Keeping your skin acne-free in the summer is a struggle. Outdoor activities coupled with product-melting heat equals havoc for your skin. Perspiration can lead to a blockage of the hair follicles and secondary bacterial overgrowth, causing acne and inflammatory breakouts. That sounds pretty gross, but it’s not a sentence for your skin, it’s a warning. You can prevent trouble before it starts! Instead of covering up your face during these hot months, use the following tips to prevent summer acne breakouts:
The deal with exfoliation
To keep skin beautiful and radiant, you should really exfoliate as often as you can. The summer months especially demand that you exfoliate every other day. After our mid-twenties, the skin’s natural ability to exfoliate starts to slow down. Young, fully functioning, healthy skin is able to fully exfoliate and replace itself within 28-30 days but after we reach our mid-twenties and early thirties, this time period becomes slower and sluggish and skin regeneration takes longer. This is the number one way to prevent clogged pores and dead skin build-up that can cause acne.
Shower > Bath
What most of us aren’t aware of is that while it is incredibly relaxing to lounge in a bath, it is also a great way to provoke acne. If you are really craving lying in your bath tub, be sure to shower and exfoliate first and then, soak tired muscles in water that is free of soaps or bubble bath lotions. Using shower gels that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is another useful tactic to fight summer acne. Showering is the only way to slough off dead skin cells.
Fight those oil glands
Oil glands are in overdrive during hot weather. Active oil glands are one of the main causes of blackheads and clogged pores. The best way to control oily skin is to use a water-based toner in the morning and night. Many cheaply manufactured toners are alcohol-based. Avoid such toners at all cost because alcohol will dry out your skin. When skin is dry, oil glands are activated to balance skin’s moisture out.
The power of sunscreen
Sun protection is essential to prevent acne because long periods of sun exposure results in very dry skin. When the skin is noticeably dry, the oil glands overcompensate and send oil to the skin’s surface. The only way to combat this and soothe the skin’s moisture-levels is with a wide-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. It is best to use a BB cream that has sun protection in it. Avoid heavy sunscreens that are waterproof for daily wear, limit them to the beach.
Time for change
A great way to keep your skin vibrant and glowing is to switch facial products periodically. A great time to change your skincare routine up is at the beginning of summer. Choose products that contain salicylic acid, it’s a miracle ingredient. Salicylic acid slowly renews the top layer of skin when used. Be careful that you don’t overdo it with multiple products though. When it comes to a summer skincare routine, just keep it simple.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2014.
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