Elizabeth Entenman
July 23, 2019 10:00 am

Ah, summer. It’s officially the season of beach days, barbecues, and sipping cold beverages with your besties. But with the warmer weather comes an unfortunate side effect: breakouts. If you’ve ever noticed that you tend to break out more during the summer months, there’s a reason.

“With the change in seasons to summertime comes heat, humidity, and increased activity,” Dr. Y Claire Chang, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, told HelloGiggles. “Your skin produces more oil and sweat during the summer, which can then clog the pores and lead to breakouts.”

Much like you do with your wardrobe, it’s important to change up your skincare routine during the summer. The heat and humidity play by a different set of rules and require different types of products. Follow these five steps and you’ll be breakout-free all summer long.

1Avoid heavy sunscreens that can clog your pores—and lead to breakouts.

“Choose non-comedogenic SPF and skip heavy makeup,” advises Hannah Naranjo, an esthetician at Haven Spa in New York City.

Try a thinner, non-oily formula, or use a powder or mist SPF throughout the day. In fact, all of your products should be lightweight, from moisturizers to hydrating sprays. Naranjo also recommends using more lightweight serums and lotions over heavy creams.

2Use a gentle toner to remove dead skin cells caused by sun damage.

Toner is always a vital step in the cleansing process, but it’s especially important during the summer. Believe it or not, washing your face doesn’t completely remove every bit of excess dirt and oil. Toner helps get rid of leftover makeup, sunscreen, oils, and dead skin cells caused by sun damage, unclogging your pores and letting them breathe. After you wash your face with cleanser, swipe a cotton pad with some toner over your skin and kiss those summer breakouts goodbye.

3Use a retinoid.

“Retinoids are a powerful acne-fighting topical treatment. There is a misconception that you need to stop using your retinoid during the summertime because it makes your skin sun sensitive, but this is not true,” says Dr. Chang. “While retinoids will make your skin photosensitive, you can definitely continue it throughout the summertime if you are smart about sun protection and sunscreen use.”

4Keep sweaty hair off your face.

Let’s be real: Everybody sweats during the summer. And while sweat itself does not cause acne, it does cause an increase in bacteria buildup, which can clog your pores and cause a flare up. It’s best to keep your sweaty hair out of your face when you’re working out, laying by the pool, or even just walking around in the summer sun. Do it in style and reach for our favorite summer hair trend: barrettes!

5Keep your face clean.

Above all else, the best way to avoid breaking out during the summer is to keep your face clean. Remove your makeup before working out, cleanse after you break a sweat, and wash your face before bed.

“Wash your skin twice daily with a proper cleanser for your skin type,” says Naranjo. “If you don’t know what your skin type is, I’d recommend to see an esthetician.”

If you follow all of these tips and still experience a breakout, don’t sweat—it happens to everyone. Treat your skin to a facial to get the breakout under control faster.

“Estheticians are experts in this area and can help with calming down a flare up,” says Naranjo.

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