Tips for Managing Summer Acne

Health Writer

The hot weather, the harmful effects of the sun and increased perspiration can sometimes cause acne breakouts. The following are tips to helping keep your acne under control during the summer:

Keep up your regular skin care routine. With fun-filled days and lots of activities, it is easy to forego your normal skin care routine but this can be devastating for your skin. Dr. Cynthia Bailey, in her blog states, "My patients who slack off on their acne treatments during the summer don't clear up nearly as much as my patients who keep using their regimen throughout the summer." [1]

Manage oily skin. Heat, humidity and perspiration can cause your skin to become more oily during the summer months. Use a cleanser twice a day to help manage oily skin. While it may be tempting to wash your face more often to control oil, this can dry out or irritate your skin, causing additional skin problems. If your skin feels oily during the afternoons, you can switch and use a cleanser then and then skin the nighttime cleansing for a simple rinse with water.

Evaluate your moisturizer. During the winter months you may have used a heavier moisturizer. Make sure you are using an oil-free moisturizer. Moisturizers labeled noncomedogenic are best as these do not block pores.

Use sunscreen every time you are outside. Some acne medications (such as Retin-A) cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun. You should be using an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every time you are outside.

Wear cotton clothing. Acne mechanica or body acne is caused when your skin is exposed to high heats or friction from clothes or athletic equipment. Soft cotton clothing, which allows your skin to breathe can reduce this type of acne.

Shower after sweating. Perspiration can clog pores; after sweating take a shower, preferably with a body wash containing salicylic acid to help reduce acne breakouts and blackheads. Keep cleansing towelettes with you to wipe your face if you are unable to get home to shower.

Make sure cosmetics are oil-free. Choose cosmetics that specifically state they are oil-free. Look for those that are mineral or water based.

By following your regular skin care routine and taking preventive measures during the hot summer months, you can help to control and manage summer acne breakouts.


[1] "Dermatologist's Summer Skin Care Advice for Acne," 2011, May 31, Cynthia Bailey, M.D.,