How to Rehab Summer Skin

Have you ever had a doctor you just click with? I have, and I hold on to them for as long as I can. Dermatologist Barney Kenet is one of my longtime doctors. My mom’s friend recommended him to me when I was in college, and I liked him right away. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy who doesn’t try to sell me on Botox or the newest skin treatments. I appreciate that he’s straightforward and tells me the truth—even if it’s not what I want to hear. He’s also got great advice to help rehab summer skin.

One thing I struggle with is transitioning my combination skin from the warm summer months, when it’s dewy and radiant, to the winter. It always seems to feel dry and scratchy no matter what I do. I asked Dr. Kenet for advice on how to care for skin post-summer and prep it for the cooler weather. Here are his tips.

What are the best ways to care for your skin after a sun-soaked summer?

The top layer of your skin gets thickened from sun exposure, especially on your face. Also you may have blocked pores from sunblock use. Treatment methods vary, but you may need a facial with extractions, or you may want a prescription from your dermatologist for Retin-A.

A lot of people are bothered by melasma, the darkening of skin on the forehead, cheeks and upper lips, which is hormone related. It’s most commonly seen in women using oral contraceptives or after childbirth. You can treat that with alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic, lactic or citrus (AHAs), or sun protection and Retin-A.

If you had a sunburn or find new freckles or sun spots after the summer, is there a good way to treat those?

If you have a sunburn and therefore have sun spots, see your dermatologist for a laser treatment, like Fraxel or diode laser treatment, or an in-office glycolic peel. You can also use home treatments that contain AHAs and Retinol.

Should you exfoliate more or less during this seasonal transition?

You should exfoliate more at the end of the summer, but as fall approaches, take it easier because the weather is drier. But don’t forget to use sunblock on fall days, too.

Should you increase how much moisturizer you use, since the air is getting drier?

Yes. And remember, moisturizing damp skin is substantially better than moisturizing dry skin.

Does that apply for women with oily skin too?

Women with oily skin don’t need much moisturizer and should use water-based, non-comedogenic products. And make sure to pick a cleanser for oily skin, like Cetaphil Pro Derma Control for acne-prone skin or KenetMD Power Wash.

What product changes should you make as the weather gets colder?

Go from a light moisturizer to a more emollient choice, such as a cream instead of a lotion. And definitely take shorter, cooler showers. Hot water is very drying.

Any other tricks worth trying?

Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air as the weather gets colder. And pay attention to your lips, as they tend to crack and peel in drier weather. An emollient lip balm works great, or a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher.

Previous Post
September 7, 2019
Next Post
September 7, 2019


  • Jam

    I was distracted from the main topic of the post bc of those pics of you,Gen! 😂😂😂 looking amazingly gorgeous

  • Daniella murphy

    You look amazing gen which I had your strength x

  • Kat

    Thank you for this! I always struggle with extremely dry skin, especially in winter so with the help of these tips i’m gonna try and take better care of that! Also looking absolutely gorgeous as always <3

  • Erika

    Um, I have to say I’m not a sun person at all. When I am out, I wear a hat and carry an umbrella. Thanks for the info Gen. But I must say, you look damn good. You should go into fashion modeling.


    Hi Gen,
    Wonderful variety of topics! I always wonder what you will post next. You might want to check out Lather.com for some awesome, earth conscious products too. Great items to give you an at home spa experience and they smell incredible. I discovered them while traveling, they were featured in my hotel room. Plus they would be a great idea for you if you decide to become one of their affiliates 🙂 I’m looking in to it as well. https://www.lather.com/pages/affiliates . Have a wonderful weekend!! Thank you as always!!

  • thalia

    Hi Gen,
    Great read. I’ve been using alpha hydroxy’s at night for a number of years now in place of exfoliating as I find it a little harsh on the skin.
    My skin has always been balanced and smooth thanks to Neo Strata products.
    Now that I am in my early 50’s I am finding it challenging to find the perfect balance for my skin as it is changing due to pre-menopause.
    Any advice that you or someone else can share would be appreciated

  • Larissa Lima

    “moisturizing damp skin is substantially better than moisturizing dry skin.”
    I learned a new thing 🙂

  • Ti Marie

    I am now moving out of winter and into Spring (bless Aus for being opposite) and i find sleeping masks were my absolute saviour! thank you for the awesome tips, and those photos were amazing!

  • Blanca Miranda

    Very informative and prevalent! Thank you Gen.

  • Pam

    As a melanoma patient and eczema suffer, skin posts always get my attention. My advice – use natural mineral sunscreens like Blue Lizard or UltaMD ( you can get this one from a dermatologist or online). There are also more and more brands with mineral based sunscreens.

    Check your skin monthly. Any moles or freckles that look strange or have changed, get them check soon. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and is on the rise. Watch for odd, scaly patches of skin or new red splotches that don’t seem to go away. Although Basal Cell and Squamous Cell carcinomas are not usually terminal, if left untreated they can spread and metastasize. See a dermatologist at least once a year (here in the states most insurance companies will pay for a well check with your dermatologist once a year with no co-pay).

    While vacationing, remember to reapply subscreen often and check the UV index for your location, the sun is more intense in other parts of the world (Caribbean, Mexico, Australia, etc). I carry a UV detecting key ring due to my cancer which tells me the intensity of UV rays. I don’t necessarily think that’s something everyone needs, but I have to be extra careful.

    Lush Cosmetics makes some amazing natural moisturizers for any type and age of skin. They carry one they made for Lady Di.

    “Snow” burns can be worse than sunburns because you don’t notice in the cold.

    Skin cancer does not discriminate, even if you have naturally darker skin or tan very easily. In fact Melanoma has a higher death rate for darker skinned people because the cancer tends to go unnoticed until it’s too late.

    Sorry for the hijack, stay safe in the sun.

Leave a Reply