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Do I Need a New Foundation Shade in the Summer?

IT Cosmetics lineup of summer foundations

Switching up your skincare routine for summer is a given, but do you really need a summer foundation that’s different from what you use the rest of the year? We argue that the answer is yes! The reality is that you’ll probably be way more comfortable wearing a lighter formula during the summer. It will feel better to wear in hot temps and high humidity. You also may need to re-think your foundation shade if you’ve gotten a little bronzier.

Keep scrolling to learn how to choose a foundation for summer that perfectly matches your complexion, won’t weigh you down, and keeps you happy and glowing all season long. (Psst. Make sure to check out our “Foundation Finder” tool for extra guidance.)

Can Your Foundation Shade Change in the Summer?

Yes. Not only do we tend to spend more time outside during the summer, but the hours of the day are also much longer. All this extra time in the sun can cause your skin to become darker, which may require you to pick up a deeper shade of summer foundation.

Wearing an SPF 30 sunscreen every day can help reduce sun exposure and tanning. Better yet, it will protect you from skin cancer and help prevent signs of premature aging. However, even with daily sunscreen use, you may still find yourself a bit bronzier than usual in the summer.

What Type of Foundation is Best for Summer?

We believe the best foundation for summer has medium to lightweight coverage and is full of skin-loving ingredients. It should also leave your skin hydrated and perfectly glowy from the moment you walk out the door to the second you get back home. Here are our top summer makeup favorites:

CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40

Meet the newest addition to the IT Cosmetics family of CC creams and other foundation products for flawless coverage:: CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40. This buildable, medium-coverage hydrating makeup delivers sun protection and features a 90% skincare formula, including a glow serum comprised of 2% niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and green tea extract. Your skin looks instantly glowy the second you apply, and the skin-loving formula also visibly brightens and smooths skin over time.

Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare

Your Skin But Better Foundation + Skincare has a water-light fluid texture and buildable, medium coverage that’s suitable for all skin types, including those with oily, normal, and dry skin types. This liquid foundation formula, which features hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract, and vitamins E & B5, leaves you with an instantly beautiful complexion. Plus, it visibly improves your skin over time when worn consistently.

CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+

If you prefer a fuller-coverage option over sheer foundation, try CC+ Cream Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+, the #1 SPF Foundation in America.* This original favorite provides hydration while camouflaging imperfections for a flawless-looking, natural-coverage foundation look.

Pro Tip: If you have oily skin, try CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 40 as your makeup base. For an illuminating foundation, reach for CC+ Cream Illumination Full-Coverage Foundation with SPF 50+. Those who prefer powder makeup in the summer—which can really help absorb excess oil and sweat—will love CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder Foundation.

How Can I Darken My Foundation in the Summer?

If you’ve noticed your skin has become tan during summer, incorporating bronzer into your makeup routine can help your foundation base match your complexion more accurately.

Simply apply the bronzer over your makeup using a light hand and a high-quality makeup brush. Focus the deeper color on areas where you’re naturally sun-kissed, like the top of your forehead, cheekbones, and nose. This will lend to a natural look. (By the way, here’s the difference between bronzer and contour.)

We recommend:

How Do I Choose a Foundation for a Summer Tan?

Test two to four foundation shades that fall within your skin tone family along your jawline (not your hand). You’ll know you’ve found the right shade when it appears to “vanish” and complements the undertones of your skin perfectly. If you’re unable to test products in person, use a virtual “Find My Foundation” tool like IT Cosmetics Foundation Finder. It can help match you with the perfect shade.

Pro Tip: Any time your skin becomes tanner, it’s a sign that you’ve gotten too much sun exposure and that you should be more consistent with your SPF application. Doing so (plus following other sun protection tips) is key in helping keep your skin looking healthy and gorgeous for years to come.

When figuring out how to choose a foundation, you’ll want to consider your skin type, skin tone, and preferred finish. Learn more about How to Choose the Right Makeup for Each Season.

*Source: The NPD Group/US Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Makeup Product Sales, January - December 2021.
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