How to Prevent Summer Breakouts Before They Happen

Updated 03/08/18
how to prevent summer breakouts
Storm Models by Anya Holdstock

If your skin has a tendency breakout come summer, you’re not alone. The combination of triple-digit temperatures and outdoor activities makes the perfect breeding ground for a blemish or two. “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,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, of Zeichner Dermatology. So as not to let warm-weather acne wreak havoc on our faces, we asked a few dermatologists how to prevent summer breakouts from happening.

Since the weather, specifically hot weather, greatly affects our skin, Charlene DeHaven, MD, and clinical director of iS Clinical skincare says it’s important to plan seasonal skincare routines. So, just what should we be doing differently in the summer than in the winter? According to dermatologists, we should change up our cleansing routine, wash our hair more frequently, and retire our toner. For more dermatologist-recommended ways in which to ward off summer breakouts, keep on reading.

1. Use Oil-Free Sunscreen

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According to DeHaven, both acne and sunburns are inflammatory processes. To avoid inflaming your skin come summer, DeHaven recommends avoiding sunburns by wearing a daily sunscreen. And while many sunscreens are notorious for causing breakouts, DeHaven assures us that iS Clinical's SPF is unlikely to cause blemishes due to its non-comedogenic (aka non-acne-forming) formula, which won't clog pores.

2. Wash Your Hair Frequently

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If you suffer from forehead acne come summer, Adam Friedman, MD, FAAD, says to frequently wash your hair, as this will prevent oil from clogging your pores. His favorite shampoo to treat this breakout-prone area? Dove's new Dermacare line, which is also hydrating for your strands.

3. Beware of Toner

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If you suffer from oily skin, you likely use toner to dry up excess oil, which is okay on occasion—but regular use is a big summer skincare no-no, says DeHaven. While toner makes skin feel dry for the moment, that same dry skin, DeHaven explains, sends messages to sebaceous glands to produce more oil. In other words, your pores are likelier to get clogged when you use toner. So what should we be using instead to get rid of our excess oils? According to Zeichner, products with salicylic acid a good replacement.

4. Properly Cleanse

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While it's important to wipe away excess oil and sweat, especially in the summer, Friedman cautions against over washing, as this can dry skin out, create more inflammation, and induce acne. Instead, instate a proper cleansing routine (once or twice a day) in which you thoroughly clean out pores and increase epidermal turnover, says DeHaven.

5. Wash Off Sweat

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If you're working out in the hot sun, Zeichner recommends wearing appropriate workout gear that wicks away sweat from the skin. Friedman seconds this: "Look for loose-fitting, breathable clothing to prevent occlusion." To further prevent body acne, Friedman and Zeichner recommend showering after a workout or at least using a towel with water to remove remaining sweat salts.

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