Is summer your favorite time of the year? The warm weather, longer days, and pool or beach time almost makes every day feel like a vacation even when you’re working during the week (almost!). But with the warm weather comes an unwelcome visitor: summer breakouts.
If you’re prone to breakouts when you’ve got that sweaty layer on you and think there’s nothing much to do about it, we’ve got some good (and bad) news for you.
Okay, first the bad news: you’re probably going to breakout this summer, especially if you have sensitive skin to begin with. Whether it’s the sweating, the layers of sunscreen (yes, we mean layers!), or irritation from chlorinated pools (or less than clean oceans), zits will probably happen. But your best defense is a good offensive strategy. Even though there’s no guarantee to keep them away, you may at least, keep summer breakouts manageable. Here’s how.
- SPF: I know I just said sunscreen can make you breakout, and it can if it’s heavy, greasy, or loaded with synthetic chemicals that can irritate skin. But protection from the sun also means less irritated, and thus less sensitive, skin. Use a light SPF moisturizer especially around the T-zone region where breakouts can be more common in the heat.
- Reduce exfoliation: Well-exfoliated skin tans more evenly, but it can also make your skin more sensitive, particularly if it’s sensitive to begin with. And, it can also cause your skin to produce more oil, increasing the risk of breakouts. So, if you’re exfoliating twice a week, cut down to once a week or once every ten days or go even longer if you can.
- Tone instead: A good toner is like a more mild exfoliant and can help to unclog pores, detoxify, and soothe irritated skin. Plus, it can keep your skin cool (especially a spray toner), which means less sweating and less the skin is prone to breakouts.
- Go natural: Yes, summertime is filled with more fun events and parties you likely want to look good for, but makeup, particularly foundation, powders, and blushes, can make your skin extremely irritated. Makeup can clog your pores causing breakouts, and in the heat of summer bacteria is also more likely to spread between makeup and brushes, so be sure to clean yours often.
- Wash your face regularly: While overwashing the skin can lead to breakouts similar to overexfoliating (removing the healthy oils), in summer, it can reduce the breakout risk. Not only do you want to get rid of the oil and sweat, but there’s also the environmental grime, pollen, etc, you’re exposed to by being outside more often. You’ll feel it – the urge to wash your face isn’t just the body wanting to cool off, it’s a legit reaction to wanting to be cleaned. All the more reason to reduce your makeup for the season, and carry a good toner and SPF moisturizer in your bag because you’re going to need them.
- Stay hydrated: This is an easy one for most of us during the summer, but it’s worth repeating. Well-hydrated skin is healthy skin, so make sure you’re getting your eight glasses in every day.
- Moisturizing masks: If your skin is mostly cooperative you can help to keep the momentum going by doing a deeply hydrating moisture mask, whether it’s a store-bought one or a mashed avocado and banana face mask. Adding moisture to the skin keeps it from overproducing it on its own, and that’s going to make it less likely to breakout. But if you’re battling a flare-up, don’t do a mask. Spot treat, relax, and do your best to enjoy the weather regardless.
Check out our favorites for summer skin: