Acne is not just something that awkward teenagers have to suffer through as they slowly adjust to the world, and it definitely doesn’t just go away once you hit 21! Acne often persists throughout adulthood, and in the summer months it gets worse as the sun hits your face and the seasons change, affecting the pH and sensitivity of your skin.

However, it is definitely possible to take care of your skin and make it less prone to breakouts during seasonal changes. So, why does acne get worse during seasonal changes and especially in the summer months?

Well, it’s all down to seasonal acne. In the hot summer months, ‘sticky’ pores in anybody’s acne prone skin can become even stickier due to the hot and sweaty weather. The hot sweaty weather causes a slow build-up of dead skin and ‘sebum’ underneath the skin’s surface. This causes inflammation in the pores, which becomes the dreaded acne! No one loves acne, and everyone is itching to find the best and most effective way to get rid of it. So here we go; here are our best tips to help you survive (and thrive) during acne flare-up season. 

1. Try to ‘balance’ your skin as a whole, but avoid drying it out 

This is easier said than done, but it can be done! It is important to keep an eye on the balance of your skin to ensure that it doesn’t get greasy and oily. When it does, it can cause your skin to be more prone to breakouts. However, if you use too many face creams or washes to treat oily skin, it can make it too dry. And this leads to (you guessed it) more breakouts! It is a tricky line to walk, as many may know. Jessa Heath, a lifestyle journalist at Brit Student and Write my X, commented, “Face washes can help out dehydrated skin, so a moderate amount of face washing can be a good idea for keeping your skin balanced.” It is also important to drink enough water to hydrate your skin from the inside out in a more natural way. 

2. Use the correct sunscreen 

Sunscreen is super important for your skin when the sun comes out. It is crucial to make sure you are using sunscreen which is compatible with your acne prone skin. Using a generic sunscreen can change the pH of your skin and increase dry or oily tendencies which can increase breakouts. Check out some of our favorite sunscreens for acne-prone skin:

  • SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield SPF 35. A top-rated mineral SPF and winner of Best Mineral Face Sunscreen of 2019 by Good Housekeeping, this SkinMedica® titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide blend applies smoothly and lightly, with no greasy or sticky residue.
  • Elta MD Sunscreen SPF 46. This sunscreen is a favorite among both providers and patients due to the non-greasy, oil-free, and lightweight formula. Elta MD SPF 46 is also non-comedogenic which means it won’t clog your pores and is a great option for those who struggle with acne breakouts.
  • PCA Skin Sheer Tint SPF 45. If you’re looking for something with a tint that you can wear for a day at the pool, the PCA Skin Sheer Tint is for you. This sunscreen is water-resistant while also fighting free-radical damage with the help of ubiquinone, a powerful antioxidant. 
  • Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 50. This is a must-have to throw into your purse, backpack, or even your car. The packaging makes this sunscreen effortless to re-apply on the go without the mess of traditional sunscreen. While offering protection from the sun, Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen also protects your skin from pollution, blue light, and infrared radiation.
  • Sente Invisible Shield SPF 52. Sente is known for its medical-grade skincare, and their sun defense line is just as good. The Invisible Shield offers a physical barrier from rays, without the harsh chemical filters. We love this one because it also offers environmental protection from pollution as well as blue light.

Remember, even on cloudy or cold days, you still need to be wearing your sunscreen!

3. Let your skin breathe

It is so important to let your skin have time to air out without makeup, without face masks, and without face creams. In summer especially, letting your skin have a bit of a rest (even if it means letting your acne flag fly) is crucial. Try to pick out a few days a week where you go more au natural with your skincare routine and let your skin have a break from the heavier cover-up that make up forces on it.

Wearing tank tops and swimsuits can lead to clogged pores as sweat mixes with bacteria and oils on your skin. Sitting around in a wet bathing suit can lead to friction and cause blemishes to brew on your bottom. To prevent acne on your body, blot sweat, don’t wipe, with a clean towel or cloth. Wash sweaty clothes, towels and hats, and thoroughly clean swimsuits before wearing again.

4. Treat your body like a temple 

Acne doesn’t only happen on your face, and the development of acne can stem from many things that actually occur on and throughout the rest of your body. Rebecca Mars, a health writer at Origin Writings and 1 Day 2 write, noted that, “It is important that you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet, and also that you exercise your body out in the sunshine.” Diet is one of the best ways to control your skin health, because how you treat your body is how it will treat you! In summer, often we forget about how important what we eat is to the maintenance of a healthy body. We get caught up in the sunshine, the fun we’re having, and living our lives that we throw to the side the importance of maintaining health. If you douse your diet with sugary drinks, ice cream, and takeout food; your skin is certainly not going to thank you! Even though foods like this are amazingly fun for your tongue, they are not going to be as fun to deal with when they transfer from deliciousness on your taste buds into acne on your skin. Practicing good dental and oral hygiene can also help to avoid acne and improve skin conditions.

Taking care of your skin is such an important and sometimes difficult task for people in any time of the year; and the seasonal changes and challenges of summertime don’t make it any easier! However, it’s important to remember that having good skin is a battle that we can win in the end, it just requires a little care and attention. Little things that we mentioned earlier in this piece might not seem that important; but all added together, they go a long way to improving your skin health (even in the hot and sweaty summer months). So do your skin a favor and try out some of our helpful tips!

If your acne persists, even with the tips mentioned above, consider seeking medical or prescription treatments from your dermatologist, including topical and oral antibiotics which are used in acne to limit inflammation and cut down the bacterial burden. Book an appointment and achieve clearer skin today!

About the Guest Contributor

George J. Newton is a business development manager and content writer for Write my research proposal and Thesis writing service. He has a patient and long-suffering wife of over a decade, who is his biggest supporter and friend. He also contributes his work to Next Coursework.