Anyone else experiencing spots, congestion and breakouts during the heatwave? As the humidity can often get to 80-90% during the summer (whilst typically it’s under 50%) it can accelerate skin imbalances - particularly in hot and polluted cities. Humidity creates a layer of heat and moisture that is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and when skin gets hot and sweaty that moisture can not evaporate. This not only leads to breakouts but the humidity stimulates the pores to expand and oil levels to increase. This excess oil and if you haven’t exfoliated in a while, the dead skin cells block the pores and form acne.
Watch out for summer skin “purging”!
Simply put, a skin purge refers to the reaction some skin has to certain products that contain “aggressive” ingredients.You may be told an increase in breakouts and acne is perfectly normal, yet we find that this is a rouse to buy and use too many skin irritants so to treat signs of sun damage.
What causes purging during summer?
- Retinoids (including isotretinoin, retinol, and retinyl palmitate)
- Hydroxy acids, particularly AHA, malic, lactic, glycolic and mandelic - using acids too often or in strong percentage can cause burning, inflammation, and sensitivity
- Benzoyl peroxide (over-the-counter topical acne medication)
- Chemical sunscreen
Likewise, acne can be easily triggered by summer-time lifestyle changes – no matter your age or skin type – including an increase in intake of processed or fast foods, sugary chilled treats and alcohol, or hormonal imbalances and stress brought on by lack of sleep and travelling.
Fret not, we have you covered with our easy-breezy tips to treat skin safely!
How to manage breakouts
Pore health is in part related to the overall elasticity of skin. Ingredients like vitamin A, which is readily absorbed and naturally converted to retinol by the body, help to keep pores smaller by promoting renewal within the skin, which in turn supports its overall structure. We love the vitamin-A-rich rosehip seed and cherry kernel oils which can be found in our Serenity Salve and Purity Paste.
These two multi-purpose heroes go that extra mile to treat skin prone to acne and summer breakouts; they might not be an actual Adriatic Coast getaway, but your skin will never know the difference!
Cosmetics to avoid during hot summers:
- Balms and heavy comedogenic oils that clog pores
- Oil-based tanning and illuminator make-up products, instead go for bronzing powders and mix them with our non-comedogenic oil Merry-Berry Plump
- Complex routine with foaming, strong and stripping ingredients
Eat your way to smoother skin
Your skin and your gut are linked physically and through various biochemical pathways, known as the ‘gut-skin axis’. Gut bacteria and their substances can induce an inflammatory reaction and irritate your skin.
Clear your skin by supporting your gut health:
- Enjoy a Mediterranean-style diet: embrace colourful fruits and vegetables, pulses, legumes, wholegrains, healthy fats, and fish. It’s been showed that eating a low-GL diet (like a Mediterranean-style diet) reduced acne in just 12 weeks.
- Increase your intake of fibre
- Introduce probiotics to daily routine: probiotics can improve acne and boost skin appearance. They achieve this by improving gut health and modulating the immune system. Try probiotic-rich foods such as ferments e.g. sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and natural yoghurt, or opt for probiotic supplements.
- Take time to relax and enjoy food