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A dermatologist shares the ultimate summer skin care routine

From an SPF scalp spray to a sunscreen mist that won't ruin makeup, these essentials have you covered.

With Memorial Day around the corner, we’ve got summer on the brain. Whether you plan on spending summer days at the beach, a local park or your own patio, chances are you'll be outside getting some well-deserved sunshine this season. (After a grey winter there's nothing better!) But if there's one thing that can get in the way of seasonal fun, it's summer skin concerns such as sunburns and dryness. Luckily for us, the sun care category has been getting some serious upgrades lately, so it's easier than ever to protect yourself from head to toe.

For our?Shop This List series, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry stopped by TODAY to help us upgrade our summer skin care routines with expert tips and product picks. From an SPF scalp and hair mist that was made to protect your part (goodbye, flaky scalp sunburns!) to an AHA foot cream that will keep your heels sandal-ready, these products put a fresh twist on summer classics. Plus, Henry shared a skin care tool that will depuff and cool your face, a sunscreen setting spray you can reapply over makeup and more.

Shopping along is easy: These affordable picks are all available at Target. And if you’re interested in picking up the entire routine, you can add them all to your cart with one click.

More summer skin care and protective gear | Summer skin care tips | How we chose | Meet the expert

TODAY earns a commission on purchases through these links.

1 of 17

Suntouchable Invisible Sunscreen (SPF 35)

$14.00

2 of 17

Suntouchable All Set For Sun Sunscreen (SPF 45)

$14.00

3 of 17

Scalp and Hair Mist (SPF 30)

$27.49

4 of 17

Total Package Replenishing Body Lotion (SPF 30)

$19.99

5 of 17

Foot Repair Foot Cream Therapy AHA Cream

$9.99

6 of 17

Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream

$7.69

7 of 17

Jade Cooling and Vibrating Facial Roller Kit (6 Piece)

$49.99

8 of 17

Moisturizing Lip Balm (SPF 12, Set of 3)

$4.39

9 of 17

Every Tone Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 50)

$11.39

10 of 17

Paper Braid Wide Brim Floppy Hat with Fringe Details

$10.00

11 of 17

Hydrating Gradual Tan Lotion

$15.89

12 of 17

Facial Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin (SPF 30)

$15.29

13 of 17

Illuminance Triple Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Serum (SPF 15)

$15.29

14 of 17

Clear Aloe Vera Gel

$5.59

$6.69

15 of 17

Tortoise Print Rubberized Plastic Cateye Polarized Sunglasses

$20.00

16 of 17

Patio Beach Umbrella

$40.99

$79.98

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Geo Print Long Sleeve Quarter Zip Rash Guard (UPF 50)

$45.00

E.l.f. Skin Suntouchable Invisible Sunscreen (SPF 35)

If you're newly incorporating SPF into your beauty routine, this "invisible" sunscreen from E.l.f.'s Suntouchable line is the perfect place to start. According to the brand, the non-greasy gel formula works double duty as a face primer and sunscreen, simultaneously smoothing your complexion while gripping your makeup for all-day wear. And if you're planning to wear it solo for beach or pool fun, it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, per the brand.

E.l.f. Skin Suntouchable All Set For Sun Sunscreen (SPF 45)

After your skin is primed and you've applied your makeup, it's time for setting spray. This new one — also from E.l.f.'s Suntouchable range — will lock in your look while giving your skin a final hit of SPF. The best part? You can keep it in your bag and reapply throughout the day without disrupting the rest of your makeup. Plus, it's a clear, quick-dry mist, making it suitable for all skin tones, according to the brand.

Sun Bum Scalp and Hair Mist (SPF 30)

Given that our scalps receive direct sun exposure, they're highly susceptible to UV damage. Henry notes, however, that we often overlook them in our sun protection routines. She recommends this mist by Sun Bum to help shield the scalp, preventing sunburns that aren't just painful, but harmful in the long run.?The spray format is convenient for quick reapplication and is formulated to support all hair types, including color-treated hair. Henry adds that the mist, which contains vitamin E, also helps maintain hair hydration and combat drying effects from the sun, chlorine and salt water.

