Up until about three weeks ago, I was forgiven by the skincare gods because I never had a recurring breakout. Sure, I sometimes wake up with a pimple or red rash, but luckily, it usually goes away by dinnertime. I attribute my normally clear skin to regular use of sunscreen and a reasonable daily (120 ounce) water intake. But, that all changed when I started taking zumba and HIIT classes outside and considered the community pool as my ideal work-from-home location. The mixture of sweat, tight clothes, and forgetting to reapply sunscreen throughout the day left my back full of pimples. And worse, I had acne on my chest that extended all the way to my bra straps. The timing couldn’t have been worse as I was looking forward to wearing summer clothes and frequenting the recently opened properties.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who gets a lot of body acne during the summer. Dr Fatima Fahs, dermatologist and founder of Dermy Doc Box, says: “Excessive heat, humidity and perspiration contribute to acne by clogging our pores, resulting in breakouts. inflammation and acne. “This tends to be worst on the back, chest, and even buttocks.”
If, like me, you tend to be fine during the colder months but then flare up in the summer, read on for dermatologist-approved tips and tricks on how to manage and prevent seasonal acne. summer completely.
Why sweat and heat can make you more tired
For anyone, we tend to sweat more in the summer. Sweat itself does not create acne, but on the contrary contributes to clogged pores. “Sweat, oil and residue, when left on the skin, can clog pores and become food for acne-causing bacteria,” says Dr. Jenny Liu, FAAD. Instead of focusing on not sweating (remember, your body regulates temperature and is really good thing), focus on optimizing your routine to reduce your risk of flare-ups.
You may enjoy lounging or running errands after your workout, you should always shower after any physical activity to prevent a build-up of bacteria that can cause acne. According to Dr. Fahs, “the clothes you’re wearing, the time you shower, or the products your body is putting on your skin,” all contribute to the formation of acne.
After a workout, you may also find yourself flushing. Orit Markowitz, New York-based dermatologist and founder of OptiSkin, recommends carrying a small, cold-insulated bag as a backup of moisturizer and sunscreen. “Usually, hot flashes and flushes after exercise are caused by overheating,” says Dr. Markowitz. “After a workout, you should wash your face and apply a cold moisturizer and even a cold sunscreen to keep your face cooler, which in turn will prevent flushing and acne.”
How to treat body acne in summer?
So, if you notice you have increased body acne at this time of year, how exactly should you treat it? Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFRANKMD, recommends using a chemical exfoliator containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) a few times a week. You can also treat it topically with salicylic acid (a type of BHA) or benzoyl peroxide to increase cell turnover, dissolve trapped sebum, and heal existing breakouts.
It’s important to use a moisturizer after any type of exfoliant to restore moisture in your skin. Dr. Markowitz notes that “typically the ingredients you’re using to treat acne tend to dry out your skin” and that “the goal is to manage the inflammatory process that leads to your acne, so your Humidity is very important.” If your skin is too dry, it becomes inflamed and causes the skin to produce more oil, which in turn can lead to more clogged pores and thus increased breakouts. So while it’s tempting with so many acne products and ingredients, don’t skimp on moisturizer and SPF at the end of your routine.
If you have a particularly aggressive pimple that won’t go away, Dr. Liu recommends seeing a dermatologist for an injection of steroids, such as cortisol, to shrink the pimple (but your doctor will be able to tell you that’s how. best action).
Summer body care routine to minimize acne
Since acne (especially regular acne) develops when pores become clogged with oil, it’s important to adapt a summer routine to minimize excess oil and prioritize change. of skin. Dr. Fahs encourages her patients to use a mild and non-comedogenic moisturizer as well as an oil-free sunscreen. She also highlights the risks of over-exfoliating. “Don’t over-cleanse or feel the need to use harsh exfoliants and strong ingredients. Over-cleansing can lead to irritation, making pimples worse.”
It is important to consider the clothes you are wearing. While dermatologists recommend opting for looser clothing instead of tight clothing to avoid friction breakouts (known as mechanical acne), it’s best to invest in clothing that’s weak. ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) if you spend a lot of time outside – sun exposure can worsen acne-induced hyperpigmentation and lead to dark spots on your skin more and more widespread.
Dr Markowitz told TZR: “Clothes, depending on the weave, affect the amount of sun we’re exposed to, and if the textiles are open and bright, you really don’t have any protection at all.” . Translation: even if you are wearing clothes, it will not protect you from the sun. But some dense textiles, like unbleached cotton, will not only resist UV damage but are also breathable, helping to minimize perspiration and prevent the build-up of acne-causing bacteria. It is a common benefit to prevent body acne in the summer.
Also, don’t skip washing your hair. “Oil from our hair tends to contribute to acne on the forehead and upper back,” says Dr. Fahs. “Make sure to be consistent with your shampooing, especially when sweating, and avoid using conditioners and products that stay in your hair if you sometimes plan to let your hair dry while it touches the skin on your back. [these] products can contribute to worsening of acne. ”
Finally, to avoid breakouts and body breakouts, choose a “daily acne cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help unclog pores,” says Dr. Frank. “Use an oil-free moisturizer and if your skin needs a hydrating boost, add a hyaluronic serum.” Facial cleansers containing salicylic acid will help exfoliate the skin and remove dead cells, stuck in pores. Dr. Fahs also suggests using a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide in the shower, especially after a workout. “Benzoyl peroxide will get rid of bacteria on the surface of the skin that normally lead to breakouts, while also reducing inflammatory acne,” she says.
If you’re planning to be outdoors this summer (hello yes) and are prone to breakouts on your body, it’s a good idea to use precautions like these consistently, rather than just treating breakouts when they’re not. appear, can help you get clean skin all over the body.
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