9 Summer Skincare Recs From Women Who Literally Glow
Photo by Edith Young

Are you ever scrolling through Instagram when someone’s gleaming, glowing skin stops your fingers dead in their tracks? This happens to me all the time, and it peaks in the summer. Shiny shoulders are my catnip. The thing is, I suck at summer skincare. Or body skincare in general. It’s rare that I even lotion up after a shower; my routine tends to stop around my clavicle.

In an effort to curate a summer skincare guide of sorts, I reached out to nine women on Instagram whose skin may or may not be featured on my private 10-year plan. First, I confessed my admiration and tried not to make it weird. Then, I asked them to tell me what their ultimate skincare product is during the summer. Below is what they told me.

Sable Yong, @sabletoothtigre

Her pick: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid (for face)

“It’s a chemical exfoliant, similar to a toner, but not exactly. I use it as one would use a toning step. It gives me that pore-less, shiny, dewy look and gets rid of all those pesky milia and teeny blackheads. BHA (a.k.a. salicylic acid) loosens dead skin from your pores so it doesn’t clog them, revealing all the new, plump skin cells underneath.

It’s one of those products that gives me instant gratification. It has an immediate effect. If I use it at night, I wake up with smooth, soft, glowing skin. I alternate between using it once and twice a day, depending on whether I’m using another kind of AHA at night.”

Felicia Walker Benson, @thisthatbeauty

Her pick: MAKE Face Gloss (for face and body)

“I’m the queen of the 10-step skincare routine, and my obsession with pristine skin drives my makeup aesthetic as well. I have a thing for makeup that gives the illusion of great skin: smooth, plump, dewy and with a little bit of natural sheen. That’s why I love MAKE Face Gloss. When strategically applied, the colorless gloss revives tired skin.

I apply it to my cheekbones as a natural highlighter. I love that it doesn’t add color or sparkle, it just enhances my natural skin tone. And it’s not just for face…I also love it for my collarbone, shoulders and down the front of my legs for added glow.”

Eva Alt, @evaalt

Her picks: La Roche-Posay AntheliosVita Liberata Gradual Self Tan Lotion (for body)

“1. Sunscreen and 2. Self-tanner! This pairing is key. I love how I look tan, but tanning is dangerous and I want to look young forever. Also, I’m extremely fair and burn in the sun. For sunscreen, I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios. It has a milky consistency that doesn’t feel chalky like most sunscreens. For self-tanner, I use Vita Liberata Gradual Self Tan Lotion. I apply it with a mitt (always use a mitt!) on my body. It’s the perfect tan shade for a pale lady: not too dark, never orange.”

Tina Leung, @tinaleung

Her pick: St. Tropez’s Gradual Tan Lotion (for body)

“I use this every few days all year long so that I have ‘summer skin’ all the time. Most tanners make me a little orange, but this is great for my skin tone. If I’m getting a little too tan or if I’m tanning a lot, I’ll just use it a little less and vice versa.”

Leandra Medine, @leandramcohen

Her pick: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Cream (for body)

“My skin is pretty dry, especially in the summer. I start to look like a reptile on the loose in airy silk shorts. This cream does a pretty good job at combating dryness but the real reason I’m a fan is a) it smells delicious (like a combo of rose petals and coconut, which is niche and specific and very particular) and b) I’ve convinced/deluded myself into believing that guarana tightens your skin. This is based on zero research or evidence. The jar is pretty enormous, so even though it’s $45, you can rest assured it will last you a long time. If you don’t want a big tub, you can get a smaller one, but half the fun is dipping your hand into what feels like a vat of pudding.”

Micaéla Verrelien, @micaelaverrelien

Her pick: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (for body)

“Cocoa butter is the best product I’ve found to combat dry skin. It works wonders; I’ve used it since I was a kid. Whenever I switch to other lotions, I find them to be far less moisturizing and end up coming back to this one. A lot of new products have so many chemicals in them, but Palmer’s is so simple — a lot of island women use it. I trust it. I don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to have a nice, natural glow. People ask me all the time what I use on my skin and why I always smell like a coconut.”

Nadia Josse, @nadiajosse

Her pick: Chanel Solution 10 Moisturizer (for face)

“In the summer I adapt my routine to lighter products just because of the heat. In the morning I have quite a long routine but at night I keep it simple with Chanel Solution 10 Moisturizer. It’s the simplest cream made with only 10 ingredients. I love it so much, and there’s no smell. I’ve made all my girlfriends try it and they love it. My boyfriend steals it, too!”

Jasmin Aujla, @jasminaujla

Her pick: Supergoop’s Defense Refresh Setting Mist (for face)

“I have combination skin than leans oily. In the summer, my T-zone can double as a mirror. I usually blot it with tissue, but then that also means my makeup and SPF come off. The Supergoop spray covers all my bases: it mattifies my face, goes on clear and is SPF 50. It also smells really good. I keep it in the fridge so when I spritz it on my face, it’s cold and refreshing.”

Fortune Dushey, @fortunedushey

Her pick: La Mer’s The Reparative Skin Tint (for face)

“It’s my go-to skincare product for summer. I have pretty good skin with the occasional breakout. As a woman in her (very) early 40s, I appreciate a product that provides nice sheer coverage for summer with an SPF of 30. The tint evens out my skin and adds a subtle bronze glow, and the scent is heavenly. I can’t resist a multi-purpose product that delivers. After trial and error, I’ve found the best way to apply it is to blend it in the palm of my hand with La Mer Moisturizer. On days that my skin is not cooperating, I’m more generous with the amount of tint.”

