Retin-A products, especially if you are planning to be in the sun extensively, as it can potentially lead to scarring.