Sorry, but Summer Acne Is a Thing - Here Are 4 Ways to Avoid It

woman applying moisturiser woman applying moisturiser

Sorry to tell you, but 'summer acne' is a thing.

To be fair, an increase in acne and/or random breakouts brought on by warm and humid weather is super common. It can happen to anyone. This is what I've been telling myself during the summer holidays when my kids point at my breakouts and ask, “what’s that Mummy?”

But what actually causes summer skin breakouts and why do pimples seem to multiply in hot weather and humid climates? Here's everything you need to know about summer acne, and how to manage and treat it.

What Is Summer Acne and Why Do I Get Pimples in Hot Weather?

Summer isn't all doom and gloom for our faces - sweat is basically glow, right?

That said, one of the underlying causes of breakouts in the skin is oil production. And what tends to increase as the weather heats up? Our oil production. Bless.

An increase in oil production can also breed bacteria (another major factor when it comes to acne) and let's face it, we’re all likely to sweat more during the summer months.

Lifestyle changes during this time of year, like going back to the fridge for another bite of leftover pavlova or pouring another wine because why the heck not (?!), also play a role in summer acne because alcohol and sugar will affect the health of your gut, and in turn, your skin.

It's nothing to feel guilty about though, more just something to be mindful of.

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Summer Acne.

The first thing to know about summer acne is, it happens. However, here are four simple things you can do to prevent and treat pimples due to hot weather.

1. A Summer Acne Skincare Routine.

Less is definitely more when it comes to skincare in summer (except, of course, your sun protection). In other words, when it's hot and humid, it's not the best time to do a 10-step skincare routine - especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

I know this will sound like marketing speak, but as a dermal clinician, I’d advise you swap thick, heavy creams for lightweight lotions and serums in summer.

My favourite summer moisturiser? Aspect Sheer Hydration Oil Free Moisturiser - it has the most beautiful non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) formula filled with antioxidants. It also gives a slightly mattifying finish, which is great for sweaty faces. And you can use this morning and night - there's no need to spend money on a separate evening moisturiser.

aspect sheer hydrationaspect sheer hydration

2. Use a Sunscreen That Won't Clog Your Pores.

If you're someone who doesn't wear sunscreen on your face in summer because you think it'll break you out, look for a lightweight product formulated with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Never mind, I found it for you. Ultra Violette Lean Screen SPF50+ Sunscreen is a 'physical' or 'mineral' sunscreen for sensitive and/or acne-prone skin. It's mattifying, doesn’t cause irritation, dries down easily and most importantly, offers SPF50+ broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Honestly, it’s hard to beat. You can read our full Lean Screen review here.

Want to know the truth about sunscreen? Check out our SPF myth-busting YouTube video with Lab Muffin Beauty Science below!

3. Don’t Wait Until You See a Breakout to Treat It.

If you know you’re prone to excessively oily skin or breakouts, be one step ahead of them by incorporating a salicylic acid cleanser like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro Peeling Cleanser 200ml into your routine.

Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) and is able to clear oil from deep within the pores, which helps minimise the bacteria that causes your breakouts in the first place. This affordable cleanser is also formulated with zinc to promote skin healing for any acne breakouts that are already present.

Pro tip: You can use this on your body too to treat body acne. Yep - sweat pimples on your body are annoying, but very common and easily treatable.

la roche posay effeclar micro peeling cleanserla roche posay effeclar micro peeling cleanser

4. Exfoliate Regularly.

Regular exfoliation is always a good idea, but especially so in summer.

Exfoliating masks are awesome in warmer weather because rather than working up a sweat layering a bunch of different serums and treatments, you can pop one on for 15-30 minutes and wash it off before applying your hydrating serum or moisturiser.

An enzyme exfoliating product like Skinstitut Enzymatic Micro Peel is gentle enough to be used a few times a week, but effective without stripping your skin.

skinstitut enzymatic peelskinstitut enzymatic peel

Bonus Tip: Wash Your Face and Body Regularly to Avoid Sweat Pimples.

Finally, a quick one that might seem obvious but can make a huge difference. Wash your face and body regularly.

This means showering and cleansing your face and body straight after workouts, sweaty walks or a humid commute home. If you're a sweaty sleeper, you might like to shower morning and night in summer.

Sitting in sweat for any period of time is basically giving bacteria a green light to wreak havoc on your skin. Sweat also contributes to the occlusion (clogging) of the pores, which can lead to bumps prompted by trapped sweat and oil.

I promise, your face and body will thank you for this.