If you suffer from acne, you may be used to tweaking your skin routine in the summer. Indeed, keeping those uncomfortable summer breakouts under control is not easy when the mercury goes up.
As the temperatures rise, and the Sun gets stronger your skin is more exposed to excessive sweat and the pores get clogged more quickly. Summer is also the season that calls for spending more time outdoors, which means exposing your skin to pollution and grime. It explains why most people report more breakouts in the summer, not only in the face but also in some body parts.
WARMTH AND HUMIDITY
The increased heat and humidity not only make you sweat more but can also have an impact on your skin microbiome – a combination of microorganisms that inhabit your skin and help keep the balance. Inside the follicles, this microbiome includes a bacteria called Propionibacterium Acnes, which is closely linked to the development of acne. Warmth and humidity create a microenvironment that helps these bacteria to thrive.
This microenvironment is also the main responsible for Maskne, the formation of pimples and infected comedones on the skin under the face mask we have all been using to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
SUN AND ACNE
Though some people report improvement after exposing their pimples to the sun, there are several reasons why you should avoid it as much as you can.
Moderate sun exposure can have anti-inflammatory effects that can make your whiteheads dry a little at first, but the negative effects of sun rays on your skin largely outweigh its benefits. Moreover, though your acne marks may look less obvious when your skin is tanned, it neither means they have disappeared nor improved.
Sun dries the skin at first (which is not good for any skin, not even oily and acne-prone skin) but as a response it makes your sebaceous glands produce more sebum, triggering pore-clogging in the end.
More importantly, sun exposure is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation. Inflamed skin like the one suffering from acne is highly susceptible to becoming dark or red – it is technically known as post-inflammatory pigmentation and can be permanent. But there is more: as you should know, UV rays damage your skin cells by promoting the formation of free radicals which hinder wound healing and skin regeneration. Therefore, exposing your acne-prone skin to the sun without protection worsens your acne scars and poses the risk of making them irreversible. For all these reasons, when acne is active, it is crucial to protect your skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
ACNE STAGES AND PIMPLE FORMATION
SKINCARE TIPS TO PREVENT SUMMER BREAKOUTS
Wash your face twice a day and after sweating
You need to remove oil excess and dirt from your skin to prevent the formation of black and whiteheads. Nevertheless, too much washing can stimulate more sebum production. Twice a day and after performing an activity that has made you sweat is the sensible option and what the American Academy of Dermatology recommends.
Use a face cleanser or a syndet
Soaps are more aggressive to your skin than you think. They damage the acid mantle and can disrupt the proper function of the skin barrier. For this reason, it is better to use a cleanser for your face and a syndet for your body.
Use a specific towel only for your face
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should have a towel only for your face, do not use the one you use to dry your hands to prevent any external dirt or oils from different parts of your body to come in contact with your open pores.
Wash your hair frequently
Oil and dirt from your hair also pose a risk to your acne-prone skin. Washing it more frequently or avoiding your hair from touching your face will help.
Do not ever touch your pimples or blackheads
This is probably the simplest but the most important of all the tips to prevent or improve acne breakouts. Your hands are in contact with millions of different microorganisms every day. Try to keep them clean, but more importantly Keep-Your-Hands-Off-Your-Pimples-and-Comedones.
Protect your skin from the Sun to prevent acne scars
As mentioned above, sun exposure seriously worsens all kinds of young scars, and it includes acne scars. Do not forget to protect all those areas affected by acne with non-comedogenic sun protection before going out.