5 sneaky reasons you're getting summer acne
You always remember to take off your makeup and you're diligent about following a consistent skin care regimen, so why are you still getting acne? While there are some factors like genetics that are more or less out of your control, we asked pro dermatologists to break down some of the other surprising reasons why you're breaking out—and what you can do about them.
The Wrong Sunscreen
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen on a regular basis, but the pore-clogging ingredients in many of the options make it a catch-22. "If you have acne-prone skin, it's essential to avoid sunscreens that contain oil and are labeled 'noncomedogenic,'" says Dr. Julia Tzu, medical director and founder of Wall Street Dermatology. "EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46($32) is made specifically for acneic skin—it contains an ingredient called niacinamide, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce redness."
We love a cold cone on a hot summer day, but there's mounting evidence that dairy products can trigger breakouts even if you're not lactose intolerant or don't have a dairy allergy. "Researchers think this is primarily due to the hormones in milk," says Dr. Hadley King, board certified dermatologist at Skinney Medspa. "These hormones are in the fat component of milk, so try fat-free dairy options to see if your acne clears up."
There's nothing like a hot shower relax while scrubbing off oil and dirt. "However, washing with hot water dries out your skin and can worsen your acne," says Dr. Jeannette Graf. Try a mild-to-cool temperature that's more gentle for your skin. Dr. Graf also says to be mindful of the ingredients you use in the shower. Certain oils in your shampoo and conditioner that drip down your back can sneakily trigger body acne. An easy fix: Use your body wash as your last step, washing away the oily hair products that might be clogging your pores.
You deserve to treat yourself to a green drink after a tough class, but consider rinsing off in the showers at the gym before getting in line for a juice. "Breaking a sweat is a great idea any time of year, but the longer you stand around in tight, sweaty clothes, the greater risk for getting dreaded back acne or body blemishes," says Dr. Brian Matthys, advisor and dermatologist for First Derm.
While listening to Ellie Goulding on repeat is a great way to pass the time on your commute or at your desk, your regular jam sessions might be the reason for recurring breakouts along you jaw line and temples, particularly if you're using over-the-ear headphones. "Sweat and bacteria can collect around the padding and compress into your skin," says Dr. Debra Luftman, dermatologist and Simple advisory board member. "This means acne, rosacea and seborrhea dermatitis, which is a yeast-related dandruff, can also flair up." Clean your headphones with a wipe before using them, and keep a pack of makeup remover towelettes to clean off your face afterwards.
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