Ready or not, summertime is here. While 2020’s summer historically feels much (okay, much, much) different than others, as the stay-at-home order is in effect, we can still expect summer's warm, sunny and sweaty embrace. While we might be spending more days inside this summer, breakouts caused by hot and sunny days are still in the forecast. So we’ve rounded up the summertime essentials that help combat acne when the sun and saltwater just aren't cutting it.
What Causes Summer Breakouts?
We wish we could tell you there is only one thing during the summer that causes your skin to be more acne prone, but sadly there are quite a few factors.
- Heat: The biggest factor, by far, is heat. Summer heat causes the sebaceous gland to overproduce sebum (aka oil). Sebum, when released at normal rates is actually super beneficial for the skin (hello, glowing skin) and something that shouldn't be fought. However, when overproduced, it pools in our pores, oftentimes clogging them.
- Humidity: Another big summer factor that has an effect on our skin is humidity. Besides humidity preserving the elasticity (helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines) of the skin, it also causes pretty intense breakouts. This is because humid weather means there is high moisture content in the air. So, our perspiration will evaporate more slowly. As sweat sits on our face, clogging and blocking pores, a perfect environment for acne is former.
- Sunshine: Many people think the sun is good for acne since it dries skin out, but this is temporary. The sun should not serve as an acne remedy because it will only accelerate the skin’s aging process, causing build up of dead skin cells that will eventually clog your pores.
How to Prevent and Treat it
There might be a lot of factors affecting your skin in the summer, it seems overwhelming, but there is a lot you can do to prevent and treat summer breakouts at the same time.
- Drink Water: Staying hydrated year round is extremely important but during the summer it is extra crucial for your body and skin to remember to drink enough water. If you are reading this, drink some water. Right now, seriously, don’t wait. And, try not to quench your summer thirst solely with sugary and alcoholic drinks, as this can spike blood sugar. This spike in blood sugar increases insulin production which is linked to increasing oil production in the skin. So your skin is better off if you stick to water!
- Use Lightweight Sunscreen: Many people avoid using sunscreen in the summer because they believe it breaks them out. On that note, you should never sacrifice sunscreen for a blemish. Sunscreen is crucial in anti-aging so use light, oil-free, sunscreen to tackle both anti-aging and acne. Learn about what sunscreen you should be using in our blog post, Why You Should Ditch American Sunscreen.
- Moisturize: It may seem contradictory to use moisturizer during a time your skin is extra oily, but it is beneficial. In the summer, your skin releases more moisture and needs hydration. Our Daily Moisturizer is lightweight, non-greasy, and fragrance free so it will hydrate your skin and control excess oil without clogging your pores.
- Exfoliate: Due to the sun, your skin is going to have more dead skin cells in the summer that are prone to clog your pores. Exfoliating your skin removes these dead skin cells and keeps your face looking bright, healthy, and fresh. Remember to exfoliate gently and no more than twice weekly.
- Wash Your Face: Oil, dirt, sweat, and bacteria quickly build up on your face in the summer. So, it is important to wash your face, no matter what. Face washing is more complicated than you might think, but we broke it down for you here.
- Wash Your Sheets More Than Normal: We hope washing your sheets is already a regular part of your routine, but if not, time to change that! Due to being extra sweaty and oily in the summer, it’s important to wash your sheets and pillow cases more than you might in the winter. Sheets quickly collect dirt, bacteria, and sweat that will clog your pores. If you are absolutely unable to wash all your sheets, at least toss in the pillow cases as much as possible.
- Use oil blotting sheets: Oil blotting sheets are small paper sheets that absorb excess oil from your skin. They might not prevent oily skin, but they can help in getting oil off your face before it clogs your pores. Just be sure not to over use them because natural oil is still crucial for your skin and you don't want to strip all of it away. Also, while we’re here: it is important to always dab your skin, not rub. This will prevent aging and preserve the skin's elasticity!
Don’t let acne hold you back this summer. Follow these steps to keep your summer skin as acne-free as possible!