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7 Golden Rules to Avoid Summer Breakouts

woman in black tank top wearing brown sun hat and black sunglasses

Summertime is when life is simple and acne seems worse than ever. You’re not the only one who feels this way. Heat and humidity can aggravate acne-prone skin. Dr. Joshua Zeichner M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, said that heat and higher temperatures activate the sebaceous glands which leads to oil production. Bustle was informed. He says that an increase in oil can lead to your pores becoming clogged, which eventually leads to worsening of acne.

Dr. Peter Young M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist who also serves as medical director at Facet. He says there are three main factors that can lead to breakouts during this time of the year: sun, sweat and most importantly, humidity. Young says that if the humidity is high in the summer, it can cause pores to clog and breakouts. He explains that higher humidity means sweat evaporates slower, which makes heat-induced sweat and humidity a very favorable environment for the formation of blemishes. He says that sweat can cause acne flare-ups by combining bacteria, oils, dead skin cells, and bacteria.

There are many expert-approved ways to fight summer acne. Dermatologists share their top tips for keeping your skin clear this summer.

Use an Acne Controlling Cleanser
CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

Dr. Marisa Garshick M.D., Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., and Dr. Viktoryia Kazlouskaya are both board-certified dermatologists. Kazlouskaya says CeraVe products are great for washing your face in the summer,”  Garshick agrees: “This cleanser has 4% benzoylperoxide which makes it an excellent option for those with acne. It treats existing breakouts as well as prevents new ones.”

  1. Pros: Prevents pimples from forming without irritating the skin
  2. Cons: May be dry in winter

Review: One reviewer says that the CeraVe Foaming Cleaner Cleaner is the best on the market. This product was recommended by my dermatologist and has proven to be a great treatment for my skin. This will be my fourth purchase of this cleanser.

Active Ingredients: Benzoyl Peroxide, Ceramides, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide

Use a Clarifying Toner to treat your skin
Thayers Blemish Clearing Salicylic acid and Witch Hazel Acne Facial Toner

Zeichner recommends that you add salicylic acid into your routine. This chemical exfoliant (also known as a beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) is designed to keep pores clean and prevent breakouts. It also helps dry out any pimples that may be present. Garshick recommends using a toner that contains salicylic acid to remove any oily residues after washing your skin.

  1. Pros: Prevents and treats acne
  2. Cons: Some people have complained that it is “slightly dry”

Review: “My skin is better than ever!” One reviewer says that despite trying many products, this is the best I have ever used for my skin. “I have never had breakouts in years!”

Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel

Vitamin C can be incorporated into your daily routine
Buttah Skin Vitamin C Serum

Experts recommend that you use a vitamin C serum during the day, after washing and toning your skin. The antioxidant protects the skin from environmental triggers. It’s not necessary to worry if you are afraid it will make you breakout. Research actually shows that applying a topical form of vitamin C, also known as sodium ascorbylphosphate, can reduce inflammation and redness caused by acne.

  1. Pros: Skin protection from triggers and irritations, target dark spots and hyperpigmentation
  2. Cons: Some reviewers dislike the smell

Review: One reviewer says that this product is effective from the very first application. It’s amazing how the skin glows — I won’t be without it again!

Active Ingredients: Vitamins E and C, Ferulic Acid, Green tea

Before applying makeup, apply acne-fighting primer
e.l.f. Blemish Control Face Primer

It can be difficult to wear full-face makeup during the summer, especially if your skin is sensitive. There are makeup primers available that can treat and prevent acne breakouts and reduce oil production. This will keep your skin clear and oil-free all day, even when you’re dancing to the perfect tune.

  1. Pros: Prevents and treats acne, soothes and mattifies the pores
  2. Cons: Some reviewers reported experiencing pilling

Review: One reviewer said that she is in love with the primer. “I’ve ordered this primer at least three times and have added it to my daily routine. It’s worth the price. A little goes quite a distance, so it’s an excellent value. It makes foundation application easier and smoother. If you have oily skin, grab one.”

Active Ingredients: Vitamin E, Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil

Swap Heavy Creams For A Hydrating Serum
Asterwood Naturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Dr. Jaimie DeRosa is a double-board-certified reconstructive and facial plastic surgeon at DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa. She recommends that you use a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer during the summer months. Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil is a dermatologist who has been double-board certified at Mudgil Dermatology. He recommends a hyaluronic acids serum or gel to treat oily and acne-prone skin.

  1. Pros: Hydrating, light weight, and can be used both morning and night
  2. Cons: Your skin may not be moisturized enough if it is naturally dry

Review: One reviewer said that this is the best hyaluronic Acid serum she’s ever bought. “I highly recommend this product to anyone with skin problems. It looks great under makeup and doesn’t make your skin oily or wet.”

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid

Also use a gel-based moisturizer
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Face Moisturizer

A gel-based moisturizer is a better choice than a thicker cream for the same reasons. These moisturizers provide a little more hydration than a cream, but they don’t clog your pores. Mudgil says that most people can reduce the amount of intensive moisturizing they use to combat their summer acne.

  1. Pros: Skin hydrating without clogging pores. Suitable for sensitive skin
  2. Cons: Skin that is naturally very dry may not receive enough moisture

Review: “I love it!” One reviewer said that her face felt hydrated, soft and smooth. It doesn’t feel sticky and absorbs quickly.

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid

Swap Thick Foundation for Lightweight Coverage
COVERGIRL Clean Matte Cream for Oily Skin

Experts agree that summer acne can be caused by a combination sweat, bacteria and makeup. Zeichner suggests that you stick to light, oil-free and non-pore clogging makeup products like BB creams or tinted moisturizers. These products are less likely to cause skin to become drier and more sensitive to heat.

  1. Pros: Offers coverage, conceals blemishes and combats oil
  2. Cons: Some reviewers desired more coverage

Review: One reviewer said that the BB cream is comparable to products marketed as foundation. She also stated that it provides good coverage. “Over the course a week, this BB cream kept me reaching for it because it does a great work as a base coverage for my combination scarred skin.”

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