6 Smart Ways To Prevent Summer Acne

Keeping skin breakout-free in the summer can be a challenge. An increase in oil production + sweat = definite problems. You want to wear less makeup, but seem to be breaking out more than ever.

Healthy-looking, clear summer skin can be yours if you follow these blemish-battling tips.

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The underlying cause of breakouts is oil production in the skin. And since oil breeds bacteria, and bacteria leads to blemishes, it's not hard to do the math. Cleansing more often during the summer will help remove oil, dirt, and bacteria from the skin, thus reducing the chance of breakouts.

Oily skin types should be able to tolerate cleansing up to two to three times a day, as long as the cleanser isn't too harsh. A cleanser with salicylic acid will reduce-acne causing bacteria and oil and work to prevent blemishes as it penetrates the pores to help clear out impurities.
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This may come as a surprise to many, but did you know that using a moisturizer can actually help prevent breakouts? The reason for this is because when the skin doesn’t have the water it needs (from not using moisturizer and/or using harsh acne products that strip out essential moisture), the skin actually compensates for the dehydration by increasing oil production.

Again, since excess oil breeds bacteria, your goal is to have the least amount of oil on the skin. An oil-free moisturizer will deliver water deep within the skin to refine the appearance of pores, keep skin comfortable, and manage oil production throughout the day. Overactive skin doesn't need heavy and greasy oil-based moisturizers (it has plenty of oil), but it still needs some hydration.
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If you have oily, acne-prone skin, look for a sunscreen formula that won’t clog pores or encourage acne breakouts. Some people skip SPF because they are afraid it will cause breakouts, but I would never recommend skipping sunscreen to avoid a blemish. Aside from preventing premature aging, wearing SPF daily may help reduce the appearance of blemish scars. UV rays stimulate the skin's melanin cells, and can actually make acne scars appear darker and redder in color — and may even make them visible longer.

So, while it might take you a little time to find a sunscreen that agrees with your skin, it's worth the experimentation. Look for a formula that is both lightweight and contains ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
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Obviously, we sweat more in the summertime and sweat can create occlusions of the pores, resulting in red bumps caused by trapped sweat and oil. This combo can clog pores and create the appearance of a cluster of red, rash-like bumps. Sweat-related breakouts are often found in areas where material or fabric is pressed onto the skin for long periods of time (think sweatbands or hats, which should be washed often).

Stay on top of sweat-induced breakouts by showering more often, especially after a serious sweat session. Use an antibacterial cleanser formulated for acne-prone skin on the face and body. Keeping skin clean will make a huge difference in preventing this kind of breakout.
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Heat and humidity in warm climates increases oil production, and liquid foundation (and possibly makeup primers) can be the cause of increased breakouts.

"Acne cosmetica," as it's called, is the result of comedones, pustules, and papules caused from a blockage in the pores that results in bacteria growth. Consider switching to a lighter liquid foundation or a powder formula when the weather is warmer.
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Of all the times of the year to be diligent, summer is most important because acne and other skin conditions tend to flare up. This means washing your face at the end of each day, exfoliating regularly, and keeping up with your regimen in general. Don't go to bed without washing your face, no matter how tired you are.

You’ll never be able to eliminate sweat and oil production — after all, it’s summer, and you just can’t change certain genetic conditions. But taking a few extra precautions will help reduce summertime breakouts.