Here’s How to Keep Your Skin Clear & Control Your Acne This Summer

Here’s How to Keep Your Skin Clear & Control Your Acne This Summer

Just when you thought you had it under control—WHAM! You wake up one morning with a pesky pimple or two (or three). What gives? You’re not a teenager anymore. Wasn’t this supposed to end years ago?

Quick Science Lesson: Acne is a very common skin condition that occurs when the hair follicle becomes blocked with oil and dead skin, aka comedones. When blocked pores become infected, this can lead to inflamed papules and pustules that can cause scarring. Fun, right?

Unfortunately, summer isn’t doing your breakouts any favors. Here’s why:

  1. Hot weather may stimulate increased oil production, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts.
  2. Sweating more frequently in the summer mixed with excess oil is a recipe for acne waiting to happen.
  3. Humidity can cause your skin to swell and trap oil, leading to breakouts.
  4. Many sunscreens are a thicker texture than what your skin is used to. Because of this, increasing the use of SPF can be comedogenic, leading to acne (even on the back and chest!).
  5. Extended outdoor activity in the summer means more exposure to sweat and dirt. The result? Breakouts.
  6. Lastly, changing your skin routine and diet in the summer may also flare your skin.

We’re all looking for the one thing that will prevent breakouts, unclog pores, and stop zits in their tracks. Is that really so much to ask? Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment, and you often have to go through a lot of trial and error to finally find what works best for your skin type.

If you’re struggling with acne, you’re not alone. Even those with mild cases of acne are unable to clear it with over-the-counter treatments. In most cases, seeking professional help from a dermatologist is almost always warranted.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are tons of over-the-counter products that can help reduce and treat acne. This is great news, because these products tend to be inexpensive and pretty convenient to find—as long as you know what to look for.

But don’t expect overnight results. Treating breakouts—even mild ones—is serious business. Expect your routine to take a minimum of six to eight weeks to really notice improvement. You might even notice your breakouts getting worse before you see any improvement.

Need a hand? Here are some products and tips to control stubborn breakouts and acne during the summertime.

1. Try an acne-fighting cleanser.

Swap out your regular gentle cleanser for an acne-fighting cleanser to help with the excess sweat, dirt and thick sunscreen products. For active breakouts, switch to a benzoyl peroxide cleanser such as Neutrogena’s Clear Pore Cleanser + Mask. For blocked pores, look for a salicylic acid cleanser, such as Cerave’s Renewing SA Cleanser.

2. Add an exfoliating product.

During the summer, add an exfoliant to your routine—specifically, one with salicylic or glycolic acid. Exfoliating will help turn over dead skin cells and clear your pores more rapidly. Two exfoliating products I’m loving right now are Naturium’s 2% Salicylic Acid Body Spray and JOAH’s Daily Glow Peel Pads with Glycolic Acid.

4. Get smart with your SPF.

Summer sunscreen is often thick and greasy—but that doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. Instead, choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen, like e.l.f.’s Suntouchable Invisible SPF 35 for the face and La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60 for the body.

5. Consistency is essential.

Try to keep a consistent, simple skincare routine all summer long. This will help prevent breakouts, control oil production, and clean your complexion. Check out The Otto Routine! Made with clinically proven, plant-based ingredients—it’s simply and expertly formulated with efficacy as its first priority.

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