It’s a cruel irony that during summertime, a time when we have multiple opportunities to show more skin, and when we’d really like our complexions to be in peak condition, is also the time of year when many of us suffer from seasonal acne. Here are some of the main reasons for summer acne breakouts, along with some tips for avoiding (or minimizing) the problem.
Causes of Summertime Acne
High humidity levels in the summer stimulate the production of oil by the skin’s sebaceous glands, which can clog and become infected. Unfortunately, you are also more likely to sweat during the heat of the summer, and the heat opens your skin pores more than at other times of the year. The combination of these effects results in a greatly increased chance of clogged skin pores and acne.
The hotter summertime sun also exacerbates the problem – the sun’s UV rays can irritate and inflame your skin (even if you don’t burn), and many of the products we apply to protect our skin from the sun can also contribute to clogged pores, and subsequent infection.
Sunscreen isn’t the only culprit. Tanning lotions and skincare products can have the same effect. Even if some of the products we use (including anti-acne medications) are antibacterial, they can dry the skin, which leads to increased oil production, which ultimately contributes to the same clogged pore problem.
We are also much more likely to encounter several other environmental skin irritants in the summertime – this list includes pool chemicals, bug sprays and food and drinks with high levels of sugar.
Ways to Combat the Problem
Given that you’re going to sweat more anyway, you can reduce the chance of acne breaking out by avoiding touching your face. Also, remove makeup before exposing yourself to the sun, or participating in activities that will result in your sweating more than usual. Spray-on antiperspirants can also aid in reducing body acne.
Skin cleansing and moisturizing remain essential during the summer, but you can reduce the potential for problems by cleansing your face using alcohol-free products, and substituting light mineral-based makeup for your heavy, oily products. “Comedogenic” refers to the acne that results from using skincare products that can cause oily skin, clog skin pores, and allow their subsequent infection by skin bacteria. We recommend switching to skin cleansers and moisturizers identified as “non-comedogenic.”
Although the link is less obvious, eating a healthy diet can keep your immune system working efficiently, which will lessen the chance of acne infections developing. Healthy diets include avoiding oily foods, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and especially sugar. It would help if you also tried to eat plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables and water-rich fruits.
This may seem obvious in the heat of the summer, but keeping properly hydrated will help. Not only by replacing the liquid that you lose by sweating, but also by allowing your body to more easily flush out toxins.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can also help reduce the intensity of acne breakouts – vitamins E, C, and B6 are often used, as well as Zinc and Selenium. Your doctor should be able to provide you with recommendations tailored to your particular situation, as well as with the best way to treat any acne infections that you have developed.
If you are having trouble with summer acne give Your Laser Skin Care a call at (323) 525-1516 to see how we can help you get back to clearer skin.