With a pimple patch on my chin, and salicylic acid dabbed on the blackheads sprinkling my nose, I write to you in solidarity, that summer breakouts are real. Just when we want our skin to reflect our vibrant mood and be on its best behaviour for our packed social calendar, it does the exact opposite. It’s like our face senses fear.
But, really, there are a couple of very seasonal factors at play here.
It’s the heat!
Hot, humid weather means we work up a sweat just by waddling to the grocery store. That sweat then sits on your face, creating a beautiful medley of bacteria alongside the grime and pollution present in the air, making its way onto the skin each day. The perfect pore-clogging formula. Then you add all the wiping, swiping, blotting with sheets, towels, hands and you introduce more bacteria and more oil to the skin. If you keep touching your skin barrier it’s going to get irritated, and we all know an angry or damaged barrier is one more prone to breakouts.
Hands! Off! Stop adding more powder to mattify the shine, and don’t try and triple cleanse to compensate for the caking. Keep makeup to a minimum, especially in areas you tend to breakout most, and use fragrance free blotting sheets to soak up any shine between meals/meetings/ubers. Also, maybe move to Norway.
Stop blasting the AC!
This one goes hand in hand with heat. Have you been blasting the air conditioning at home, in the car, working from very chilled cafes and shared office spaces? Welp, this sweet sweat relief could actually be breaking you out. Air conditioners create an incredibly dry environment, so much so that it can suck the moisture from your skin and cause an overproduction of oil that very quickly clogs the pores.
There’s not too much you can (willingly) do to avoid air conditioning in the Aussie summer, apart from trying to redirect the air, or position yourself otherwise, so the AC isn’t smacking you straight in the face. Humidifiers too are a great way to bring moisture back into the air and offset some of the dryness.
Are you really removing sunscreen properly?
SPF creates a protective barrier against UVA and UVB rays (you’ve been wearing it every day, right? Right!), and while it’s an important barrier, it’s one you don’t want lingering on the skin while you sleep.
When you add festive makeup or bagel crumbs to the equation too, trouble in the form of tired, dull skin is about to come knocking. If you don’t properly remove all buildup daily, your face 1) won’t be able to breathe and regenerate while you snooze, and 2) those post cleansing treatment products can’t fully penetrate the skin and do their job.
Double cleanse is your new best friend. The ultimate one-two punch for soft and clean skin. Massage a cleansing oil into your dry face, before wiping clean with a warm cloth. Then follow up with a water based cleanser to lift off any lingering product.
Beyond the daily double cleanse, make sure you are exfoliating 2-3 nights a week to help fend off further product build-up, encourage cell turnover, and introduce a hefty amount of glow. Plus a clay mask once a week to detoxify the skin and provide a much deeper clean.
Don’t ditch those healthy routines!
And by this we mean coming home from a night of drinking and dancing, ignoring your evening skincare routine, and jumping straight between the sheets. Nightmare fuel!
It would be remiss of us not to mention the inevitable stress and restless nights that are associated with this time of year too. More commitments, more events, more temptations (food and alcohol), more late nights, less time to exercise, less motivation to do anything more than lay by the beach consuming a sugary romance novel. This very slight upset to healthy habits created all throughout ‘22 can start to show on the skin via breakouts, dullness, dark circles under the eyes.
Enjoy yourself, but don’t forget all the life tasks you know are going to make you feel good. Skincare! Pilates! Pretending you know how to meditate! Eight glasses of water a day! Does cordial count!
Ultimately, we’re puppets in Mother Nature’s cruel game of seasonal skin. So next time you’ve got a cute crop of pimples growing on your chin, take a few deep breaths (resist the urge to squeeze), and think about what common culprit could be causing your congestion.