Summer is a time of year when acne can flare due to a number of factors. Sweat, makeup and sunscreen can clog pores. Exposure to the sun can also agitate breakouts. Add protective masks on top of that, and our skin can get a little cranky.
This blog post will share tips for taking extra good care of your skin through the various seasons, plus how to take care of your mindset when you are dealing with a breakout.
Some Facts About Acne
Acne can feel extremely isolating, but it’s the most common skin condition in the U.S., affecting nearly 50 million people per year. The root cause of acne can vary from person to person, but the factors that can cause acne include:
- Inflammatory Response
Environmental factors and inflammatory breakouts are caused by something ‘outside’. For example, inflammatory foods, like dairy, can cause breakouts, as can environmental factors like humidity and mask wearing.
Depending on the level of severity, genetic and hormonal acne may be best treated by a dermatologist.
Skincare Through the Seasons
Our skin has different needs throughout the year as environmental factors change. Summer, in particular, is a time in which acne tends to flare.
People tend to break out in the summertime because the hot, humid weather means more sweating and oil accumulation on the skin. Ultimately, this means more food to feed acne and block pores,” said Joshua Zeichner, MD, in Byrdie.
In summer 2020, this is especially true, when we’re all wearing masks to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. “Maskne occurs when sweat, skin oils, and bacteria are trapped on the skin while wearing your mask,” says Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Houston, Texas.
So, how can you best take care of your skin this summer? First, never forget the golden rule: wash your face! Cleansing is vital for washing away the dirt and grime from the day, and sweat or oils from the night.
Second, treat acne with exfoliation and acne treatment. Exfoliation is an important step in keeping breakouts at bay. We recommend exfoliating 2-3x per week, using a physical exfoliator like our Clarify Cleansing Scrub. Treat active breakouts with a salicylic acid treatment, like our Clarify Blemish Treatment Pads.
When we transition into cooler months, skin can be prone to drying out, which can also cause irritation and breakouts. Exfoliation is equally important during this time of year, and moisturizing is a non-negotiable step. If you’re prone to breakouts, try a lightweight non-comedogenic moisturizer like our Gentle Moisture Lotion.
How to Take Care of Your Mental Health During a Breakout
Breakouts can be extremely taxing on mental and emotional health. It can cause us to self-isolate and hide. We know—we’ve been there! So we’re sharing some of the most helpful tips for how to best care for your mental health when navigating an acne journey.
Self-care tips for handling a breakout:
- Mask It Up: Not to be confused with the protective face coverings we referred to earlier, face masks can be extremely helpful for breakouts. Our Purifying Charcoal Clay Facial Mask works to clear away excess oil and clear congested skin.
- Work Up a Sweat: Exercise is extremely helpful for your mental health (exercise produces endorphins, AKA the feel-good hormones), but sweating can also be good for detoxing the skin. Just be sure to cleanse your face and body after your workout.
- Get Your Rest: Stress and anxiety can make your breakout worse. One good way to combat stress is to get a goodnight sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, don’t drink caffeine after 12pm, try to limit screen time at night and read before bed.