Get more Beauty ?
  • Andrea Raymer

    I’ve been using (and forcing everyone around me to try) that supergroup mist non-stop since Camp MR. It smells like a mojito and I am pale AF so I need all the sun protection I can get. I even bought some for my cousin as a graduation/you-are-moving-to-Arizona-and-its-hot-there present

    • Haley Nahman

      Same! It’s the first sunscreen I’m happy to put on

    • Stephanie

      How do you get it to spray so that it’s even and mist-y? Every time I try it it’s like half mist, half lime wedge squirting me in the face. But I love the idea of it and the smell.

  • Adrianna

    I’ve been using that La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen and it’s great. I had to learn to use less than other sunscreens though, because otherwise I just look shiny af.

  • Hayley

    The Paula’s Choice 2% BHA solution is a part of the Nordstrom sale (2 for $35!!), JUST SAYIN’

    • Nancy

      I’ve been using it, too, and I love it. I’d been using the Stridex in the red box for about 3 years (which I still think is a great product), but the Paula’s Choice one is the most hydrating BHA product I’ve used. I also like that I can just splash a little in my hands so I’m not wasting cotton pads.

    • Riley W


      • Mildredmmccaskill

        our buddy’s step-mother gets $60 an hour at home.. she has been fired from a job for 8 months but the previous month her check was $18188 just working on the laptop for a couple of hours each day. ➤check➤ this➤ page

    • pamb

      I just don’t get the Pixi/Paula’s choice love. Almost done with my 2 pack of Paula’s from last year’s sale, and I honestly don’t see a difference in my skin, or that of my teenagers’ (I’m old, and we share it). My son in particular has hit the hormone breakout years, and there is no glow-y vibe on his face.

  • Timea

    I thought this was going to be about the women of Fukushima

  • Sabletoothtigre

    Wait, I’ve been applying that Bum Bum cream on my bum this whole time…

  • Alessia

    OBSESSED with the bum bum cream. it smells so good.

  • S

    Not to be negative, but I’m really tired of seeing skincare articles/recommendations that’s just people who are young and probably with naturally good skin recommend expensive products.

    • Tea

      The old ones with crappy skin like me love B50 lotion for face and Keihls for body:)

    • belle

      Same. My skin “glows” but it’s because I’m mid 20s, very hydrated, and don’t naturally get dry skin. Like, duh.

      Does MR employ anyone over the age of 35? I constantly find myself drawn to “older” (and by older I mean anyone not born in the 90s….not actually old) women because they are so SMART. They have professional and personal experience, and can offer a lot of perspective and are generally awesome people to hang with.

      Basically, I want to see cool ladies on the internet because they have a lot to offer, and I have a babyface so I struggle to make older adult friends!!

      • Stephanie

        Belle, this made my day to hear because now that I’m in my 30s I feel so OLD or uncool sometimes, but also like I am the best age I have ever been (personally, professionally, creatively). I really like hanging out with myself, you know?

        My “summer glow” is just extreme natural paleness that I slather fierce amounts of spf over so I don’t hate/run from the sun. And Pixi Glow Tonic + Boots Botanics super serum age defense.

      • ihaveacooch

        i’ve posted a few comments asking for skincare posts to contain women with more “mature” skin (or even younger women with less than perfect skin already!). they did a post where Harling goes to get an expensive facial and i was just like…how are we supposed to know what exactly this treatment did when you had a 20-something with already beautiful, glowy, dewy, plump skin go get it done?

    • pamb

      I felt the same about the ‘menocore’ outfits. A 20 something will still look great in Eileen Fisher and J Jill, while my 50 something self would look like a cliche. It’s one of the downsides with reading a blog geared to women in their 20s, I suppose.

  • Meg S

    brb buying vita liberata, supergoop and bum cream. La Roche Posay is my sunscreen of choice. I’m currently using the anthelios ultra light sunscreen fluid. It might be time to try the kind shown above when I run out.

  • Amelia

    Eep! The Supergoop spray is good but it sprays on super uneven and weird and gives me little white dots all over my face every. single. time.

  • Erica

    The Supergoop setting mist is SO good! It smells amazing too – nice and light, not the typical smell associated with spray sunscreens. But also beware, because after I used it I looked in the mirror and my nostril hairs were all white… so definitely need to take care of that with a q-tip after spraying, otherwise you’ll just look silly!

  • I love Palmer’s, it’s amazing. I love catching a whiff of it when I move around, it’s just soo delicious smelling! Like Leandra, I get scaly in the winter and Palmer’s and Aveeno are the only things that permeate my skin.

    Nicolette | http://www.nicolette.co

  • I love the idea of the Chanel 10, but it is super expensive and I’m not sure the value will be there. I’ve had great luck with oil of olay’s complete lotion – it’s never let me down and I’ve used it since college. I’ve tried La Mer samples and they’re usually way too heavy/tend to clog my pores.

    Using an oil at night makes skin naturally glowy and a face mist in the morning like Herbivore’s. Also just drinking water and staying hydrated helps.

    I agree with the other ladies, it would be good to see some older ladies on here with skin that isn’t just young and already perfect.


  • Chamayne Rhodes

    Can’t speak to the ages of all featured but Felicia of This That Beauty is early 40’s.

  • Kritsida

    Great suggestions! Literally can’t wait to try some of these products out!
    x. kritsida

  • Natalie Redman

    That’s a few times now I’ve seen Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Cream. May have to try it out.


  • Olivia Stone

    summer really is harsh for the skin, even one of my aunts caught milanoma, it was not pretty, I did my best to protect my skin by using Solvaderm, now to add an extra layer , i would need a great sunscreen. I bet something oil free

  • Jessie Roselyn

    The 3 in 1 Purity facewash by Philosophy has seriously changed my life. Great for sensitive, dry skin! I has cleared up my face so much and toned it so well!