If you suddenly develop acne every summer, do not be surprised. Acne is much more commonplace in the summer, so it is not unusual at all to be breakout-free in the other 3 seasons only to develop acne in the summertime.
In this article, we will describe the two most common causes of summertime acne and simple steps you can take to remedy this common problem.
Beat the Heat
One of the most prolific contributors to summertime acne and acne is general is sweating. Sweating can clog pores, stimulate sebum (oil) production, and provide a wet environment in which bacteria can thrive. Naturally, as the weather gets warmer, people start sweating. More sweat means more acne.
One oft-overlooked tip to reduce sweating is to drink ice water. Consider that ice water will routinely sit at around 33-34 degrees Farenheit, whereas the body’s default temperature is about 98.6 degrees Farenheit.
If you mix 1 pound (16 ounces) of water with a 130 pound body, in order for the temperatures to equalize, the 130 pound body will have to decrease in temperature 1 degree for every 130 degrees the ice water increases in temperature. Given that the temperature difference between ice water and body temperature is about 65 degrees, a 16 glass of ice water will cool down the entire body by about .5 degrees farenheit.
While that may not seem like a lot, consider that being even 1 degree above normal body temperature is only the result of a fairly significant fever. Most adults will start sweating at just .1 degrees above their normal body temperature! Just drinking a few 16 oz glasses of ice water each day can be enough to keep you cool even in hot environments.
Any other way you can cool down is great. Keeping cool while you sleep is very important and the most controllable. Turning down the air conditioning at night is much more affordable than it is during the day. Go to sleep with clean skin and keep it fresh by not sweating during your sleep and your acne will certainly improve.
Change Your Suntan Lotion
Another big contributor to summertime acne is suntan lotion. The oils and chemicals in suntan lotion can clog pores and lead to acne. At the same time we need sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun.
Your best bet is to just try a lot of different sunscreen brands, changing once every few weeks and evaluating during which time period your acne looks the best. Reducing the SPF is not necessarily going to reduce acne over another brand and may just result in less protection from the sun.
Instead, check for sunscreens that are advertised as “ultra lightweight”. These formulations may feel greasy but are less likely to clog a pore. Spray-on suntan lotions seem to work best for this purpose, though they may have to be reapplied more frequently.