Acne is a daily concern that affects many of us 365 days a year. With the summer heat and humidity, our skin is left prone to frequent breakouts and blemishes. Not to mention, the summer fun comes with exposure to UV rays, harsh chlorine, and an increase in overall sweatiness.

But with many anti-acne products available on the market – such as benzoyl peroxide and Retinoids – these can become very drying on the skin. In addition, most acne prescription medications, such as Retin-A, can leave the skin more sensitive to sunlight. So, how can you treat summer acne without making matters worse?

Adjust Skincare Routine According to Season

Skip the heavy moisturizers that leave your skin feeling sticky and switch to lightweight serums and lotions. When it comes to summer skincare, less is more – except for SPF. You can mix your facial moisturizers with sunblock or simply choose a product that combines both hydration and protection.

To look fresh all day, opt for mattifying products that will go the extra mile to keeping your skin shine-free. If you plan on spending the day under the sun, reapply your SPF moisturizer every two hours for ultimate protection.

Get Smart with Your Workout

While it may be tempting to move on to the next errand in your gym clothes, you’re giving your skin a disadvantage by allowing the sweat and bacteria build-up to thrive underneath. Aim to use an antiperspirant in the morning and at night to prevent sweat-induced acne.

Exercising during the summer comes with plenty of opportunities when you’re out in the sun. However, make sure to let your skin breathe. For facial acne, keep your skin clean and washed often.

Beat Breakouts Before They Hit First

Prevention is key to dealing with the onset of acne. Don’t wait until you see a blemish to treat it. You can avoid flare-ups by being proactive with a hydrating diet, and a daily dose of benzoyl peroxide. This will kill any bacteria that could cause pimples to erupt.

Whether you are experiencing more acne than usual, give your skin the extra protection it needs with a salicylic acid cleanser. If you notice more oiliness, gently exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells – reducing the risk of clogged pores and blackheads. For those with average to oily skin, use a clay mask once a week to keep oil build-up at a minimum.

Grab the Toner

During the summer, your skin will have an increased build-up of dead cells that were dried by the sun, resulting in clogged pores. Aside from exfoliation, using a toner in the morning and at night will help you remove dead skin and help new skin reproduce faster. Toners will help improve minor blemishes and breakouts. However, it won’t clear up acne alone.

Choose a toner that’s far from basic and packed with antioxidants. Depending on the ingredients, toners can actually help reduce scars that acne leaves behind. Toners with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help keep pores clear and prevent pimples and blackheads from forming.

Boost A Healthy Diet

Foods with a high glycemic index are found to increase the risk of acne build up or make current blemishes worst, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In fact, research finds that some foods may trigger the onset of acne. Foods like cakes, pies, cookies, and dairy products are acne-prone foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. So, if you notice a sudden breakout after eating a sweet treat, you may want to cut back on see if your skin improves.

Above all, avoid products that contain oil. Not only will they clog pores but are not necessary unless you have dry or mature skin that lacks natural oil production. If you’re still having issues with your acne breakouts this summer, be sure to consult a dermatologist for further skincare recommendations.