Versed Total Package Replenishing Body Lotion (SPF 30)

Versed has become a staple skin care brand for several Shop TODAY writers and editors. Henry likes that the brand's body lotion offers SPF 30 protection, which ensures that the skin on your body is protected just as much as your face. And unlike typical sunscreens that can be drying, this lotion is formulated to moisturize and nourish the skin, providing essential hydration after sun exposure.?Designed to be lightweight and non-greasy, it's comfortable for daily wear. Plus, it absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any white residue or stickiness, which Henry notes is a common complaint with traditional sunscreens.

AmLactin Foot Repair Foot Cream Therapy AHA Cream

Editor’s Note: This pick is out of stock, but we found a similar item you might like below.

If your feet need some TLC before sandal season hits, Henry has you covered with this pick. The AHA-formulated foot cream is only $10, yet excels at exfoliating dead skin cells — crucial for repairing dry, cracked heels, especially in the summer when feet are often on display. Henry notes that?AmLactin’s formula is designed to produce quick results, which is ideal for last-minute occasions and beach outings.?This unscented cream is easy to apply, absorbs quickly and does not leave a greasy residue, making it convenient for both day and night use. Plus, its benefits extend beyond the season, helping to maintain soft, healthy feet year-round.

Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream

Designed to soften rough, dry and even calloused feet, this foot cream by Gold Bond uses shea butter, coconut oil and cocoa butter to help condition and soften feet with nourishing hydration.

Skn by Conair Jade Cooling and Vibrating Facial Roller Kit (6 Piece)

If you're on the skin tool bandwagon (or considering joining), this kit is for you. It includes both a small and large gua sha, a silver ball roller and a cooling jade facial roller, offering multiple ways to enhance your skin care routine. Henry explains that the jade roller naturally retains coolness to reduce puffiness and calm inflammation, and the vibrating function stimulates blood circulation in the face, promoting a healthier complexion by increasing oxygen supply to the skin.?The kit can also be used to enhance the effectiveness of your skin care products; Henry recommends using the roller after applying serums or creams to improve the penetration of ingredients. Plus, she says that using facial tools can be a relaxing and meditative experience, which can benefit mental health.


More summer skin care and protective gear

Chapstick Moisturizing Lip Balm (SPF 12, Set of 3)

Chapstick is a classic for a reason: It just really works. But this spin on the long-loved favorite takes things up a notch by adding SPF 12. To keep the whole family's lips protected from damaging UV rays this summer season, pick up this set of three for less than $5!

Coppertone Every Tone Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 50)

A high SPF sunscreen is a beach bag staple and this new Coppertone option works effectively without leaving any white residue. Plus, it doesn't just protect your skin from UV rays — it's formulated with vitamin E, which keeps your skin super moisturized, per the brand. You won't regret picking up a bottle.

Shade and Shore Paper Braid Wide Brim Floppy Hat with Fringe Details

Henry recommends seeking shade if you're spending time in the sun, so try bringing the shade with you by getting your hands on a wide-brimmed hat! This one by Shade and Shore will help keep you covered for just $10.

Tanologist Hydrating Gradual Tan Lotion

Want to save your skin while still getting a summer glow? A self-tanning product is the way to go. Tanologist is a new brand to watch; as one reviewer said about this buildable tanning lotion, "Best self tanner EVER!!!"

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin (SPF 30)

CeraVe is a dermatologist-favorite brand and this face moisturizer, which offers SPF 30 and is designed for morning use, is no exception to the rule. It's oil-free, yet packed with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides, all of which aid in restoring the skin’s barrier. And despite having a high SPF, it's non-greasy and non-comedogenic.

