When you think “summer”, you don’t think breakouts.
From late April through September, we are targeted by ads that show us that summer means one thing: glowing, sun-kissed skin, glistening by what could be a hint of sweat or maybe water from an afternoon swim.
So when you start breaking out more than usual, it can be a bit confusing as to why it’s happening –– especially when you just want to be out in the sun. Unfortunately, some of our favorite parts of summer can actually be detrimental for our skin.
Many summer cocktails, like sangria, frosé, mojitos and margaritas, are loaded with sugar –– something that can lead to breakouts. Consuming large amounts of sugar triggers fluctuations in our hormones, and in particular, increases insulin levels. Insulin is thought to increase sebum (oil) production which can clog pores, leading to acne.
To reduce sugar-caused breakouts, try limiting sugary drinks and going with low-sugar or sugar-free ones.
On those 90+ degree days, all you want to do is sit inside a freezer, but you settle for plopping in front of your air conditioner –– anything to stop the sweating. But too much air conditioning can actually dry out your skin, leading to your body to go into overdrive, producing additional oil in an attempt to rehydrate. That excess oil can clog our pores, creating new breakouts.
While sweating is essential as it regulates body temperature, the problem with sweat is that, in the summer, it can mix with dirt and buildup on our face, which blocks pores and even exacerbates pre-existing acne.
The trick is to be sure to cleanse regularly, but not over-wash, as you do not want to further dry out the skin and lead to increased oil production. And then, once you've washed your face, making sure you're still moisturizing so as not to dehydrate your skin. For an additional glow, we mix TOPICAL - C in with our moisturizer. We love this powdered form of vitamin C's ability to help brighten our skin, reduce fine lines and even out pigmentation.
Do not skip sunscreen. That being said, some sunscreens contain chemicals that can aggravate your skin, especially those found in “water-resistant” formulas.
The best way to stay safe acne-free in the sun is to choose a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic, which means that it’s formulated specifically to not clog your pores. You could also try a mineral sunscreen, which, unlike chemical sunscreens, are designed to sit on top of skin rather than absorb into it.
Let’s talk about chlorine. It’s a naturally-occurring chemical element used to help clean tap water, and, of course, sanitize swimming pools. When a chlorine solution is added into a pool, it breaks down into chemicals to break down into chemicals such as hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion, killing microorganisms and bacteria in the water that could lead to gastroenteritis, Legionnaires disease, athlete’s foot and ear infections.
But when it comes to your skin, the chlorine could actually be contributing to your breakouts. Chlorine has a drying effect, as it strips essential lipids from our skin –– leading to extremely dry skin. What then happens it that our bodies produce more oil to make up for this additional dryness, which then clogs your pores –– causing breakouts.
To help avoid this, try showering immediately after swimming to remove chlorine from skin.
Noticing an uptick in acne around your forehead? If you’ve been wearing hats this summer, it's possible that they’ve been trapping sweat and dirt around your hairline, causing your pores to clog.
The same goes for tight clothes and other areas of your body –– especially if you’re sitting around in a bathing suit after swimming. If you’re not wearing breathable fabrics and are opting for tighter clothes, chances are you’ve been experiencing acne in places such as your upper arms, butt, chest, or even legs. To avoid this, go for lighter fabrics like cotton and linen, so that your pores get a chance to breathe, and make sure to slip out of your bathing suit after swimming so as not to sit around in any lingering bacteria.