Triple digit temperatures arrived early this summer and forecasters are predicting another hot summer across most of the country. While we always welcome the good times and sunshine that summer brings, the first wave of heat and humidity marks the beginning of summer acne season. Even people who experience little or no acne during the rest of the year find their skin breaking out in the summertime.
Fortunately there are steps you can take to minimize or prevent summer breakouts. Take a few minutes to discover the reasons you may be breaking out and understand how you can put your best face forward this summer.
Why Summer = Acne Season
Most people’s skin tends to be oilier in the summer because the heat causes the sebaceous glands in our skin to kick into overdrive producing more sebum (aka oil). While sebum is often criticized, it plays an important role in keeping your skin healthy. When it reaches the surface of your skin sebum provides a waterproof barrier. This keeps water and bacteria from getting into your body and it prevents your skin from losing too much moisture through evaporation.
However when you have excess sebum mixing with the sweat, dirt, pollution and bacteria that collects on your skin, you have the recipe for summer acne. The abundance of sweat and oil on your skin can clog your pores and trap the acne bacteria. As it happens, a clogged pore with excess oil is the perfect low oxygen environment to grow the bacteria, which feeds on sebum
How to Conquer Summer Acne
While this may sound scary, the following guidelines will help you minimize summer breakouts.
1) Keep your face clean – No matter how tired you are, it’s critical to wash your face at the end of each day before you go to bed to remove the daily buildup of oil, sweat, dirt and bacteria. If your skin tends to be a bit oily, cleansing morning, afternoon and evening is a good call, as long as your cleanser isn’t too harsh. We recommend using a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser like our Purify Hydrating Cleanser to remove the buildup without stripping your skin’s essential oils.
2) Moisturize the oil free way – Don’t make the common mistake of neglecting your moisturizer in your summer skin care routine. In warmer weather your skin releases moisture at a higher rate to cool your body internally. If the moisture isn’t replaced (both internally and externally), your skin could get stuck in a cycle of oil overproduction, leading to breakouts.
Lightweight, oil-free moisturizers are ideal for summer months because your skin still needs hydration without the pore clogging, greasy ingredients in oil-based moisturizers. We swear by our HydroFoam Rejuvenating Moisturizer. It’s oil-free and loaded with powerful antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and replenish your skin without clogging your pores.
3) Exfoliate at least once a week – When old skin cells start to pile up on the surface of the skin, it can leave your skin looking dull, rough, and dry. The buildup of dead skin cells can also result in excess oil and clogged pores, causing your skin to breakout. Exfoliating keeps your skin looking fresh and healthy by removing the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and uncovering the fresh new cells below. This opens the way for your moisturizing products to penetrate more deeply into the your skin, making them more effective.
The best type of exfoliation depends on your complexion and the health and sensitivity of your skin. If you have extremely sensitive skin or severe acne, you will want to choose an exfoliating method carefully. A dermatologist or professional esthetician can help you choose the method that’s best for your skin.
If you use a manual exfoliating scrub, choose one with smooth, round granules rather than jagged, rough particles to avoid injuring your skin. For example, our Marine Granules Exfoliating Mousse blends rounded beads of jojoba wax with fossilized algae and botanical extracts to gently buff your skin and remove dead skin cells.
We recommend using your gentle exfoliating scrub at least once a week for a healthy and radiant complexion. Remember to be gentle with the scrub—a light touch is all you need to slough off the dead skin cells. Any more than that and you’re likely to irritate your skin.
4) Use a lightweight sunscreen – Some people skip SPF because they are afraid it will cause breakouts, but it’s foolish to skip sunscreen to avoid a blemish. Sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging skin care product, protecting your face from dark spots, acne scars, wrinkles and melanoma.
If you have oily, acne-prone skin, find a lightweight sunscreen formula that’s less likely to clog your pores and lead to a breakout. Look for products that contains ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
5) Take a shower – If you want to create the perfecting breeding ground for acne, follow these steps: go to the beach or workout in the sun. Then let the sweat dry on your skin instead of washing it off when you get home. Do your skin a favor and shower after working out or spending time in the heat.
6) Change your pillowcases – Did you know that even freshly washed skin leaves bacteria on your pillowcases. Now, imagine what you could be leaving on your pillow if you passed on washing your face.
It’s important to regularly change your sheets and pillowcases more frequently in the summer to avoid clogging your pores with the oil, dirt and bacteria that collects on your bedding. We recommend switching your pillowcases at least once a week and your sheets at least every two weeks.
7) Choose your laundry detergent wisely – Most mass market laundry detergent products contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), fragrance, enzymes and additives that can irritate your skin and worsen acne. Look for laundry detergents that are free of fragrance, enzymes and SLS.
We wish you a breakout-free summer and hope that you enjoy the special experiences that only happen during summertime!
Click here for more information about safe, effective skin care from Previse.