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

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

Step 2:


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

Step 3:


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

  2. To Hydrate and Plump

    Mary Allan Skincare Pressed Flower Milky Hydrating Drops

  3. To Nourish and Even Skin Tone

    Beauty Thinkers Antioxidant Boost Facial Oil

Step 4:

(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

  2. Antioxidant Gel-Cream

    Alpyn Beauty Triple Vitamin-C Brightening Bounce Cream

  3. Light-as-Air Skin-Boost Moisturizer

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Glow Lotion

  4. Melts-in-Instantly Balm

    Furtuna Skin Rinascita Delle Olive Replenishing Balm

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

  2. Silky-Smooth

    MARA Algae + Zinc Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum

  3. Velvety Semimatte

    EleVen Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

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

  2. Retexturizing Toner for Baby-Soft Skin

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Flower Acids Resurfacing Toner

  3. Every Few Days

    Facial in a Jar

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

  4. Once a Week

    Exfoliating Treatment

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 15% Glycolic Acid Overnight Glow Peel

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

  2. Spritzable Body Oil That Smells Like a Garden

    Seed to Skin The Serenity Time Defying Dry Body Oil

  3. Citrusy Butter for Firm, Healthy-Looking Skin

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES Nourishing Repair Body Butter

  4. Amazingly Silky SPF Lotion

    Unsun Hydrating Full Coverage Body Lotion SPF 30

Related Reading

3 Ways to Layer Skin Care with Sunscreen

The Best Face Masks for Summer

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