If there's anything we dread more about the summer than the heat, it's the sudden onslaught of breakouts that come with it. It's the price we have to pay for all that extra sunshine, so it's always better to be safe than sorry.
For a quick checklist, we consulted Dr. Era Anwar, Johnson & Johnson's Research and Development Scientist in Singapore for her best acne prevention tips for the season. Read on to see how you should tweak your skincare routine according to her recos!
How to Prevent Acne in the Summer
1. Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser.
The heat and humidity alone could easily give us breakouts, thanks to all the extra sebum and sweat our skin will collect. And with face masks still a must when stepping outside, the possibility of having breakouts is only bound to be higher.
"The reason why we're getting maskne is [that] as this area is being covered, there's an increase in the temperature and humidity," explains Dr. Era. "All the dirt, sweat, and oil are all trapped and clog up our pores. Once these clog the pores, a lot of acne-causing bacteria will start to grow."
To stop these acne-causing bacteria from festering, cleansing properly is a must. According to Dr. Era, choose a cleanser that's gentle on your skin but still effective at sloughing off all the debris on your face. "Use hydrating cleansers like ones with hyaluronic acid or glycerin. These are the two ingredients that you should look out for when using the right cleanser so you're not stripping away the moisture," she adds.
2. Moisturize immediately after cleansing.
You might be wondering: Won't moisturizing only trigger more breakouts when it's hot out? And to that, we say absolutely not. Keeping your skin moisturized in the summer will actually do the opposite—a.k.a. protect your skin from those pesky zits! According to Dr. Era, moisturizing strengthens our skin barrier or help it regenerate itself when it's stressed out, particularly after having to deal with a mask all day.
And here's a tip: Apply your moisturizer while it's still damp from cleansing. This will help the product absorb faster; and if the product you're using has hyaluronic acid, it will attract all that leftover water on the surface of your skin and hold on to it for longer. Another moisturizer ingredient that Dr. Era recommends is glycerin, a humectant that also draws moisture from the air into your skin.
3. Choose the right moisturizer for your skin type.
While moisturizer is good for your skin, we also know how difficult it is to commit to wearing one in the summer. The remedy for this, according to Dr. Era, is this: Use a moisturizer that suits your skin type. For those who can't handle anything too creamy, she says the best option is to use something that's lightweight and watery in texture like gels or gel-creams. "It's a lot more comfortable to use in our weather condition and underneath the mask. Because it's light, it spreads really evenly as well," explains the scientist. Basically, you'll get all the benefits of a traditional "heavy" moisturizer sans the greasy feel!
4. If the breakouts persist, consider your treatment options.
Prevention is better than cure, and if your acne isn't fazed by simplifying your skincare routine, Dr. Era suggests consulting your dermatologist about your options for treatment. Incorporating acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid into your regimen could also help control the situation by getting rid of the deep-seated dirt and oil in your pores.
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