Unless you happen to live in Antarctica, the Bahamas, or some other place with an anomalously constant climate, it’s nearly impossible to weatherproof your grooming regimen. During winter, the biting cold, harsh winds, and lack of humidity strip your skin of needed moisture, causing dry, rough, chapped skin. But things change when the temperatures start climbing; your sweat and oil quotients go way up leading to a whole new set of problems—namely, the threat of acne and other unseemly skin afflictions (dermatitis and folliculitis, to take just two creepily named examples). The gist? It’s time to shift course when it comes to your spring skincare routine. Here’s how.
1) Acne-proof your face.
In cold weather, you want a gentle facial cleanser that will scrub away dirt and grime without overdrying; but during spring and summer, the levels of sweat and oil pumped out by your skin increase exponentially. Add a dose of bacteria and your face becomes a ground zero for zits and blackheads—which means you need to work an acne-fighting facial cleanser into your rotation. The one requirement: that it contains salicylic acid, a tried-and-true exfoliant that’ll keep the oil in check and, by extension, your pores clear.
One we like: Anthony Logistics Acne Cleanser ($22, anthony.com)
2) Swap out the lotion for sunscreen.
During the warmer months, most guys don’t need a separate moisturizer—the season’s natural humidity will keep your skin from drying out. Opt for a sunscreen instead, and avoid thick creams and stick to lighter formulations like lotions or liquid—you don’t want your face feeling like an oil slick. Get one with an SPF of at least 15, depending on your skin type (most doctors recommend 45 as a baseline), and reapply it every 2-4 hours for maximum protection against sunburn, blotching, premature aging, and all the other well-documented risks of UV exposure.
One we like: La Roche Posay Anthelios 45 Ultra Light Fluid for Face ($33.50, laroche-posay.us)
3) Give the beard a trim.
It may have gotten you through fall and winter, but during the spring and summer your hair grows faster and (we’ll say it one last time) you’re excreting a lot more oil and sweat. Trimming back the hedges makes washing away oil and exfoliating easier—and can decrease the risk of acne breakouts, “face dandruff,” and the whisker odor that results from trapped sweat.
4) Find a summer scent.
If seasons had a fragrance, winter’s would be rich, spicy, and woody, reminiscent of a hot toddy by the fireplace. That image doesn’t exactly scream “spring,” so look to nature for inspiration: Pick a fragrance that balances notes of grass, citrus, and flowers, with classic masculine notes of musk. It’ll keep you smelling clean, even when the summer heat leaves you feeling less-than-fresh.
Nick Burns is co-author of The Bearded Gentleman: The Style Guide to Shaving Face (Arsenal Pulp Press) and founder of Hommegrooming.com.