Revlon Illuminance Triple Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Serum (SPF 15)

While layering a sunscreen under your base makeup (or opting to forgo makeup altogether) is ideal for lots of summer days, sometimes an all-in-one product is the simplifying go-to you need. Available in 16 shades and packing in SPF 15, this Revlon tinted serum will give you light coverage to enhance and even out your complexion without compromising sun protection.

Up & Up Clear Aloe Vera Gel

Last but certainly not least in any sun care routine is an after sun product. This aloe vera gel by Up & Up is designed to sooth the skin by providing cooling relief, easing the discomfort caused by a sun burn. Made from 96% pure aloe and no alcohol, this aloe vera gel returns moisture to the skin while it works to soothe. Plus, it's clear and fragrance free.

All in Motion Tortoise Print Rubberized Plastic Cateye Polarized Sunglasses

Not only are these All in Motion shades cute, but they're also polarized and offer UV protection, per the brand. Target has several options to choose from and you can shop men's sunglasses from All in Motion, too.

Costway Patio Beach Umbrella

Not only will a beach umbrella help to keep you cool, but it also provides shade, which is one version of sun protection. This one has UPF 50+ fabric and a tilt mechanism for easy adjustments as the sun moves throughout the day.

Lands’ End Geo Print Long Sleeve Quarter Zip Rash Guard (UPF 50)

While extra layers can get hot, wearing lightweight UPF clothing is a great way to protect your skin. This sporty rash guard can be worn solo or layered over your favorite swim suit.

Summer skin care tips

With May being Skin Cancer Awareness month, Henry shared additional tips and tricks for minimizing risk (and protecting against premature aging) while spending more time outdoors.

  • Use sunscreen (properly):?Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is Henry's first tip. She recommends aiming for an SPF of 30 or higher and applying it to all exposed skin, even on cloudy days. If you're outside all day, reapply every two hours (or more frequently if you're swimming or sweating).
  • Wear protective clothing:?Henry suggests opting for long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats to cover as much skin as possible. Clothing made from sun-protective fabrics with a UV protection factor (UPF) rating can offer even more sun safety.
  • Seek shade:?Peak sun intensity hours are between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so Henry recommends seeking shade during that time. Umbrellas, trees and other shelters are all great options if you're outside.
  • Wear sunglasses: To protect your eyes and the surrounding skin, wear sunglasses with 100% UV absorption. Per Henry, this will not only prevent wrinkles around the eye area, but also help to prevent ocular melanoma and cataracts.
  • Perform regular skin checks: If you have moles, freckles or blemishes, Henry recommends familiarizing yourself with your spots. Regular self-examinations can help you notice new growths or changes to existing moles, which she says should be examined by a dermatologist.
  • Steer clear of tanning beds: Time spent in tanning beds can increase your risk of skin cancer, as the lights in the beds emit UV radiation. To get a tan without the harmful UV effects, opt for safer alternatives such as self-tanning lotions.
  • Use caution near water, snow and sand: These bright surfaces reflect and intensify damaging sun rays, which can increase your risk of sunburn and skin cancer.
  • Educate children early: If you have little ones at home, teaching them about sun safety will help them to adopt good sun habits from a young age. Henry says you can start simple by reminding them to wear sunscreen and seek shade.
  • Take extra caution if you're high risk: If you have fair skin, are prone to moles, have a family history of skin cancer or have had skin cancer before, Henry recommends taking additional precautions, as well as regularly consulting a dermatologist.

How we chose

The Shop TODAY editors and writers search the internet to find the best products out there. We interview expert sources, comb through customer reviews and even use our own personal experiences to make shopping easier for our readers.

For sponsored content, the Shop TODAY editorial team independently chooses, tries and reviews products to recommend that are sold by the advertiser. The advertiser does not review or approve the content.?Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Meet the expert

Dr. Michelle Henry, MD,?is a board-certified dermatologist and and dermatologic surgeon. She is the CEO and founder of?Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan, as well as a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Previously, she was a Procedural Dermatology Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Henry’s areas of expertise include general dermatology, Mohs micrographic surgery and cosmetic surgery.


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