Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

 Why Acne Can Worsen in the Summer

Summer might be the best time of year to get outside, but it certainly isn't always the best time for acne. Curious how summer can make your acne worse? Here are a few important pieces of cosmetic dermatology knowledge you'll need to understand summer's effects on acne.

You Sweat More in the Summer

When summer rolls around, you're going to sweat more often. But it's not just sweat that can contribute to acne flare-ups and acne scars during the summer months. Rather, it's a mix of sweat, dirt, and oil accumulating on your skin that can clog pores and cause more frequent breakouts on your skin. While sweating alone might not cause acne, it's certainly a contributing factor. This is especially true if you're sweating while there's makeup on your skin or if you're not properly cleansing after you've been sweating. If you want to avoid breakouts and still enjoy a long day in the summer sun, it's essential that you take steps to clean your skin properly once you're back indoors. Don't neglect your back, shoulders, buttocks, or chest, either. Sweat can contribute to acne flare-ups all over the body. That means it's crucial for you to properly clean your entire body after you've been sweating. Doing so can help you maintain clear, beautiful skin all summer long.

The Sun May Contribute to Acne

Spending time in the sun during the summer months can be an amazing treat, but it could cost you in the skin health department if you're not careful. Sunlight has a keratolytic effect on skin cells, which means skin cell turnover increases when you're in the sun. That said, stepping out of the sun after a long day on the beach can slow the rate of your skin cell turnover, which may lead to more dead skin cell buildup. Unfortunately, those dead skin cells can clog up your pores and contribute to acne flare-ups if you're not careful. If you want to avoid acne breakouts as a result of dead skin cell buildup during the summer months, it's important to invest in a good exfoliating routine. Whether you opt for regular chemical peels or turn to a common acne treatment like salicylic acid is up to you. The important thing is that you're practicing safe exfoliation on a regular basis to avoid dead skin cell buildup clogging your pores.

Your Skincare Routine Could Be the Culprit

Changing your skincare routine with the seasons is something you should absolutely consider. The skincare products you use during the winter months won't necessarily help you out during the summer. In fact, oil-based products may make your acne even worse by clogging up your pores. Instead of keeping your winter moisturizer on deck, consider switching to a water-based formula or something like hyaluronic acid, which can offer excellent moisture retention without running the risk of clogging up your pores.


Dealing with acne during the summer months can be tricky. If you think you may need acne medication or you have questions about how summer can affect your skin, set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today!

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