Skincare Decoded

Two Skincare Chemists Weigh In On Getting Your Summer Skincare Routine Ready

Summer is the time for natural beachy waves and glowing, gorgeous skin, but to get that glowing skin you need to have the right summer skincare routine.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, summer skincare routine? My skincare routine is the same year round!

And while some of your skincare products might be great for year round use, there are a number of products that can possibly help your skin more in the summer, and there may even be some that are preventing you from achieving that gorgeous natural summertime skin.

Just like we change our wardrobes with the season, we should also be intentional about changing our skincare routines as well.

When it comes to curating that perfect summer skincare routine, we wanted to get the input of some experts in the field. Because who better to give advice on skincare than some skincare chemists!

Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu are two skincare chemists who make understanding skincare products and ingredients easy, because let’s face it, we’ve all looked at the ingredients in a skincare product before and wondered what exactly it is that we’re reading.

After several years of formulating skincare products for a major beauty conglomerate, Victoria and Gloria became frustrated by the confusing product names and lackluster ingredient lists. Therefore, they decided to branch out on their own to make a difference in the skincare industry.

They recently launched their debut book called Skincare Decoded, which is all about making skincare science approachable and transparent, so you can feel confident in making better product choices when it comes to your skin. Additionally, they have their own line of skincare line, Chemist Confessions Inc., that features products specially formulated based off the knowledge they’ve gained over the years while working in the industry.

Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu

In the summertime, our skin is exposed to the sun a lot more than in the winter months when we’re spending more time indoors. Because of this, certain skincare ingredients are better than others when it comes to not just making our skin look great, but protecting it as well. Both Victoria and Gloria agree, “With summer, you’re out and about in the sun more, so high levels of aggressive actives like retinol and glycolic acid are slightly riskier during this time of year. Summer is all about more damage control rather than active correction,” they say. “We love our vitamin C serums (ascorbic acid form is the gold standard) to quench free radicals and keep skin glowing. High levels of hydrating & soothing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, centella, panthenol can help prevent any damage caused by being exposed to the elements for too long. We also recommend a gentle physical exfoliant such as a gommage or your good ‘ol konjac sponge rather than glycolic acid for the summer.”

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to picking out products for your summer skincare routine, Victoria and Gloria have some recommendations.

When it comes to dry skin, Gloria says a highly concentrated hydrating soother is an absolute must. “For our jobs, we are constantly testing a gazillion products and different new active ingredients. Aquafix has been my staple through all of it,” she says.

As far as oily skin goes, Victoria stresses that finding a sunscreen that oily skin types can be happy reapplying can be hard. “I’m one that prefers a fresh gel cream texture over those silicone textures and incredibly dry fluids. Plus I’ve really struggled with mineral formulas. So far my favorites have been Biore Aqua Rich SPF 50, Murad City Skin SPF 50, and the La Roche Posay Anthelios AOX SPF 50,” she says.

When it comes to their own personal summer skincare routines, Victoria and Gloria have different types of skin, so their routines are a bit different.

“I have fairly dry skin, so my routine is all about going lighter in texture but still making sure my skin is properly hydrated,” says Gloria. “I start the day with our Aquafix followed by a vitamin C serum (currently Timeless skincare. I rotate and test lightweight moisturizers and finish off my day routine with a sunscreen (I’m partial to light-textured Japanese sunscreens). On days when I’m a bit dryer than usual, I would dab on Balm Voyage. It’s too gross during summer to apply all over, but definitely a spot-treating life saver!”

Victoria finds herself sticking to the basics in the summertime. “I’m quite the minimalist (aka lazy) with oily, acne prone skin. In the morning I’ll use a simple gel cleanser, vitamin C (currently using Beautystat’s Vitamin C silicone emulsion) and sunscreen,” Victoria says. “At night I use a silicone bristled pad with my cleanser for a deeper cleanse, our Specialist Exfoliant, and again finish with our Mr. Reliable Moisturizer. For bad breakout periods, I’ll throw in an adapalene four times a week.”

All in all, at the end of the day, Victoria and Gloria say that if there is any advice they can give you for taking care of your skin in the summertime, it would be that summer isn’t the best time to risk over exfoliating or bumping up your retinol concentration. “Opt for gentler chemical exfoliants such as lactic acid, gluconolactone combined with a gentle physical exfoliant. Also, it’s definitely ok to change up your moisturizer needs during the summer to keep things light and breezy,” they say.

These are all things to keep in mind while putting together your summer skincare routine. It’s important to remember that protected skin, is happy skin and happy skin, is glowing, gorgeous skin!

To learn more about Victoria and Gloria, check them out on their Instagram page where they share all kinds of skincare knowledge and drop clips from their podcast!


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