5 Ways To Deal With Acne In Summer
Acne can be a stubborn skin problem in summer for teens or those of us whose skin behaves like a teenager from time to time.
I know, I have three grown sons and over the years have seen it all; acne, bacne, breakouts, you name it.
Acne has different causes and is a normal part of growing up for many. Androgen sex hormones increase oil production and clog skin cells and pores which then allows bacteria to grow.
If you have a major acne issue, your dermatologist or doctor is the first port of call and I absolutely recommend this path. I have seen great results from medical treatments both for the skin and the stress levels of teenagers.
But if you have teenage skin with the regular kind of issues, it is not rocket science to ensure you adjust things and are getting the most out of your skincare routine and minimise the likely hood of potential acne occurances.
Summer fun means heat, increased exposure to UV rays, humidity and plain old sweatiness. Here five hacks to help and my personal recommendations for helping your teen:
Does more sweat really equal more acne?
It seems obvious that a hotter environment leads to an increase in sweating, and when combined with a build-up of dirt particles and pollutants, the hair follicles become clogged and accumulate the oil in which bacteria builds up and causes inflammation and pimples.
So, introduce your teen to gentle regular cleansing, removing makeup before bed or a workout and not touching your face with dirty or sweaty fingers can really slow down flare ups, you can minimize the chance of getting a flare up.
You will hear heaps of other tips about summer pimples but keep in mind, many are myths or simply common sense. Specific foods such as chocolate do not cause pimples but a healthy diet and drinking heaps of water in summer is a good idea. It’s a great idea for everyone.
Change your skincare routine with the season
Hydration is critical for healthy skin but it’s also a no-brainer to swap out heavier and thicker moisturisers for more lightweight lotions and serums in summer. In summer, with the exception of sunscreen, ‘less is more’ and that can refer to the texture of your moisturiser. Don’t get me wrong, moisturising is critical, especially with exposure to chlorine and saltwater which can aggravate acne and be conscious of how your skin responds to change.
Remember too, we are all different. Some products which work for you most of the year may be drying and in combination with summer conditions, irritating. So, I would also consider reducing the number of products you use if you have a breakout, especially those which are heavier on the actives.
Super Fruit Wash-Off Cleanser with Blueberries, Grape Skin and Acai
Working your body hard
If your teen is into the gym or plays sport, I always recommend letting you skin catch its breath after training or a workout. Get out of the sweaty gear and shower or swim to cool down. It doesn’t take much for bacteria to go nuts underneath your moist and sweaty clothes. For my boys it was all about showering or at the minimum and as a first measure, wiping the face with a clean towel after sports training and working out.
It may also be a good time for the girls to consider a more natural look for summer and wear a little less makeup. Regrettably, makeup will clog your already sweaty pores and requires vigilance. This is really when lighter non-comedogenic mineral makeup comes into its own. Teenage girls would really benefit from the use of the loose mineral powder foundation which they can use to spot cover blemishes and as a beautiful, natural foundation. If they want coverage, just build up the layers.
Keep a consistent batting average
Prevention is better than cure. Avoid flare-ups by consistent and proactive daily cleansing. Don't wait until you see a breakout to prepare for it with gentle exfoliation and a Vitamin C Serum. This will remove dead skin cells, excess oil and any external pollutants before they have a chance to clog pores.
While it may be tempting after cleansing for you, don’t touch, squeeze, or pick at pimples. All it will do is make acne worse by causing more inflammation and spreading bacteria. Picking at pimples can also lead to more inflammation and scarring. Take your teen to a specialist facialist (I can recommend one in Sydney) who can safely remove and treat pimples.
Balance & Replenish Light Moisturiser with Calendula, Red Mandarin & Pumpkin
What about pigmentation and red acne marks?
In some instances, the sun can actually cause the red marks from acne to darken so make sure you keep in the shade and slather on a sunscreen. I believe there are lightweight sunscreens available specifically for an acne/pimple affected skin.
It is a myth that the sun helps to prevent or heal acne, so just don’t sunbake. The sun will damage your skin over the long run and is a major cause of skin cancer.
Avoiding sun exposure during the Summer is key to managing any hyperpigmentation. It can make acne redness appear darker and therefore last longer. If you avoid this from happening, then half the battle is won in treating acne scarring, as you then focus your efforts on treating the textural changes alone instead of having to address both textural and colour changes.
SCOUT skincare routine for a blemished complexion
I know this well as I started my three sons on this simple skincare routine at around the age of 14.
The Superfruit Exfoliating Wash Off Cleanser is my go-to for this as it is rich in natural Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s), which work to exfoliate the surface of the skin without harsh stripping or over-cleansing.
It is simple, gentle, effective and smells divine. They can use it in the shower and it even doubles as a shaving gel. Leave it on the skin for a minute before washing off to allow the natural AHA’s to work their magic.
Starting them off cleansing their skin is optimal and once they have this under control, they will be more receptive to adding another product.
The next product I usually recommend is the Vitamin C Brightening Serum or the Skin Perfecting Radiance Gel.
These can double as a moisturiser and will help to keep the blemishes under control. Remember, only a couple of drops/or in the case of the Gel one pump are needed to get the desired result.
Lastly, if more nourishment is required and if the teenager is happy to include a third item in their routine, the Balance & Replenish Light Moisturiser can be added.
I talked about a step-by-step introduction for teens but if you have girls then I’m sure they will be open to beginning with all three products at once. Boys are a little harder to introduce to a skincare routine so a slow approach is required!!!
There you have it. A quick 5 point rundown on dealing with Summer acne and some myth based practices to avoid.