Women's Guide to Having an Acne-Free Summer

Women's Guide to Having an  Acne-Free Summer

Summer is a fun time for a lot of reasons -barbecues, vacations, beach time and plenty of time outdoors. However, summer is not always the easiest on your skin, and if you're dealing with acne problems, this time of year presents some challenges. Thankfully, all is not lost - you don't have to stay cooped up indoors to save your skin! We've compiled this guide of helpful tips to help you and every women like you enjoy a fun, acne-free summer.

Rinse off after enjoying the pool.

This may sound counterintuitive at first - if you've just spent time in the water, what's the point of rinsing off? However, your typical pool is filled with much more than just water, and common pool chemicals like chlorine, which can dry and sensitize your skin while possible left over bacteria may cause some inflammation in already irritated spots such as pimples or cysts. So rinse it off to keep it off (breakouts that is!).

If you're short for time, a quick rinse in the shower and patting (not rubbing) your skin dry will probably be enough. However, if possible, give your skin a little extra pampering. A moisturizing cleanser will help restore some of the essential oils stripped away by pool chemicals and will ensure your skin stays hydrated and healthy. A non-comedogenic moisturizer will help reduce numerous flaking skin cells that may clog your pores. However, save more vigorous cleansing options, like deep exfoliating scrubs, for another time - these may actually irritate your skin more than it already is.

Not going in the pool, and headed to the beach instead? It's still a good idea to get that salt water off of your skin if possible after you go for a dip. You of course have noticed that salt and water have a drying effect as well, which again, may seem great at first, but can cause issues very shortly thereafter.

Go easy on the alcohol and sweet, tropical drinks.

It can be tempting to spend an entire summer day sipping different coladas from the comfort of your lounge chair, but if you're worried about your skin, that isn't the best idea. Many of these tasty cocktails are full of refined, white sugar, which can lead to both inflammation and glycation of the skin. Both of these conditions can damage the overall health of your skin and leave it looking dull and aged. They may not be linked directly to acne, but anything that damages your skin can increase your risk for more breakouts.

Alcohol is a known diuretic and one of the skin's most recognized enemies, so go easy on it think about creating your own "cocktails" with sparkling water, ice and a small amount of cranberry or lime juice, or a few slices of lemon, fresh mint and/or fresh cucumber instead. If you absolutely need sugar in the drink, opt for raw coconut sugar in a small amount.

You can also use other fruits to make your summer drinks. By making your own at home and incorporating lots of fresh fruit (which contains healthier types of sugar) you'll end up with a healthier, equally delicious result.

You can also try blending a cup of your favorite frozen berries with a splash of water or fruit juice and garnish with a mint sprig. Voila! You've got a cool, tasty treat that's great for your skin's health.

Stay protected from the sun.

This should go without saying, but too much exposure to the sun's rays is no good for healthy skin. Unfortunately, there's a particularly dangerous myth that sun and a nice tan can actually improve your acne. It's true that darker skin may be able to help you mask the appearance of current breakouts, but in the long run this is still a terrible idea.

In addition to increasing your risk of skin cancer, too much exposure to the sun (or tanning beds) leaves your skin feeling dry and irritated. Sun rays will actually produce deep tissue inflammation that takes a long time to repair and may lead to brown spots and other discolorations virtually not able to be removed.

To compensate for this dryness, your skin will begin to produce more skin oil (also known as sebum). This excess oil can clog your pores even more than they already are, adding dry, flaky skin cells to the mix. This gives acne-causing bacteria the perfect breeding ground.

To avoid troubles like this, the most obvious answer is using sunscreen when you'll be outside for long periods of time. However, not all sunscreens are created equal-in fact, some can be downright toxic for your skin. When choosing a product, look for the ingredients titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These chemicals have been shown to have the lowest negative impact on your skin's health and very good sun-ray protection power. Conversely, avoid the following ingredients:

  • Para aminobenzoic acid
  • Octyl salicylate
  • Avobenzone
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Padimate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Trolamine salicyclate
  • Octocrylene

These can irritate sensitive skin, and may even cause an allergic reaction in some people.

However, sunscreen isn't your only option - in fact, shielding yourself from the sun can be downright fashionable. Large sun hats (they make them now with up to SPF 50!) can help protect your neck and face from UV rays and can help pull together an entire beach outfit. Remember also that it's best to use protective clothing in conjunction with sunscreen to ensure you're completely protected.

Take a year-round approach to treating your acne.

It's entirely possible for your acne problems to intensify during the summer months, but chances are you still struggle with them even in the dead of winter. This is because breakouts are not caused by seasonal changes - their origin is actually much deeper than that.

Most acne problems results from hormonal imbalances, and is only exasperated by other factors such as lifestyle, diet, skincare products or even weather. Only small amounts of hormones in your body circulates in the blood stream, but when this amount increases or changes rapidly, this can send signals to your skin sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This excess of skin oil then clogs your pores and begins the frustrating cycle of breakouts. While genetics or factors listed above may exacerbate this cycle, it is still not a primary cause of acne. Until you begin to treat the underlying factors, it's likely your breakout problems will persist.

This is why many decide to take AcnEase (our botanical acne treatment), knowing that it's designed to break that cycle of acne by moderating the skin's response to hormones in a way that is gentle, natural, and effective. And one of the many benefits to AcnEase is that it has no sun restrictions, so you are able to enjoy being out in the sun!

Many acne sufferers come to us after they've tried everything else since they're sick and tired of not being able to break the cycle of acne - AcnEase does just this with a very high user success rate without unnatural substances or side effects! Many people see results within 2 weeks of the treatment depending on the severity of acne. The minimum treatment regimen is however one month (compared to a minimum 6 months of Accutane generics and all those side effects). Those with chronic and severe acne and body acne may need 2 or 3 months to see expected results.

So how's your skin looking these days? Is it ready for summer?

With a promise of clear skin,
Dr. A

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