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As summer approaches, many people look forward to pool parties, beach days, and outdoor hangouts with friends.
Unfortunately, acne also enjoys crashing your summertime party... The season's heat and humidity make it easy for
debris to get trapped beneath your pores. Combine those elements with the sun's powerful UV rays, and you've got
plenty of pimple‑producing potential. But you don't have to let acne affect your summer plans — consider adopting a
solid summertime skincare routine that will make you feel confident all season long.
Before getting into summer skincare tips for acne, let’s first examine what acne actually is. Your skin has small
glands called sebaceous glands. These glands distribute sebum, your skin’s natural oil, across your body, which then
lubricates your skin and hair follicles. Acne occurs when
these follicles, also called pores, become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. There are numerous types of
You may experience one, several, or all of these types of acne. Sometimes acne disappears on its own, but the right
treatment can decrease the severity of your breakouts and help you avoid future ones.
Are you fighting frequent breakouts no matter what you do? Your genes might play a role. Environmental factors and your
lifestyle also affect your skin, but some people are more prone to breakouts than others. If your mom or dad
suffered from acne, that means you may have higher odds of experiencing outbreaks. Don't disown your DNA just
yet, though. Making healthy lifestyle choices and treating your face with acne‑fighting products may help reduce
your acne’s severity.
Does tanning help acne? Does the sun make acne worse? Fun in the sun often irritates your breakouts, even though
your skin may temporarily appear clear. That’s because UV rays cause inflammation on and below the skin's
surface, which destroys cellular DNA. The result? Cosmetic concerns such as premature aging, sun spots, and
sunburn (and sunburn with acne can be extremely uncomfortable).
The biggest risk if you spend too much time trying to fake a fab complexion with a deep tan? Skin cancer, and
that’s the case whether you’re soaking up natural UV rays or lying under the bright lights of a tanning bed.
While it’s true that the sun can boost your mood, you should still have your fun in the sun responsibly by
applying broad-spectrum sunscreen and avoiding direct sunlight whenever possible.
Bummed over a breakup or sacrificing sleep for late‑night study sessions? Take a look at your complexion. Stress can cause acne or make existing breakouts worse.
In addition to increasing your skin’s oil production, stress can also make inflammation worse, making acne more
noticeable or painful. Try to take some time to relax each day, even if you can only squeeze in a few minutes of
You may have to switch up your skincare routine a bit if you want a clear complexion this summer. Don’t overdo
your time in the sun, and take care of your entire body — not just your face. Check out our summer‑specific tips
below to learn how to protect and pamper your skin this season.
One of the most essential summer skincare tips is to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. Apply it regularly,
especially if you’re sweating or swimming. Be extra careful if you use over‑the‑counter acne products or
prescription medications as some of them make the skin more sensitive to the sun than usual, which can cause
irritation, red patches, or significant breakouts. So, along with applying sunscreen, stay in the shade when you
can, and consider investing in a beach umbrella to deflect some of those harmful rays.
Many cosmetics and other beauty products make breakouts
worse by clogging pores and irritating skin, especially when you're sitting under the sweat‑inducing
sun. To keep skin healthy, look for products that say noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic on the label. This goes
for sunscreen, too, as some sunscreens leave behind a thick, greasy film on your skin. Look for a lightweight sunscreen with a noncomedogenic label, just make sure it’s
got an SPF of at least 30.
During the quest for clear skin, many people get a bit too excited about their face‑cleansing routines and wash
their face too much. The truth is that you only need to wash twice a day, unless you're engaging in some serious
sweat sessions. In fact, too much cleansing may actually cause your skin to produce more oil — the more you
strip it of those natural oils, the more it will overproduce.
Choose a cleanser, toner, treatment, and moisturizer designed for your skin
type, and remember that what works for your friends might not work for you. An exfoliating scrub may create a radiant complexion for folks with dry, flaky skin but result in rashes — and more acne — for
people with sensitive skin. A heavy moisturizer soothes parched pores but weighs down oily skin.
Put your regular skincare routine on hold if you’ve got sunburned skin. Soap can irritate sunburned skin, and you
definitely shouldn’t use a dry brush, loofah, or washcloth.
Here are some ways to care for your skin when your sunburn is at its worst (usually the first couple of days):
As your sunburn fades and the pain subsides, you can start gently washing your face and wearing makeup again.
If you do get a sunburn, resist the temptation to pick at peeling skin, which can increase the risk of scarring
because the skin doesn’t always peel evenly. It’s best to let nature take its course and let the dead skin
exfoliate on its own.
Acne can strike nearly anywhere on your body, from your face to your back. Some people even get pimples on their
arms, legs or butts. Sometimes tight clothing and rough razors create these issues, but body blemishes often
come from pores getting clogged and irritated because they’re trapped beneath your sweaty or tight clothing.
Staying home all summer probably isn't your first choice, so you've got to get your body breakouts under
A deep‑cleaning wash and body pads with active, acne-fighting ingredients are good options for people who battle
body breakouts. Use these products at least once a day, more often if needed. As with your facial skincare
routine, you should be gentle when you care for your body. Don't scrub or rub body blemishes, and be careful not
to use scalding hot water. This can dry out your skin and make it itchy or flaky — and it won't make your
You may have worked hard for your summer body, but tight‑fitting tops and form‑fitting sundresses aren't a friend
to your skin. When possible, wear loose, breathable clothing, so blemish‑causing bacteria don’t breed on your
body. Look for light linens and comfy cotton clothes if you’ve got outdoor plans. When possible, avoid clothing
made from wool, flannel, polyester, rayon, or spandex. These fabrics trap heat and sweat against your skin,
upping your odds of battling body blemishes.
Got an outdoor event planned on a hot day? Bring a mini fan so you can cool down. You may even want to pack a
change of clothes so you can swap sweat‑stained gear for something clean. Body wipes, soothing facial spritzes,
and cooling aerosol water mists are other great ways to stay cool in the hot summer sun.
A bad sunburn can take a toll on your body from the inside out. Severe sunburns can cause vasodilation, which
causes blood vessels to dilate and leads to water loss. Drinking enough water can help you prevent dehydration,
fatigue, and even heat stroke. Water is good for your skin in general, so drink up! If you do get a sunburn, be
sure to add some electrolytes to help you rehydrate faster.
Even though you’re sweating and probably feeling oilier than usual, it’s still important to apply a moisturizer
as part of your morning and evening skincare routines. When you’re spending more time in the sun and air
conditioning than usual, it can be more challenging to keep your skin moisturized and supple — and this goes for
your entire body. Regularly apply a body lotion or cream to keep the skin from drying out.
Many people skip out on moisturizing their face because they think it will make their skin feel even more greasy
and cause clogged pores and breakouts. Still, that’s no reason to skip this step altogether. Simply opt for a
lightweight, noncomedogenic moisturizer like our Green Tea Moisturizer, to
ensure your skin remains hydrated.
Exfoliating is an excellent summer beauty tip as long as you don’t go overboard. While it’s essential to get rid
of dry, dead skin cells (especially those from a faux tan), too much exfoliating leads to more sensitive skin.
If you plan on spending the majority of your summer outside, you may want to hold off on exfoliating all
together until fall.
Summer is your time to shine, and not because your T‑zone is oily. Follow the tips above, plus get healthy,
radiant skin with help from pore‑pampering Proactiv products. We've got cleansers, toners, and moisturizers for
every skin type, so you can sail through those summer days with confidence.