Summer Acne: What Causes it and How to Treat It
Breakouts can happen any time of year, but acne seems to be more prevalent during those hot summer months. What is it about this season that seems to make your skin misbehave? While there are plenty of reasons you may notice more breakouts during the summertime, there are also numerous ways you can combat summer acne for noticeably clearer skin.
What Causes Summer Acne?
Does heat cause acne? While the heat itself doesn't cause pimples to magically appear on your skin, your body's response to heat can exacerbate acne and may even cause breakouts in those with normally clear skin. Understanding how your skin functions when it's exposed to higher temperatures can explain what's behind most of those unwanted summer breakouts.
1. Clogged Pores
Your pores are tiny pathways in your skin that harbor your hair follicles and allow oil and sweat to pass through to the surface. They're essential for protecting your skin, so when they're clogged, skin problems will soon follow. Clogged pores don't always cause acne, but they are to blame when pimples do start to form.
Dead skin cells are naturally shed by your body, but if they're trapped by the dirt, oil, and grime that rests on your skin's surface, they'll become lodged in your pores. Clogged pores can also lead to blackheads and whiteheads. If bacteria make their way into these clogged pores, it creates a natural response from your immune system. As a result, pimples will become inflamed, often leading to redness and pain.
2. Heat and Humidity
During the warmer months, your body produces more oil than usual, especially when the weather is particularly humid. All of that excess oil can lead to more clogged pores if it isn't addressed, eventually resulting in acne problems.
3. Excess Sweat
More heat means more sweat production with your body working overtime to keep you cool. If you don't wash that sweat off promptly on a daily basis, it can irritate your skin and cause bacteria to make their way below the surface and into your pores. In addition, the heat and friction from your clothing combined with excess sweat can irritate your skin and make breakouts even worse.
Your body needs plenty of water on a normal day. During those hot summer months, you'll need more to compensate for the extra water you lose in the heat. When your body and skin become dehydrated, your body will respond by producing more oil to get back to healthy moisture levels. As a result, this excess oil can clog your pores, starting the acne cycle all over again.
While summer acne can be a real pain, combatting it isn't complicated. Making some simple lifestyle changes and maintaining a good skincare routine can help you experience fewer breakouts and more beautiful skin, even during the summer.
1. Use a Cleanser and a Scrub
Wash your face on a daily basis with a cleanser that's formulated to fight acne and clogged pores. While cleansing is essential, it isn't enough on its own.
You also need to exfoliate your skin every two to three days with a good facial scrub. This helps remove dirt, bacteria, and excess oil from your pores while sloughing away those dead skin cells.;
2. Don't Skip the Moisturizer
Even during the summer, keeping your skin moisturized to combat excess oil production is an important step in heat acne treatment. Stay away from thick, heavy creams though. These can settle into your pores and make acne worse. Opt for a lightweight formula that absorbs quickly and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy in the heat.
3. Avoid Oil-Based Products
When you're shopping for skincare products, look for non-comedogenic options that aren't formulated with heavy oils. This will help ensure that your pores stay clear while still giving your skin the protection it needs. Be especially mindful when you're looking for sunscreen, foundation, and other liquid- or cream-based makeup products, since some brands can be particularly oily on your skin.
4. Keep Your Skin Clean
Summertime is not the time to slack off on your hygiene habits. You'll need to shower on a regular basis to prevent clogged pores and breakouts on the rest of your body, especially on days when you sweat more than usual. It's particularly important that you go to bed with clean skin from head to toe. Leaving makeup, sweat, and dirt to rest on your skin throughout the night can clog your pores.
5. Tweak Your Diet
It's no secret that what you eat impacts your skin health from the inside out. Because your body is more prone to acne breakouts during the summer, it's a good idea to make healthier choices when it comes to your diet. Try to limit foods that are high in oils, fats, refined carbs, and added sugars, such as:
- Fast food
- Fried foods
- Foods made from white flour
- Junk food, such as chips and cookies
- Sweet treats
When it comes to fighting acne, the little things can make a big difference. Give these simple lifestyle tips a try to help you experience better results and a clearer complexion
1. Wear Breathable Clothing
Pimples don't just occur on your face. Body acne is a common problem, especially when the weather is warm. Acne and humidity go hand in hand, but you can cut down on the sweat and friction by wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics. Keeping your skin cool and comfortable can help stop acne breakouts on places like your back or arms before they start.
2. Change Your Bed Linens Often
Even if you jump into bed with clean skin, you still tend to sweat more at night, especially during the summer. It's perfectly normal, but your sheets are also covered with bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells that can transfer back onto your skin. Change and wash your bed linens at least once a week for extra protection against breakouts.
3. Shower After Swimming
If you think taking a dip in a pool, river, or ocean is enough to clean your skin, think again. Chlorine is a chemical irritant, and there are bacteria that live in natural waters that can make your acne worse. If you don't remove these from your skin, you could be dealing with dry, dirty skin that's ripe for acne breakouts. After every swim, take a shower and use a shampoo and cleanser to remove the buildup from your hair and skin.
4. Add an Astringent to Your Routine
Astringents are powerful players when it comes to acne treatments. Using a product that's made with ingredients like witch hazel can help cut down on excess oil, purify your skin, and minimize your pores. When used on a routine basis, astringents can help prevent your next breakout.
Combatting blackheads, whiteheads, and summer acne is all about simple, healthy routines and positive choices. If you want to be successful at keeping summer breakouts to a minimum, remember:
- Cleanse your face on a daily basis and use a scrub a few times a week.
- Moisturize every day with a lightweight, non-comedogenic formula.
- Avoid foods that are high in sugars and oils and opt for water instead of sweet drinks.
- Shower regularly, especially after swimming to prevent clogged pores.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing to reduce friction and allow your skin to breathe.
- Change your bedding at least once a week.
- Use astringents to remove excess oil from your skin and minimize the appearance of your pores.