How to Prevent Summer Breakouts Before They Happen

how to prevent summer breakouts
Storm Models by Anya Holdstock

If your skin has a tendency to 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 to not 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

iS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50 Plus $45
Shop

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

Dove Dermacare Scalp Pure Daily Care Shampoo $5
Shop

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 Dermacare line, which is also hydrating for your strands.

3. Beware of Certain Kinds of Toner

Renée Reouleau BHA Clarifying Serum $50
Shop

An oily skin type can benefit from toners because they can have key ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, green tea, or zinc—which are all meant to help prevent clogged pores, reduce inflammation, and regulate sebum production. That said, not all toners are created equal. Make sure the ingredients in your toner aren't drying or irritating, and if so, Zeichner suggests a serum with salicylic acid as a good replacement.

4. Properly Cleanse

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Patrol Pads $20
Shop

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 (twice a day if your skin tends to get congested) in which you thoroughly clean out pores and increase epidermal turnover, says DeHaven.

5. Wash Off Sweat

Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban $30
Shop

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.

Next up: This pore-perfecting sunscreen is better than any primer I've ever used.

Related Stories