You’ve been putting in the work on that summer body, but you’re worried that your acne is getting amped up for the season as well. After all, you’ve been down this road before. The satisfying spring clean you did on your skin seemed to go right out the window when the summer sun and sweat hit. It was like a bunch of hard-partying pimples showed up out of nowhere and rented a beach house on your face for three months. You can’t (and shouldn’t!) try to shut down your body’s natural adjustments to its environment, but you can team up with it to curtail some epidermal shenanigans. Here are some tips for enjoying those clear skies with clear skin.
Tips To Get Clear Skin in Summer
Guard Against the Sun
Don’t get us wrong – we’re grateful for everything the sun does for us. We’re glad it’s sustaining life on earth and we are happy to get some vitamin D after an interminably long lockdown. But no matter how many smiley faces we drew on the sun during kindergarten, it’s important to remember the sinister side of those rays, which carry harmful UV radiation. It can be a bit confusing because taking in the sun does appear to reduce breakouts, at least initially. UV rays do zap acne-inducing bacteria, which is why they were once used in acne treatment. But, much like treating hay fever with hard drugs, the medical community has moved on from that recommendation. That’s because the UV rays are also suppressing your immune cells, which can lead to a greater degree of inflammation – not to mention, premature aging and skin cancer. So limit your exposure to the sun and wear sunscreen.
Choose Your Sunscreen Carefully
We know we just pushed the sunscreen application on you. We stand by that advice, but remember that sunscreen can also be a source of breakouts, so no point in swallowing the spider to get the fly. Sunscreen blocks the sun, but it can also block pores. Some brands contain skin irritants, and if applied improperly, it can give you a false sense of confidence about your level of protection. When choosing your sunscreen, pay close attention to the ingredients and the expiration dates. And don’t forget to reapply.
Wash Your Face
You have rivulets of sweat streaming down your face, which is basically an irrigated field of sunscreen and grime. It shouldn’t be news that you need to wash your face. It’s pretty much step number one for clear skin, no matter what the season. But in the summertime, that basic step gets underlined and put in bold. As with the sunscreen, make sure you choose carefully. Lather up with a thoroughly vetted charcoal face wash and a bit of warm water. Rinse and gently pat yourself dry and you are set up for the rest of your routine.
Adjust That Routine
It’s not your imagination that when it comes to sweat and oil, your pores are working overtime. That’s your skin’s natural response to the change in climate. You don’t want to try to stop those sweat and sebaceous glands from doing their job, but you want to make sure they don’t get in their own way or each other’s. Since your pores are operating differently, you should, too. Be wary of any product that might add oil to your face. This includes what you might be putting in your hair or in your mouth. Products usually don’t advertise their oiliness, so scout for reassuring words like non-comedogenic.
Between the oil and the sweat and the face washing, it might feel like there is plenty of moisture on your face already. But that’s not how your skin wants to be moisturized. You can still be thirsty even if you’ve got water in your shoes. Balance things out with a gel moisturizer for oily skin. Drink plenty of water since the skin draws a lot of its moisture from within the body. If drinking more water than you have been all year proves difficult, make sure you are taking in hydrating foods as well.
Even with all the diligent washing, some of that sweat-swamp residue is getting left behind in the pores. So you should try the occasional exfoliation reset. You don’t want to overdo it, but it isn’t a bad idea to start the summer off with a clean slate before those sebaceous glands turn up the heat. A charcoal peel-off mask should do the trick.
If you’ve been caught in an acne breakout cycle since your middle school’s summer break, it’s time to remove that blemish from the calendar. Make some routine adjustments, watch out for the sun, and don’t fall behind on the hydration train.