Tips For Staying Matte During the Summer (+ Bonus Hair & Body Tips)

Tips For Staying Matte During the Summer (+ Bonus Hair & Body Tips)

Ready or not, summer is here. (I’m never ready for it, but it always comes around anyway.)

I live in the South, and that means summers are hot, humid, and seemingly endless. As someone with curly hair, oily skin, and the ability to get a sunburn just from sitting in the car too long (seriously), summer … is a struggle, to say the least.

For most of my life, I would either carry a full face of makeup products along with me wherever I went because I would have to reapply halfway through the day, or I would just get so fed up that I wouldn’t bother with makeup at all. My skin was just too greasy and sweaty to keep makeup on, and I hadn’t discovered K-beauty yet, so basically, I was a hot mess.

But now, after several years of trial and error and a solid skin care routine, I can actually go through all but the stickiest days without having to do more than blot once or twice. (I’m still working on getting my curls under control, but hey. We all have our crosses to bear.)

After several years of trial and error and a solid skin care routine, I can actually go through all but the stickiest days without having to do more than blot once or twice.

If this sounds familiar, you’re in luck! Today I’m going to share a few of the tricks I’ve learned over the years that help me to stay matte (or at least, mostly matte) through summer.


Tip #1: Start With Hydrated Skin

I know that this might seem like the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve, but stay with me.

For most people with oily skin, the oil slick problem actually gets worse if you don’t keep up a regular routine of hydration. All skin needs moisture, and if yours doesn’t have enough, it will try to produce more oil to compensate.



Even if it initially makes you look really shiny before you do your makeup, start your AM routine with plenty of hydrating layers. I’ve found that the better hydrated my skin is, the less oil I have to deal with at the end of the day.

Pro tip: Toss a face mist into your bag! Air conditioning can suck all of the moisture out of your skin super fast, and that’s just asking for too much oil.


Tip #2: Switch to a Sun Milk

I don’t use the same SPF all year. When it’s cold or dry, I use a more moisturizing SPF like Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence or CosRX Soothing Aloe Sun Cream.

During the warmer months of summer though, I switch to a matte or satin-finish sunscreen, which is usually in the form of a sun milk. Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense and Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Sun Milk are two of my favorites.



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Using a more mattifying sunscreen adds an extra layer of defense against The Midday Shine, and I can reliably get three to four extra hours of blot-free bliss when I do this.

If you already have a matte primer, you might think that this won’t help, but try it! You can think of the sunscreen as a primer before your primer.


Tip #3: Powders Are Your Friend

Even if you like having a dewy look, I know you don’t like having a sweaty, BP-oil spill sheen.

Try setting your face with a finely milled powder and a damp beauty sponge. I personally love Coty Airspun translucent, but Ben Nye and Makeup Revolution also make great banana powders that do the trick as well.



A light hand is more than enough when you’re setting your face, and using a damp beauty sponge instead of a brush or the crappy puff that comes with the powder helps to get a seamless, not-cakey finish. You might look a bit more matte than you initially want, but everything will warm up and blend into a more natural finish pretty quickly.

In addition to setting your face in the morning, I highly recommend investing in a colorless powder like bareMinerals Mineral Veil, Innisfree No Sebum powder, or By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder. (The Innisfree No Sebum is my favorite budget powder, but I like that the bareMinerals powder has an SPF 25 option!)

I keep one of these in my bag at all times, and I do actually use the little cushion or puff that comes with them (it’s just easier!). I can blot a very small amount of powder over the shiny spots on my face (usually my forehead and nasolabial folds), and it gives my skin a much-needed refresh without caking on another layer of makeup.


Bonus Tips: Hair & Body

Some sweating and sheen are inevitable in the summer, but you don’t have to be an out-of-control mess, I promise!


matte during the summer


If you deal with body sweat or oily hair, you can also try these bonus tips:

– Spritz your roots with dry shampoo at night to absorb scalp oil more efficiently.

– Try dabbing a bit of antiperspirant along your hairline at night to block the sweat glands. This can also work for other areas of your body, but make sure that you buy something that won’t cause irritation or breakouts, and double cleanse it all off at the end of the day.

– Diaper rash cream is a dream product for handling moisture in unwanted places. Just be sure to get one that won’t leave chalky white streaks on your clothes!

And there you go! Hopefully you’ll find these tips on staying matte during the summer as life-changing as I did. If you have any more tips that I didn’t include, feel free to share them in the comments!



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