Wondering why your skin is breaking out? You’re not alone. The summer is prime breakout time as the humidity exacerbates sebum production, which settles into your pores and clogs them. Plus, the sweltering heat opens your pores even more and causes you to sweat, making your skin vulnerable to acne-causing debris and bacteria.
Ready to conquer those pesky pimples once and for all? Follow our tips below!
01. Skip the Moisturizer in Humid Weather and Just Use SPF
If you have naturally oily skin, skip the moisturizer altogether and just use an SPF to protect your skin. Unlike cold, dry weather, which suck moisture out of your skin and cause your oil glands to overcompensate for the lack of moisture (and why oily-skinned gals actually need moisturizer during the winter), humid summer weather does the opposite. The humidity adds moisture to your skin while kicking your oil glands into overdrive, creating a natural moisture barrier that you don't need to supplement. Plus, most SPFs have a moisturizing effect, so doubling up on both moisturizer and SPF is unnecessary for those with oily skin. We suggest an oil-free SPF such as Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35, which comes in serum form and leaves no oily residue. If you have dry skin or live in a dry environment, we suggest trying moisturizers that already contain broad spectrum SPF.
02. Use Face Wipes During the Day
If you frequently sweat from your face, start using gentle face wipes to remove any bacteria or oil that has accumulated on your face throughout the day. Dermatologists always recommend cleansing skin after working out because sweating causes your pores to open up, which allows for your sweat, oil and bacteria to get in. So even if you're out running errands or just hanging with friends, be sure to cleanse your skin with wipes every three to five hours if you've been sweating a lot. You don't want to overload your skin with acne fighting acids throughout the day, so we recommend using gentle, all-natural wipes that don't have any harsh chemicals such as Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes.
03. Try a Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Excess oil production and sweat causes your pores to become clogged, which results in whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed pimples. Using a salicylic acid fights acne by encouraging exfoliating of dead skin cells and oil. It works by dissolving the glue that holds those dead skin cells together in the clogged pores. Believe it or not, salicylic acid is also found in the anti-inflammatory drug, aspirin. This means salicylic acid can have a calming effect by reducing your acne's inflammation. Dermatologists suggest using over-the-counter cleansers that contain 0.5 to 2 percent salicylic acid, such as Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser.
04. Target with Benzoyl Peroxide
If you're dealing with active breakouts, start using a nighttime benzoyl peroxide target treatment. Benzoyl peroxide is a bactericidal, which means it kills the bacteria causing your breakout; using a spot treatment at night allows it to work while you sleep (and not introduce new irritants). Simply apply a cream or gel that contains 2.5 to 4 percent benzoyl peroxide, such as Clean & Clear Persa-Gel, directly to your pimples and the surrounding skin after cleansing and toning. If you're struggling with active acne all over your face, apply a thin layer of the cream to your whole face. Benzoyl peroxide can be harsh if you have sensitive skin, so use your cream every other day until your skin adjusts.
05. Revive with Oil-Blotting Sheets
If you find your skin extra shiny and greasy, consider using oil-blotting sheets rather than bathroom paper towels or your hands. When we're in a rush, we often use our fingers to rub away excess oil, but that just adds unwanted bacteria to your skin. Use blotting sheets that are specifically made for absorbing oil instead of smearing it around. Removing this excess sebum can prevent it from getting settled into your pores and hardening into closed comedones (whiteheads).
06. Regularly Wash Your Sheets
You might not realize it, but even your freshly washed skin leaves bacteria on your pillow. Now, imagine if you’re diving into bed or resting your head on your pillow without washing your face or body. Our skin especially collects bacteria and oil during the summer, so it’s important to regularly change your sheets and pillowcases to avoid clogging your pores with debris, oil, and bacteria. Try to switch your pillowcases once a week and your sheets every two weeks.
Photo Credit: Olly Joy